Artist Statements

This assignment has 2 parts. You will end up with 2 artist statements.  Follow the bulleted points below to complete this assignment.

Part 1:

  • read the Artist Statements post.
  • In a post labelled your name_ artist statement, write 2 artist statements: 1 page and and 1/2 page (one – 2 paragraphs), separated with a page break (horizontal line). I recommend writing this in Word or Pages so you can see the length of the documents, then copying and pasting into your post.
  • Print one copy for class

At the top of each statement in bold, write your name, Artist Statement and indicate short or long. Separate using a horizontal line:

Caitlin Brown

Short Artist Statement

Caitlin Brown

Long Artist Statement

Getting Started Writing An Artist Statement
1. Describe your work: Describe one work of yours that is currently in your studio. Do it
quickly. Don’t worry about grammar, jargon, or finding the right word. There is no format to this,
no structure. Just get down on paper everything that comes to mind about the piece.
Some questions to get you started:
• What does it look like? (size, colors, shapes, textures, light, objects, relationships, etc.) Make
your description visual.
• What inspired the piece? Where does the work come from in you?
• Talk about the work from a conceptual, thematic, and/or emotional point of view.
• Is there a central or guiding image or idea?
• What are its different elements and how to they affect each other or interact?
• What kind of materials did you use/are you using to create the work? Why?
• What was the process of development for the work?
• How does the work use space and relate to the surrounding space? What would be the ideal
space in which to exhibit or present this work?
• How does this work fit into the overall flow of your development as an artist?
• Where does it fit into or relate to your awareness of other contemporary work?
Source: Based on The Field: “20 Questions to Get You Writing.” The Field is a New York Citybased
dance service organization.

2. Identify yourself: Use these questions to articulate who you are as an artist, what is special
about you, and where you fit into the big picture.
• What words would you use to describe your work as an artist?
• What sources guide or influence your work? Physical, intellectual, emotional, conceptual?
• What materials do you enjoy working with? Hate? Why? What would you be interested in
exploring that you haven’t tried yet?
• Whose work or what work do you admire? Why?
• What work/styles/modes do you dislike? Hate? Wish to challenge? Why?
• Who do you compare yourself to? What kind of comparisons do you draw?
• Who do you think your work is for? Who you would like to reach with it or who you would
most want to see it?
• What critics do you read? Why?
• What else do you read, see, listen to, and follow outside your discipline? Poetry?
Philosophy? Science? History? Politics? Film? Music?
• How would you describe your background, and how has it influenced you? Where do you
come from? Community, geography, ethnicity, family, peers, mentors?
3. Describe your studio: Write a one-page description of your studio or workspace. Do it
quickly, and don’t worry about grammar or the right word. There is no format to this, no
structure…paragraph, notes, or even a list format is fine.
• What does it look like? Size, colors, shapes, textures, objects, relationships, light? Make it
• What identifies it as uniquely yours, or distinct from some other studio?
• How do you relate to it? Order, arrangements, processes, methods, equipment, materials?
• What are you working on? What kind of work do you have in it at present?
4. Describe your process: Write a one-page description of the process you use to create your
work. Do it quickly, and don’t worry about grammar or finding the right word. There is no
format to this, no structure. Just get down on paper every single thing you can remember about
how your work is created. Think in concrete terms: influences; physical qualities; and emotion.
• What materials, elements, surfaces, processes, methods, equipment do you use? Why?
• Where does your inspiration come from?
• Where does the impetus for a piece come from in you, personally speaking?
• What concerns guide you in the execution? Are they visual? physical/sensory/sensual?
thematic? emotional?
• What moves you to work?
• What is your favorite part of the process?
Putting it all Together: DON’T PANIC! If writing is torture, GET SOME HELP!
• Tongue tied? Invite a friend to the studio to discuss your work. Tape-record the conversation
and listen to it later. You can also take notes, but often the best phrases get lost in the heat of
the moment. Make a note of what kind of questions come up during these sessions. Is there a
pattern? If there is, use it in your statement.
• Have several friends who know your work — especially non-artists — read your artist
statement and respond. They may have good points to add. They may catch phrases that don’t
seem to make sense. Your non-artist friends will be best at helping you catch the jargon and
‘artspeak’ which you may want to rewrite.
• Ask a professional writer to proofread your written materials to check for errors. Ask
someone merciless to help you delete repetitive or extraneous phrases and straighten out long
REMEMBER: Keep your statement coherent and to the point to retain reader interest!
Artist Statement exercises adapted from Virginia Commonwealth University Senior Seminar
materials, and NYFA’s Full Time Artist MFA Curriculum, 2003.

experiencing writers block? 
-Invite some friends over for a studio visit, while having a conversation about your work record what you are saying.
Listen to your conversation later and choose the best excerpts to put in writing.
-Listen carefully to questions and comments about your work during critiques. Are some questions asked more than
others? This is what people want to know about, and where you should focus your effort in your statement

One thought on “Artist Statements

Leave a Reply