I had a recent conversation with another artist about writing an artist statement. It got me to thinking about it. I’ve written a few but only guessed at how they are supposed to operate. So I googled (thank God for the great google, the brain I never had) “how to write artist statement” and got plenty of info… here’s a good link http://www.artbusiness.com/artstate.html . I found plenty on how to write one for others to read and be informed about who you are and why you do what you do. I’m not going to cover that, there’s plenty of other sites that do it way better, but it did get me to thinking about the other artist statement. The one that is just for you. First, writing an artist statement for someone else is important, no matter what stage you are as an artist, even if you don’t have a one man show coming up at the Moma or Mary Boone Gallery. But there’s another really good reason to tell others who you are, it’ll help you figure out who you are and why you paint and more importantly, where to go next with your work.
I’m guilty of just casting about, painting stuff I like with no other reason than I responded to it, I like to paint, I love nature or I like being outdoors. But a clear and focused direction for our work, for my work, may help direct a more focused future. A clearer, more informative body of work that would help to separate us more from the others. I want that, more individual voice in my work. Landscapes are fun and are great exercises in the elements of art but they frequently say nothing more than I was there and here’s what I did with it. The personal artist statement can act like a contract with yourself, a commitment to your next move, your next series or body of work. Putting it in words, quantifying your creativity gives left brain assistance to your right brain play. It’s like hiring a traffic manager for your creative workforce. Maybe it can help divide up your efforts into more understandable chunks. A series of movements in your own symphony. Say it out loud and make it so.