Tips on Writing an Artist Statement


I am often asked to offer tips to help photographers write their artist statement. I am well aware that it is often viewed as one of the least pleasurable parts of presenting your work. It is crucially important though for you to work through this. There are positives, it will offer a valuable experience to reflect on your own work and various aspects of your practice.

When drafting your artist statement remember that it is your words that are trying to express your art, in your absence. The artist statement should be concise and well written in a conversational language. Try not to over complicate it. Consider your audience, there is a subtle difference in writing style depending on whether you’re writing for a comercial gallery and their audience or if it’s part of a university application for a PhD. Be modest about what you’re trying to achieve.

Essentially, when considering writing an artist statement the only person you need to question, is yourself. Ask yourself these questions:

What is your motivation for creating this body of work?

What do you  intend for the viewer to determine after scrutinising your work?

When considering your competition (artists that are creating images with comparable subjects), why do your images stand apart?

How do your photographic/art techniques communicate your concepts?

What questions do you feel your work raises in an audience?

Who are you influenced by, photographically or artistically?


I hope this helps! Good luck.

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