Herding Fish

coaching for artists and makers

Write a new artist statement

13 April 2022

In the bewilderment that is 2022, some of what we thought we knew about ourselves and our work no longer holds. It just doesn’t fit us anymore. The lines and clusters of words you’ve used since you started are worn out. Artists who clearly articulate what they do and why can write a great artist statement, get a head start on their social media, and even which opportunities to apply to. If you’re needing to re-frame your practice or write a new artist statement, here’s a big list of prompts that might help spark some new angles.

I generally start with:

  • What do you make/do/produce?
  • What materials + processes do you use?
  • Where do you do it
  • Why is this work unique to you?
  • Tell me something about it that no-one else could do.


  • Why have you chosen particular titles?
  • What’s new/different in your current body of work?
  • How do you feel about your most recent work?

This list from ArtsCulture in SW of England slides from the slight to the serious, and is bound to have a handful to get the wheels turning. Which ones would you start with?

  • Who are you and what do you do?
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • How do you work?
  • What’s your background?
  • What’s integral to the work of an artist?
  • What role does the artist have in society?
  • What has been a seminal experience?
  • Explain what you do in 100 words
  • How has your practice changed over time
  • What art do you most identify with?
  • What work do you most enjoy doing?
  • What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?
  • What themes do you pursue?
  • What’s your scariest experience?
  • What’s your favourite art work?
  • Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
  • What’s your most embarrassing moment?
  • What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
  • Why art?
  • What is an artistic outlook on life?
  • What memorable responses have you had to your work?
  • What food, drink, song inspires you?
  • Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
  • What do you dislike about the art world?
  • What do you dislike about your work?
  • What do you like about your work?
  • Should art be funded?
  • What role does arts funding have?
  • What makes you angry?
  • What research to you do?
  • What superpower would you have and why?
  • Name something you love, and why.
  • Name something you don’t love, and why.
  • What is your dream project?
  • Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
  • Favourite or most inspirational place?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
  • Professionally, what’s your goal?
  • What wouldn’t you do without?

Hopefully something here prompts a fresh approach to writing yourself a great artist statement that fully reflects your practice in 2022.