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What About That Small Grain of Sand in Your Artist’s Shoe?

What About That Small Grain of Sand in Your Artist’s Shoe?

I know, your artist-career palette is brimming over.

There are sales to consider. How to be, and stay, connected to collectors. Where to show your work. The website updates that haven’t been dealt with. The studio that needs an overhaul.

And goodness only knows, that’s just the career side of your life.

So here I come and yammer on about that small grain of sand in your artist’s shoe: artist statements.

I can only imagine that taking five minutes out of your day feels like five years.

But let me tell how much I’ve learned from those of you who took 5 minutes and completed my easy-peasy survey.

I’ve learned that some of you want to:

  • Know more about what collectors need from you
  • Feel more confident writing about your work
  • Understand why you do what you do! (Seems as if you have the what you do, and how you do it, under wraps.)
  • Identify the true spirit of your work

The irony here is that one of the mainstays of any artist’s careers are the collectors. And when you know what to write for them to become, and stay, engaged with you, that grain of sand in your shoe becomes a sun-warmed beach with aqua waters.

What do you want at this point in your art career? Now’s the time.

Come tell me what will help you get where you want to go!

Remember, revealing the true spirit of your work…is the work,

Ariane Goodwin Writing The Artist Statement. Writing and Editing relief for the Creative Entrepreneur.

 

 

 

Your Truth. Your Power. Your Word. Claim it!

P.S. I even give you a space in the survey to tell me anything you’d like me to know about you, your art, and your art career.

P.S.S. You have no idea about all the areas of an art career I can weave into an artist statement workshop. All I need to know is what do you need. So, come tell me!

What About That Small Grain of Sand in Your Artist’s Shoe?

Why, oh, why is writing your artist statement so hard?

I wish I knew the answer. I have a few hunches from my decades of working with artists around the globe.

But what I don’t know is what your reasons are.

If I did, then I would be able to create a live workshop based around your specific needs.

So, will you pretty please, indulge me?

I’ve designed an easy, quick survey to help me understand the best way to help you write the most compelling artist statement you can—even if you don’t like to write!

Even if you’ve convinced yourself that you don’t need one.

Even if you have written one, but aren’t sure it will get the results you want: deeper, more engaged connection with current and potential collectors.

Click Here and tell me what will help you get there.

Remember, revealing the true spirit of your work…is the work,

Ariane Goodwin Writing The Artist Statement. Writing and Editing relief for the Creative Entrepreneur.

 

 

 

Your Truth. Your Power. Your Word. Claim it!

P.S. I know, you may have read my book cover to cover, and still tackling that statement eludes you. I’d like to fix that. But first, I have to know more about you and your work.
Click here and tell me!

P.S.S. Here’s a thought from another artist:

Hello Ariane

I enjoyed your commentary about artists’ statements. Your tips are very useful and I hope they help some artists review or rewrite their statement. I find it interesting, though,

that many artists actually don’t want to write one. They say they don’t need a statement

because their art speaks for itself! They refuse to understand that the statement makes their art more accessible and understandable to a wider audience. I personally think it is very important. ~ Vered Galor, sculptor/photographer

What About That Small Grain of Sand in Your Artist’s Shoe?

In gratitude…and pretty please would you…

I’m taking  a breather after the mad rush of my Holiday Bonus, which I paired with a purchase of my book, Writing the Artist Statement: Revealing the True Spirit of Your Work.

It was a roaring success and I want to thank everyone who jumped in!

Now, my inner headlights are scanning the art career horizon for how I can best support your art career right now.

I have a couple of ideas, but what I really need is to hear from you about what you really, really need.

So, I’m crafting a short survey with questions aimed at just this: how to best support you and your art career.

If you have one or more questions you would like me to ask in this survey, please either 1)  send me an email  or 2) post a comment here on my Reflections Blog.

Remember, revealing the true spirit of your work…is the work,
even in challenging times,

Ariane Goodwin Writing The Artist Statement. Writing and Editing relief for the Creative Entrepreneur.

