A clear and intelligent artist statement will make you stand out from the crowd and show others that you are an artist with a clear vision. Writing such a statement can be a difficult process, but it is also an immensely valuable experience and practice, as it can help you better understand yourself as an artist. Here are some pointers to get you started.
Method 1 of 3: Think about it
Step 1. Be honest with yourselfBefore you even put a letter on paper, you will first have to take the time to think about yourself and your art. You need to understand what it is that you are doing and trying to achieve before explaining it to someone else.
- Ask yourself what you are doing. What do you want to express with your art? What makes your art so unique?
- Ask yourself why you are doing it. What motivates you to produce art? What emotions or ideas are you trying to convey? What does your art mean to you?
- Ask yourself how you work. Where do you get your inspiration from? What tools and materials do you use?
Step 2. Think about who influenced youThink about things that affect you, be it art, music, literature, history, politics or the environment. Think about how these influences have made an impression on you, and how they manifest themselves in your work. Try to be as specific as possible.
Step 3. Create a mind mapMind mapping is a good way to think freely. It also helps to discover the connections between different ideas.
- In the center of a piece of paper, write a central idea that says something about your work. Then spend 15 minutes writing down words, phrases, feelings, and techniques related to that thought.
- Free writing is another technique that can help get the creative juices flowing. Spend 5-10 minutes writing whatever comes to mind when you think about your own art. You will be amazed at what you can come up with.
Step 4. Determine what you want people to understandWhat do you want people to get out of your art? What message or emotion do you want to convey?
Method 2 of 3: Making it a whole
Step 1. Explain why you do what you doThe first part of your artist statement should be about why you are an artist. Make this as personal as possible. Talk about what your goals are and what you hope to achieve through your art.
Step 2. Describe which techniques you use to make decisionsIn the second part of your artist statement, you tell the reader more about how you make decisions. How do you select a theme? How do you decide which materials to use? Which techniques do you apply? Keep it simple and tell the truth.
Step 3. Tell us more about your current jobIn the third part you provide more insight into your current work. How does this compare to your previous work? What experiences have contributed to your current direction? What are you exploring, what are you trying to achieve or do you find challenging at work?
Step 4. Keep it short and sweetYour artist statement is an introduction to your work, not an in-depth analysis. Your artist statement should be no more than 1 or 2 paragraphs and certainly no longer than one page.
- Your artist statement should answer most of the general questions asked about your art, and is not intended to overload the reader with irrelevant facts and minute details.
- Concise and efficient use of language is key. A good artist statement makes your readers curious.
Step 5. Use simple languageAn effective artist statement invites people to view your art regardless of what they know about art; no one is left out. It should make your can more accessible, not make it more obscure by opaque, contrived jargon.
- Write in simple colloquial language.
- Use "I" rather than "you" in your statement. Talk about what your art does to you, not what it should mean to others.
Method 3 of 3: Dotting the i
Step 1. Let it rest for a whileYour artist statement is a piece of personal text. When you're done writing, let it rest for a while. This helps to take a step back from what is necessary to polish the text, without compromising your integrity.
Step 2. Find feedbackBefore you make the statement public, it is wise to first ask for feedback. Show your art and statement to family, friends, and anyone who might be interested.
- Make sure your readers understand what you've written. If this is not the case or you still have to explain everything, rewrite the text and eliminate any confusion.
- Keep in mind that you are the only authority on what is real and true for your work, but it never hurts to ask for advice on clarity and linguistic elements such as spelling and punctuation.
Step 3. Revise where necessaryOften a better layout is all it takes to make your statement crisp and clear. If you need help, ask a writer to proofread your text and solve such problems.
Step 4. Use your statementMake the most of the artist statement and use it to promote your work to gallery owners, museums, photo banks, publishers and the general public.
Step 5. Save all your notes and scrapsIt is good to update your artist statement from time to time so that it continues to reflect the changes in your art. Keeping your original notes and scraps to hand will help you keep a close eye on your past developments and train of thought, and give you a sense of creative continuity.
- Avoid making comparisons with other artists. It may seem presumptuous and you may not stand the comparison. Let the critics decide.
- Not all artists can write well. If you fall into that category, consider hiring a professional writer or editor, preferably one with a background in art, to help you articulate what you want your artist statement to convey, in in a way that everyone can understand it.