Stress-Free Artist Statements

When it’s time to write your Artist statement- the creative juices tend to seize up whether you’re an excellent writer, or not. How can you possibly convey the significance, the relevance, the gravity of your work in just a few simple sentences? The task seems daunting, near impossible! If this sounds familiar- you’re not alone. Whether you’re an emerging or professional artist- we all need a well crafted Artist Statement at our disposal for shows, grants & websites. This blog is a cheat sheet for those ready to write or revise their statement, minus the stress. 

Your Statement, like any good story, should answer the following questions: Who, What, Where, Why, & How? Breaking it down into these five categories can really help to make short work of defining all the essential info. I suggest writing at least 3-4 sentences answering each of the 5 questions. You can edit later. Step one is to brainstorm and get all your ideas out of you head.


Who are you as an Artist? Include details about your education. Include details about yourself as a unique individual so the reader can grasp some information about your specific perspective. 


What is your medium? What style of Art do you practice? 


Where do you live and make Art? Talk about your location, where you’re from, and how that influences your work. 


Why do you make Art? Talk about sources of inspiration here. 


How do you make Art? Talk about your materials, process, etc. 

Once you have the answers to these questions- I like to simplify things and cut away all the flowery language (so do curators and collectors). It’s better to be clear and authentic, rather than verbose and mysterious. The purpose of writing your statement is to clearly communicate in a short amount of time- this is not the place to get weird and cryptic about who you are and what you do. Including specific details is important- anything beyond that is a distraction. 

Edit your Who, What, Where, Why, & How answers. See if you can combine information into simple sentences for maximum impact, rather than long drawn out lists. Ideally you want 2-3 solid sentences per question, but there are no hard and fast rules- this is a general guide. 

Now you can take your edited sentences and start layering them into a paragraph. Typically your “Who” should come first. Then you can play with the order of your What, Where, Why & How. You may need to create a few different versions of your statement to get it right. I HIGHLY recommend asking friends, family, and fellow Artists to proof read and provide feedback. Those who know you will point out anything you’ve missed & help you firm up the final copy. If you’re still lost, there are some excellent articles and guides online about writing your statement (Google away!). You can look at examples from Artists you admire, and start to get a feel for what works. If you’re looking for someone to proof read your Statement- try posting on the Artist seeking Artist forum (on the DAC Artist HUB). That’s what it’s there for. There are dozens of folks out there who could help you out & benefit from your insights!

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