Artist (Self) Interview Questions

Teresa Cochran | In the Know, Reflection & Growth | August 18, 2020

These are starter questions to give you a sense of the sorts of things you could include in your bio(s), artwork description, and in the Marketing section of the Engage Art submission. They are also likely to be of interest for many of the things you need to write as an artist. You may think of other questions that are more relevant to you or your work. If so, answer those instead! The purpose of this interview is to allow you to think through the types of questions artists are often asked.

Your answers should sound like you, not a textbook or what you think an artist should sound like. Pretend the questions are being asked by a member of your target audience. To answer the questions, you can make some notes, or you can write up fully formed thoughts. If you’ve done some reflection, you are likely to borrow from what you learned through that process. That’s great! It means that you are using your reflecting skills to inform these answers, which in turn will inform your writing.

If you have a lot of time to work on this writing, you can choose a couple questions per day. If you are rushed, you may want to choose just the most relevant questions for you and your situation and focus on those.

For Your Bio

  • What is your background? How does it inform your art? 
  • What types of art and culture do you like to consume? When you are choosing a movie or play or music or art or food, what do you gravitate to? Who/what are your most important artistic influences?
  • What type of art do you create and what motivates you to make it?
  • What process, materials, techniques, etc., do you use to create your artwork? Is there a connection between your message and the way you make your art? 
  • What is your artwork exploring, underneath everything? Something about the planet (the passage of time, sustainability, the natural world, etc.)? Something about culture, current events, or history (politics, social order, histories, invention, fantasy, pop culture, how peoples are alike or different, inequality, etc.)? Something about your life (trauma and healing, the human experience, introspection, relationships, coming of age, facing death, etc.)? Something else?
  • Are there specific subjects or themes you return to regularly in your art? If so, what are they and do you know why?
  • What do people need to know about you, about how you think and why you create to understand and appreciate your artwork?
  • What are you besides an artist? How do you define your role in life? How do you make your living? What are your most important relationships? How does art-making impact other parts of your life?
  • How do you define success as an artist? as a person? Are you there yet? What do you hope to accomplish?
  • Do you have comments made by curators, gallery owners, critics, collectors, etc., about you or your work?

For Description/Artist Statement of Artwork:

  • In this specific artwork, what skills and techniques did you use? Were any of them recent additions to your repertoire?
  • What does this artwork mean to you? How are those ideas expressed in this artwork?
  • Is the influence of other artists or other parts of the overall culture evident in this piece? If so, who or what and how?
  • How does it fit in (or not) with the rest of your artwork?
  • When people view this artwork, what do you want them to experience and think about?

For Marketing:

  • What types of goods and services do you have for sale?
  • Is there pricing information you can offer here, to give potential buyers an idea of the “order of magnitude” of your pricing? 
  • How do you offer your work for sale?
  • What is the best way/place for people to contact you? [Don’t just say “email”—what email will you still be checking 5 years from now? List it. List the website you’d like people to visit, etc.]
  • Where can people find you on social media? List your social handles.

What else SHOULD we have asked?

This blog post was drawn from Engage Art’s free Choose Your Own Art-venture eCourse and Workbook. Module 5 is all about reflecting and writing about your artwork, and it includes many worksheets to help you do the best job you can. Being able to express your intentions for your art—especially the theme you are working with to reflect the Spiritual Battle—is important for this contest. To learn more and download any modules you’d like (for free!), go here.

Submit Your Artwork Today!

Curious? Interested in submitting artwork to our contest? Know someone who might be? Through April 14th, 2022, the Engage Art Contest is open to the whole world! Get your foot in the door by claiming your Artist Page now!