I used to work in marketing. If someone asked what I did, I could say “I’m a marketing consultant, I’m head of marketing at ….” I might even have expanded it to add “I’m particularly interested in training young professionals in marketing skills”.
But what do I say now? I have several jobs, but my main focus is sewing notebook covers and selling them. As Elise Cripe says, “I make stuff like it’s my job”. And I would totally use that line if she didn’t already!
So I was delighted when one of the speakers at my local creative business group meeting this week was Helen Bottrill on “Writing an Artist’s Statement”. An artist’s statement, or maker profile, is useful for all kinds of things – applying for fairs, press and advertising, meeting people, websites. As Helen said, having a clear description of what you do is a great confidence booster.
Helen’s advice was to start by writing down everything that you make, are inspired by, where you live, the materials you use – get it all out. Write as much as you can, over several days.
Then reduce it – she suggested to 100 words (or shorter), plus an additional 150 to expand. Write in the first person.
Aim to make your description unique. What makes you stand out? Look critically at what you have written – could it be about anyone? Cut what you have written to make it say exactly what it needs to say.
So, here’s my first attempt.
I make removable covers for notebooks, in bright and quirky fabrics. My notebooks are designed to be used, not left on a shelf. When a book is used up, you can take it out of the cover and insert a new one.
I live and work in the Devonshire countryside.
Hmm, needs a bit more work I think, but a vast improvement on what I had before!
Helen Bottrill is running a series of informal get togethers for women in creative business in the South West of England. More information here. Come! It’s brilliant!
For more advice, including examples, on writing a maker profile, click Handmade Lives.