Artists sometimes have a reputation for being reclusive or antisocial – it goes along with the brooding artist stereotype. If you want to be successful as an artist, however, you’re going to have to put yourself (and your art) out there and that means talking to your audience. It can be difficult to talk about your art sometimes but by following these tips – and with plenty of practice – you can learn how to do it.
1. Start by Introducing Yourself
As an artist, it can sometimes be difficult to separate yourself from your work. While this can sometimes be a problem, you can use it as an advantage when talking about your work – the more your audience understands about you, the better they will be able to understand your art. You don’t have to go into your whole life story but giving a brief background of what led you to becoming an artist and how you’ve developed your own unique style can be very informative.
2. Talk About Your Process
Before you get into the details about specific works of art, spend some time talking about your process. Where do you find your inspiration? How did you settle on your chosen medium? These are the kinds of things that your audience is going to want to know that you may not consciously think about yourself. Before you host a gallery showing or talk to your audience, take the time to think about some of these things so you can make an appropriate response.
3. Spend a Few Minutes on Each Piece
When it comes time to talk about specific works of art, spend just a few minutes on each piece instead of launching into a detailed discussion of one or two works. While you may have had a particular vision or purpose in mind for your artwork, the meaning is partially in the eye of the beholder – you can give your audience some background information about your process and your inspiration, but they will draw their own conclusions about the meaning or significance of each piece.
4. Don’t Make it a Sales Pitch
As an artist, it is always your goal to make a living from your work but if that’s your main focus each time you have the opportunity to interact with your audience, it could turn them off. Art is subjective, so the only way someone is going to buy one of your pieces is if they feel an emotional connection to it. The best way to achieve that is to talk about your art – to provide insight into the piece itself as well as your vision as a whole. If your audience feels like they understand you and your work, then they will see the value in becoming a collector and that’s where your success truly lies.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
It’s never easy to stand up and talk about yourself in front of a crowd, but it is something you’re going to have to do as an artist, so you’d better get used to it. It may sound silly, but it might help to stand in front of a mirror and just practice talking about some of your pieces. Think about the kinds of questions your audience is likely to ask and practice your responses. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll be when the time comes and the more clearly you’ll be able to communicate.