 

 

 

Your Truth. Your Power. Your Word. Claim it!

P.S. One area I’m thinking about is mindset/stumbling blocks to either your creativity, your production ability, or the business side of your career.

Another is a hands-on workshop to write your Artist Statement, and/or Art Statements for individual collections/installations/or a series.

What do you think?

What About That Small Grain of Sand in Your Artist’s Shoe?

So, How Do You Get Personal, Be Vulnerable, Be Real? Part 2

Ariane Goodwin, Ph.D.
An Educator, Editor, Writer, and Art Career Coach
who believes artists change the world!

Part 2: Getting Personal, Being Real

Getting personal and being real is really pretty simple when you write about you and your art.

Sometimes, it’s helpful to clear out the writing weeds… so…

First, what it’s not:
It’s not the therapy-style of baring-your-soul.

It’s not the I-love-you-and-need-to-tell-you-everything hashtag.

It’s not the because-I-need-love-I’ll-cut-open-a-vein-for-you hashtag.

Or winging it because you’re going for the informal look.

In an artist statement, getting personal and being real is limited; it’s focus is on your relationship to your art where your feelings, preferences, and vision can offer a potential collector what I call a “peek behind the canvas (or potting wheel, or marble, or cello…).”

The key here is “a peek.” You don’t need much in an artist statement that is only three paragraphs long (best case scenario), or even one page long (not the most desirable, but can work). And your reader only needs enough to feel as if you, like them, are real.

Sometimes it’s as simple as connecting a daily task to what you do:

Waking up before sunrise, rolling out of bed, one of the first imagines to rise in my consciousness is where I left off last night with my newest piece, Sky High.

That’s the spirit of how you want to connect.

There’s also a couple of writing techniques that, by their nature, open the door to getting personal and being real.

The first is the all-important I: first person. 
This one can get tricky, especially if you are harboring obvious or hidden places where you lack confidence in your work.

Speaking in the first person, especially when you are writing, is saying: this is me. I stand in my truth wholly, fully, completely.

And sometimes, for some artists, first person be unnerving—anything from a slight discomfort to downright panic. It’s the most vulnerable position you can take.

And it’s essential you do.

Because, if you use third person, your statement sounds like a critic wrote it, and you are not a critic. Or it sounds as if an academic wrote it, but you are the artist (even if you also happen to be an academic).

It’s your work, not their work. So, owning it is actually the first step.

The second technique is specificity.

When you use generalities or overworn language, you immediately become no one (or everyone). Even if your art is fully original, with a well-developed fingerprint, if the language you use in your artist statement contradicts that, you immediately create dissonance in the mind of your potential collector.

Compare this:

As I shape the clay, I’m drawn into the pot as if I’m in a dream.

With this:

As the wet clay cools my palm, the emerging pot draws me into a rhythmic dream where the smell of clean earth rises ‘round me.

With word specificity, you can capture the same uniqueness that your art exudes.

That’s it.

You can interweave these three simple elements—a peek behind the curtain, first person, and specificity—with the core elements of your artist statement—the why, how, and why of your relationship to your art—and draw people even closer to the work that you love to make.

Remember, revealing the true spirit of your work…is the work,
even in challenging times,

Ariane Goodwin Writing The Artist Statement. Writing and Editing relief for the Creative Entrepreneur.

 

 

 

Your truth. Your power. Your words. Claim it!

P.S. Want the whole system? And my Holiday Bonus10 Tips for a Perfect Artist Statement Presentation?

P.S. Remember, just for the holidays, I’m offering a HUGE Holiday Bonus when you buy my book, Writing The Artist Statement: Revealing the True Spirit of Your Work.

Ready for more? Click here!

Buy my book by the January 14th deadline:

Writing The Artist Statement:
Revealing The True Spirit Of Your Work
Ariane Goodwin, Ph.D.

