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Photographer Artist Statements - Help!

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tashytoo
tashytoo  2 England
7 May 2012 - 1:39 PM

I was wondering if anyone has had to write a statement about themselves and their practice. I am finding it pretty hard to write one that reflects me and the content of my work effectively. Has anyone any experience in this matter? Or perhaps you would be willing to help me and see if what I have said about myself and my photographic works.

Thanks a million for taking the time to read this,

Natasha Parr

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7 May 2012 - 1:39 PM

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tashytoo
tashytoo  2 England
7 May 2012 - 1:41 PM

Or perhaps you would be willing to help me and see if what I have said about myself and my photographic works MAKES SENSE! Sorry seems I am not making much sense!

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139503 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
7 May 2012 - 2:54 PM


Quote: Or perhaps you would be willing to help me and see if what I have said about myself and my photographic works

Hi Natasha! Why don't you post on here the draft of what you want to say? Smile

Or is it what you have said in the 'About Me' bit of your PF?

tashytoo
tashytoo  2 England
7 May 2012 - 3:09 PM

Hello!

I have posted my statement on the about me part of my profile Smile

Tash

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139503 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
7 May 2012 - 3:39 PM

My inital impression is.......... too many long words and phrases! What for example is "psychic integration"?

This can, unfortunately be read by uncharitable souls as waffle. If you can try and redraft it using Basic English, you will likely be able to reach out to a wider audience, including those for whom English is not a first language.

I know some will not agree with me on the above, so wait and see what other comments you get. Smile

tashytoo
tashytoo  2 England
7 May 2012 - 3:43 PM

Ah ok. I see where you are coming from! I do tend to go overboard with my writing. Not quite learnt that less is more sometimes!

Thanks for your input,

Tash

scottishphototours

I wouldn't get past the "artist statement" bit. That sounds to me like someone full of their own self-importance.

Totally agree with Carabosse, the rest of it is complete waffle which the majority of people won't relate to. But then again, if you're trying to attract like-minded souls then it maybe best to keep it as is...

tashytoo
tashytoo  2 England
7 May 2012 - 6:56 PM

it's difficult not to waffle on when the outline says that it should be 'no less than 500 words'...

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade e2 Member 1014838 forum postsade_mcfade vcard England216 Constructive Critique Points
7 May 2012 - 9:16 PM

who's the audience for your statement ?

tashytoo
tashytoo  2 England
7 May 2012 - 9:34 PM

The audience is everyone that wishes to know about me and my work in general. It is part of my careers module for part of my degree.

Writing obviously is not my strong point!

Natasha

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade e2 Member 1014838 forum postsade_mcfade vcard England216 Constructive Critique Points
7 May 2012 - 9:48 PM

I have a book about portfolios which guides you on these mission statment type things...

you need to take time to look through your work, find common themes and style decisions, anything that makes you unique or stand out, then try to describe that as concisely as possible..

I think that's what the jist was, been a few years since I read it.

then consider "who" you're trying to engage... maybe what you've written on your "About" page wasn't aimed at a semi-dyslexic, easily bored photographer (i.e. me) as I got about 1/4 way in and gave up. To a degree tutor it may well be perfect...

Anything i write these days has to sell the benefits of using me/my photos so the language is directed there. It's very odd and not something I'm used to doing, but that's what's needed

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139503 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
7 May 2012 - 9:53 PM

There's nothing wrong with having a statement of that sort of length. But maybe try and put it in words you would use in conversation to a reasonably intelligent person. I could be wrong here but I suspect, if we met you, you would not speak to us in quite the same way! Wink

You could give this a try: say what you want to say out loud, as if you have someone who does not know you in the room, and then write down what you have said. You could do it in chunks. Finally, edit what you've written.

Camairish
Camairish  81276 forum posts Scotland
7 May 2012 - 10:56 PM

As an artist's statement I think your text is understandable and self explanatory. How it relates to your images I suppose is down to the viewer's interpretation of both. It is hard to define with words what you express without them in pictures, but you only need to read through a copy of the BJP to understand where the trends are here.

I agree with Ade's comments too, a descriptor of yourself or a particular body of work would probably change depending upon whom the readership was.

If the readership is an internet forum populated by people more interested in photo gear than art, then the majority may well switch off after the first sentence....!

Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 41208 forum posts United Kingdom198 Constructive Critique Points
8 May 2012 - 11:28 AM

There is nothing inherently wrong with using expressive english, but it needs to be targeted. Reading your profile, it would seem to be aimed at selling yourself to a pretentious art gallery (who just love placing their twaddle next to the artists' work), rather than to a world-wide readership on a photography site.
There is nothing wrong with using plain english to describe thoughts and concepts, though I think if you stripped your 'about me' down into plainer language, you would find it repetetive and quite one-dimensional. To me, what you have said boils down to this:

I like to use concepts about birth, life and death, and contrast and compare intimate and personal feelings in my images with the world outside. I hope that how we are affected by, and how we deal with these issues and concepts are addressed in my images. I would also like to hope that in response to my images, I make people think more about their experiences and insecurities, by depicting the vulnerability of the human form and psyche in surreal surroundings.

Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 41208 forum posts United Kingdom198 Constructive Critique Points
8 May 2012 - 11:41 AM

But that's only 80-odd words. By padding with a lot of "I try to...", "the concepts I use...", "my photography ...", "my work aims to..." you get a sense of trying to 'big up' a small set of concepts into something massive, but looking at your portfolio, there are a lot of very similar images.
If you stated more directly what it is you are actually achieving, and backing it up with a portfolio of more diverse work, and then going on to express what direction you plan to explore, the reader will be in a better place to assess whether you are actually developing an idea, or just rehashing the same thing over.
You will also be able to see if you are developing the ideas too, and relating the images to what you set as a brief. A set of happy accidents doesn't make a cohesive portfolio, but a clear idea of how you want to develop a concept, and the work that goes into it (as evidenced by the progress of your pictures) will build a stronger body of work.
I'm sure there will be many happy to help (myself included).

Nick

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