14. Chatting to people about your work

Sell! Or sell out… an Artists guide to promotion.

14. Chatting to people about your work

Some Artists are shy, some want to tell everyone about their work and many of us are somewhere in between. Chatting about our work can be a challenge so I want to address that in this article.

Let’s imagine you create wonderful objects, your art buddies say great things but you just want to make the things and get on with making more… not to be hassled by having to chat about the works with others.

After a while you can end up having to talk about your work and finding useful ways to do it, so you can connect with gallery operators, enthuse a prospective purchaser, or keep an Art Lecturer from failing you!

Communicating about your work probably falls into a small bunch of categories.

• What it’s about (basic to complex).

• How much it’s worth.

Then couple this with small talk to fill in the gaps and you may find yourself in an awkward position if you are more used to being buried in your studio in a deep personal trance working away on your Art.

The important thing is to know you are not the only person to find chatting about your work challenging, art can be so personal and introspective it can hurt greatly to “spill the beans” on your personal symbolism and stories. To overcome some of this try a few of these ideas as possible starting points.

There are a whole range of reasons people may not be as at ease chatting about their work, from personal confidence issues to an uneasy understanding or appreciation of the language used by artists. Whatever the reasons you can overcome them, it may take practice, it may take courage, it may take some soul searching but it can happen, it’s up to you to figure out if you want to do something about it and then taking action to implement a plan of action.

Compiled and edited by Steve Gray, Australian Contemporary Visual Artist © 2009+


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