If we're an Independent Professional, we want to reserve center stage for our business.

Once in a while, when the two worlds of work and words connect, language entices our senses and engages our imaginations, and we love it.

Refer to yourself with the pronouns "I, me, my." If this blocks you, write in the third person, then go back and change the pronouns as needed when you get to Step Four. Begin with a simple statement of why you do the work you do.

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Most artist’s first reaction is like that of our friend to the left. While your statement simmers, let your mind wander over the ingredients you assembled in Step One.

“How can I summarize in a few words what my art is all about? ” But as far as the world of art business is concerned, it doesn’t. Allow yourself to experience the truth of your creative experience.

So what stops us from using words to describe our art? These are the same words that have been with us since we could walk.

What causes us to be deeply suspicious of language, one of our fundamental connections to being human?

Are there any new words that should be added to your word list? Write five sentences that tell the truth about your connection to your work. Use the present tense ("I am," not "I was," "I do," not "I did.") Be brave: say nice things about yourself.

Every time you use your artist's statement you extend your circle of influence and build new branches of the support network for making, showing and selling your work. You'll want to revise and update your artist's statement from time to time to reflect changes in your work.

WRITING YOUR ARTIST'S STATEMENT STEP ONE: Assemble the Ingredients. Take five minutes and think about why you do what you do. You alone are the authority for what is true about your work, but you'd like feedback on clarity, tone, and such technical matters as spelling and punctuation. There's little point in concocting a fabulous stew if you don't invite anyone to dinner.

Add new words suggested by your answers to the questions above. Use the suggestions below to structure your statement. Support that statement, telling the reader more about your goals and aspirations. Tell the reader how you make decisions in the course of your work. Tell the reader a little more about your current work.

When I work with__________ I am reminded that___________. When people see my work, I'd like them to ________________. Then write about yourself as though you were an admiring colleague.

Copy the definitions, thinking about what notions they have in common. If you are stuck, start by filling in the blanks below. When my work is going well, I am filled with a sense of _____________. If you find that you falter, write three paragraphs about an artist whose work you admire.

The answer, in part, relates to a fatal combination of art critics and education. If words are the messengers that determine our self-worth, then by all means, kill the messenger.