Write an Artist's Statement

As an artist, you have insider information about your artwork. You know how it was made, why you chose to make it, and what you are trying to say with the artwork. What do you want people to know about your work? What can you tell viewers that will help them look at your work?

An artist’s statement lets you communicate your insider information to the rest of the world. Artist’s statements are short, about 1-3 paragraphs.

Here are some prompts for writing an artist’s statement:

Remember: these are suggestions and ideas. You do not need to respond to all of these in your statement!

  • Who is your audience. Do you expect kids to view your art and read your artist’s statement? Adults?

  • What do you want viewers to know or notice ?

  • Where did you get your idea ?

  • What was your process for creating this work?

  • What was a challenge you experienced when creating the work? What did you learn from that challenge?

  • Did you make any mistakes? What happened as a result?

  • How did you use the Elements of Art? Is there any Element of Art that is particularly important in your work?

  • How did you use the Principles of Design? Is there any Principle of Design that is particularly important in your work?

  • What are you trying to say with your artwork?

Here are some tips for writing an artist’s statement:

  1. Write multiple drafts. It takes practice and editing to write a clear statement.

  1. Get feedback. Share your statement draft with someone. Ask them if there is anything they would recommend you change or add? Do they have any questions about your work that they think you should address in your statement?

  1. Be yourself. There is no one correct way to write an artist’s statement. Your statement should help people understand you and your work, so relax and let your personality come through in your writing!

Explore example artist’s statements by professional artists:

References and Resources

Battenfield, Jackie College Art Association (Producer). (2011, Jan 26). "Developing Your Artist Statement" [Audio Podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.collegeart.org/podcasts/

Hogan, Jillian, Lois Hetland, Diane Jaquith, Ellen Winner, and Nicole Gsell. Studio Thinking from the Start: The K-8 Art Educator’s Handbook. New York, NY: Teachers College Press, 2018.