Why is it useful for creative people such as visual artists to practice forming artist statements? The answer is that an artist’s statement can provide meaningful direction for the artist to create compelling art. The definition of ‘compelling’ in this context means to evoke interest, grab attention, or captivate.
Keep in mind, an artist statement can be developed long before a piece of art is even created. Let’s take the example of the statement I created relating to the photo of the uprooted tree, “taken the fall so you’ll never have to”. Here are the steps I took to form this artist statement:
- I created an intention of wanting to generate new ideas and concepts for painting onto canvas.
- I chose a physical environment to place myself into in order to actively observe. In this particular case, I chose a forest on an overcast day because I wanted to experience solitude, peace, and fresh air.
- As I walked through this forest environment, I reflected upon particular aspects of my own life while actively observing both my feelings and the forest surroundings at the same time.
- I paid close attention to any immediate thoughts that stood out or captured my attention. When I observed this fallen tree, the analogy of how people can ‘take falls’ similar to trees popped into my mind.
- The initial ‘thought of interest’ was then consciously developed into the more formal artist statement of “taken the fall so you’ll never have to”. It is important for the statement to be recorded on paper or electronically and not just kept solely in the mind of the artist. This will help positively reinforce the concept of the statement in the artist’s mind.
It is from this statement that potential for creating visually interesting paintings exists. In essence, there are an infinite number of ‘statements’ that the world can offer, they simply have to be observed, captured, and recorded.