Artist Aid: Writing your artist statement

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How to Write an Artist Statement

Four Methods:

A clear and intelligent artist’s statement will make you stand out from the crowd and will show people that you are a thoughtful and deliberate artist. Writing your statement can be a difficult process, but it is also an enormously valuable exercise as it can help you to achieve a greater understanding of yourself as an artist. Here is a helpful guide to steer you in the right direction.


Thinking It Through

  1. Be honest with yourself.Before you write a word, take some time to just think about you and your art. You need to understand what it is that you are trying to achieve, before you attempt to explain it to anyone else.
    • Ask yourself what you're doing. What does your art express? What makes your art unique?
    • Ask yourself why you're doing it. What motivates you to create art? What emotions or ideas are you trying to convey? What does your art mean to you?
    • Ask yourself how you're doing it. What do you draw inspiration from? What tools and materials do you use?
  2. Consider your influences.Think about the things that influence you, whether it's art, music, literature, history, politics or the environment. Think about how these influences have made an impression on you and how they manifest themselves in your work. Try to be as specific as possible.
  3. Make a mind-map.Mind-mapping is a good way to free your thinking. It will also help you to trace the relationship between different ideas.
    • Jot down a key idea that informs your work in the center of a blank page. Then spend 15 minutes writing down any words, phrases, feelings, techniques etc. related to that idea.
    • Free writing is another technique that can help get the creative juices going. Spend 5-10 minutes writing whatever pops into your head when you think about your art. You'll be amazed at what you come up with.
  4. Determine what you want people to understand.Think about what you want people to take away from your art. What message or emotion are you trying to convey?

Method 1 Quiz

What question should you ask yourself when you're brainstorming for your artist's statement?

Piecing It Together

  1. Make a statement about why you do what you do.The first section of your artist's statement should begin with a discussion of why you make art. Try to make it as personal as possible. Talk about what your goals are and what you hope to achieve through your art.
  2. Describe your decision-making techniques.In the second section of you statement, tell the reader about your decision-making process. How do you select a theme? How do you choose what materials to use? What techniques to utilize? Keep it simple and tell the truth.
  3. Talk about your current work.In the third section, provide some insight into your current work. How does it relate to your previous work? What life experiences informed it? What are you exploring, attempting or challenging through this work?
  4. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.Your artist statement is an introduction to your work, not an in-depth analysis of it. Your artist’s statement should be one to two paragraphs and no longer than a page.
    • Your statement should answer the most commonly asked questions about your art, not overwhelm readers with irrelevant facts and minute details.
    • Brevity and efficiency of language are key. A good statement will leave your readers wanting more.
  5. Use simple language.An effective artist's statement reaches out and welcomes people to your art, no matter how little or how much they know about art to begin with; it never excludes. It should make your work more accessible, not obscure it with convoluted language filled with artsy jargon.
    • Write in simple, straightforward, everyday language.
    • Make "I" statements rather than "you" statements. Talk about what your art does for you, not what it's supposed to do for the viewers.

Method 2 Quiz

What's the second thing you should include in your artist's statement?

Applying the Finishing Touches

  1. Let it rest.Your artist's statement is a piece of very personal writing. Once you've finished writing, let it rest overnight before your reread it. Taking some time will help you take a step back and give you the detachment necessary to polish the writing without violating your sense of integrity and safety.
  2. Seek feedback.Before you go public with your statement, get feedback. Show your art and statement to friends, friends' friends, and maybe even a stranger or two.
    • Make sure your readers get it, that they understand what you want them to understand. When they don't, or you have to explain yourself, do a rewrite and eliminate the confusion.
    • Keep in mind that you alone are the authority for what is true about your work, but feedback on clarity, tone and technical matters such as spelling and punctuation never hurts.
  3. Revise as needed.Many times, a little rearranging is all that's necessary to make your statement a clean, clear read. If you need help, find someone who writes or edits and have them fix the problem.
  4. Use your statement.Make the most of your artist statement and use it to promote your work to gallery owners, museum curators, photo editors, publications and the general public.
  5. Save all your notes and drafts.Save all the notes and drafts that you've made. You'll want to revise and update your artist's statement from time to time to reflect changes in your work. Having your original notes and drafts at your disposal will help you to immerse yourself in your past thought processes and will give you a sense of creative continuity.

Method 3 Quiz

When should you edit your artist's statement?

Sample Artist Statement

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How do I make an artist statement interesting and fresh?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Keep it short and sweet. Base it on your personal work as an artist and what you intend to portray through your designs.
Unanswered Questions
  • Is your address necessary on the Artist Statement and the Autobiography?
  • Should the artist statement be by someone other than the artist?
  • How to know what type of art group i fit into
Ask a Question
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Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to other artists. It can seem presumptuous and you may not come out of the comparison favorably. Let the critic's decide who you're like.
  • Not all artists can write well. If you're in that category, think seriously about hiring a professional writer or editor, preferably one with an art background, to help you convey what you want your statement to convey in language that ordinary everyday people can understand.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

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Views: 365,720

Mckayla West

5 days ago

"This article helped a lot by telling me how to do a artistic statement and ways to do it."

Hope Claire

May 27, 2019

"I struggled with other sources to understand how to create a simple, yet informative artist statement. This articlewas really helpful, though, and easy to follow, especially through the use of steps and examples provided. "


Jun 13, 2019

"Understanding the whole process for writing an artist statement. I also enjoyed and appreciated the additionalinfo about how to get my artwork seen and sold. Thank you!"


Feb 15, 2019

"I was struck by how the statement improves when I focus on each step at a time, rather than just free flow writingfrom start to finish."


Sep 29, 2019

"I thought this was very helpful, it made me think realistically and truthfully about my artwork. Thanks!"

Bhaskar Langalia

Apr 9, 2019

"It's an excellent way of presenting an artist's statement and a great help to me. Thanks."


Jan 9, 2019

"Making the statement very personal to myself and using 'I' instead of "you" was helpful."

Theresa Arita

Apr 18, 2019

"I didn't know where to start. Your questions helped me discover personalized answers."


Jul 16, 2019

"The clear outline helps me get my feelings into words and then into paragraphs. "


Jun 14, 2019

"Making a statement about why I do what I do was probably the most helpful to me."

Liz Angasan

Apr 11

"The first part of the article was enough to get me started.

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Date: 02.12.2018, 09:21 / Views: 84194