Visual artists are always asked to write an artist statement to add context to the experience of looking at their work. A successful artist statement doesn't tell the viewer how to feel, but might elaborate on the artistic process, the inspiration or symbolism in the work, and why the artist was driven to make it. The end result allows them to engage their audience in a more meaningful way.
The same idea can be applied when writing a mission statement. We want to find out what your core values are, why you are unique, and what specifically you do that sets you apart from everyone else. It's not an easy task, but by starting out with these harder questions, the rest of your marketing becomes a heck of a lot easier.
Set your time for 30 minutes and answer these questions for yourself:
1) Who are you? (Even if your art/creative business is a side hustle, tell us that you are an artist, if that’s how you most strongly self-identify.)
2) Describe what you do with very descriptive words. Write as thought we have never seen your work and you want to conjure a visual in our imagination.
3) How do you do what you do? What is your process?
Don't hold back from writing your answers (or dictating them into your phone) since no one will read this stuff. Go in there and highlight the gems of thought that really stand out to you as being detailed and clear. Cut or strikethrough any sentences that are superfluous or not descriptive or not relevant. Then take all the highlighted sentences and paste them into a new paragraph. Read through what you have, and then rearrange them as necessary, making any edits that feel good. Now we suggest leaving it--shut your computer and walk away. Sleep on it. Don’t look at it for a day or two. When you look at if with fresh eyes, you’ll hopefully see what works and what doesn’t. Make edits and tweaks as needed, and then show it to a friend or editor.
This is hard!!!! We know it is. Don’t give up. Your story will surface, and you once you feel good about it, you can use it to shape everything from application essays to visual materials for marketing to how you talk about your work. An added bonus is that once you are clear on your story, it will help add clarity to your practice, as well.
Questions? Don't hesitate to email us.