Artists’ Statements: What They Are, and Why It’s Essential to Write One That’s Effective

It’s one of the most exciting and anticipated times in life when an artist finally goes pro. Having your work displayed in a gallery (or galleries) is the ultimate dream of most artists! However, it’s important that you write an artists’ statement if you really want to reach your ultimate level of success. When people look at and admire your work, they’re curious about the “real” person who’s behind it. Those who love art know that those who create these works are talented and creative – but they want to know more.

So, what is an artist’s statement? In a nutshell, it is a brief, relevant, compelling statement that offers answers to the questions those who admire your art likely have, such as your philosophy, what materials you use when creating your artistic works, how you learned to oil paint, craft charcoal drawings, or whether your talent comes naturally, etc.

Briefly reveal your passion for art, what inspires you, what your artistic works mean to you.

As an artist, you may adhere to the belief that you don’t need an artist’s statement, that those who look at your art will develop their own ideas about who you are, will take away their own experiences. While this is true, people want facts. Think of it this way: If you were at the gallery 24/7, every time someone admired your work or considered buying it, they would be excited and filled with questions to ask you. An artist’s statement provides answers to questions those browsing your paintings, pictures, or other works would otherwise ask you if you were present.

Now that you know what it is, always keep in mind to use simple language that is easy to understand for a reader on any level. Use everyday, ordinary language, not fancy art terms that no one but you and other artists would understand. You don’t have to be a prolific writer. Three paragraphs with three to five sentences each will usually suffice; and when it comes to the information, don’t spell out every detail – shorter entices the reader to want to learn more. Oh – and always write your artist’s statement in first person, infusing it with your own individual perspective.

Other than an artist’s statement being required to showcase your creative works in most galleries, think of it as a bridge between yourself and potential customers.

When people have a clear understanding of what inspires you, your passion for your work, and how you became interested in learning or expanding your talent, it simply gives them that many more reasons to crave those beautiful, distinctive, or even odd works of art that are uniquely yours!

1 Comment

  • Excellent tips! I need to read some and figure out a way to help people write or edit them, if they need the help. I’d love to support artists in that way!

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