Yesterday Karen Hargett wanted to hear a few tips on writing an Artist's Statement.
Like most artists I procrastinated (detested is more like it) updating mine. Using the step by step actions in I'd Rather Be in the Studio put me on the right path. Author,Alyson Stanfield really calls you to take action with specific exercises. Here are a few tips that got me going:
1. Learning what is an artist's statement and what isn't
Big news for me: it isn't a brief Bio. It's about your current work & direction. Alyson says "Above all, your statement should compel readers to look at your art. If it doesn't do that, it hasn't done its job."
2. "Keep it in the first person" and "Keep it short"
( I need to go back now and really hone mine again, its too long)
There is so much help in her book. One thing that appealed to me was to take all the ideas I had written down, cut them out (scraps of my thoughts). She suggested putting them in a shoebox. While this is tidy, I know I could easily forget where the box it. I taped them to a large poster board..kind of like creating a story board and kept it where it could get my attention.Then when I had time I would edit them and put them in order that made sense. It was easy to see where I'd repeated something or got too heavy. Just the physical act of pulling that scrap off the board and tossing it made me feel like I was getting somewhere.
To sum up for this post...it takes time to write an artist's statement. It is well worth the effort. I have just scratched the surface here..hoping to lead you to the wealth of knowledge and help in Alyson's book. Get it, read it, do the work. If there is one thing I can pass along to artists who want to be self supporting (and I know you don't want to hear this, I can feel you cringe!) Your art is a business. You must do what it takes to run that business, the rewards are many. It isn't hard..consistency is the key.
Make a plan, take an action.