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Crafting Your Artist Statement: L@5 8/24/18

Crafting Your Artist Statement
Tips for writing the perfect artist statement so that your statement is as compelling as your artwork! This is a recap of pointers shared on Live @ Five, catch me live on Instagram every Friday at 5pm PST. 

  • Think of your artist statement as an introduction to you as an artist and your current body of work.
    • Don’t tell people what to think, share what the work means to you, not what you want it to mean to somebody else
    • Introduction vs instruction 
  • Write to someone who doesn’t know you or your work
    • Keep it simple and use accessible language that is not too technical and will not exclude anyone regardless of their exposure to the arts 
  • With your artist statement you are adding another layer to your art, so tell the story behind your work 
    • It is an opportunity to explain things which aren’t evident through just seeing, such as your process, materials, inspirations, etc. 
    • Explain your visual language through written language, use your words to help viewers understand what your artwork means to you.
  • Write in the first person, this is your change to share what you think and how you feel, so take it!
  • Have multiple different versions (same with your resume and bio)
    • Different lengths can be used for different purposes
      • short - postcard
      • medium - gallery
      • long - website
    • As your art changes so should your artist statement, rewrite it each time you produce a new series to keep it up to date.  
  • Make sure to have your artist statement on your website (along with your bio and resume!) and use it when submitting to shows/exhibitions
  • Give yourself time and space to write multiple drafts
    • Think about how you would explain your art to your mom… honest, real, and without pretense 
    • It’s okay to elicit professional help in writing, sometimes your ability to communicate visually is not as refined as your ability to communicate verbally
  • Don’t try to impress, try to express and be genuine
    • Don’t brag/name-drop accolades, shows, or anything else in your statement
    • These things belong in your resume/CV
In short: An effective artist statement welcomes people to your work, no matter how little they know about art to begin with, and informs the viewer on things such as what your work means to you, what materials you use, your process for making your work, what inspires your work, and what your work represents. 

As always, thank you so much for watching Live @ Five!
Discover more about my own painting techniques here.