Your Artist’s Statement
If your are anything like me you love the creative side of your art but dread the business needs.
Even though I love to write, I am not so fond of writing about myself, so writing an artist statement is something I really procrastinate on. This article is meant to make the process easy and also emphasize the importance of looking after the business side of your art.
Consider your artist’s statement a front line marketing tool. It has the power to influence buyers to invest in your art…or turn around and walk the other way.
A well-crafted statement will make people care about both you and your work. The key is in having a full understanding of what your statement is meant to do.
Here is the quick and dirty definition:
The purpose of an artist’s statement is to deliver a message that expresses the intimate relationship between the work and its creator.
- Be brief, the general rule of thumb is no more than 300 words.
- Grammar and spelling count.
- Use simple language. Be clear and concise.
- This is a statement write it in the first person.
- Keep it current, how you felt and thought ten years ago may not be relevant today.
The main elements of your statement should include; your message, an analysis of your approach and the personal connection you have to your work.
Your message needs to state your reasons for creating the work. For example, What inspired you? Who influences you? What is it that you are trying to say?
“The struggling new growth of small flowers and grasses, which flourish in the stagnant water of roadside ditches, made me think of tiny ecosystems”.
An analysis of your approach may deal with the technical aspects such as medium, composition or color. It should include some technical terms without becoming verbose or didactic.
“Painted in a subtly changing pallet to reflect how these tiny ecosystems transform with the seasons. A chronology depicted in broad expressionist strokes”.
Developing a personal connection is about how you connect with your artistic process and how it manifests in the body of your work.
“My desire is to paint the impression that stays with me; to convey the primal feel rather than the Kodak moment”
A few final thoughts
It is a good idea to have a statement for each body of work, keeping it unique and focused. Please consider that your statement is not your bio or your resume’. There is no need to tell your life story or list your accomplishments.
Most importantly be honest; never use your artist’s statement to shock or manipulate. A contrived statement sticks out like a sore thumb and can give a bad overall impression.
Be yourself, there is no better person to talk about your art.