First of all, what is an artist’s statement?
Writing an artist statement is the first task when an artist starts marketing their art; it is used to explain your art inspiration and describe the art. The art statement could specifically be related to one piece or a series, or could also be a general introduction to the artist. The artist statement should mirror the nature of the work; a tedious or turgid statement for an exciting work could be a massive disservice to the artist and the piece.
Unsplash: Ben Mullins
Now, how to write a powerful Artist’s Statement?
As an artist, you have probably already introduced your works to many viewers, but putting everything into a brief message can be difficult. It helps to think about your audience first - people prefer to read a story rather than an academic paper. We suggest that you tell your stories in an authentic and personal way because the point of the statement is to connect your audience with you and your art. The statement should be about 100 to 300 words, and we suggested that artists break their statements into paragraphs to make them more concise for each paragraph and easier to read. Compared to the artist bio, the artist’s statement is more flexible and may change depending on your personal writing style.
Don’t rush to start, begin with some self-reflection:
Before putting the words on the paper, you should do a quick introspection. Think about the following questions:
- What led you to your career as an artist?
- What keeps you coming back to the studio, day after day?
- Where do you find inspiration?
- What are your intentions for the work?
- What’s your unique process?
- Which other artists or movements influence your work?
- What message do you want to deliver to your audience?
- Where do I see myself as an artist in the short-term and long-term future?
- Do you have any secrets or fun facts that you want your fans to know?
Answer all those questions and write them down. It also might help to talk with your friends, family, and art fellows and take an audio recording. After making a mind map and outlining the information, it will be easier to write the statement.
Grab your readers’ attention: tips to writing a good hook for your statement
A hook is an opening statement to attract the reader’s attention. You want to make a good first impression to encourage people to continue reading. It is similar to the brand statement: your name is your brand, so you want to explain why you are different and what makes you and your art unique. Thinking of a good hook can be hard, but here are three tips:
- Ask your fans for feedback. Why do they like your art? It might also be helpful to talk with them further and learn about the emotions they felt while viewing your art. You can use these testimonies as inspiration, or you can use a direct quote - they will be authentic and supportive.
- Write your artist’s statement first and then focus on the hook. Answering the questions for your statement will help you straighten out your thoughts. Then, you can summarize the part which excites you most by rewriting that part into a short and concise sentence.
- Read your hook out loud once it is done and ask yourself: if you were a stranger, would you want to learn more about this person after reading this sentence? Is it the most important aspect you want your audience to know about? Do you feel proud if the sentence is your tombstone of the art career? If you answer yes to each of those questions, congratulations, you have found your perfect hook.
Unsplash: Amauri Mejía
Keep your readers engaged: how to write the rest of your statement
After making a mind map and outlining the information, it will be easier to create the statement. Some tips to keep in mind while writing:
- Make the story unique to you.
Your collectors and fans want to learn the truth about you. Do not pretend to be someone else - there’s no point, and it is super easy to spot.
- Understand your audience.
You want to be close and intimate with your audience; to do so, target your specific audience by making it easy to understand and speaking in their languages. Start by thinking about who your audiences are. Then ask yourself, what do they want to get from you and your art? For example, a brand wants to collaborate with artists as part of a business deal. A fan wants to interact with and get inspiration from your creation and personal growth.
- Avoid jargon and cliches, keep it short and sweet.
Again, you are not writing an essay on your art theory or practice. You are building a brand, so you want to be easily understood. A good statement in the digital age should be understood by a diversity of people with different backgrounds.
- Emphasize the message of your piece.
Use direct and specific language to explain and highlight the meaning behind your art. Use a couple of sentences to speak about why you created this artwork and what you want your art to express. You want people who are interested in your works to be able to engage with your art even when you’re not there.
Lastly, writing an artist’s statement is not a one-time thing. As your artistic style and career develop, you will get new insights and have different thoughts. The important thing is that you start writing one today, test it in the market, and continue to polish it for different uses. You can also ask help from fellow artists, galleries, art organizations, art consultants, and agencies, such as RevArt.
RevArt is a platform connecting artists with brands. We invest in artists first and provide many free services and tools to advance artist’s careers. Book a free consultation about how to market yourself in the art industry with RevArt today.