What is an Artist Statement?
An artist’s statement is a short document written by the artist which provides a window into the artist’s world. It offers insight into a single piece or an entire body of work and by describing the artist’s creative process, philosophy, vision, and passion. It helps you convey the deeper meaning or purpose of your work to the audience (clients, gallery owners, scholarship boards, entrance panels, etc.).
What kind of artists need artist statements?
You will need an artist statement if you are an emerging designer, photographer, fashion designer, illustrator, sculpture artist, abstract artist, painter or any other kind of artist.
What isn’t considered an artist statement?
An artist’s statement is not a resume, a biography, a list of accomplishments and awards, a summary of exhibitions, or a catalogue of works.
Why should I write an artist statement?
The artist statement is an effective marketing tool, building a bridge between artist and audience. It lets you convey the reasoning behind your work– why you chose a particular subject matter, why you work in a certain medium, etc. The artist’s statement isn’t just for them. In putting your art into words, you might find that ideas and thoughts you once had become more concrete. Your writing may open new channels in your mind and take you in new artistic directions. You might discover more about yourself.
What information should be included in artist statement?
Writing an artist statement is a chore for most emerging artists, so here are a few questions you might choose to answer to help you get started:
Ask yourself questions about your work:
Why you have created the work and what is its history?
Your overall vision– what are you trying to say in the work?
How does your current work relate to your previous work?
What influences your work?
What is your inspiration for your images?
How does this work fit into a series or larger body of work?
- Be concise– Keep your writing simple, clear, and to-the-point. Describe each portion in as few words as possible.
- Proofread your artists statement for grammar, spelling, clarity, and interest. Consider hiring a professional proofreader who is familiar with artist’s statements.
- Write in the first person perspective (“I created….”, “My experience with…”).
- No longer than one page, single-spaced, using 10 – 12 point type.
- No fancy fonts or design layouts
Be sure to keep your personal artist statement up-to-date. If your work begins to change or you tackle new subjects, update your statement to reflect your growth. It can be helpful to save previous versions of your artist statement, so you can see how you’ve changed and grown as an artist.
- Arrogance and pomposity (how great or relevant you are)
- Grandiose expressions and clichés about your work and views
- Overuse of technical terms and jargon
- Long explanations or discourses on techniques and materials you use
- Poems or prosy writing
- Childhood or family stories, unless they are very relevant to your work
- Bragging about awards and honors
- Marketing speak: “Marketing strategies, by their very nature, are designed to be manipulative, while the power of an artist statement lies in the authenticity of its authorship.” – Ariane Goodwin in “Writing the Artist Statement”
Can an artist’s statement change?
Yes! An artist’s statement is a living document that should change because you change. Your statement could be updated at about the same rate that you might update a resume, in the least. At the most, review your statement each time you create a new piece, to see if your thoughts still have meaning for you. Review your statement when you experience profound events that alter your creative vision.
Please rate this article.
If you enjoy Pluginin™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You.
Let us know your thoughts and comments.
Pluginin™ © 2011 All RIGHTS RESERVED Leader in Quality Introductions for Today’s Emerging Artist.
Follow us on Twitter @Pluginin
Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Pluginin