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How to Write an Artist Statement for College Applications

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Congratulations, you’re an artist!

You’re pursuing a degree in art, a decision that will hopefully propel you into a fulfilling and successful creative career. 

Many colleges and universities ask art students to write an Artist Statement as part of their applications. Writing an Artist Statement can be tricky, especially if you’re applying as an undergraduate. You are likely a teenager, and it’s very possible that you have not yet had to define what you do and make yet. 

If you choose to pursue art as a career, you will have to continuously convey what your art means to you, who your influences are, and why you create your art. So, this is the perfect time to start thinking critically about what you want to say. After all, you may need to memorize an elevator pitch for your art one day.

Here are some prompts to get your brainstorming off the ground:

  • Why did you start making art? What inspired you to act on your creative instincts? 
  • What do you like to make and what’s your preferred medium? What are your favorite tools?
  • Which artists have inspired you? Who do you hope to emulate (if anyone)?
  • What is your process like? How have you honed your process over the years?
  • Is there a particular piece of art or museum that ignites your curiosity or passion?
  • What, generally speaking, is your art about? Or what does it seek to address? What is the overarching theme? What are you trying to say?

These don’t have to be static answers, of course; they will change over your evolving life as an artist, but now is the time to try to pin down a basic explanation of what your art means to you, what it addresses, and why you want to spend the rest of your life immersed in it.

The artist statement can be super challenging, but also ridiculously fun! You get to ponder your inspiration, motivations, and instincts. Heck, this exercise might even spark an idea for a new project!

Ultimately, like with all written components of your application, it’s integral to be highly specific and use personal details to bring your statement to life. We’re wishing you luck and inspiration!


Ready to start your personal statement?
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