If you haven't updated your artist statement in a while or have been struggling to write your first one, this blog post is here to help. Instead of feeling stuck or frozen in front of your computer, these questions are meant to help you start brainstorming and outlining what you want to say with ease. Don't worry about trying to sound a certain way. Simply aim to answer the following questions in a clear, concise manner and then tie them together in a few paragraphs. Two to four paragraphs is an average length for most artist statements. Once you've done that, it's likely that you'll have a clean and professional statement that you can use to apply for your next big art opportunity!
So, let's get writing. One last hint before we start - you don't have to answer the questions in full sentences at first. Words and phrases are fine considering you will come back and flesh them out into sentences and paragraphs as you move along in your writing process.
5 Questions to Guide Writing Your Artist Statement
1. What do I create?
Many artists jump right into writing about their inspirations, techniques, and processes without first telling the reader what it is that they make! Even if it is just a sentence, make sure to explain that you are a mixed media painter or that you sculpt surrealistic & figurative ceramic works (or whatever your subject + medium of choice is).
2. Why do I make it?
Talk about your motivations as an artist and what you hope your viewers take away from experiencing your work. You can delve into your personal story or the impact you hope to make through your art. This is one of the exciting questions that will help others better understand and engage with you and your artwork. Try not to be afraid of digging deep and sharing from your heart.
3. What media, materials, or techniques do I use?
Back to practical concerns, remember that we as humans (and especially viewers of art) are often curious about how things are crafted and created. While you don't have to divulge all of your secrets, it's great if you can generally explain how it is that you do what you do. If your creative process involves any technical terms, however, do make sure to define them for anyone who may not be familiar with art-world terminology.
4. What is most important in my work?
With this question, you can guide your viewers to notice specific aspects of your work. For example, perhaps you focus on color or you utilize symbolism that someone might not immediately notice or catch upon a first glance. This is your chance to highlight those unique characteristics.
5. What inspires me?
Finally, share what lights you up creatively. Is it books, movies, other artists, walks in nature? Explain how you come up with the ideas for your work and how you choose the subjects and themes that you explore via your work.
Thanks for reading! If you found this information helpful and are looking for even more tips and advice, consider checking out my How To Write Your Artist Statement & Biography Workbook or booking an editing service to get direct feedback on how to craft your best statement.