Art is subjective. What one person finds to be an excellent work of art, another may find a piece with no value. Therefore, when you create and share your art with the world, you must take the time to explain what you are doing and why. Your artist statement will make it easier for you to explain your visual work using words.
What Is an Artist Statement?
An artist’s statement is a personal declaration of why they dedicate their career to being an artist, informing and engaging potential clients, colleagues, patrons, and curators alike. It’s no easy task to define yourself in a concise, balanced, and professional manner by creating your own artist statement.
How do you introduce the vastness of your life’s experiences into a formalized, written document that is still meaningful yet clear? It takes much thought, effort, and soul-searching. The following guidelines will help you clearly communicate what is significant about yourself as an artist through your very own artist statement.
What Is an Artist Statement Template?
Artist Statement Template is a prewritten document that can help artists describe their work in an organized, professional, and effective way. Not only is it important to be able to write your own artist statement, but these documents are useful when applying for grants and planning your portfolio.
Artist statement templates are written in an elegant and unique style, using straightforward language so that artists can express themselves easily. While each artist’s statement should be original and unique to its author, a specific format must be adhered to for technical reasons. Nevertheless, the standard format is generally the same for all artists’ statements.
Essential Elements of an Artist Statement Template
The statement should describe the main elements (What? Why? How?) of a given piece or body of work. It should be written in paragraph form and share details about the idea behind the work, how it was created, any inspiration that compelled its creation, and what the artist hopes to convey through her work. In essence, an artist’s statement can catalyze discussion by providing a base of knowledge upon which each viewer can build their own interpretation of the art.
Why do you need an artist statement?
Having an artist statement is optional for many professional artists. For those who offer descriptions of their work online, the “About” section of their website or their bio on social media will usually suffice. But in formal situations and when applying for jobs or grants, an artist statement is an effective way to present your artwork and yourself professionally.
The main role of an artist statement is to help you clarify your own thoughts and ideas about the work you created. Like your CV, it is a document designed to quickly get the message across about what kind of artist you are, your primary interests, and what subject matter you focus on.
It serves as an introduction to those unfamiliar with your work and to the background of your artistic endeavors. In addition, it is a means of extending your personality and philosophy of yourself as an artist. In essence, it expresses who you are as an artist and what you do within that arena.
A good artist statement can be written in under 100 words and is an extension of your bio, combining information regarding media concerns, style periods, content, and thoughts on art history and modernism into one concise document which provides a means of better understanding yourself as artists and your work both through reflection.
How to Write an Artist Statement
Art statements are the messages that get displayed alongside your art. Viewers who read your statement are given insight into how you arrived at a personal understanding of your work. Here are some tips for writing an artist statement for your greatest collection yet:
Create a mind map
Mind maps can be really helpful while creating a larger overview of your creative project. You could start by brainstorming all the ideas and feelings you have made during the process. Once you have done this, build some connections between these different elements and make your own mind map.
I find it very helpful to do the first draft on paper and add more details afterward. This way, you will have a comprehensive overview of your art project, which should help you create an even better artist statement.
Have an interview with yourself
This step is where you write down the feelings and reactions you would like to evoke in your audience. It may seem odd to put this step here — as if it were written for copywriters — but actually, it makes a lot of sense. In fact, I think that business people most often overlook this part of the process. Understanding how your audience feels about you, their industry, and maybe even your competitors will ensure you’re putting the right words in front of them.
Create an outline of all the essential information
When you improve your writing by reading a lot, you start seeing basic style problems. Common issues are using abstract terms to express concrete ideas, using too little context or background information, unclear logic, and overuse of simplistic or general terms.
Do not use jargon
Keep your jargon down as much as possible when writing an artist statement. Used excessively, jargon can make you come off as unconfident in your work and its relevance to the world. In contrast, less academic language may make your readers interested in what you have to say and excited about your art or design practice.
Always use the active voice
Always utilize the active voice when writing your artist statement. This task allows you to accomplish a couple of things. In one action, it allows you to be succinct with your statements while keeping them feeling current, urgent, and important — all of which are very beneficial when you’re applying for jobs or grants.
Proofread your work
An artist statement is a very important document, so you must proofread your work before finalizing it. This is my writing process: After composing it and reviewing it internally, I let a trusted colleague review it to ensure they approve of the language. If necessary, I then pull out my handy thesaurus and rephrase some of the sentence structure. Once this is accomplished, I move on to the next stage.
Writing a great artist statement can be challenging. In fact, most people don’t even know what to write for an artist statement. One piece of writing that I advise students to include in their artist statement is a list of the awards, shows, competitions, and grants they have received over the years.
This may help to convince someone that your art costs should be a little higher than someone else’s. The biggest hint for writing an artist statement is to make sure that you are specific about what you have done in your art career so far and any opportunities in the future.