If you’re an artist and have been asked by an art gallery or a museum to submit your artist statement and you just don’t know where, what or even how to start, do not panic. We, at Creativinn, will explain detailly what is meant by an artist statement first of all, why it is necessary and then how to go about writing it.
What is an artist statement?
Basically, an artist statement is a description of the art through the eyes of the artist. It’s just how he sees his art, what he thinks his art expresses, and what is the purpose of the art according to him. The artist statement is referred to as the line of communication between the artist and his audience, that’s why it is vital to have one. An artist statement is basically between 150-200 words, and in this limited number of words, the artist is to communicate with his audience and captivate their attention.
If you think these words are a little too insufficient to say all there is to be said about your art, you are undoubtedly right. But too much information may get your readers lost, so just say what needs to be said. That introduces us then to the fundamental characteristics of an artist statement. Your artist statement should be all of the following;
- Precise: You must basically write in the most accurate way possible what there is to be said. Precision is necessary because in the few words you have at your disposal, you will be able to captivate the reader’s attention with the most relevant points about your art, hence drawing their attention to your art as a whole.
- Clear: What we mean by clarity here is that you should use simple and easily understandable language. Just assume you’re talking to someone on the street that knows nothing about art. But you have to be careful not to take your audience for kids by using childish terms. Keep in mind that you need to effectively communicate with your audience through your statement and for that, you need to know your audience.
- Consistent: Consistency is a key element because what you describe your art to be should actually correspond to what your art is.
Why is the artist statement Important?
Having said all that, let’s get into Why is the artist statement Important? Like we said earlier it’s some sort of communication bridge between the audience and the artist. You probably would have loved for people to just get all the necessary information from your different artworks but this time you will have to communicate with words. But hey, you’re not giving directives to anyone concerning your art but just responding to the need your audience has of knowing more about you as an artist and a person. Your statement will reply to fundamental questions the viewer will or may ask himself. And knowing that you may not always be available t answer questions yourself during an exhibition, you will see the art statement as some handy and life-saving piece of paper.
How to present your artist statement?
Let’s get to the presentation of your artist statement, as in how should it look like to communicate in the most efficient way possible.
- Make Your Presentation Appealing: Your presentation includes the Font, the Size, the Paper and Design used for the statement though these days, a good number of submissions are done online. Nevertheless, for both online and paper submissions, there are some basic rules that need to be respected or let’s say applied. Let’s look at each detailly, so you don’t get any aspect of your statement wrong.
- Your Statement Must be Readable: When typing you may be tempted to choose between one of the numerous fancy fonts available. But basically, the simpler the font, the more readable it is and the more readable it is, the best. Plus, the fancy fonts may take the focus off the essential which is; the content of your statement and what is expressed in it. So, we advise you to go for a simple font such as Times New Roman because it will be easier to read by both the gallery and the viewers, and as you can guess easy read is easy communication. And that communication remember is the sole purpose of this artist statement.
- Your Statement Must be Focused on You and Your Art: Why do we say this? Simply because often, some artists especially if they’re new in the art world may be tempted to compare either themselves or their work to other artists and their work. That could reveal itself extremely counterproductive as you will definitely not be taken seriously and the probability of you being rejected by a gallery will be higher than you think. So, focus on your perspective of your art and you’ll be sure you’re on the right track.
- Your paper Must be Clean: Your writing should be clean and classic. Avoid using fancy paper types because you actually do not need them at all.
A list of questions that could help you prepare your artist statement.
- How, when and why did you start creating?
- What media and genres do you work in?
- What tools and materials do you use?
- Who or what are your influences?
- What is your creative process?
- What are you working on currently?
- What are your near/long-term goals?
- Where can people view your work?
- What message or emotion are you trying to convey?
- What makes your art unique?
- What does your art mean to you?
- What are your dreams?
Those were the essential tips you need to get your artist statement right and fit for any gallery. But do remember that you may not be able to get your statement right at the first try, so practice, write several statements and get to chose the one that best connects to the Spirit of your art. And also, do not handwrite your statement as most galleries will not accept handwritten statements, and to better connect with your audience, make sure you write your statement using the first person. We hope this article will help you a great deal in your writing. Good Luck!
In addition to your Artist statement, you need to prepare an Artist CV and an Artist biography.