Being a professional artist or maker involves a lot more than just spending time in your studio sanctuary. Just making the work doesn't create the opportunity to show or sell it. I wish that wasn't true, but the reality is that I have lots of work stacked in a closet, up in the attic, or under the bed. What about you?
Taking a shift at your desk and creating opportunities is all part of the job of an artist. One of those important tasks is keeping your resume up to date. It is much easier if you update details immediately as an event occurs. Then, when an opportunity arises, you are ready with your resume without delay.
It's amazing but all too often opportunities present themselves with no advance notice. Let me go all French on you for a moment. Louis Pasteur said, "Dans les champs de l'observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés." Loosely translated, "... chance favors the prepared mind." For every artist, the opportunity is always going to favor the prepared artist. It happened yet again this morning for me -- which prompted this post.
Here is my system for a resume.
Write all professional accomplishments in your master CV (Curriculum Vitae). Every show, every article, every published editorial goes in your CV. Right away, that night!
You also need a one-page resume. This is what will be used most of the time. This is just the most important or most recent professional accomplishments. Your one-page resume may or may not change when you add items to your CV. It depends on the importance of the recent professional activity.
As you gain more professional experiences that expand your CV to multiple pages, I would recommend maintaining several versions with a two-page resume and a five-page resume. Each one of these is a digested version of your master CV.
Think of adding each accomplishment to your CV and resume as a reward for hard work and professional success. This is definitely one of those activities that are a self-fulfilling prophecy.
P.S. Are you wondering what information to put on your resume. Here is a previous blog post titled, Resumes - How much is too much info? with some answers.
The Resumes for Artists and Craftspeople category has a number of posts on this topic.
This post was updated on January 22, 2022.