As an artist, there’s no doubt you’re immensely creative. And yet, you seem to run into creative blocks any time you try to write an artist resume.
The truth is, no matter how creative you are, you’ll struggle to write an outstanding resume until you learn the key principles of resume writing. Once you know them, however, it becomes as easy as ABC.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of writing a stellar artist resume step by step. Let’s get started!
Use the reverse-chronological resume format to make your artist resume well-organized and easy to follow.
An artist resume should include your artistic achievements—exhibitions, commissions, residencies, etc.—alongside your work experience and other mandatory resume sections.
Mention your skills not only in a dedicated skills section but also in your work experience, resume objective/summary, and other relevant sections.
Attach a cover letter to your artist resume to maximize your chances of getting invited for an interview.
What Format to Use For an Artist Resume
First things first, you should use the reverse-chronological resume format for your artist resume to structure it properly.
As an artist, you certainly know the importance of composition. If you arrange the elements of your artwork the wrong way, it’ll look random at best. At worst, it may look confusing and drive the viewer away. Similarly, the resume format can make or break your job application.
The three standard resume formats are:
While you can use any of them to create an artist resume, the reverse-chronological resume format has many advantages over the other two.
Not only is it ATS-friendly, but it is also a favorite among recruiters. It’s no surprise, given that this resume format is well-organized and places emphasis on your work experience.
Artist Resume Layout
After choosing the right format for your artist resume, it’s time to work on its layout. Make sure to get it right before filling in the contents of your resume, as fixing it once you’re all done can be quite a hassle.
So, here’s what you need to do:
Resume Layout Tips
Font. Use a simple and professional font (Arial, Times New Roman, etc.) and set it to 11–12 pts to ensure the recruiter can easily read your resume.
Make use of bullet points. Not only are “walls of text” intimidating, but recruiters don’t typically have time to read text-heavy resumes. So, do them—and yourself—a favor by using bullet points (when appropriate!) to organize information.
Margins. Set resume margins to 1 inch on all sides to create a clean look.
Avoid bouncing from one font to another, switching between several font sizes, and so on. Rather than making your resume appear creative, this can make it look messy. Consistency is key to crafting a well-organized, professional artist resume.
Artist Resume Sections
Any resume, including that for artists, must include these five sections:
Mandatory Resume Sections
Resume summary or resume objective
You should also include artistic achievements, such as residencies.
Moreover, depending on your professional background, you can also include your:
Optional Resume Sections
Personal or collaborative projects
Sounds like too much work? Not with our resume builder!
To create a job-winning artist resume with our builder, all you have to do is fill in the suggested sections. You can skip formatting your resume altogether or customize its design to your liking with a click of a button. It’s that simple!
How to Add Contact Information to Your Artist Resume
No matter how impressive your artist resume is, you won’t land a job if recruiters can’t get in touch with you. So, make sure to list your up-to-date contact information in the header of your resume as soon as you’re done formatting your resume.
Here’s what you should include:
Mandatory Contact Information
Your name and surname
Your phone number
Your email address (make sure it’s professional, e.g., email@example.com)
Location (city and state/country only)
While this is optional, you should ideally add a link to your professional website or portfolio. After all, these show exactly what you’re capable of to the recruiter. You can also mention your LinkedIn handle and professional title (e.g., “Sculptor”).
Your contact information should look something like this:
Contact Information Section Example
Judy Adams Illustrator 012-345-6789 firstname.lastname@example.org Springfield, IL linkedin.com/in/judyadams123 behance.net/judyadams123
How to Write an Artist Resume Objective/Summary
There’s a reason why Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is one of the most influential paintings of all time—it captivates the audience from the get-go. Similarly, your artist resume should grab the recruiter’s attention in the blink of an eye. To do this, you need to place an impactful resume objective or a resume summary at the top of your resume.
While these are both short statements that act as a description of your artist resume and professional background, there’s a subtle difference between the two.
Essentially, you should only write a resume objective if you’re an aspiring artist or an art student with little to no experience.
In this case, you can follow this simple formula to create an eye-catching resume objective:
Resume Objective Formula
Mention any relevant skills or experience.
Explain your motivation (what you can bring to the table or why you want this specific job).
In all other cases, you should always write a resume summary since it does a better job of highlighting relevant skills, experience, and achievements.
Here’s what you should include to write a compelling resume summary:
Resume Summary Tips
Your job title and years of experience
Skills relevant to the position
One or more achievements you’re most proud of
Now that you know which of these statements you should opt for, let’s see some examples.
Emerging Artist Resume Objective
First off, here’s a poorly written artist resume objective:
Talented animation student seeking a part-time job at Company XYZ. I enjoy crafting visual stories with the help of technology. Hoping to work on exciting projects with like-minded people.
