40 Thieves on Saipan won the 2020 AmericanBook Fest Best Book in Military History and was named a Finalist in American History.
Fires are burning the West Coast. Ida has flooded the South and East Coast. People from both areas are wandering from their homes to find shelter. People from Afghanistan are huddled in military bases and refugee camps without homes. Covid continues to crowd hospitals and threaten our children. State legislatures appear to care for their own job security more than the safety and rights of the residents of their districts. Fighting about vaccinations and masks, women’s health care, voting rights add more angry chatter to the already nerve-wracking news.
Quieting that clamor I needed to submit an artist statement. In 250 words, describe your work, why you do what you do and how. Explain your inspiration, motivation, mission, themes, goals. Claim your place in the artistic community. Declare your intentions.
Writing, or revisiting, my artist statement helps me stay grounded. An increasingly complex world with intense messaging via an array of media, can be overwhelming. Why does this world need a new novel or short story? How do I add value to dialogue about values and decisions?
Maybe this embrace of the artist statement responsibility was inspired by a Marquette University Jesuit undergrad. Or because the first time I drafted one, writing moved from a favorite hobby to how I professionally define myself through my work. If you an artist, try writing one.