artist-statementAn artist statement, ideally, is a short summary that informs others about you as an artist, and leaves them wanting to know more about your art.

The artist statement should help others appreciate your art, and your standing as an artist.

 

 

Think of it like this. The statement is your personal advertisement for your art, without sounding like one.


Artist statements should be presented to art buyers, gallery owners, and other interested people who want to learn more about you. It is also an essential part of an artist portfolio, and should be placed on any online art profiles. Essentially, a well written artist statement increases your opportunities to sell art.

Here are 7  tips on creating a well crafted artist statement, one that you will be proud of!

 

7 Great Tips to Writing Good Artist Statements

 

  1. notepad-artist-statementGet a notepad and gather all your thoughts there. Write general words and phrases that describe your art, why you created it, and the underlying idea you are trying to express.

    Do not worry about doing it all at once, but have the notepad handy in case a thought comes to you while doing something else.

  2. Keep the artist statement short and to the point. What you write should introduce you and your art to others, and nothing else. It should be a summary of you and your art. There is no need of rambling on and on. The reader will become bored, and wonder why you have to explain yourself so much. 

    The opening sentences should pop out and really get the reader interested in reading on. Originality is the key. Make it something that makes your art stand out from the crowd.

    For the rest of the statement, try to summarize your art, and do not worry about details. Leave the details for any questions that may arise after someone reads your statement.

  3. Use words that anyone can understand, without the need for a thesaurus. Large words sometimes come off as pretentious. This is certainly something that you do not want. The language used should be understood and appeal to anyone. Leave the big technical words for answering questions from the people that understand them.

    Try not to be too repetitive in your writing. Check out synonyms for certain descriptive words so that you can create variety. Use words that describe your art, and make it attractive to the reader.

  4. hand-writing-penTry to make your artist statement about your art now, not then. For this, use words like “is” and “are” instead of “was” and “were”. This will let the reader know you are an active artist.

    Also, make it about you, in the first person and not appear as you are talking about another individual. For this, use words such as “I” and “my”.

  5. An artist statement should answer the basic questions that people may have about your art. These questions include “What are the artworks about?” and “What is the purpose of your art?”

    Try to explain the connection between your medium and the subject matter, if it is not obvious. If you leave this out, some people may not take you seriously. People may want to know why you use certain materials to express your themes and ideas.

  6. Commonly artists say who their influences are. I have done this myself, but on further thought maybe it’s not a good idea to be comparing ourselves to famous artists. Sometimes it is obvious who your art influences are, and even if its not, it is best to leave that interpretation up to the viewer. The focus needs to be on you, and your art, not someone else’s.

  7. Get help from a friend or someone you know who can write, and knows how to write about art. Ask them for their thoughts on any changes that should be made, or words that should be added. Ask the friend if they can understand what your art is about just by reading the artist statement.

 

Total Freedom of Web Design!Once you have a bunch of ideas written on paper, start rearranging sentences. Avoid repetitive words by using synonyms. It may take a while to come up with the perfect artist statement, but once you do, the job will be well worth it.

Once in a while you may want to go back to your notes and add additional things about your art, and make revisions to your artist statement.


What do you think?

Do you have any additional ideas to add that will help our readers?





7 comments:

  1. I would also urge visual artists to develop unique artist statements for distinct portfolios or bodies of work. I include some common elements in each but offer the focal point that is unique to that work. My examples can be found here:

    You must click on the "Artist Statement" link to view each one.

    http://explodingeye.com/gallery1.htm
    http://explodingeye.com/gallery2.htm
    http://explodingeye.com/gallery3.htm

    Cheers...Peter

    ReplyDelete
  2. Also forgot to add that one of the best ways to develop the artist statement is to arrange the work in front of you ( or watch your own slide show)and see what visual to verbal links it stimulates.

    Cheers...Peter

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Peter Cohen
    Thanks Peter for these helpful examples!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks so much as a artist and graphic designer that likes to do many other things too, I find these statements very hard to write. It is difficult when you don't have just one style but many different aspects to your work I think it can confuse the buyer. Suggestions on how to tackle this is most welcome. I am working on my website and I'm finding the whole thing much harder as a expression of me and my art.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Two tips I've learned from evolving my artist statement over time:

    1. Get in tune with your "tribe."

    The collectors, patrons and fans who love my art are a specific sub-group, and frankly, this is the group I really want to reach. It is much easier to write my statement when I visualize these people, because I know who they are, I know how they feel and why they like my art.

    Why do I know? Because I asked a number of them to tell me why they loved my art so much that they bought it! Very revealing. I highly recommend this.

    Anyway, when you write to these people, your writing has much more focus and intrigue to any reader (not just your tribe), because people can sense the intensity of your message and the clarity of your vision. It is like a magnet.

    2. When playing with what to say, try writing as if you are explaining what you do to a child.

    I have never loved my artist statement more than one day when I just said it like it was, right then and there, in the easiest words that I would use to the most everyday of people. That was the fastest and most satisfying artist statement I have ever written.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Two tips I've learned from evolving my artist statement over time:

    1. Get in tune with your "tribe."

    The collectors, patrons and fans who love my art are a specific sub-group, and frankly, this is the group I really want to reach. It is much easier to write my statement when I visualize these people, because I know who they are, I know how they feel and why they like my art.

    Why do I know? Because I asked a number of them to tell me why they loved my art so much that they bought it! Very revealing. I highly recommend this.

    Anyway, when you write to these people, your writing has much more focus and intrigue to any reader (not just your tribe), because people can sense the intensity of your message and the clarity of your vision. It is like a magnet.

    2. When playing with what to say, try writing as if you are explaining what you do to a child.

    I have never loved my artist statement more than one day when I just said it like it was, right then and there, in the easiest words that I would use to the most everyday of people. That was the fastest and most satisfying artist statement I have ever written.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Julie Bernstein Engelmann Thank-you Julie for sharing your knowledge. Great tips!

    ReplyDelete

Thank-you for your comment!

 
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