The Value of the Artist Statement


Marie Merritt, Old Dog, New Trick. Oil on Canvas, 18 x 24 inches.

I just received this very nice email and testimonial from Marie Merritt and I’m not above a little shameless self-promotion.

Signing up for the [] artist statement class is one of the best things I’ve done for myself in a very long time. I have always hated writing.  Whether due to my poor hand writing, or my inadequate training in high school, it has been a chore. College classes that required essays were pure torture.  It wasn’t that I couldn’t write, but that I couldn’t put in flowery prose the thoughts I had.  I was more the “just the facts” type of  person.  All of this is just a lame excuse for not getting the job done!

This fear of writing has stymied my ability to articulate what I do in art and why I do it.  I now realize that it has hindered my sales as well.

Approaching each day’s assignment challenged my comfort zone.  It forced  me to examine myself, my art, my approach, and even my skill level.  Strange as it seems,  I thoroughly enjoyed all of it.  I  learned a great deal about myself and the exercises forced me into analyzing and improving my organization.  Reading back through my responses proved to be enlightening.

I understand the value of journaling as it helps organize thoughts, set goals, plan, and implement.  It is also very cleansing! . . . Thanks for the opportunity to expand my horizons.

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2 comments to The Value of the Artist Statement

  • While I didn’t attend your workshop on artist statements, with my latest show (just ended today!) I discovered how valuable they really are. Before the opening I updated my statement and had copies ready for people to take with them who attended the show. I placed the copies at the front of my portfolio, open and ready for people to browse through who wanted to see more of my work. I was amazed at the number of people who did look through the portfolio and even more thrilled at how many people took one of the copies of my statement. It made me see first hand how much people responded to my statement and that it really is a valuable tool to gain people’s attention to my work and learn more about who I am. You can bet that all future shows will include copies of my statement available for the taking.

  • Sounds like I have work to do. No problem capturing great photos, creating great videos or art. Difficult part lies in it’s explanation for some reason. Thanks for the prompting and recommendation.