Why Every Artist Needs An Artistic Statement

Why Every Artist Needs An Artistic Statement

Many artists neglect the very simple process of sitting down to write their artistic statement. Other artists may not fully understand what all the talk about an artistic statement is really about.

An artistic statement is a statement of the artist and their artwork. It is an essential part of your art branding and marketing, yet many artists write a very poor artistic statement that no one really wants to read. There are steps you can take to write a great artistic statement.

We believe that every artist can benefit from having a very clear, concise and well written artistic statement.

What Is An Artistic Statement?

An artistic statement is a concise statement about the artist and their artwork. It can help to answer some questions about you and your artwork in a concise and hopefully entertaining manner so that people will want to know more about you and your art. ‘

Here is a simple format you can use for your artistic statement

Introduce Yourself

Tell a bit about yourself. What motivates you to do your artwork? Maybe you paint a lot of scenes from your area? Or maybe you paint outdoors? Let people know briefly what inspires you and your art.

Explain Your Work

Explain to everyone in a few words about your artwork. How you approach your work? When you are writing this think about your audience and what they want to know.

This is like a short elevator speech. You know that speech where you are on an elevator and someone asks you what you do? You have just a few minutes to explain to them what you do and why you do what you do it

Organize Your Thoughts

A well thought out artist statement helps you to organize your thoughts. This will also help you to define your art brand.

Art can be very personal in nature and for many artists when they pour their heart and soul into their work it can be a hard thing to talk about their art for fear of rejection. But a well thought our artist’s statement can help to give you confidence in your work, as it will help you to be able to present your artwork to others in a very meaningful yet concise way.

A Poor Statement Can Hurt You and Your Artwork

An artist’s statement is important but a poorly written one can turn people off from your artwork and can even hurt your chances at success. This is why having a well written and thought out artist’s statement is important.

In speaking of this Daniel Grant in the Huffington Post wrote this about some art gallery owners and artistic statements:

“Most art dealers claim that an artist statement is never an important consideration in selecting an artist to show or represent and that a poorly written statement may have a detrimental effect if the artist’s slides had otherwise interested the dealer. No one believes that an artist should be judged on the basis of his or her command of the English language but, as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania gallery owner Charles More noted, “a badly written statement colors the work negatively for me.”

Daniel Grant – HuffPost

What this is really saying is not that an artist’s statement is bad, but that so many artists do such a poor job in writing them that it may hurt them and not help them and their artwork. This is why a well-written artist’s statement can help you stand out from other artists.

How To Write A Great Artistic Statement

So how do you write one of those great artist’s statements that people will love to read? First, you should do is take the time to do your homework so you know what kind of artist statement you want to write.

Here are some ways you can do your homework for your artistic statement:

Look At The Statements of Artists You Admire

Go on to the website of some artists you admire and read their artist’s statements. Take notes as to what you liked and did not like about their statements.

If an artist is famous, there is a very good chance they did not write the statement themselves but had some professionals helping them write it. Those are the statements you should look at as it will give you an idea of how the professionals are writing the statements.

Go Outside the Art Field

Look at bios and statements of others outside the art field. Look at many of the sports heroes, actors and others. Most of them would have had a team of professionals working on their personal statements and bios. Looks at what you like and do not like about their statements and then take notes.

Be The Guide Not The Hero

This is perhaps one of the hardest things for anyone in telling their story is that we are the guide and not the hero of the story. Your artistic statement needs to speak not to you but to the people who are going to read it. In other word, no matter how much you want this to be about you and your art, it really is not – it is about the people who are going to buy your work.

Humanize and Add Humor

We are all human and people want to know that you are also human. Being personable and human in your artist’s statement can go a long way to help you with your statement. People really do not want to read a long list of your educational pursuits, art shows, newspaper clippings or PhD’s. They want to know who you are as a person.

Summary of What Makes a Good and Bad Artistic Statements

Here is our summary and inside scoop on what makes a good and a bad artist’s statement. If you follow these few things you will be just fine.

This is what makes a good artistic statement:

  • Keep It Short – most people will only read a few sentences anyway.
  • Get Attention – grab the reader’s attention from the first sentence.
  • Show Your Personality – Show your personality and who you are.
  • Show Enthusiasm – Let others know about your enthusiasm for your art and subject matter.
  • Why you do what you do – Tell others what drives you to paint or do the artwork you do.
  • First-person- Use the first person for your languages ie I, me, mine). In other words, take full ownership of your artwork.

This is what makes a bad artistic statement:

  • Long boring resume – No one really wants to read a long list of accomplishments or a long resume. This is not a job interview. Save that for a page on your website.
  • Too generic – Your work is personal so the statement needs to also be personal.
  • Using too big words or important words – Some people want to show how smart they are or how much education they have so they use too big and important words most people do not understand.
  • Unclear – The statement should be clear and not be filled with all these hidden meanings that no one really understands. Your artist statement should not be an Agatha Christie Mystery.

If you take these steps and do your homework, then you should be able to write an amazing artistic statement. And that amazing art statement will truly allow you to stand out in the crowd.

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To find out more you can read our blog on Does An Artist Art Brand Need a Logo? by clicking here.

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Anita Louise Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Louise Hummel. I am an artist and a blogger. I paint mainly oil paints. I love to paint women, animals (mainly dogs and cats), and abstracts. I use a lot of gold and silver leaf in my paintings. I also love to blog about anything to do with art, business, Procreate, and all the wonderful artists that inspire me.

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