5 Tips for Improving Your Artist Statement

When is the last time you took a long look at your artist statement?

Did you close the file months ago thinking you were done with it? Think again.

Your statement has the potential to be one of your strongest promotional tools. A well-written statement empowers you. The process of writing or perfecting your statement is a chance to clarify your thoughts.

It helps you define your art before someone else does that for you.

Improving Your Artist Statement

Here are 5 tips for honing your statement.

Ranit Elkrief, Twins. Acrylic on paper, 45 x 35 centimeters. ©2003 The Artist
Ranit Elkrief, Twins. Acrylic on paper, 45 x 35 centimeters. ©2003 The Artist

1. Whittle down your statement to a maximum of two paragraphs—knowing that our attention spans are much shorter these days.

2. Your artist statement should reflect your current direction, particularly what is unique about the methods and materials you use to create your art work.

Do not include anything about your influences or past lives in your statement. Write about where you’re going and what you want viewers to take away. You want readers to focus on the future and where you’re headed, not the long story about how you got to where you are.

3. Allow time between your draft and editing of the draft. It is a good idea to step away from your writing for a few hours to see it with fresh eyes. It’s too easy to get bogged down in the language and miss the message.

4. In the editing process, look to eliminate redundancy as well as descriptions and sentences that could be applied to any ole artist’s work. You’re seeking the right words that describe with your artistic contribution.

5. Above all, your artist statement should compel readers to look at your art. If it doesn’t do that, it hasn’t done its job.

Your statement has failed if people read the words you’ve written, and then they go on to the next artist without being intrigued enough to take another look at your work.

FINAL WORD: Your artist statement should be organic. Allow it to grow and change. You wouldn’t allow your artwork to stagnate, would you? Likewise, using old words to describe new ideas doesn’t make sense. Get that statement out and start honing it.



The podcast is an audio version of this content.

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9 thoughts on “5 Tips for Improving Your Artist Statement”

  1. My artist statement was a black hole of doom form me to write. Thankfully, I got it over quickly. Now whether or not its effective…I’m not sure.

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Alyson!
    I began blogging so that when I did need to sit down and write an artist statement, it wouldn’t be such a struggle. Writing frequently has helped me clarify and organize my thoughts!

    Now I’d better get to that revised artist statement!

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  4. Lets consider this in marketing terms. Think about your USP, unique selling proposition, in your statement. It should let your prospective customers know why they should buy from you instead of some other guy. A USP tells your customers that no one else offers what you have, explains that if a customer buys from you they will get a certain benefit that only you offer, and is so compelling it gets potential customers to become buyers. When you have your USP, use it across all your promotional materials.

  5. Pingback: Post Your Artist Statement Strategically on Your Website or Blog — Art Biz Blog

  6. Pingback: 10 Tips for Writing Your Artist Statement | Learn to... Art!

  7. It’s difficult to know when the artist statement has crossed the line from intriguing to boring. Thanks for all the great articles and advice. Great site.

  8. Alyson Stanfield

    Dave: Yes, you’re probably not the best judge of that. Ask for feedback from someone who is ruthless.

  9. Pingback: Artist Bio vs. Artist Statement vs. About Page — Art Biz Blog

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