Artists often groan when it comes to writing their artist statement, a text which describes their work, motivation and inspirations. For people whose main form of communication is visual, being forced to express themselves through the written word can often seem like an impossible task.
Perhaps because of this fear factor which sometimes operates, and because really it is tempting to look for an excuse to get out of writing it, artists often complain that they can’t see the point of an artist statement at all. They argue that work should speak for itself, and that an artificial, wordy explanation can’t possibly help anyone appreciate what they are doing.
This is a reasonable concern – after all, there’s no point taking time over something if it isn’t really going to be any use. But in fact, artist statements can be extremely valuable in the presentation of your work, and it’s worth taking time over them to get them right. While to an extent the art itself is all people need to know, the fact is that a serious buyer, or a gallery owner who is seriously considering showing your work, want to know more about you and the factors that contributed to the creation of the piece than simply what their eyes can tell them.
It’s like anything you’re considering investing in, from a person to a place to an object; love at first sight is important, and in the case of art will certainly help develop the right sort of relationship with the work in question, but after that initial emotional response it’s crucial to investigate a bit more, so that you know what you’re getting.
The artist statement you write will help people viewing your work get an idea of the artist behind the work, putting it in context and preparing them properly. It will also deepen their appreciation of what they are seeing, whether in the flesh or online somewhere like Art-Mine.com – which is good for both them and you.
It’s not really hard to write this useful and necessary text. The main thing is not to be scared of it – it’s just about you and your work, in which you’re the acknowledged expert! Just be honest, and spend some time before you start working out what sorts of things you’d like to cover. If you do get stuck while you’re writing it, take a break and come back to it later. Similarly, if you’ve written one and aren’t sure whether it’s the final draft, take it to friends and family to see what they think and if the message you were trying to get across comes through. You can also put it aside for a little while and get it out after a week or so to see what you think on a fresh look.
If you can’t decide what to put in, set some time aside to sit down with a notebook and a pen, when you know you won’t be interrupted, and just calmly consider what you’d like people viewing your work to know, and what you think will help them understand your work better. You can also carry a notebook around with you for a few days for when you get ideas about what to include.
Take your time, relax and be yourself. It’s easy!
Find contemporary art for sale by Agora Gallery. Visit Art-mine.com for more information.