As an artist, you may be wondering why you need a compelling artist statement.
There are a few key reasons why writing one can be beneficial to you:
- An artist statement can help you sell your art. When you have a clear and concise statement explaining your work, it can be easier for people in the art world to understand what you’re trying to say and connect with your art.
- A good artist statement can help you get your work published. If you’re looking to submit your work to art journals or magazines, having a well-written statement can give you an edge over the competition.
- An artist statement can help you get grants or scholarships. Scholarship committees and grant providers often look for artist statements to better understand an artist’s work.
- An artist statement can help you get your art exhibitions accepted. Exhibiting art can be a competitive process, and having a solid statement to back up your work can make the difference between being accepted or not. Artists’ statements allow a gallery owner to become familiar with the artist’s story and creative process.
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Challenges artists often face when writing an artist statement include not knowing where to start, not having a clear focus for their visual art, and not expressing their ideas clearly and concisely.
If you find it challenging to write an artist statement, don’t worry – you’re not alone. But by following some simple tips, you can create a statement that effectively showcases your art and explains your artistic process so you can connect your art with potential buyers on a personal level.
What Is An Artist Statement
Wikipedia defines an artist’s statement as:
“An artist’s statement (or artist statement) is an artist’s written description of their work. The brief verbal representation is for, and in support of, his or her own work to give the viewer understanding.”
- An artist statement describes or gives a general introduction to an artist’s art.
- An artist’s statement briefly describes an artist’s vision and mission behind their creations.
- An effective artist statement answers the questions art collectors have for an artist.
Providing an artist statement and an artist bio on your artist blog and portfolio websites will give your new visitors a way to get to know you.
Allowing your audience to get to know more about you and your art business will considerably increase the odds of return visits and sales.
Your artist statement will connect your art with the viewers personally because they will learn about your visions, missions, and values.
Why Do Artists Need To Write Artist Statements
Artists create art for a variety of reasons. Some may create art to express themselves, while others may do it to make a statement about the world around them. Regardless of an artist’s motivation, writing an artist statement can be an important part of showcasing their work.
Benefits Of An Artist Statement
1. An artist statement can help an artist clarify their motivation for creating art.
2. It can explain the symbolism or meaning behind a particular piece of art.
3. An artist statement can be used to introduce an artist’s body of work to the public.
4. It can help an artist sell their artwork by explaining its value or importance.
5. An artist statement can help an artist gain exposure by increasing the visibility of their work.
What Is The Difference Between An Artist Biography and a Statement
An artist biography is a narrative of an artist’s life and work, while an artist statement is a short essay explaining the meaning or significance behind one or more art pieces. Knowing the difference between these two types of writing can be helpful for artists who want to share their work with the public.
Two Types Of Statements
Below are two types of artist statements you will want to consider writing.
Long Statement – A long statement (full-page statement)will provide your viewer with information about your artistic methods, work history, people who inspired you, and up-to-date information on your current work.
An ideal place to have your long statement is on your blog. You can include a link on your “About Me” Page or your “Bio” Page.
Short Statement – Your short statement is less detailed than the long statement and gives an overview of your artistic style.
A perfect place for your short statement is on your social media accounts.
Including these statements on your online platforms will help to separate yourself from your fellow artists.
Artist Statement Workbook
This is a 17-page workbook that is created to make it easy for you to write the perfect artist statement.
How To Write Your Artist Statement
Start With An Outline
Writing compelling sentences that accurately describe you and your art is a challenge.
First, jot down some key ideas that you want to write about like:
- When did you start creating art?
- What inspired you to start creating art?
- How did you learn your skills?
- When did you decide to start selling your work?
- Where do you sell your art?
- After looking at your art, what message do you want viewers to leave with?
Next, write down a list of adjectives that describe your artwork. Use a thesaurus for more ideas.
Find adjectives that describe:
- The colors of your artwork
- The style of your artwork
- The subjects
- The emotion
- The message
You do not have to be a great writer to write a magnificent statement.
Many artists forget that writing is a form of communication. Your goal is to get your message across to your readers.
Do not use complicated words and keep it simple. Many artists think they will look brighter if they use complex words. If people cannot understand what you are saying, they will move on.
Another tip is to write as if you were talking to a friend.
- How would you explain your art and art career to a friend?
- What words would you use to describe your art?
- What words would you use to have your friend feel connected to your art?
A brief description of how you create your art should be included in your statement.
In one or two sentences, describe your techniques.
- What makes your art unique?
- What special techniques do you use?
Your statement should answer why you are an artist and sell art.
- Why do you create art?
- Why do you create the art that you do?
- What made you choose the medium you use?
- Your statement should briefly explain your inspirations and motivations for being an artist.
- What message do you want to get across with your art?
Be personal. This is difficult for some people. Revealing something personal might be the most challenging part of writing your artist statement.
You do not need to tell them everything about your life.
When writing something about yourself, think about what you would like people to remember you for.
