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Writing the Artist Statement – beginning

Writing the Artists Statement: Reealing the True Spirit of Your Work by Ariane Goodwin is the guide I have started using to write my statement. 
Several years ago I stumbled across Ariane Goodwin’s book Writing the Artist Statement. I checked it out of the library, renewed it and, truth be told, I checked it out again. Her approach to the task is fresh, illuminating and reflective. So naturally, when I started thinking about writing about my artwork my thoughts returned to her method, her insight. 

I turned to the internet to see if I could get my hands on a copy. It’s time I have a copy of my own. Score! There are copies to be had. In fact, the copy I got was brand-spanking new.

You can get a peek at the book at her website, the SmARTist Career Blog.

Disclaimer – I am not affiliated with her. Just a fan.

So begin my adventures in writing an artist statement. 

Initially, I began with confidence. I am relatively intelligent. I write well. I felt confident that I could write about my work. Sound familiar? 

Then I started. I had no idea where to start. Somehow writing that my favorite color is pink didn’t seem to be all that impressive. Worse yet, what are the unifying elements of my work? Well, mastering a technique with paint took time and practice. Why should I expect talking about it to take any less time?

For me, and I suspect for most artists who have followed a meandering path to their art, thinking of our body of work as a cohesive unit is a new concept. A new way of thinking.While I think this book is helpful to anyone writing an artist statement, those of us who came stumbling toward this vocation, those of us without a guide, without a mentor and without a team of established artists guiding us to the fruition of our dreams, this book is more than about getting the statement required for a show, a sale or a publication written. The method helps connect us with our work in a more meaningful way. 

If you are in a hurry and need to get that statement written and on its way by the end of the day, there are plenty of sources out there to outline the minimum requirements for the statement. If you want to shine, and why wouldn’t you, taking the time to make this connection to your work is worthwhile. It’s not just about the statement. It’s also a way to go deeper into your relationship with your artistic self. 

My big take away? So far the most astounding thing I have gotten working through the book is the complete shift I had from focusing on the themes of my pieces to the actual concept behind them. There is a more elemental level concept at play than I had originally identified.

While I highly recommend this book, I am also looking at others that may be easier for people in other locations to get their hands on. Stay tuned. 

4th post in series Writing About Your Art

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