Create Appalachia’s Arts@Work series presents “Presenting Yourself Professionally: A Basic Marketing Kit in Three Easy Steps”

Thursday, April 15th from 6 to 8 PM
Monday, April 19th from 6 to 8 PM
Wednesday, April 21 from 6 to 8 PM

Instructors: Dr. Katie Hoffman, with Cher Cornett

Tickets $90, Registration Closed


Creatives of all genres need to be able to market themselves effectively. This workshop will help artists of all types create the three basic items they need to pitch themselves and their work. At the end of the series, you will have created a customized marketing kit including:

  • An artist or business statement;
  • A brief biography; and
  • A head shot/portrait taken by a professional photographer*.


Having a compelling, coherent, and grammatically correct bio and artist statement is important for any creative hoping to connect with clients, galleries, and venues. These documents can also be the initial elements of a simple, do-it-yourself website. This series of workshops will walk you through the process of crafting a statement that best promotes and describes your work. You’ll also learn how to adapt these documents for a specific purpose, such as submission to an exhibition or gallery, promotion of a performance, or pitching your services to potential clients. In the final session, a professional photographer will work with you to make another essential element: an artist photo for your kit. Sessions with the photographer will be booked on a first-come-first-served basis, so early registration is encouraged.

ONLINE SESSIONS (Except for photography)

All workshop sessions except for the photography sessions (times TBA) will be held at 6 PM on Zoom. One-on-one appointments will be scheduled individually with Katie. They will either be online or by phone.

Session 1: Artist Biography. (April 15, 2021) About a week before the workshop begins, Katie will email examples and preparatory activities to each paid participant. These will help generate ideas about what makes you and your work distinctive. During the workshop discussions, Katie will help you take the insights you’ve developed and craft a professional bio of about 250 words. We’ll also discuss how to craft a mini-bio, another important promotional tool. Every artist will create a working draft. Finally, you’ll set an appointment with Katie for the one-on-one editing/proofing session that will help you put a professional polish on your new bio. You’ll have the first important step completed in promoting your work!

Session 2: Artist Statement. (April 19, 2021) Katie will email you ahead of time with some idea-generation activities. You’ll come to the session prepared to create an artist or business statement that reflects your own passions and philosophies. You’ll learn to avoid vague, fluffy, confusing “artspeak,” and will develop clear reasons why a potential client or collector should consider your work. You’ll emerge from this session with a draft you can polish and refine during your next one-on-one session with Katie. You’ll receive a handout that will help you make the most of your upcoming photography session. It will offer tips on what to wear and how to otherwise set yourself up for a great professional head shot or portrait. And at the end of the second evening, you’re 2/3 done with your marketing kit!

Session 3: Putting it All to Use. (April 21, 2021) What good is having all of this great material if you don’t also know how to put it to use? During the final session, Cher Cornett will explain how to make your brand new set of marketing materials work for you. Participants will share their work and collaborate on preparing plans of action. We may have a special guest or two who will also offer perspectives on promoting yourself professionally. And voilà! You’re equipped and ready to get out there and promote yourself effectively!


With a PhD in English, over twenty years’ experience teaching rhetoric and composition, and experience as an artist herself, Dr. Katie Hoffman is well equipped to lead you through the process of creating a set of professional promotional materials. Cher Cornett, who will lead the third and final meeting, is the founder and president of Create Appalachia. She is also a member of the Digital Media faculty at East Tennessee State University and an award-winning graphic designer and photographer. You’ll receive individualized attention from each of these professional instructors, customized to meet your specific needs. Photography will be done by Kalani Odum of White Creek Photography and Cher Cornett.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, Create Appalachia is able to provide the Arts@Work Series and this particular workshop at a surprisingly low cost for regional creatives.

*Sessions with the photographers will be held in person, socially distanced. The number of slots is limited and they will fill quickly. They will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis as participants sign up for the class. Register early to receive the full benefits of participation!

Create Appalachia’s goal is to make the Appalachian Highlands a better place to live and work through innovation and entrepreneurship centered around the arts. We are working to support an environment that will generate new businesses, provide jobs in the arts, and encourage graduates from our colleges and universities to stay in our community.

The Arts@Work Series supports entrepreneurial and self-employed artists and makers who wish to develop their professional business skills. Topics include business strategy, marketing, communication and promotion, pricing, and client relations. The 2021 Arts@Work series was curated to meet the particular needs of small creative businesses dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Katie Hoffman
Executive Director
Create Appalachia
(423) 329-4742

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