We’ve come around now to the beginning of another new year. While I’ve never been one to set New Year’s resolutions, I have become a “mission maker”. It’s necessary, I think, for us to assess not only where we are, but where we want to be. Having a sense of purpose gives meaning to life.
There are, of course, many different aspects to life, and therefore many different mission statements we can each make. We lead busy lives, and art may be only one part of who we are and what we do. It is, however, an important part.
I’ve always enjoyed reading artists’ mission statements, and I’ve often wished I could put together a clear, concise, definitive statement of who I am as an artist. Of course, at this stage, it’s not possible. I’m still exploring, still learning, and still growing.
My mission as an artist in 2017, I decided, would be to gain enough knowledge — about art and about myself — to make it possible to create a statement of my own. I want to try many different things, improve my oil painting techniques, and work toward expressing my voice through art. I want to learn to look within as Caspar David Friedrich tells us.
Earlier today, I was browsing the web, looking for some of the inspiring artist mission statements I’ve read in the past. Instead of sharing them, though, I want to show a few fun things I found online.
First, there’s a handy fill-in-the-blanks do-it-yourself Artist Statement.
I was rather surprised to learn that writing an artist’s mission statement is a very popular topic on the web with many “how-to” sites to help out:
I learned that not only individual artists but also art schools, museums, and galleries create mission statements to make their purpose clear.
But let’s move beyond these serious sites and have a little fun! Did you know there are artist statement generators online that will quickly create a mission statement just for you!
First, there’s the “Arty Bollocks” generator which produced this statement for me:
My work explores the relationship between gender politics and recycling culture.
With influences as diverse as Kierkegaard and Joni Mitchell, new tensions are generated from both explicit and implicit textures.
Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by the traditional understanding of the universe. What starts out as triumph soon becomes debased into a hegemony of futility, leaving only a sense of chaos and the possibility of a new reality.
As temporal forms become transformed through studious and repetitive practice, the viewer is left with a tribute to the edges of our era.
OK, so maybe that’s not too practical. It’s not too reflective of who I am as an artist. Better results can be found with the “500 Letters” generator. There’s an interesting story behind this one, but I’ll skip it and let you read it for yourself. You’ll find it here.
To use this generator, you’re required to provide a bit of information about yourself and your art. The result is a fairly long, involved artist mission statement that could make any artist proud. Here are a few highlights from mine:
Judith Kraus is an artist who mainly works with painting…rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination…paintings establish a link between the landscape’s reality and that imagined by its conceiver…works are often classified as part of the new romantic movement…exploring the concept of landscape in a nostalgic way…open a unique poetic vein…the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned.
Yes, it’s all for fun, but it has made me think a bit about how I would like to be known as an artist, to focus on what my voice is trying to say.
And…if you want to get really funky and have a few laughs, don’t miss the “Mad-Lib” type statement generator at “10 Gallon“. I’ll spare you the silliness of my “madlib” mission except for this nice little tidbit:
My work is in the private collection of Gavin McLeod who said ‘Oh my goodness gracious, that’s some real beautiful Art’.
Hey, I like it!
Have fun, and have a wonderfully inspiring year of art in 2017.