How to Write an Artist Statement

“Tell me about yourself” is one of the most dreaded interview questions, and if you’re an artist, “Tell me about your work” can be just as headache-inducing. Many artists spend countless hours agonizing over how to phrase statements for exhibitions, class assignments or applications. Whether you’re a student artist or a working artist, at some point you’re going to have to write about your work. There’s no avoiding it. Here are five tips for getting started with that dreaded artist statement:

1. Write in Your Own Voice

It’s easy to misunderstand how simple an artist statement really is: tell your audience how and why you make your art, in your own words. It’s as simple as that! Maybe you’ve read other artist’s statements and thought, Wow, this sounds pretentious and it’s difficult to understand, but that’s how an artist statement is supposed to be written, right? Wrong. If you can’t understand an artist’s statement, it isn’t very good. Artist statements should be written for a general audience.

Don’t feel pressured to use academic-sounding “artspeak" because you want to sound professional. You will sound more professional if you use clear language that a broad audience can easily unde...

Read More