Critical Statement for Creative Projects

The critical statement is a required component for creative projects.  This essay discusses your aesthetic choices, your background research, and how you situate the project within the artistic traditions you are engaging. If you need additional help with any written portion of your Thesis, please contact Nancy Wright, the Honors Writing Consultant.


The critical statement is designed to engage you in reflecting deeply on your work and representing these insights to a reader. Some artists and designers adopt a “tacit” approach to the act of making. They believe that the work should speak for itself, and that to speak of the act of creation is to demystify or denigrate it. However, as an Honors student, you are expected to be able to write articulately to the university community and beyond about the artistic and cultural context of your work and its meaning.


Here are three key aspects of your work to discuss:

  1. No artist’s work arrives out of thin air. Whose work has influenced yours? What taught you to be able to do what you have done? How has your work emerged from what you know about your field or the work of others? What is your relationship to them? Who else is engaging in similar questions at this time and how does your work relate to theirs?
  2. Reflect on the artistic choices you made in the process of creating your project. Was there a conscious theory at work behind your decisions? A moment of serendipity? Did a situation force a decision? Was there a critical turning point or crisis?
  3. Reflect on what you see as the meaning of the work. Is there a particular effect or change you hope to stimulate in your audience?