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How to Write an Artist Statement 
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How to Write an Artist Statement 

Wondering what the Artist Statement is all about? When do you need it? And most importantly: How do you write one? In this article we answer these and other essential questions.

First things first: What is an artist statement? 

An artist statement is a written description of your creative work. It provides context and background information and helps to clarify your intentions and artistic goals. An artist statement typically uses the first person and touches on your creative process, inspirations, and themes. It’s concise, clear, and reflective.

When to write an artist statement? 

The statement introduces your work to potential buyers, galleries, curators, and other members of the art world. It’s an essential tool for:

Gallery exhibitions: When applying for gallery exhibitions or shows, curators and gallery owners will often ask for an artist statement to better understand your work and to see if it aligns with their mission and aesthetic.

Art fairs: When participating in art fairs or festivals, you will often be asked to provide an artist statement to be included in promotional materials and in your booth space.

Artist portfolios: An artist statement can be a valuable addition to your portfolio, providing context and background information that helps to clarify the meaning and significance of your work.

Artist websites: If you have an artist website, including an artist statement on your site can help to provide visitors with an in-depth understanding of your work and your creative vision.

Grants and awards: When applying for grants, residencies, or awards, you may be asked to provide an artist statement as part of your application materials.

Whether you apply for exhibitions, participate in art fairs, or showcase your work online, having a well-crafted artist statement is an essential tool for promoting and advancing your creative career.

Artist Statement – step by step

Here are the steps to write an effective artist statement:

  1. Define your goals and purpose: What do you want to achieve with your statement? What is the main message you want to convey to the reader?
  1. Know your audience: Who will be reading your statement? What kind of information would they like to see?
  1. Describe your work: Summarize the main themes and concepts behind your art. Explain your creative process and the materials and techniques you use.
  1. Reflect on your inspiration: Discuss the sources of inspiration for your work, whether it is personal, cultural, or based on a particular experience.
  1. Share your unique perspective: Highlight what sets your work apart from others and what makes it original.
  1. Keep it clear and concise: Your statement should be brief, to-the-point, and easy to understand. Aim for around 300-500 words.
  1. Edit and revise: Read your statement several times to make sure it accurately represents your work and effectively communicates your ideas. Consider getting feedback from others.

A template on how to write an artist statement

Writing about art isn’t easy, but finding the right words to express your own work is even harder. To help you get started, here is a guideline that you can follow.

Introduction: Begin with a brief introduction that sets the stage for your statement. This might include a brief overview of your work, your background, and the themes or motifs that run through your work.

Themes and Intentions: In this section, delve into the themes and intentions that drive your work. What do you hope to communicate or explore through your art? What are the most important ideas or motifs that you hope to convey?

Process and Materials: In this paragraph, discuss the process and materials that you use to create your work. What inspires you, and what are the techniques and tools that you use to bring your vision to life?

Inspirations and Influences: Discuss the artists, movements, or other sources of inspiration that have shaped your work and your creative vision. What do you admire about these artists or movements, and how have they influenced your own work?

Conclusion: End your artist statement with a conclusion that ties together all of the themes, intentions, and ideas discussed in your statement. Consider highlighting your most important takeaways and the significance of your work within the larger context of the art world.

This template should provide you with a starting point for writing your own artist statement, but remember that it is only a guide. Your statement should reflect your unique voice and perspective, carefully crafted to accurately reflect your creative vision and goals.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for writing an effective artist statement:


Keep it concise: Your statement should be brief, to-the-point, and easy to understand. Aim for around 300-500 words.

See Also

Be clear and specific: Avoid vague language and abstract concepts. Explain your ideas in a straightforward and direct manner.

Focus on your unique perspective: Highlight what sets your work apart from others and what makes it original.

Reflect on your work: Use your statement as an opportunity to reflect on your creative process, your inspiration, and the themes that drive your work.


Overuse technical terms or jargon: Avoid using International Art English (IAE) even if you’re writing for a specific audience that is familiar with these terms.

Make unsupported claims: Avoid making sweeping statements about your work or the art world without providing evidence or context.

Be too personal: While it’s important to reflect on your personal experiences and perspectives, your statement should focus on your work and its themes, rather than your personal life.

Copy others: Avoid copying language from other artists or using clichéd phrases. Your statement should reflect your unique voice and perspective.

Neglect to revise: Make sure to read your statement several times and make revisions as needed to ensure that it accurately represents your work and effectively communicates your ideas.

