One key piece of our work that I’m particularly proud of is helping creatives identify their unique values as artists. More often than not, we undervalue our potential strong points of views as artists because we’re afraid of limiting ourselves. We just want the work. It can feel like if we narrow our focus, we’ll miss out on jobs and subsequently money / ultimate success. Especially at the outset of a creative’s career, having a focus and strong point of view can actually help you find your “in” even quicker.
When you think about it, that makes sense for any business. It would be a bad idea for little Mallory to expand beyond her lemonade stand and start selling homemade soft drinks and coffee if she hadn’t yet broken in and created a brand that folks trusted.
An Artist’s Statement allows you to lay out succinctly the purpose, value and future of your creative business.
It allows you to put thought into why you’re doing what you’re doing given all the difficulties you are already aware of and it can pave the way for helping you to better understand how to market yourself and grow an overall brand.
I like to take an Artist’s Statement a step further than the norm which is typically just a “description of your work” and approach it with the same structure of most organizations’ “statements” through the lens of Mission – Values – Vision.
Your Artist’s Statement can take time to form itself. It doesn’t need outright answers and decisions in a matter of moments.
If you have given yourself the goal of trying to narrow in on your artistic purpose and your product’s point of view, you could really need this patience and compassion. And just like your plan, it can and should morph as your business develops.
Over the course of the next few weeks we will explore each component of your Artist’s Statement (Mission – Values – Vision) and try to understand the process for creating each of those pieces.
In the immediate, I would simply begin to think through the purpose of your work, what you value as a creative entrepreneur from an artistic and business standpoint and where you want your business to go.