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Artists: Eye-Popping Cover Letter Secrets
Cover letters give a personal touch to everything you send out. People look at your cover letter first, so it deserves your attention. You only get one chance to make a first impression – and you want it to be a good one.
A good cover letter captures your reader’s attention. Attention is the first step to relationships. And relationships lead to sales. Have I got your attention now?
A well-written cover letter won’t guarantee you results. But you can be sure that a poor one won’t get you past “hello.”
“I have received letters that were two and three pages long. I never have the time to read about the life and times of an artist whom I did not know. When reading a cover letter, the most important thing I wanted to learn about this person was whether the artist knew anyone I knew. And when these artists mentioned a familiar name, I would spend a great deal more time reviewing the material.
“Recently I saw a cover letter from an artist who had run-on sentences and no break between paragraphs. It was impossible to follow what this artist was trying to say. Remember that with any writing you do, keep it simple and understandable to the general public. When you have only a short amount of time to get your point across, it is essential to be clear and concise.”
Few people can just sit down and write perfect letter first time in just a few minutes.
Writing is a four-part process. Think, Write, Edit and Check.
Be clear about why you are communicating. You can use cover letters to submit a proposal, follow-up on interest, or thank someone with a gift. Cover letters serve many purposes, but each one you send should have a single focus.
Know your audience. Take a moment to think about the person who will read your letter. If you don’t know much about them, this is the time to do some research. Write to a human being, not a job title.
It takes longer to write a good short letter than a poor rambling one. Limit your cover letter to three paragraphs. Keep each paragraph to three or four sentences. Keep each sentence on the purpose of that paragraph. I love the Flesch-Kincaid Index that gives you a score for passive sentences, readability and grade level. (You will find it in the spell-check Options in Microsoft Word. The readability for this post is 76.3 and the grade level is 5. That means you can scan it quickly and get the message.)
Set the letter aside for at least a few hours. Come back to it with fresh eyes. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and see if it makes sense, is appealing and if you would want to go to the next step.
Review grammar and spelling. If you use spell-check software remember that it does not pick up incorrect word usage and watch out for auto-correction of words like “you’re” for “your.”
Aletta de Wal
Aletta de Wal inspires fine artists to make a better living making art in any economy. Aletta makes art marketing easier and the business of art simpler.
Artist Career Training works with part-time, emerging and full-time artists who are serious about a career in fine arts. Art world experts share insider information and step-by-step instructions in lively group telephone classes, on-site workshops and seminars. Personal consultations allow in-depth work on specific projects. Independent study is available through recordings and workbooks at www.artbusinesslibrary.com
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Thank you for considering my art series, Women Wearing Fruit Peels, for exhibition in your gallery. I have long admired XYZ for its fearless imagination and willingness to promote discussion around controversial subjects. Seeing the ABC Exhibit when I was fifteen made me want to become an artist.
Please find my portfolio attached. Below are my exhibition proposal, artist statement, and bio. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Women Wearing Fruit Peels is a series devoted to the exploration of performative female representation, specifically targeting historical work that has paired the feminine form with ripe, soft, and globular fruit. These paintings invert tired tropes by adorning women of every shape, size, and color with thin, colorful peels-the part of the fruit that is the most nutritious but not necessarily the most traditionally beautiful or glorified. The series consists of 7 paintings, each a triptych using acrylic on canvas panels. The panels each measure 7.5" x 12".
My work is freeform painting with acrylics, using technique learned from Joanna Macron. I am interested in the tension between observing and being observed, and the way that the muse or subject of an artwork can be commodified, reduced, and labelled.
Laurie Jones is a painter and photographer who lives in Portland, OR, with her husband and two dogs. She received her BFA in art from University of Oregon in 2010 and her MFA in art history from Seattle University in 2015. She has shown at the Portland Art Institute, the Jordan Daal Museum of Modern Art, and the University of Oregon Panel for Women Artists.
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