Now, check out this effective resume objective that follows the formula mentioned above:
Resume Objective Example
Enthusiastic and detail-oriented second-year animation student with a passion for visual storytelling seeking a part-time job at Company XYZ. Eager to leverage my solid Adobe Animate skills and contribute to the company’s marketing efforts with high-quality, visually compelling 3D animations.
As you can probably tell, there’s a stark difference between the two. Unlike the first example, the second one is more detailed and focused on the company instead of personal gain.
Established Artist Resume Summary
If you’re planning to write an artist resume summary, here’s what you should not do:
Award-winning animator seeking a job at Company XYZ. Substantial knowledge and experience in pretty much everything related to 3D animation.
Instead, you can follow this example of an attention-grabbing resume summary:
Resume Summary Example
Dedicated and versatile 3D animator with 4+ years of experience. Highly proficient in Blender and Adobe Creative Suite. Created “XYZ,” an animated short film that garnered 4+ million views on YouTube and won the award for Best Narrative Short at Animation Festival X in 2022.
See the difference?
While the first example is very vague, the second one highlights the candidate’s experience and achievements by utilizing numbers, as well as specifying skills and awards.
Artist Resume Professional Experience
Now, let’s discuss the most significant part of any resume—the work experience section.
To maintain consistency throughout your artist resume, list each entry in the reverse-chronological order. Start with your latest position and include:
Work Experience Section Format
Your professional title
The name and location of the company
Employment period in mm/yyyy format
3–5 bullet points with your key responsibilities and achievements
Need an artist resume for a gallery exposition, a grant, or anything else other than a regular job? In this case, feel free to move the work experience section below and emphasize your artistic achievements, such as awards, commissions, exhibitions, and residencies.
Regardless of the type of artist you are, you should make every effort to stand out in a competitive job market.
If you follow the guidelines above, you’ll end up with a relatively good work experience section. However, you can take it to the next level with these tips:
Use action verbs. Don’t go the “Responsible for…” route like most other candidates. Instead, use action verbs (conceptualized, taught, received, designed, etc.) to make your artist resume more dynamic.
Focus on achievements. Professional achievements set you apart from other candidates and accentuate the value of your work. As such, you want to focus on them instead of just listing your responsibilities.
Quantify your achievements. Use numbers to back up your achievements. “Produced and sold 36 custom oil paintings on commission” sounds much more impressive than “Created many paintings.”
Tailor your work experience section. Let’s face it—the fact that you were a lifeguard in high school won’t help you become an art director. So, only list jobs that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Artist With No Experience
Writing an artist resume with no experience may seem a tad daunting, but it’s much easier than you think.
Chances are, you have some relevant experience that you can leverage to craft a powerful artist resume. It can be virtually anything—volunteering, internships, or maybe a previous job that allowed you to flex your creative muscles.
Here’s an example of how to do it right:
Work Experience Section Example (No Experience)
Work Experience Marketing Intern Company XYZ Anchorage, AK 01/2023–06/2023
Assisted the marketing team in designing graphics for 15+ social media posts weekly using Canva and Adobe Photoshop, contributing to a 12% increase in social media engagement.
Successfully redesigned a brand logo according to logo design principles and the client’s brand identity.
Actively participated in brainstorming sessions with cross-functional teams, bringing creative ideas to boost clients’ marketing efforts.
Here’s a brilliant example of a work experience section on an experienced artist resume:
Work Experience Section Example (w/ Experience)
Work Experience Senior Game Artist Company XYZ Helena, MT 03/2018–08/2023
Collaborated with cross-functional teams on the development of 3 multiplayer games, including XYZ, which won a Game Award X in 2022 for Best Art Direction.
Led a remote team of 7 junior game artists in the development of 3D assets and the creation of large-scale 3D environments, improving team productivity by 15% through the adoption of Slack.
Refined the game art pipeline to boost efficiency, achieving a 10% reduction in asset development time.
Freelance Artist Experience
If you’re a freelance artist, here’s how you can present your work experience to prospective employers:
Freelance Artist Work Experience Section Example
Work Experience Freelance Artist Self-Employed Los Angeles, CA 08/2020–Present
Developed a unique portrait painting style that helped amass 250k+ followers on Instagram within 2 years.
Displayed 10 paintings at Gallery X, 5 of which have been sold during the opening of the exhibition.
Created 70+ custom paintings for clients using diverse techniques, including oil, acrylic, dry brushing, and underpainting.
Artist Resume Education Section
Next, you should add an education section to your artist resume.
As a general rule, you should keep it brief, especially if you’re a self-taught artist. If you have a college or university diploma, feel free to leave out your high school.
That said, if you graduated from a prestigious art school or have some prominent academic accomplishments, make sure this lands on your artist resume. You can even move this section up to emphasize your academic background.
