Artist Advice: How to write an Artist Proposal

As artists trying to make a living in this field, we work in a highly competitive environment; so, ArtSee wanted to send out a few tips, some guidance, and help when you are attempting to put together an artist proposal.

Proposals are often just a piece of writing required to present work in a formal setting or get a show up at a gallery. The average proposal is roughly one page single-spaced with 12 point font, therefore it is important to be precise and get your points across as clearly and concise as possible. Think of it as a cover-letter for your art work.

(Proposals are generally required for all calls for submissions—which you can find in our monthly newsletter! Sign up HERE)

First thing first, what to put in a proposal:

  • Your name and title of your piece.
  • A detailed description of your art work:
    • What materials did you use?
    • Dimensions of artwork
    • What were you thinking as you created this?
  • How it will fit into the gallery or setting.
  • Why you are submitting your work.

Things to keep in mind when writing:

·      Who is your audience? –Write for them.

·      Be professional! Yes—this is extremely basic, but so important when wanting work in this competitive market.

·      You are an artist, its ok to write emotionally! Often time in academia, emotional and creative writing is frowned upon; in the arts this is not the case, being emotional can help others connect with your work. 

Also, make sure to look up if the organization you’re submitting a proposal to has guidelines. Many will have a clear rubric of things that should be addressed. Best of luck Coloring DC with your artwork!


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