artist statement

Alright…so most recently I had to write a new artist statement.  I realized what I said or thought about my work in grad school doesn’t completely apply to my current series of work.  It was a daunting task as always, but once I got started it wasn’t so bad.  Yes it is hard to say everything you want to about your work in one page or less, but think about it….this is only a one page document at most so take some pressure off yourself.  I thought I would share my strategies and see if that helps anyone.  Good luck!

1.  Start by listing words that you like or are meaningful to you in regards to your artwork.  You can list as many as you’d like.  This will be a database to reference when you are trying to find the perfect phrase to describe the work.  Remember to think about concept, materials, and process.  All of these do not need to make it into your statement, but they can help guide your idea generation.

2.  Write a few phrases and sentences based on the words you picked.  Think of how to combine some words from the database to create poignant expressions that convey the most important aspects of your work.  For example I had the words “scavenge, environmental, and research” in my database.  Out of this I created the phrase “scavenging research of environment”.  While the phrase is not a complete thought yet I do like the words and the combination of them.  Later I will worry about the structure.  Make a few of these to help with paragraph writing.

3.  Start organizing these phrases.  Put similar ideas next to each other.  This creates your paragraph break down.

4.  Looking at these phrases start to consider what information viewers would like to read about in your statement.  Try to answer these three questions with you statement:

– Why do you make? (large goals and aspirations)

– How and why do I select certain themes, materials, and techniques?

– What am I currently exploring, attempting, or challenging in this work?  (specifics about most recent artworks)

This can also be your statement organization.  Question one = paragraph one, etc.

5.  After you organize and flush out these ideas give yourself some time to reflect on the material.  Take a break and come back to it when you have fresh eyes and a relaxed mind.  It might be a good idea to have someone read over your work at this point.  It will help give you a new perspective to your words.

In the end, remember that this is just a page document.  Don’t stress about it.  Your work speaks for itself, this is just supplemental information for those who want/need it.


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