How to write an artist statement

Most people find it daunting writing about themselves and what they do. An artist statement is exactly that, writing about yourself, what you produce and why you do it. Intimidating or not, a well written artist’s statement is necessary for all artists whether they be professional or amateur.

Reasons why serious artists need an Artist Statement
– It’s an essential marketing tool
– It gives you a professional and confident appearance
– Catches the attention from potential buyers, collectors galery owners
– Encourages publishers to cover your art story
– Makes an unforgettable impression
– 24/7 coverage of you and your artwork even when you are not around
– Gives you attitude and confidence to talk about yourself and your artwork.


Download our free workbook on ‘How to write an Artist Statement’ now. to help you write your own unique and unforgettable Artist Statement. We have also a Bonus for you to help you along.


Imagine that your work is hanging in a prestigious gallery in the centre of town. Visitors,  potential buyers and collectors, are walking around the gallery and are fascinated by your work. How do you keep their attention and make a lasting impression?

First of all, you need to give them some easy to read interesting quirky facts and information about yourself and your artwork. Something that they will not soon forget. Interest in an artist is not only pictorial but people also like to read your story and learn more about you as an artist, what  subjects you paint, what materials you use, where you get your inspiration from and that you have knowledge about your trade and the materials you use. What is the message that you want to portray?

An artist statement is a written image of yourself and your work so pay much attention and think about its contents. You won’t get it right the first time, so don’t worry, start with a rough draft and elaborate on it until you are satisfied. It can be hung next to your work in a gallery or exhibition, used as a press release, published in a magazine, put online or be published on your website.

Why do you need an artist statement
You will need an artist statement for various art events. For example, applying for residences, grants, exhibitions, competitions, galleries, articles in magazines and information online and on art platforms not to mention your own website.

What is an artist statement?
An artist statement is a piece of text that sums up what kind of artist you are and what you stand for, what your interests are and where you get your inspiration from. It lets the readers know what to expect when they view your artwork. Your artist statement must be short, snappy and interesting. Don’t use language that is complicated and hard to understand, keep it simple and be down to earth in a crisp and concise manner. When writing your artist statement, imagine you are talking in person to someone. This then requires the first person ”grammatical use”, (i.e. I and me) this becomes much more personal to the reader. An artist statement can and does change over time; it can be adjusted throughout your art career to keep it relevant with any changes that may take place, for instance a different medium, style or material.

Your artist statement should include the following…
A description of your work, the materials you use and what inspires you, the style and what is being portrayed. This can be about one particular piece or a whole body of work.

How long should your artist statement be?
An artist statement should be about 150 – 250 words. It is the ideal length to keep your readers interested. Any longer and the readers might lose interest and wander off.

How do you make your artist statement interesting?
Writing a good artist statement takes time and thought and can be daunting and intimidating. But once it is done you will have one forever to fall back on, this then forms the bones of information that can be adjusted when necessary. Keep it light hearted. Here are some tips and suggestions on how to start.

Describing your artwork
Display your artwork on a table or wall and group them together by style or subject or materials used. Now write down as many words that best describe your artwork. For example words like explosive, quiet, abstract, realistic, bright, monotone, organic, industrial, still, whatever comes to mind. These may give you a good starting point for some interesting sentences.

Who is your audience?
Keep in mind who you are writing for. The people that read your artist statement are different but have similar interests. Art students, Gallery owners, visitors of your exhibition, potential buyers, juries, art scouts at art fairs and art shows, head-hunters, etc. are  all potential buyers. Your artist statement must be appealing to all of these groups and keep them interested in what you have to tell.

Include the ‘What’ statement
What media have you used to create your artwork? For example oil and canvas, pastels on board, sculpting in bronze. List the materials that you have used for your artwork.

Include the ‘Why’ statement
Why have you used these materials and how has it influenced you? Were you inspired by or excited by the flow of materials, the colours, the textures or the effects that it made?

Include the ‘How’ statement
Have you used a particular interesting way to create your artwork? For example, did you let your paint run, did you melt wax or use collage? Have you used any specific colours or combinations of colours? Is your artwork large or small? If so, this is definitely worth mentioning.

You are the author
The artist statement should be written by you, not by an art dealer or teacher, gallery owner or art critic. It should be personal, people want to hear your take on your artwork.

Living document
An artist statement is a living document. You need to update it every now and then. Perhaps you have added a new body of work to your portfolio or changed your art technique or style.

Review and edit
Reread and come back to your artist statement in a couple of days, perhaps you feel the need to edit your story a little. You can also get an art friend to read your statement and give honest critique. Double check for typing and grammar mistakes, make it look professional. Read aloud while you view your artwork, this always helps. Does your art statement describe your work well?

Now it’s up to you to create your perfect Artist Statement and get noticed and recognised out there!
We have developed this workbook with questions to ask yourself that will help you create

Download our free workbook on ‘How to write an Artist Statement’ now. to help you write your own unique and unforgettable Artist Statement. We have also a Bonus for you to help you along.