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Artist Statement Name____________________________

Your artist statement should summarize the work, ideas, and interests you have discovered so far in your art-
making process this year. Usually an artist’s most recent work is most important to the artist, but your statement
should reflect upon the many experiences you’ve had in general, so you may refer to your strongest works from
previous semesters as well. Your artist statement is a working document because it will not have one final form.
Instead, the artist statement will take many forms as you update and adapt it for various purposes over the
coming year(s): college applications, scholarships, future exhibitions, and even the AP exam.

There are some basic requirements for an artist statement:

1. Brevity: Your artist statement is limited to 250 words.
2. Legibility: Your statement must be printed (typed) from a word processing program using Times
3. Clarity: Your spelling and grammar must be accurate. Choose words for their meaning and clarity,
not because you think you will sound more intellectual.
4. Honesty: Write from your heart. We are much more interested in your genuine thoughts than your
ability to make yourself sound smart.

Always use the active voice. Compare the following two statements:
I admire Lucian Freud’s bold, planar brushwork. Therefore, in my own painting, I have tried to
use similar bold brushstrokes that emphasize color planes. (Active voice)

My paintings have bold, planar brushwork like Lucian Freud’s. (Passive voice)

For best results, take some time to look at your recent portfolio works. Then consider how to use the
following somehow in your statement. You do not have to address the following questions in the order they
are listed! Make your statement cohesive, with a natural flow, not choppy and forced.

1. What characteristics/qualities should a person have to be considered an artist?

2. What are your artistic strengths/qualities?
3. What criteria/strengths should something have in order to be considered a work of art?
4. How are your artistic strengths/qualities evident in your work?
5. Identify a master artist(s) that you feel has influenced your work at some point this year, and explain
how that influence is evident in your own work. Be sure to identify the artists’ name(s) and what you
specifically like about his/her work.
6. Think of a hobby, activity, or everyday interest you have and love to do that is completely unrelated
to making art, yet is still unique or important to you. Then, find a connection between that interest
and your own process/perspective of making art and explain how they relate to one another.
7. Identify two or three works by title and explain their thematic connection.
8. Explain how you plan to continue to develop as an artist in the future.

You must address each of the above questions in this, your first artist statement. However you may
organize the information in any order that seems appropriate to you. As well, you must meet all of the above
listed basic requirements.

Your artist statement (first draft) is due on:___________________

Example #1

For most of my work I have focused on creating successful figure paintings in which I use expressive color and
mark making to clearly demonstrate my ideas. As it became more important how to paint what I saw to
accommodate the increasing complexities of my ideas rather than to provide a perfect representation, I began to
experiment with manipulating the figure, especially in my self portraits. I explored themes such as portraying
different aspects of my personality and trying to find an identity. Outside of figure painting, I began working
experimentally with different mediums and approaches. I became interested in mixed media, collage, and
design-based pieces while still feeling inspired to capture the likeness of a person or describe an object through
brush strokes. As I continue to work, I plan on combining these two elements and making paintings either
based on or including parts of realistic figures while working with abstraction and design to make strong,
unique pieces. Other than technique and style, one of the things that I have learned about art is the importance
of the idea. As my ideas have grown and developed, I noticed that my most successful pieces are those that
began with a strong idea that I feel passionate about. As my ability to articulate my ideas in my paintings has
improved, I come across more and more things that I want to say through art. I have found that through hard
work and determination, I can become an artist.

Example #2

Coming to high school, I started making artwork with little knowledge of the formation of art. With the help of
my experiences, my surroundings, and my teachers, my artwork has developed and matured. My artistic
strengths are composition, line, and color; I find myself more confident with line than anything else.
Composition is also important in my pieces: where the object exists spatially, how it is presented, how the piece
is balanced - it all matters. For example, in my Silent Observation Series, line and composition hold this piece
together: how each drawing is somehow connected by one line in order to lead the eye around the whole piece.
Because of this connection, it was very important where each drawing was placed.

There are two artists that have had a strong influence on my work. One who is very confident with his line
drawings is Bernie McGovern. I bought one of his books a couple years ago, and I found that we had a similar
drawing style with the line and figure. After that I knew what I wanted to do to make my own work original and
standout: keep my drawing style loose, and simple. Another influence on my artwork is Ed Templeton. Both his
artwork and his skateboarding career are inspirational to me. He makes me want to keep going and to do what I
want to do in life. His artwork stands out from other’s work because of the color he uses. He takes things,
people, and experiences out of his life and uses them in his artwork in order to show the world what’s
happening around him. That’s what I want to do with my artwork. I want it to show the life, breath, and sweat
of the society that I am living in today.