Recently I have been asking myself a question.
"What am I trying to achieve with my work?
I have this idea in my head that all of my work should have a greater purpose, a meaning behind it. Perhaps everything exists in it's own, Tarantinoesque universe or maybe there is a question I am seeking to answer?
I have always thought this was what was meant by an artist statement but in reality it isn't as all encompassing.
So what is an artist's statement defined as?
An artist's statement (or artist statement) is an artist's written description of their work. The brief verbal representation is for, and in support of, his or her own work to give the viewer understanding.
I have often wondered what I can actually say about my work and how important it is to spend time on a description of what I am doing.
A friend of mine once told me that she believed the work should speak for itself but that every artist should be able to explain it with confidence.
I started to wonder what I could actually say about my work, whether I can actually explain the thought and meaning behind it.
Some projects I definitely can but I still mostly feel a bit strange explaining the path I have taken with certain pieces.
At the moment, as an artist, I feel that I am simply honing my skills.
Whenever I work on a new project I usually have the goal of learning something through the process, be it a better understanding of perspective or a more confident set of lines.
Curiosity is the driving force.
Is that the current statement for my work, improvement? Learning about the process? Exploring form?
It makes me uncomfortable to talk about meanings and things. It is better not to know so much about what things mean. Because the meaning, it's a very personal thing and the meaning for me is different than the meaning for someone else. David Lynch
As an artist you might want to retain elements of mystery to yourself and your work, I certainly do, but at the same time you also want to be able to give yourself opportunities.
That is why making a statement about your work is important.
Perhaps that's why social media has become such a crucial tool for contemporary artists attempting to communicate with their audiences.
Every time you post a new piece of work online you are creating statements to go with it and maybe that is enough for the modern world.
As I wrote this blog I realised that every time I post a new piece, even a work in progress, it is accompanied by a statement of sorts.
Maybe it's the fear of not being taken seriously, the feeling that I am an impostor compared to other artists and that my statement doesn't really mean anything.
Or maybe I'm overthinking this...
Connecting with your audience
Live videos facebook and Instagram feeds give an artist more of an opportunity to communicate with their audience directly.
It's a window into the process and is almost another layer of creativity that can be applied to an artists body of work without getting too bogged down by detail.
A carefully constructed comment beneath your latest sketch or painting can add meaning without too much thought, and I actually think it's a far truer representation of yourself than something you write and re-write a million times.
This is, of course, all part of the process when it comes to generating ideas.
My thought is that you should enjoy this process and not stress about the meaning because often it just evolves and you should let it.
Being too hooked up on meaning will restrict your creativity so stay flexible.
From a personal point of view, I care about what I am doing and the way I have been doing it in recent years seems to be pushing me in the right direction so why should I worry too much about making elaborate verbal statements.
Bask in your ideas and celebrate them, write them down in notebooks and make your sketchbooks fizz.
Not all ideas will be good ones but you won't know if you don't get them out of your head and onto the page.
The more you make of your ideas the more you will be able to explain the journey, first and foremost, with your visual art, then with the verbal statement if you feel it can add something to the process.
It doesn't have to be the focus of your efforts, it will become a part of what you do as you do it.
Post it online and make your comment, be honest or be mysterious but above all, be true to yourself.
Keep filling your sketchbook, that's an order.