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By Margaret (Maggie) Brezden


An artist statement is not only an essential part of an artist portfolio but may be required to accompany a particular art-piece or body of work. It's important that you, as an artist, realize that the artist statement is a selling tool that allows your audience a way to connect with you and increases their appreciation of your work. Gallery owners, exhibition curators, and collectors all respect the professionalism of a good artist statement.

An artist's statement should be clear, informative and should give a clear understanding of your art and the methods you use in creating it. Don't feel you have to write a full page of information, it's better to keep your artist's statement short than too long. You are best to write a couple of paragraphs totaling approximately 100 words.

Things you might consider when writing an artist statement are:

   1.   Your education and who may have influenced you
2.Mention any significant awards or exhibitions you have participated in
3.If your work has been published or if it is in a collection of work
4.Discuss your style and the subjects or themes you lean towards
5.Discuss the techniques you use to produce your art
6.How is your work different than others and what inspires you
7.Mention art organizations or societies you belong to

Remember you are not writing a resume, you are only trying to create professional credibility by highlighting your achievements. Everything in your statement should be relevant to your art.

Its often hard for artists to write a statement about themselves but just think of how you would explain your work to someone who has never seen it before. How your work relates to how you look at life. Write your artist statement in first person not third person ( "I" not "Jane" ).

You should review your artist statement from time to time because you as an artist will change and so will the art you produce and it's then that you will have to rewrite your artist statement. Before using your artist statement for a specific exhibition or event review it and change it accordingly.

Creating a bio is one of the most important parts of promoting your artwork. Bios will form part of query letters, proposals, presentation flyers, introductions, websites, catalogues, or other promotional venues where your artwork is being shown.

Bios are not resumes and are usually written in a narrative style written in the third person (“Jane” not “I”). A Bio can be as long as one page or as short as one paragraph but both must be relevant to your artwork. Short bios need all the components of a long one but when doing a short bio choose only your best credential, best award, and your best, published work.

To begin writing your bio, make a list of your credentials, special skills, awards, accomplishments, memberships and published works. Use these facts to promote yourself in your Bio, this is an opportunity to brag about yourself but you must be truthful in what you say. Look at other artist bios to see what you like and don’t like.

Once you have a draft of your bio completed, show it to friends and have them give you comments and suggestions, then rewrite your bio and once satisfied with you’re final draft have someone edit it for you.

Writing good promotional material takes time and effort but once accomplished it will serve you well in the promotion of your work.

Be sure to read the next article
in this series:

Writing your Artist Resume
By Margaret Brezden


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