February 9, 2011 | Alyson Stanfield

16 Ideas for Repurposing Your Artist Statement

Don't write your artist statement for someone else. 
Do it for yourself.
Don't write your artist statement because you have to. 
Do it because you will grow and learn.
Don't write your artist statement and then forget about it. 
Do it so that you fully embrace the words.

Jill Saur, Autumn Promise. Acrylic on canvas.
Jill Saur, Autumn Promise. Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 inches. ©The Artist

Your self-promotion efforts get much easier once you have the right words to define your art. Here are six ways you can use a good artist statement.
1. Print your statement off in a large font, and turn it into a label for your exhibition.
2. Use it as the basis for text in a grant application.
3. Separate each sentence and expand on it in a blog post.
4. Print your statement on a brochure or in a catalog you print through a site like Blurb.com or Lulu.com.
5. Review it each time you're asked to talk about your art. Make sure your presentation reflects your statement and vice versa. If they don't support one another, regroup and rewrite.
6. Post your statement on your website, but not on a separate page. Instead, post it next to the art that it's supposed to be about.
When you have an artist statement you're proud of, condense it into a single smashing sentence. Use this sentence in the following ways.
1. Turn it into the opening sentence of your About page or biography.
2. Add it to the back of your business card.
3. Adapt it for your social media profiles.
4. Make it into a T-shirt, mug, or bumper sticker.
5. Post it on your studio door.
6. Have it printed on cocktail napkins.
7. Build a blog post from each word in the sentence.Artist Statement e-book
8. Tweet it. Use the #artiststatement hashtag so we can read it, too.
9. Add it as a tagline to your newsletter or blog.
10. Laminate it on a small card and carry it with you.
If your statement is more than a year old, consider a rewrite — unless you haven't been doing any art for 365 days.
How do you approach, write, edit, and repurpose your artist statement?

20 comments add a comment
  • Allison – Thank you for your insights that you share so generously!
    I’ve found the the exercise of writing, re-writing and refining my artist statement does much to “sell myself” on my own artistic process and journey. It brings confidence, focus and clarity – in addition to being a useful marketing tool for collectors.

  • Daniel Sroka

    OK, I’m going to use the statement-on-a-mug idea. Too fun!

  • Organic Marketing for Artists: Mind Cheese and the Last Painting

    […] Of course, my answers to the “now what?” part are things like WordPress, blogging, and organic marketing, but how to explain something like blogging or Twitter effectively? Thankfully, I got lucky on that one. As I was sitting here thinking about it, Lisa sent me an email including a post from Alyson Stanfield at the Art Biz Blog. […]

  • I have a tattoo of it on my arm…jking
    I do have it re-purposed on the sidebar of my eNewsletter though!

  • Social media :)
    Lot of twittering/facebooking these days, I’m using it to.

  • I usually take my old one from the year before and rewrite it for my upcoming show because my work evolves and I’m always giving my self assignments for new shows.

  • Great ideas! Favourite: Tagline at the end of newsletters. Will be using that!

  • I’ve never seen the need to write an artist’s statement until I read your article. Now I will sit down and do some work and put one together.

  • Roger K. Lawrence

    I would like to see an example of someone’s artists statement that you are using today. I have never written one.

  • Everyone, I think, need to have that unique statement expressed through art, fashion, writing etc; artists and even people from other industries have their own style of selling themselves.I’ve seen a lot of artists’ and designers’ blogs where they put some lines at the header – that gives an overview of what the blog is all about, and see a variation or rewrites printed on shirts and some stuff.

  • Almajo

    this is so good now i will rewrite my statment in the way it will shine. thanks for this article. almajo

  • When I redid my statement last winter, it really helped me feel comfortable giving a talk about my work. Having done all the exercises in your e-book, I was prepared to talk off the cuff about what I was doing in my work.

  • WildC

    Aside from how we can leverage/repurpose it, I totally agree with your idea that the statement is first and foremost for the artist, Alyson. It’s a great way to clarify our vision about where our work is going…It’s part of our internal dialog as artists :)
    I think I’ll re-write mine…

  • […] You will use language from your statement for wall labels, brochure text, website text, informal presentations, conversations and more. […]

  • I love all the one sentence statement ideas. I just started looking around here to figure out where else to put mine!

  • Great thinking! So glad we have you Alyson! You think of these things that I don’t. Seems so obvious once you say it. Keep’em coming!

  • Great ideas as always! Just revisiting my artist statement is a good exercise. My “path” hasn’t really changed, by my “voice” has. Always good to rethink how and where to express what goes into my art.

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