Perfecting my procrastination, I have decided to write about the lessons I’ve learned when writing an artist statement instead of posting my current statement online for all to see. My new goal time for completing my new artist statement will be after I’ve posted two new drawings online. Before I begin, I’d like to clearly state that I am not an authority on artist statements and all my experience comes from what I’ve gleaned from my art professors and my own experience. If you have any helpful advice to add, be my guest – I would love to have a dialogue about this subject.
Here it is…
Back in college I wrote several artist statements and was left confused by the process. It seemed like the artist statement was a piece of art in its own right, one that I didn’t quite understand how to create. Now that I’ve gotten a chance to work on my own, I realize that there is more to the artist statement than meets the eye.
Writing an artist statement forces you to break free from your creative cocoon and evaluate what you are doing. In this mode you step back, see how far you’ve come and where you’d like to go with your work. As an artist, your work evolves just as your creative capabilities grow. You need to update your artist statement in response to this change. Keeping a journal is handy for recording your inspired thoughts as soon as they pop up in your mind.
If you don’t understand why your work is the way it is, how can you expect to be able to tell others about it?
The initial problem when writing my first artist statement was that I didn’t have a clear idea of my work (it was all over the place – too many ideas at once). While it was good for me artistically, I found it difficult when trying to put my exploratory work into words. One of my teachers suggested that my classmates and I keep a journal. Having a journal definitely helped me to come up with more precise ideas about my own creative niche.
First off, it’s important to put your ideas down on paper so you can figure yourself out, like a puzzle. Sometimes the creativity comes gushing out and you have to take a step back and analyze why it has come to be if you want to explain its existance to others. Here are some good probing questions:
Did a certain idea spark your interest when you first started this work? Did some kind of revelation occur? What do you want others to see when they look at your work?
Who is your audience? How do you want to interact with them when narrating?
What materials are you using? Why?
Do you get inspiration from any other artists work? What connection does it have to your work?
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This is where I am right now – the figuring myself out part. I’m sure there are many of you who already know how to write a decent artist statement, hats off to you :). I am still hammering out the details. When I do write up my statement, I will go into more description on my blog.
Good night and Good luck!