How to produce a brief

How to produce a brief

Don’t worry too much about submitting a brief with us if it’s your first time - we’ve got your back. Artbox reviews all briefs that come in, and it is common for us to work with new clients on improving the brief to make sure we attract top artists and their amazing ideas.

What is an artist brief exactly?

A brief is a summary that clients use to present key points to artists in order to elicit Expressions of Interest. It presents key relevant facts and summarises goals, challenges and other details. The specific contents of a brief depend on the type of brief and the ultimate purpose it serves. Artists typically expect a brief before agreeing to quote or move forward with projects.

Explain the motivations

You should start your brief by answering a simple question. Why are you seeking to commission an artist? Write one or two sentences that summarise the answer. Add a few sentences that offer background on the how and what you are hoping to get as an outcome. You could include this information in one or two paragraphs or separate the information with headers and some short dot points. Either way, keep it simple, direct and clear.

Challenges

The next section of your brief should highlight the challenges you plan to address and resolve with the project. After introducing those challenges, you can then give additional detail about how your project will address and overcome them, and mention any specific requirements. Does the work need to be in a certain medium? Do you favour EOIs to achieve certain diversity goals? Are there any dealbreakers? This section helps the creative team to understand expectations for the project. It's important that you are clear on time, budget, materials and any specific acceptance criteria. Ideally there is broad creative scope but if you have specific needs or interests call them out to ensure we get the right artists applying. And that's it! Easy right?

Ask for feedback

Once you have a completed draft, it's a good idea to share it with a few key individuals or even organise a meeting with Artbox using our booking page or contact us to go over the brief and get feedback. You can kick this off by sending in a brief through our easy to use brief for artists form and we'll set up a call to talk it through.

Generic Brief template

Here is a template you can use to write a brief for artists:

1. Company background

‘For the past [number] years, [company] has been serving [target audience] by providing quality [product/service]. [Company] has a variety of different achievements, including [list of achievements]. Other artworks/programs/events our company has worked on include [names of other projects].’

2. Challenges and objectives

‘With this brief, we plan to address problems related to [list of problems the artwork/program/event will address/resolve].’
These can include a need for greater activation, participation, addressing certain diversity goals, etc.
 

3. Please include the following in your Expression of Interest (EOI)

Consider how many images of their work you would like to see (typically between 3 and 12). Also ask for the artist’s CV and possibly artist statements and biographies. Clearly indicate the total budget or budget broken down by Artist Fee + time and materials. Note there are national standards of minimum artist fees as defined by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)
Make sure to mention if you are providing any services/goods that would otherwise be part of the budget scope. In the brief you can also add links to reference materials like videos, websites or anything really!
Most importantly, keep it simple! Overly convoluted or demanding briefs turn people away. You can refine your requirements with one or a few artists once you’ve narrowed down candidates.
 

 

Final thoughts

In the ‘Create a brief for artists’ form (below) you can upload any files you may need to share for the project. These can be PDFs, images, word documents, etc. limited to 10Mb. If you want to share larger files, we recommend you link them with Google Drive or Dropbox - just make sure the permissions are open to the web.
Ok, so that’s it - copy the brief template above and head over to:
Create a brief for artists