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Writing an Artist’s Statement

I just heard a Country song, “I’d Like To Check You For Ticks”.  Pretty much says it all doesn’t it.  It speaks to a specific audience and gets the point across in a few words that he would like to see more of her, in that special way’.  How does this relate to art? Well as an artist you should have an Artist’s Statement on hand that says what it is you want your viewer to know. It needs to be short, no more than a page in length and to the point.

Have your audience in mind when you write it. If it is for the general-public, avoid ‘art speak’, and use language your viewer will understand. The best thing is to use the KISS method of ‘Keeping it short and simple’.  You most likely would not like to veer into the Tick area….but you get the idea :0)

Write a draft of your Artist’s Statement and try to have it reflect the real you. Then let it sit for a bit.  An hour, a day, a week, whatever you need to come back to it with a relatively fresh eye.

Sample Artist Statement

Herb R. Ian

Artist Statement Draft

In the turmoil found in today’s world, many find themselves returning to what they know best.  They begin examining people and things with new eyes, as Herb has also done.

Her current work of oil on canvas, explores the personal meaning of items she surrounds herself.  She uses art materials or Raku pottery (an ancient Asian process of firing ceramics) created by another local artisan, John Audley, as subject matter. She blends the pottery into a setting, that includes either art materials and/or more commonly found vessels with a dramatic light and shadow.

__________________________________________

Then divide it into three paragraphs;

1. What you do

“Her current work of oil on canvas, explores the personal meaning of items she surrounds herself.  She uses art materials or Raku pottery (an ancient Asian process of firing ceramics) created by another local artisan, John Audley, as subject matter. She blends the pottery into a setting, which includes either art materials and/or more commonly found vessels with a dramatic light and shadow.”

2. Your Background

Herb has a Master’s Degree in Studio Art and has won a number of awards for her work over the years.  She began working as an artist during her teen years, and over the years she has worked in a variety of mediums from polymer clay to oil paint.

3. How Your Work Affects Others

Because of her vast interest in different mediums and techniques she has begun to turn her attention to putting the information in writing. A virtuous reader she sees this as a way to pass on what she has learned over the years to those that come after. 

_________________________________________

The length of your Artist’s Statement should be no more than one page.  Keep it updated to reflect what is accurate. 

Use the information to pass out at shows, to clients, on your website, and ‘elevator speak’.  That thirty second blurb to keep in mind for when someone ask, “What kind of artist are you?”

Go back and edit your Statement at least twice before releasing it to the world.  Read it aloud to yourself and have a trusted friend read it before you consider it complete, to see any errors you may have overlooked.

Then put it all together.  I will want to continue to edit this, but at this point it would be alright to release to the world.

Artist Statement

Herb’s current work of oil on canvas, explores the personal meaning of items she surrounds herself.  She uses art materials or Raku pottery (an ancient Asian process of firing ceramics) created by another local artisan, John Audley, as subject matter. She blends the pottery into a setting, which includes either art materials and/or more commonly found vessels with a dramatic light and shadow.”

She began working as an artist during her teen years, and over the years she has worked in a variety of mediums from polymer clay to oil paint. She has a Master’s Degree in Studio Art and has won a large number of awards for her work over the years.

Because of her vast interest in different mediums and techniques she has begun to turn her attention to putting the information in writing. A veracious reader she sees this as a way to pass on what she has learned over the years to those that come after.  She can be found conducting workshops, creating art and working in her Kansas home that she shares with her husband of 15 years.