In I’d Rather Be in the Studio I lay out guidelines for your artist statement, where I say that my litmus test for an effective artist statement is that it compels people to look at your art. Think about it: What good is your statement if people only read it and then move on to the next label, the next statement, the next page, or the next artist?
Friends and I were reminiscing about Gilligan’s Island last week when I revealed too much about my TV-watching habits as a child. Remember how the castaways on that series made everything from coconuts? The Professor fashioned a radio and battery charger from coconuts. Why, oh why, couldn’t he make coconut glue and repair a boat to get them off the island??? Maryann was famous for her coconut cream pie.
Want help finishing your newsletter, catalog, blog post, book, or even your artist statement? Listen up. My friend and writing coach, Cynthia Morris, shared a secret with me. Print It Out. Really? That’s it? “Print it out” is all you have for me? Yep, it’s that simple. Or at least it’s a good first step.
Are you confused about the difference between your artist biography and artist statement? I’m here to help! See if these explanations give you a better picture of these two documents. I’ve thrown in your About page for free.
A good statement will help you define your art before someone else does it for you. And I truly believe that the process of writing (and rewriting and editing and writing again) your statement helps you organize your thoughts, sound and appear more professional, and, in the long run, sell more art.
The most important piece of advice I can give you is to start immediately. Don’t wait until you need one. Most artist statements stink because they’re written at the last minute. They’re typed up, printed, and put in a packet of materials to go in the mail. All along, the author-artist is holding his or her nose and hoping he or she won’t ever have to see that piece of writing again.
Why would you write something that might be put in print if you’re not proud of