Artist Statements

November 11, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Do You Have an Artist Statement?

Regardless of whether you are a photographer, a MUA, model, or any other creative professional for that matter it can be very difficult to talk about yourself in a meaningful way without sounding egotistical or as though you are trying to sell something.  An artist statement tells others not only how and why you create your art, but also some specifics behind what you do. Often this is a written statement that is limited to a short paragraph on promotional material, website, or in some cases on a gallery wall.

This does not have to be a fancy literary jewel, but should be as clear and simple so that regardless of whomever is reading it, has a reasonable idea of what you do and why you do it. Some details should be included, but not so much as to detract from the statement as a whole. For example, a photographer may say that he/she uses 'Photoshop in the creation of artistic landscapes' but the statement does not necessarily need to say what tools within Photoshop may be used to create those images.  Your artist statement should include something personal and interesting so that others may be drawn closer to your body of work. Now.. this is not your resume (which is much more detailed), but rather a short introduction of yourself as an artist.

When you are creating your artist statement, look at some of your favorite images. What actually inspired you to create these images? Are most of the images in your portfolio similar? That certainly is not to say that you can not have more than one portfolio with significantly different work. A photographer may have landscape images and people images and have two different artist statements. Of course it is also possible to have a comprehensive artist statement to cover most of your work.  A makeup artist may do beauty work, and she may also do horror effects. She would probably not place them side by side in a portfolio, but she certainly could be inspired to create an artist statement covering all of her work.

This is often related to your 'about me' page so often found on many websites. What do you do, how do you do it, any why do you do it. Your about me often has a photo of yourself or something related directly to yourself as an artist. Your about me could be written in the same first person format, or it could also be written in third person format, much in the same manner you may find on the inside of book covers about the author of the book. The primary difference between the artist statement and the about me is that you are talking specifically about you as a person when you are writing about me and of course writing about your art when you are making the artist statement. The two are related, but the about me tends to be more about your journey as an artist. 

Should you choose to accept this as homework, make your artist statement (or review it). It can change from time to time and just like your portfolio, may be updated at different points in your career!


Some examples are here Artist Statements and may get you started to see what others have written themselves. 




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