The first & only complete resource book that works for visual artists at all levels: beginning / mid-career / advanced

My artistic partner is dyslexic, with a real writing phobia. Your book is a fantastic teaching air. The floodgates have opened and made him realize that he can write. What a godsend! ~J. Brett, London, UK

  • Overcome writing blocks
  • Avoid 7 blunders that tag you as an amateur
  • Make your statement engaging and compelling
  • Learn why galleries & collectors love good ones (even if you don’t)
  • Use the power of sensory connection to help people remember you
  • And get the Holiday Bonus: 10 Tips for a Perfect Artist Statement Presentation

Writing your statement has never been so easy! And that’s a promise…

  • P.S.S. If you already have my book, but still want 10 Tips for a Perfect Artist Statement Presentation, send me an email: ariane@arianegoodwin.com

Revealing what, how and why you do your art does not dismantle either the beauty or mystery of it. Quite the opposite. Your effort to reach out invites others to participate in the mystery and to share the beauty.

Ariane

What About That Small Grain of Sand in Your Artist’s Shoe?

So, How Do You Get Personal, Be Vulnerable, Be Real?

Ariane Goodwin, Ph.D.
An Educator, Editor, Writer, and Art Career Coach
who believes artists change the world!

 

Part 1: Being Vulnerable

The very nature of an effective artist statement is all about revealing the true spirit of your work. And there’s really no way to accomplish this if you have your guard up, if you’re “armored,” as Brené Brown has pointed out in her talks on the power of vulnerability.

First, let’s dispel that clinch in our stomachs when someone asks us to be vulnerable.

As you can see, I’ve sandwiched it in-between personal and be real because I instinctively wanted to buffer a word that triggers so much anxiety for so many of us. Yes, I’m including myself.

Turns out that Merriam-Webster validates that clinching sensation.

Vulnerable

1: capable of being physically or emotionally wounded

2: open to attack or damage : assailable, vulnerable to criticism

3: liable to increased penalties, but entitled to increased bonuses after winning a game in contract bridge

Oddly enough, it’s No.3 that holds the key to the kind of vulnerability you need in your artist statement:  entitled to increased bonuses (more on this in a minute).

Here’s a fourth definition, spinning out of the self-help culture, that Merriam-Webster has neglected.

Vulnerable: the willingness to be open with others.

The key to this kind of openness is paying attention to your emotional boundaries.

Our 1960s counter-culture flooded the emotional landscape with group exercises for the anything-goes self-revelations. Baring one’s soul (and deepest, darkest secrets) was thought to bring down the father-knows-best superficiality of family perfection that demanded everyone in the family be perfect.

During that time, even imperfections had to be screened for their appropriateness according to what the media censors deemed acceptable. The 1960s counter culture was determined to tear down the suffocating walls of personal, and social, superficiality that denied the messiness and zig-zag journey of being human and alive.

In those days, some boundaries were built in: you didn’t have the entire online world watching you writhe in said vulnerability, only a small roomful of willing participants.

On the other hand, there was little to no psychological awareness that self-revelation without safe boundaries could deep-dive a participant into reliving traumas that neither they, nor the group leaders were prepared for.

The current irony of our social media culture is that once again presentation perfect rules the day. Only this time, showing a hint (or more) of “openness” has become part of the perfection requirement.

I watched this in real time the other day as an artist, hawking her online workshops for other artists, used a medical condition of hers to build “connection” and “trust” with her audience. See… if I, with this debilitating condition, can do this…so can you!!

It’s powerful. And it works. The trick is understanding how to set your boundaries. And the trick to setting boundaries is being clear about your intentions.

Okay then, what’s the real intention behind revealing the true spirit of your work?

We’ve gone over this before, that your artist statement is about building a connection with your potential and active collectors that reinforces the connection they already feel from seeing your work.

Why? Because what is more organic to humans than language?

Words are our birthright, for language is as basic to the human psyche as bones are to the human body. First baby words proclaim us even before our first baby steps.