Artist Statement: Examples for Painters 

  • “I am a painter who is inspired by the beauty and mystery of the natural world. My paintings are a celebration of color, form, and texture, and a meditation on the relationship between light, shadow, and atmosphere. I work primarily in oil on canvas, using a combination of thick impasto and delicate glazes to create depth and luminosity in my work. My paintings are often landscapes, but they are not simply depictions of the world around us, rather than an expression of my emotional and spiritual connection to the natural world. Through my work, I hope to evoke a sense of wonder and awe, and to invite the viewer to consider the beauty and complexity of the world around us.”
  • “I am a painter who explores the theme of human identity and the search for self-discovery. My work is a mixture of abstraction and representation, and it is an exploration of the relationship between form, color, and emotion. I work primarily with oil on canvas, using a process of layering and wiping to build up the surface of my paintings. My goal is to create a sense of depth and complexity, and to invite the viewer to look beneath the surface of my work to discover the emotional and psychological layers that are hidden there. My paintings are inspired by my own experiences. They are a reflection of the struggles, triumphs, and ambiguities that are part of the human experience, and they are an invitation to the viewer to reflect on their own lives and experiences.”

Examples for Digital Artists

  • “As a mixed media artist, I explore the relationship between nature and the man-made world. My work is a commentary on the impact that human activity has on the environment and a celebration of the beauty and resilience of the natural world. I use a variety of materials in my work, including found objects, recycled materials, and natural elements like branches and leaves. I enjoy the challenge of taking something discarded and giving it new life in my art.My creative process is heavily influenced by my background in sculpture and my love of nature. I often work with organic forms and incorporate elements of nature, like tree branches and leaves, into my pieces. I see my work as a way to bring a piece of the natural world into the man-made world and to encourage others to think about the environment and their impact on it. My goal as an artist is to raise awareness and start a conversation about the environment and the impact of human activity on it. Through my work, I hope to inspire others to think more deeply about their relationship with nature and the role they play in preserving the environment.”
  • “I am a digital artist drawing inspiration from the infinite possibilities of technology and the intersection of art and science. My work is an exploration of the relationship between digital media and the natural world, and it is a celebration of the beauty and complexity of both. I create my work using a combination of digital tools, including 3D modeling software, animation tools, and programming languages to build abstract and surreal landscapes, filled with intricate patterns, vibrant colors, and flowing forms. I believe that digital art has the power to transcend time and space, and to create new worlds and experiences for the viewer. My goal as an artist is to use this medium to inspire others, to provoke thought and emotion, and to help to bridge the gap between technology and the natural world.”

Examples on how to write an artist statement for photography

  • “Joe Clarke (b.1992) is a British photographer based between London and Amsterdam, whose bold yet poetic images explore themes of nostalgia, freedom and solitude. A photography expedition to Iceland in 2017 formed the foundation for his fascination with storytelling, capturing both the passage of time and the fragility of a fleeting moment. His portfolio has developed over the years and shifts seamlessly between landscapes and still life to intimate portraiture, whilst remaining grounded in spontaneity and emotion.”
  • “As a fine art photographer, I draw inspiration from the beauty and mystery of the natural world. I use long exposures and intentional camera movement to create ethereal landscapes that blur the line between reality and fantasy. My goal is to evoke a sense of wonder and to encourage others to see the world around them in new and different ways.”
  • “I am a street photographer drawn to the energy and chaos of urban environments. I aim to capture the human condition in all its variety and complexity, and I believe that there is beauty in the everyday moments that often go unnoticed. Through my work, I hope to reveal the poetry and unpredictability of city life.”
  • “As a portrait photographer, I believe that every human face tells a story. I use my camera to capture the unique personalities and emotions of my subjects. My goal is to create images that are both intimate and universal, and that reveal the humanity and beauty in every individual.”

Statements by Famous Artists

  • “I want to express my feelings rather than illustrate them. It doesn’t matter how the paint is put on, as long as something is said. On the floor, I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting. When I’m painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It’s only after a get-acquainted period that I see what I’ve been about. I’ve no fears about making changes for the painting has a life of its own.” – Jason Pollock
  • “I have never painted a self-portrait. I am less interested in myself as a subject for a painting than I am in other people, above all women… There is nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from morning to night… Whoever wants to know something about me… ought to look carefully at my pictures.” – Gustav Klimt
  • “I want the people in my pictures to stare back. I want to show exactly what my world looks like, without glamorisation, without glorification. This is not a bleak world but one in which there is an awareness of pain, a quality of introspection.” – Naan Goldin
  • “By translating hallucinations and fear of hallucinations into paintings, I have been trying to cure my disease. I painted infinity nets day after day, and while doing so, the whole room appeared to have been covered with nets. So I created pieces by covering sculptures with nets. I gradually feel myself under the spell of the accumulation and repetition in my ‘nets’ which expand beyond myself, and all over the limited space of canvas covering the floor, desk and everywhere.” – Yayoi Kusama 

Crafting a well-written artist statement is an important step in establishing your personal brand and showcasing your work. By understanding your artistic vision, defining your unique voice, and presenting your work in a clear and concise manner, you can effectively communicate the story behind your art to a wider audience. Remember, your artist statement should be an evolving document that changes and grows as your art and your creative vision evolve over time. So, take the time to reflect on your work, focus on your message, and let your voice shine through in your artist statement.

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