Many artists ask me what the difference is between an artist statement and an artist bio.  Depending on your intentions for their use, they may in fact be very similar, each perhaps conveying the style of your work, your inspiration and your professional success.

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It is best to craft a statement and bio that are fairly unique to one another to start with, however, your bio statement should be written in third person and a statement written in first person.

I personally have a number of artists statements. These range from different times in my career, from different stylistic periods in my career and are of various lengths. An example of this is with my current artist statement. I have three different versions of this statement, depending upon where I am showing it or presenting it.

The first version is the extended version. The second version is a condensed version of the first. The third version is a highly edited very short and concise text. I’ve also done a similar thing with my biography. I keep all of these versions on hand and send them around to whoever is requiring them.

There is no point in sending out a 2000 word artist statement when what is being requested is a 250 word max statement, it will simply only make it into the trash bin.

An artist bio should include, not necessarily in this order:

Where you live/work

Some personal history (optional)

Brief description of your work

Shows and collections/performances


An artist statement is your chance to share insight about what drives your work with viewers, listeners, buyers and journalists.

A statement shouldn’t be lengthy; one to two paragraphs is enough.

It shouldn’t be flowery. Every word is deliberate. And every word is there to help readers understand who you are and why your work matters.

These words will convey you as a professional while building excitement about your craft.

When you sit down to create or edit your statement, here are a few questions you might considering answering with your text.

Why do you create art and what does it mean to you?

How does the creation of art make you feel? What emotions do you wish to convey?

If the statement refers to a specific piece, why did you choose to represent this piece in this way?  What do you call the piece and why? What materials did you use? What are the dimensions of the piece?

What inspires you? How are your inspirations expressed in your work?

What message are you trying to convey to the viewer?

How much time is spent creating your pieces?

How is your work a reflection of you?

What artists (living or dead) have influenced you?

What is your vision/philosophy?

What are your goals for the future?

What are your techniques and style and how do these relate to the medium?

How do your techniques and style relate to your vision/philosophy?

When writing or talking about your work, touch on your inspirations but try to move into some more formal elements of your work, such as:

Medium. Why is the artist using this particular medium?

What are its advantages? Its limitations?

Lines. Are the lines thick or thin? Largely vertical or horizontal? Straight or curved?

What is achieved by this particular use of line?

Colour. Is the colour realistic or expressive? Warm or cool? Bright or muted? And to what effect?

Light. How is light used? How is shadow used? Is there any play between the two? What is communicated to the viewer?

Space. What is the sense of space in the work you’ve chosen? Is there great depth, or is the visual plane shallow?

How are the elements of the work configured in that space? How does the sense of space affect the subject matter?

Composition. How do the various formal elements of the work interact? How does the composition convey the work’s theme or idea?

How does the eye move across the piece?

How does the composition control that movement?

Style. What elements of the composition work to constitute the artist’s style? The style of the period in which the artist was/is working?

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