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Nailing the dreaded artist statements; aka the "materials and techniques" for newbies and veterans alike

Actually the "artist statement" is the "description of materials and techniques" and the little devils are a giant pain, but they're becoming more and more critical. An artist statement is a different beast altogether and seldom asked for. Larry Berman has suggested that three versions should be written and saved; with the three as 100, 200, and 300 character statements.

The one hundred character statement is probably the hardest, and is more like a mini-tweet ;-) The suggestion was made over on one of the booth shot forum posts that a new thread be started where we could share some examples. I'll start off with mine below, and if someone feels there's a better way to say it, speak right up.

Hopefully we can get a dialog going like we have for the booth shots for newbies post.

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Okay, here's my 200 character statement;

Photographic images of architectural details with emphasis on shape, line, texture, and color in a semi-abstract graphical rendering to bring out character and a well-used sense of purpose.

100 characters;

Photos of architectural details in semi-abstract rendering to bring out character & sense of purpose.

Here are my 100 and 200 character statements that go with my latest body of work.

100 character statement:
High key tulips photographed using film techniques. Mood created from strong backlight and diffusion

149 character statement for over 100 characters:
High key tulips photographed using traditional film techniques. Moods created from strong backlighting, diffusion and the relationships of the stems.

Larry Berman

My 148 character statement...trying to narrow it to 100 but it ain't easy

I design and create my own very unique style of carved fine art boxes from recycled Louisiana woods and numerous exotic woods from around the world.

maybe this?

Unique carved fine art boxes from recycled Louisiana woods and numerous exotic woods from around the world

Unique means it has to be different, and it's understood that you did it without having to say it. "Style" seems superfluous and I think it's stronger without needing it

Thanks Robert...! I am more comfortable working with wood than I am with putting things into words.

This is my 200 character statement;

I work with copper and silver using techniques such as etching, wire working, soldering and texturing with gemstones which holds unique energies to guide, enlighten and inspire as they are worn. 

This is my 300 character statement;

I work with copper and sterling silver using metal smithing techniques such as etching, wire working, soldering and texturing. Each piece of my jewelry is hand crafted by me with gemstones which holds unique healing energies to guide, enlighten and inspire as they are worn. 

I still need to work on a 100 character statement. 

thank you anyone for your input.



Yours is a tough statement to do. 100 characters strips most of the flavor out of it, but it does for everyone else also. I put this into Word and started banging away on it, and got it down to 113 characters. The energy part of the statement had to go, and finally handcrafted had to go to make it readable. I guess at this point you have to ask if they are all handcrafted, or is it assumed they are? If it is, it's a wasted word and can be left out. This is what I came up with, right at 100 characters and spaces with no punctuation point to bring it in at 100;

Jewelry with gemstones using metal smithing techniques; etching, wire working, soldering, texturing 

I'm not a jeweler, so I can't say if this is good or not. I'm looking at it as how much can you cram into 100 characters. When you come down to it, you've got the materials and techniques listed out in here. There just isn't room to embellish it like you have with the 200 and 300 descriptions.

Possibly you could say 'traditional metal smithing techniques". drop the list, and expand on the reasons for the gemstones. This is a toughie and the jewelers need to weigh in on this. You guys have even more competition that the photographers ;-)

Another thought; if you're using traditional methods and the work is energy related; you might think about saying that you're using traditional metalsmithing techniques to get a new Age aesthetic sensibilty or something along those lines.

Take out the word metal, it's redundant. Instead of gemstones make it gems.

Larry Berman

What about reinserting 'handcrafted" if those two changes are made? I don't see how any of that last phrase, "which holds unique energies to guide, enlighten and inspire as they are worn." can be shrunk down to make it usable with those 12 characters removed, unless she uses "Inspirational" in front of jewelry. 

I wouldn't use any of that sentence. There's nothing about the work.


Yes Robert, it has been hard to narrow it down to 100 characters with out losing the 'flavor'! I only had to do it once and basically had what you wrote. So boring, so generic! 
I also agree about 'handcrafted', is it really needed??? Anyone entering into shows better be right ??? I do try to use that word when do submitting for shows. 

I thank you for your spin and it works. 

I'm going to have to disagree once again as I did in the other thread that a 100 and 200 character "Description of Materials & Techniques" shouldn't be referred to as an Artist Statement. Please read what Alan Bamberger states about this subject at this link to his site, or if you don't want to read his info, maybe try Alyson Stanfield's Artbizblog site.


An Artist Statement is more indepth than a 100 or 200 character description of materials. It tells about the artist's motivations and reasons for doing what he does beyond what he's doing it with.


None of these descriptions listed in this thread get indepth enough to be considered as an Artist Statement. They are merely descriptions of materials and techniques.


An Artist Statement doesn't have to be 300 characters or less. Standard practice and advice calls for three short paragraphs of two to three seentences each.


Here's my artist statement. I'll always reevaluate it and revise it......


Barrie Lynn Bryant, Picture Frame Maker

I am a collaborator at heart, and my approach to picture frame designing and making is to collaborate with artwork. I strive to establish a relationship between an artwork and picture frame, and I prefer to create frames that relate to the artworks they present and that are a part of the total art product rather than just as separate vehicles to get artworks on the wall and seen.

I like to brave new territory. That’s more an artistic endeavor for me. I love the opportunity to create shaped frames and frames that consist of an unexpected combination of and use of materials. Borrowing from history is more a chance for revival than replication, and I don’t like to make new frames look like old ones.

I’ve recently discovered gouge-carving and it’s a most intriguing addition to my frame-making skills. I am decorating the surface with free-form and organic shapes that interplay with one another. I will most certainly be producing many more gouge-carved frames in the future.



Since my wife and I are collaborators, we use the following 100 character or less description of materials and technique when applying to shows in zapp and wherever a show calls for such a description:


Finely detailed Imaginative Realism soft pastel & pastel pencil presented in handcrafted frames.

I certainly welcome dialogue about this.



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