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5 Tips for Writing Your Artist Statement

5 Tips for Writing Your Artist Statement

John R. Math |

Have you ever read someone’s artist statement and said to yourself “what the heck does all of that mean” or “those are some fancy words that I have no idea what they mean?” If you were having a personal conversation with the artist and you were asking about their art, would they talk like that, in those terms? Probably not and neither should the artist when composing and writing their artist statement.

Here are some tips and ideas for all artists to think about when composing a new statement or revising their current artist statement.

1. Keep the Statement Simple:

What I mean by this is that the artist statement should be written both clearly and concisely for a wide range of people who will read it. The artist is neither speaking down to someone who is uneducated with fine art, nor are they talking up to that person trying to impress them. The best way to write the statement is to do this as if you were speaking to someone in person. Basically, an artist statement is an introduction of their art, without the artist being there.

2. The Statement Should Tell Why:

The artist should explain why they create this kind of art. This could be in the form of an explanation of the artist’s motivation, subject matter or maybe someone who inspired the artist to express their art. In addition, the “why” could also discuss any artistic or personal influences. Overall, the artist is telling the reader the personal reasons why they create their art.

3. The Statement Should Tell How:

Explaining to the reader the “how” can be a short sentence or two about the artistic process or describing if there are any special techniques that were used in producing this art. The artist should not get technical or provide a step by step guide on how to create their art. If there are any unusual materials used, that can be mentioned too.

4. What it Means to the Artist:

Overall, this a personal statement of the meaning of the art for the artist. This may be the most difficult thing for the artist to write about as it will reveal something personal about the artist. It is very difficult to write about yourself, especially when you need to keep it short. For this, think Twitter and try to write this with 140 characters. It is tough to do but try to do it in at least 2 to 3 concise sentences, maximum.

Next: Keep it Short →

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