Artist Statement

Apparently everyone who is in the creative arts should have an Artist Statement, much like organizations have vision statements and mission statements.

It is not goal-setting; this comes after that chore.

The idea is to keep you on track with your goal, add fire to your muse and motivate you to carry on when difficulties and obstacles arise, which they always do.

Re-reading your Artist Statement, polishing it, making sure your goal and path align what it states is  important. Sometimes we get lost in the morass and chaos of creation. We get so excited and interested in a new project or work we don’t realize that although we are on track with our goal, suddenly the path or the goal itself are slightly off-kilter from our Artist Statement, our vision.

This is not always a bad thing; often the Artist Statement is made in the early stages of the journey, and we don’t know what we don’t know … or our interests change as we grow.

Using myself as an example, when I set my goal to publish a novel in five years (not a lofty goal, I know, but one I thought I could manage), I was interested in writing suspense/horror thrillers like Stephen King or Dean Koontz. I had an idea in mind for a story and I jumped into it.

Thus, when I threw down my Artist Statement, it looked like this:

I want to write to explore the depths of my own psyche, to bring out previously unheeded or unwanted thoughts and ideas within others, and to set something down that will live beyond me.

I wish to speak of the life interrupted, the lightning shift of life events.

Over the last year or so, I have taken to writing stories and works in progress that are better served as crime fiction./thrillers along the lines of Lee Child.

So today I realized that, while my  Artist Statement still applied within the scope of what I was writing and my goal, it was not quite aligned with my current path. So I changed it to match my changed path to my unchanged goal.

I added one line:

I desire to excite the reader and myself with a plot-driven yet character-rich crime fiction novel.

I believe this incorporates what I am doing and how I want to feel about my work.

The Artist Statement is not meant to be shared with the world, as it opens the artist up to the laughter of loved ones, scorn of so-called friends and the onslaught of hordes of were-gypsies casting spells to steal your soul, but hey! I can always delete this later.

So …

What about you?

Do you have an artist statement?

If so, how is it looking today?

Does it align with your goal and the path you are on now?

Are you brave enough to share?

<steps back, laughs, shovels a heap of scorn onto your head, and morphs into a wolverine wearing a diklo and a gold necklace, chanting “tolle animam eius!”>.


OK, <returns to simpering scribe>

No problem, you’re not supposed to, remember?



2 thoughts on “Artist Statement

  1. Ursula Hiatt

    Dear, dear Colin I am simply amazed at your out-put and, as each contribution flows in towards me, I think : I’m going to enjoy all these and just hope it won’t be too long before I’m freed up to do so. As you’ve realised, I’ve never quite had a time like this and your sympathy and empathy and kindness are much appreciated, for each day seems to bring in a fresh conundrum (although I DO have many permissions, by now) and those publishers who have taken the longest to get back to me, are the ones that are making me work the hardest. For example, Harper Collins took 4 and 1/2 months to let me know they are not the copyright holders, and so I have to start all over again, and, yesterday, after an initial request in early July, I find that W.W. Norton are having difficulty tracing who or what can give me permission for six very important short poems… There are also thirteen photos I’m needing, for which I’ve not yet had any reply, and – if I can’t obtain any of these quotes or illustrations – I have to change the wording in all the relevant chapters. So, it will definitely be a next-year publication and, on that question – since you mentioned that you might have to self-publish – the VERY BEST people to prepare this for you (that I have come across, anyway) are Polgarus, in TASMANIA. Look up their site and I think you’ll be impressed. Cheap, efficient, caring and very conscious of what is needed… So, dear friend and cousin and kindest (and talented!) of people – keep writing and keep sending them and keep knowing how much I value you – and that I send you so much love – Ursula Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2014 19:34:20 +0000

    1. colinjkeats Post author

      Thank you for your encouragement my dearest Ursula. I am glad you have enjoyed what you haveread so far. I apologize for not taking the time to write a proper email letter to you. I promise I will do so later today but not in this forum, as it is public. Much love!


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