Even when people can‘t speak or hear, they will still create words out of movements, signs and symbols. Remember Helen Keller? A child without words, without language? Lost in a cave of imponderable loss until she was given one word: water.

Your artist statement has the potential to be just as powerful, just as life-affirming.

Step #1: Write out your intention for your artist statement.

Step #2: Decide to pay attention to how you are willing to be vulnerable. What about the how, why, and what you do makes you feel human? Makes you feel alive? Where does your own process touch your heart, your spirit, your soul?

When you get in touch with that, when the words come for that self-revelation, now pay attention to your personal boundary of what feels safe to reveal.

How? By paying attention to your body because it will tell you exactly where to draw the line. Even as your brain/mind wants to dominate the process, be mindful of the little movements in your body. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, a bit off-kilter, that’s probably okay. If you start to feel wary, or anxious, or disturbed, then you need to back up, reveal less, or reveal in a more circumspect way.

It’s an inner gauge somewhere in-between what feels just shy of uncomfortable (that’s okay, that’s normal when we’re revealing something real about ourselves), but not stomach-clinching anxious.

Perhaps a childhood experience underpins your work, but you’re not about to go into detail. You don’t have to. A simple:

I was quite young when I experienced that not all was right with the world. In search of peace, I found solace in the woods behind my home. Today, my photographs reflect the quiet safety I felt curled up in nature’s arms.

In this revelation, there is a willingness to be open with others, but there are no emotional red flags. The artist has been vulnerable, and rightfully resisted over sharing.

Being vulnerable is your ticket to authentic connection with your viewers. Use it sparingly, but use it.

Because (remember No.3 Merriam-Webster definition: entitled to increased bonuses), when you choose vulnerability wisely, the bonus is more connection with people who love your work, greater trust, and by extension greater credibility.

Remember, revealing the true spirit of your work…is the work,
even in challenging times,

Ariane Goodwin Writing The Artist Statement. Writing and Editing relief for the Creative Entrepreneur.

 

 

 

P.S. Want the whole system? And my Holiday Bonus10 Tips for a Perfect Artist Statement Presentation?

Buy my book by the January 14th deadline:

Writing The Artist Statement: Revealing The True Spirit Of Your Work

Ariane Goodwin, Ph.D.

The first & only complete resource book that works for visual artists at all levels: beginning / mid-career / advanced

  • Overcome writing blocks
  • Avoid 7 blunders that tag you as an amateur
  • Make your statement engaging and compelling
  • Learn why galleries & collectors love good ones (even if you don’t)
  • Use the power of sensory connection to help people remember you
  • And get the Holiday Bonus: 10 Tips for a Perfect Artist Statement Presentation

Writing your statement has never been so easy! And that’s a promise…

  • P.S.S. If you already have my book, but still want 10 Tips for a Perfect Artist Statement Presentation, send me an email: ariane@arianegoodwin.com

Revealing what, how and why you do your art does not dismantle either the beauty or mystery of it. Quite the opposite. Your effort to reach out invites others to participate in the mystery and to share the beauty.

Ariane

What About That Small Grain of Sand in Your Artist’s Shoe?

About Them & You Two Truths About Your Artist Statement

Ariane Goodwin, Ph.D. An Educator, Author, and Editor who believes artists change the world!

