Writing an Artist Statement/Reflection

You’ve done all the hard work and have created a piece/series of work. Now comes the time to explain your intent or vision with that body of work. An artist’s statement is where you let your audience know the how, why, what, when and where of a series of work. The statement is where you can direct your audience to experience what you experienced, while also giving them any information they might need to understand the full picture. Think of it as a chance to explain what is not visible but important to a specific piece.

Statements are usually between one to three paragraphs long and have the following information included:

·       Provide written visuals of the work

·       Explains the process and materials used as well as your technique

·       Explains the reasoning behind making such work

·       Your inspirations and intentions behind the piece

·       A place to prove why the decisions you took to make the piece add to its meaning

·       Explain how you would like viewers to react to your piece.

Keep in mind:

You only should pick about three of the points above to create your statement. You don’t have to use all points, remember its length should be between one and three paragraphs.

A great template to use looks like:

I.                 Explain to your audience what medium you are using to create such piece and what techniques/processes you use. Invite the viewer to understand how it is you work

II.               Speak on your reasoning for the creation of the work; whether it be political, conceptual, historical, experimental, process oriented, etc. Break it down for your audience.

III.             Finish it off with explaining how and why your materials or technique support your ideas for creating the work.

 

Helpful Hints:

·       Keep everything straight to the point. Don’t try to take up space with poetic language and run on sentences.

·       Use the present tense (unless the work is in progress), the statement stands to explain work that has already been completed. Use the appropriate language to explain the work.

·       Be honest about your work

·       Be positive and compassionate as it is a time to reflect on your artistic journey.

·       Artist statements and reflections should be in the 1st person. Use pronouns such as “I, me, my”. If you have trouble doing this write how you would do normally and then go back and change pronouns.

·       Finally be straightforward with your audience and relate any research/information that will help drive your point.