Writing an artist statement
I’m writing an artist statement to hand in for my jury critique. I have an old one, but I feel like it doesn’t describe me anymore. I’m starting by answering questions here.
a. What is your favorite tool? Why?
Tool? Hooks, needles, looms, pokey.
b. What is your favorite material? Why?
Wax, cloth, schlorp.
c. What do you like best about what you do?
I like the physicality of it. I like the feeling of revolution when I finish a well-made object.
d. What do you mean when you say that a piece has turned out really well?
It is something that shows my personality and is well-made.
e. What patterns emerge in your work? Is there a pattern in the way you select materials? In the way you use color, texture or light?
Colours, textures, humour
f. What do you do differently from the way you were taught? Why?
I have no idea what I’m doing.
g. What is your favorite color? List three qualities of the color. Consider that these qualities apply to your work.
Green. Richness, lushness, and different connotations of the word. It can be vulgar and beautiful at the same time.
It’s hard to write about studio work when I haven’t really been doing much studio work.
First paragraph. Begin with a simple statement of why you do the work you do. Support that statement, telling the reader more about your goals and aspirations.
I do the work that I do because I need to make things. Artwork gives me a way to incorporate my personality into a secondary object, describing my feelings and thoughts. My goals are to create a body of work which is cohesive, which I feel like I still do not have.
Second paragraph. Tell the reader how you make decisions in the course of your work. How and why do you select materials, techniques, themes? Keep it simple and tell the truth.
I make decisions intuitively. Even with technical processes like weaving, I try and keep prior decision-making to a minimum. I tend to change my mind often, and deciding what I’m going to make before it happens turns the actual creation of the object into a boring exercise. I feel like if I’ve already pictured the item in my head there is no point in making it anymore. I select materials with tactile or colour qualities that intrigue me. Humour is very important to me, but I am having a hard time incorporating it into more technical works, or using it without creating something tacky and over-the-top. I feel like there is no middle-ground here.
Third paragraph. Tell the reader a little more about your current work. How it grew out of prior work or life experiences. What are you exploring, attempting, challenging by doing this work.
My current work is very sporadic, as I have not had much studio time. The weavings are technical exercises, but I have challenged myself by using stainless steel, a difficult material to work with, to force myself to slow down and be more patient. My print pieces are working towards a set of garments to create personas. The first ones are occupational but utopian: The Baker, the Gardener, and the Factory Worker. The final garment is a conglomeration of what I wish to be, a super-confident mingling person. The purpose of the garment itself is subverted by the fact that I can not in a million years picture myself as such, and even my preliminary drawings are kind of depressing. The dazzle-camouflage creates a barrier between myself and the person I am communicating with, and the hood and the layers of printed cloth add another place to hide. These personas come from a struggle with social anxiety, which has become more pressing during the last semester. I am using the separate personas to become someone else and step away from my fears.