The first truth is about them—the people who see your art, the people who are moved by your art, and immediately have this very human desire to know more about you: the person who moved them. Sure, they can stand there (or move their cursor around), and stare some more. Maybe even strike up a conversation with someone next to them about what they are seeing. “Honey, come look at this. What do you think?” Or, you could have this killer artist statement that keeps them right there, next to your work, contemplating it even more. Because, when you capture that next layer of insight and awareness–without detracting from their perspective–you have built a psychological bridge between the you, the artist, and your potential buyer. A Very True Artist Story When one of my private clients held a solo exhibition of his sculpture, he mounted an “art” statement next to each piece, following my suggestion to display the statements along with his artwork. Each typed statement was mounted at the top of a thin, metal pole rising from a stand that was shoulder height, so you could walk right up and read it, even if you were peering over someone else’s shoulder. (When you buy my book before January 14, you get a HOLIDAY BONUS on presentation techniques!) I arrived at the opening early and made a point to observe rather than engage. And what I saw truly astounded me. All evening, with over 200 guests, someone would approach one of the sculptures, glance briefly at the sculpture, then immediately turn and read the art statement. Then they would turn back with an appreciative nod or smile and really look at the sculpture, walk around it, talk about it, walk around it some more. I could almost see their brains at work on their faces as what they read registered with what they saw. At the heart of your artist statement… … lies a simple reality: an effective statement creates a personal connection to your artwork because it stimulates our human thirst for story. This, in turn, triggers longer memory storage about you and your work, because it immerses the viewer in not just one, but two languages: visual and linguistic. Artist Statement Truth No. 2 This truth is a bit sneaky because it’s not at all what people think an artist statement is for. Besides the art patrons and gallery owners, besides your website, your artist statement is also for you. Not the marketing-business you, but the artist you. When you gather up the courage to write your artist statement, it gives you a new way to reflect upon your work. When you dare to climb this small, professional Mr. Everest, a surprising view of your own work waits for you at the top. The very effort of searching for words that reflect your relationship to your art increases your creative flow. This is true whenever we engage in a form of self-expression that pushes us out of our comfort zone. Like sweat from physical exertion, the very struggle gets our juices flowing. One of the great keys to creativity is to shake things up, get out of familiar mindsets, work against the grain. Sometimes it is hard for an artist — whose artwork is based on uniqueness — to realize how easy it is for any pattern to become familiar. Writing your artist statement will draw art buyers closer to your work even as it deepens your own awareness. As another sculptor, Norbert Ohnmacht, told me:
Writing my artist statement gave me a chance to focus on myself. It opened up more creative juice and self-expression than I had experienced in a long time. Taming my internal critic, and the roadblocks to my inner mind, gave me new skills to express my heartfelt emotions to others. Working on my statement gave me the opportunity to delve into my inner soul and reflect on the science of “me.” When I took the time to evaluate what, how and why I do what I do, it refined my work and gave me a fresh, determined self-confidence that I had lacked before.
On the flip side, a poorly done statement lowers your credibility. Even if collectors love your work, an artist statement that comes off as arrogant, naïve, pushy, academic, or fluffy taints your artwork by association. Why take that chance? Your work deserves an artist statement that gives you the professional edge you need. Wishing you the courage to reveal the true spirit of your work, Ariane Goodwin Writing The Artist Statement. Writing and Editing relief for the Creative Entrepreneur.       Your truth. Your power. Your word. Claim it! If you don’t like to write or don’t trust your writing, check out what this artist has to say about my book: Writing the Artist Statement: Revealing the True Spirit of Your Work. “Your book was a lifesaver! The writing exercises took away my fear and made a difference, not just in my writing, but also in my work. I would have been lost and frustrated without it!” ~Lauren Simon, ceramic artist And, this artist… “This book is motivating and reassuring. It provides an easy, workable approach that removes the barriers to writing an artist statement. It is a great addition to any artist’s reference library.” ~R.H. McMurray, painter P.S. Want the whole system? Ariane Goodwin Writing the Artist Statement: Revealing the True Spirit of Your Work

Writing The Artist Statement: Revealing The True Spirit Of Your Work – by Ariane Goodwin, Ph.D. the first & only complete resource book that works for visual artists at all levels: beginning / mid-career / advanced

 
  • Overcome writing blocks
  • Avoid 7 blunders that tag you as an amateur
  • Make your statement engaging and compelling
  • Learn why galleries & collectors love good ones (even if you don’t)
  • Use the power of sensory connection to help people remember you
P.S. Writing your statement has never been so easy! And that’s a promise…