Writing An Artist Profile Story, Part 1: What An Artist Profile Story Is

I was seated in the living room one morning replying to a text message. I was dressed up for my first day of work at a new job. I picked up the coffee on the stool in front of me and took a sip.

“There’s no better way to start a day than with a cup of coffee,” I said.

Fingers clasped my eyes. I was shocked. I let go of the cup and the coffee spilled all over me.

“Ouch,” I gasped in pain.

I stood up quickly and turned around to see who had interrupted my breakfast meal . . .

What is a story?

A story is the journey characters take in trying to solve a particular problem. This is not the only definition of story, but is an effective way of thinking about  story for an individual who wants to write one.

What makes stories captivating?

It is the conflict. The desire to witness how a character went about dealing with a certain problem. A story lacking in conflict is boring. One thing news media is good at is finding conflict in everyday situations.

They keep feeding us events of individuals dealing with problems.

Take a look at the headlines below. Notice they all reflect characters dealing with a certain problem

Ask yourself. What problem is each headline describing?

Headline 1:

The headline above points to the fact that the athlete’s problem rose from getting a stitch. The headline makes one want to know how the athlete dealt with the stitch.

Headline 2:

The problem of drug abuse in schools is what the characters in the story above are dealing with.

Headline 3:

The characters above are dealing with the problem of typhoid and bilharzia in Uganda’s wetlands.

Headline 4:

This headline points to a problem of the existence of illegal schools.

What’s the point I’m making?

The journey or steps individuals take in trying to solve a particular problem is the building block for a story. In every story, individuals or characters are trying to find a solution to a particular problem.

Recall a movie you watched recently. Ask yourself. What problem were the characters trying to solve?

The same goes for newspapers. Most newspaper articles highlight different problems happening in a society. Why? Because conflict, problems, create conversation. We always want to know what happens to characters facing a particular problem.

Can stories be about joyful events too?

Yes, they can. You will find that even in stories that end in success, the individual being reported about had to overcome certain challenges.

The birth of a child is a celebratory event. However, the mother had to endure a couple of challenges like labor pains, before she could celebrate the birth of her child.

You will notice:

At the back of every success was a problem or struggle that stood in the way of achieving the victory.

A story’s problem is not always solved, but there is always an effort made to solve it.

Uganda did not win the Africa Cup of Nations but there was an effort made to excel in the tournament.  The meat of a story about the Cranes’ performance would discuss the steps the Uganda Cranes took in trying to win the tournament.

This post is the first in a series I will be taking you through on how to write an artist profile story.

Simply put, an artist profile story is all about a problem an artist faced in becoming who they are at present.

An artist profile story ends in success because the artist you will be writing about achieved their goal.

Sandra Suubi, a popular musician in Uganda, won the Airtel Trace Music Star (ATMS) – Uganda competition. If you asked her if she faced any challenges to winning the competition, she would probably say she faced certain challenges.

It’s just the way life is.

For nearly every goal one tries to achieve, there is always a challenge. A roadblock that stands in the way of successfully achieving that goal.

The problem an individual faced in becoming an artist does not have to be something major (lookup synonyms).

For example:

My peers wanted me to purse a different career other than being a musician. 

I chose not to give in to their pressure. A lot of them stopped talking to me. Despite that, I’ve found satisfaction in what I’m doing.


A story is about the journey or steps an individual takes in trying to solve a particular problem.

Action point

Think of 5 challenges an aspiring musician may encounter on their journey to success. Post your answers in the comments section below.

Other posts in the series:

  1. Writing An Artist Profile Story, Part 2: The Types Of Problems An Artist Faces
  2. Writing An Artist Profile Story, Part 3: List Of Interview Questions


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