Again, you should start with your latest degree first and list the following details:
Mandatory Education Information
Years of attendance
(Optional) Minor, honors, GPA (3.5+), relevant courses, and academic achievements
Here’s what your education section should look like:
Education Section Example
Education BFA in Experimental Animation California Institute of the Arts 08/2017–07/2021
Artist Resume Skills
If you’re looking for a job as an artist, recruiters will pay particularly close attention to two things: your work experience and your skills.
For this reason, you should mention your skills throughout your artist resume, including your resume summary/objective and work experience.
Here’s a good example:
Work Experience Freelance Illustrator Self-Employed San Francisco, CA 02/2019–Present
Created 25 children’s book illustrations using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Procreate.
That said, your artist resume should also have a dedicated skills section. There, you need to separately note down your hard and soft skills.
Ideally, you should list your hard skills along with your proficiency level like this:
Skills Section Example
Hard Skills Adobe Photoshop—Expert ZBrush—Advanced
Now, the trick is to focus on the skills the employer is looking for, as this will increase your chances of passing the ATS check and landing an interview.
You can do this by scanning the job description and picking out any skills they mention that you possess. Be honest, though, as recruiters can easily find out whether you’re a real artist or a fraud!
Artist Hard Skills
Which hard skills your artist resume should include? The answer largely depends on the type of artist you are. Obviously, an animator will need a different skill set than a sculptor.
That said, here’s a list of hard skills you should consider putting on your artist resume:
Hard Skills Examples
Artist Soft Skills
Here are some soft skills that’ll enhance your artist resume:
Soft Skills Examples
Attention to detail
Receptivity to feedback
Artist Resume Other Sections
Here are some additional sections you should consider adding to your artist resume:
Only list your awards in a separate section if they are truly impressive. Otherwise, you can mention them in your education, work experience, or another appropriate section.
Has your art been featured in exhibitions? Perfect!
Here’s what you should list:
Mandatory Exhibitions Information
Personal and Collaborative Projects
Including personal and collaborative projects on your artist resume is a great way to show your passion for art and stand out from other candidates.
To do it, just list the year and title. If relevant, add the name of the venue and collaborators.
Still have some white space left on your artist resume after completing the must-have sections? Consider filling it up with any conferences, lectures, and workshops you’ve attended (or given!).
Include the title of the lecture/conference, venue, location, and year.
If your artwork has been featured in print or online publications, list the name of the author, the title of your work, as well as the title and date of the publication to correctly add it to your artist resume.
If you speak any other languages besides English and they’re relevant to the position you’re applying for, make sure to list them on your artist resume alongside your proficiency level (e.g., Native or bilingual proficiency, limited working proficiency, etc.)
Other Artistic Achievements
Last but certainly not least, you should add other artistic achievements—residencies, grants, collections, commissions, etc.—to your resume.
You should list these separately and, depending on the purpose of your artist resume, you can even move them to the top of the page to draw more attention to them. For instance, if you’re applying for a residency program, you might want to highlight your previous residencies.
Here’s an example of how these sections could look on an artist resume:
Optional Section Example
2022 Symphony of Colors, Contemporary Art Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
2019 Echoes of Nature, Space Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix Art Museum Collection, Phoenix, AZ
2018 Celestial Dreams, oil on canvas, Phoenix Cafe
Should You Write a Cover Letter as an Artist?
You should always write a cover letter when applying for a job as an artist. This can give you a winning edge over your competitors, as most candidates skip this step unless they’re asked to attach a cover letter to their application.
However, by writing a cover letter, you can further expand on your professional background and highlight your greatest achievements. It’s also your chance to mention anything valuable you left out of your artist resume to maximize your chances of landing an interview.
On top of that, you can also impress the recruiter with your attention to detail by using matching cover letter and resume templates!
3 Pro Tips for Crafting an Artist Resume
Here are three useful tips that’ll help you polish up and perfect your artist resume:
Artist Resume Tips
Proofread your artist resume before sending it out or ask a friend to do it for you to ensure it’s error-free.
If you’re applying for several jobs, tailor your resume to each of them specifically by sprinkling relevant keywords mentioned in the job listing throughout it.
Include your name in the file title and save your artist resume as a PDF file (unless you’re asked to do otherwise) to ensure it looks the same across all devices.
How to Cite a Piece of Art
If you want to cite a piece of your art on your resume, simply list the title and the medium as such:
Colorful Raindrops, acrylic on canvas
Artist Resume Example
Before you start working on your resume, check out this outstanding artist resume example to get inspired:
By now, you probably see that writing a resume is an art in and of itself. To bring your artist resume from average to show-stopping, you should follow these simple rules:
Artist Resume Rules
Keep your resume concise by only including relevant information
Emphasize the sections that are most closely related to your goal (e.g., if you’re looking to land a job, focus on the work experience section)
Highlight your most significant achievements regardless of the purpose of your artist resume
And remember—when it comes to resume writing, numbers are your friends!