- Do you want to create world peace?
- Do you want to save animals or the rainforest?
Tips For Writing An Artist Statement
- Keep it concise: An artist’s statement should be short and to the point. It should not ramble on or include unnecessary information.
- Use simple language: An artist’s statement should be easy to understand. Avoid using technical jargon or overly flowery language.
- Be specific: An artist statement should be clear about your artwork and its representation. General statements will not give your viewer a good understanding of your work.
- Be honest: An artist’s statement should directly reflect your art and your thoughts about it. Do not try to make your artwork sound more impressive than it is.
- Be yourself: An artist statement should be personal and reflect your unique voice as an artist. Do not try to copy the words of other artists.
- Avoid repetition: Try not to repeat the same information in different sentences. Your statement should be clear and concise.
- Use strong adjectives: An artist statement should be filled with adjectives that describe your artwork in a powerful way.
- Use short sentences: Your statement should be easy to read and understand. Short sentences are easier to digest than long, complicated ones.
- Use active voice: An artist statement should be written in active voice. This means that the sentence’s subject is doing the verb (action). For example, “I paint portraits of people.” This is more effective than saying
Write An Artist Statement Outline
1. Start by introducing yourself: who you are, what you do, etc.
2. Explain your artistic process: how you create your artwork, what materials you use, etc.
3. Discuss the meaning behind your artwork: what inspired you to create it, what it represents, etc.
4. Sum up your statement in a single powerful sentence: This will be the most important part of your statement, so make sure it is clear and concise.
5. Include a call to action: Invite your viewer to take a specific action, such as visiting your website or attending your next exhibition.
Sample Artist Statements
1. “I create art to express my emotions and communicate my thoughts and feelings about the world around me. My goal is to connect with others through my art and to make a positive impact on the world.”
2. “My artwork reflects my personal experiences and the things that are important to me. I hope that my art can provide a source of comfort and inspiration for others.”
3. “I strive to create beautiful and meaningful artwork that can evoke strong emotions in the viewer. I want my artwork to touch people’s hearts and make them think about the world differently.”
4. “I believe that art should be accessible to everyone, and I strive to create beautiful and affordable work. My goal is to share my artwork with as many people as possible and to make a positive impact on the world.”
5. “I invite you to explore my artwork and discover its meaning and significance. I hope that my art will touch your heart and inspire you to look at the world differently.”
Bad Artist Statements
Here is an example of a bad mission statement.
The statement rambles on with complex words.
Even the first sentence has you asking,” What does this mean?”
This is a great way to lose your audience’s attention.
“I’m fascinated by the construct of strata in any context. For example – geologically, as a visible record of the continuous deposition of natural and human-generated matter; sociologically as an arbitrary categorization system affording both separation and unification of humans; and psychologically has a chronological composition of our experiences. In all these contexts, the juxtapositions of and transitions between disparate elements result in descendants and harmony, muddy vagueness, and sharp clarity. Each layer shifts settles, and adjusts to make room for the knees and elbows of the next; the pigment or character of one stratum irrevocable colors it’s neighbors; a disturbance in one level beans or fishers outward through multiple others. It’s an infinitely additive process what we are at present as the top the surface the current thing is inevitably absorbed, buried, reclaimed by and in the process serves to inform whatever comes next.”
Artist Statement courtesy of Art Amiba
After Reading This Statement:
- Can you get a clear picture of what art style it is talking about?
- Do you feel connected to the artist?
- Did you have to go to a dictionary?
An artist statement should be a clear and concise reflection of your art and thoughts about it. It should introduce yourself, explain your artistic process, discuss the meaning behind your artwork, express your creative movement, and summarize your artist’s story in a few powerful sentences or a short paragraph. It is important to be honest, and personal when writing an artist statement and avoid trying to copy the words of your fellow artist. If you capture your vision in your own words, then you will have a much better chance of writing an artist statement that sells your art.
Best artist statements provide essential information that connects art collectors with an artist personally.
Writing an artist statement and a well-written art description for your art will increase your online art sales.
How long should my artist statement be?
Your artist statement should be as long as it needs to be to effectively communicate your message. However, it is to avoid writing a rambling, complex statement that will lose the attention of your audience. A good rule of thumb is to keep it brief and to the point.
What should I include in my artist statement?
There is no single formula for writing an artist statement. However, it should include information about the artist’s creative process, influences, and motivation behind their work. It is also important, to be honest, and personal when writing an artist statement.
Can I copy the words of other artists?
No. It is important to write your own artist statement in your own words. This will help you to communicate your ideas more effectively.
What if I don’t know what to write?
If you find yourself struggling to write an artist statement, it may help to do some research on other artist statements. You can also seek out the help of an art instructor or writing tutor.
How do I submit my artist statement?
There is no one correct way to submit your artist statement. However, it is generally a good idea to send it along with your resume and portfolio when applying for a job or gallery show. You can also post it on your website or blog.