Discussing Your Art with the Audience
Talking about your art probably seems like one of the best parts of being an artist, right? But for many creatives, it’s the part of the job they have the most trepidation about.
Artists are often described as odd, elitist, eccentric, having their head in the clouds, socially awkward, and in some cases, downright weird. While those descriptions may be accurate, more often than not, one particular trait stands out above all the others with visual artists: introverted.
Most artists make art for their own satisfaction, and some of the best have been known to give their art away. For an outsider, this is likely difficult to understand, so let’s look further into an artist’s psyche.
An artist’s creations are soul-bearing. Art is personal, it’s them, put out there for all to see. So you have an introverted personality exposed through the artwork, revealed, vulnerable, and sometimes very uncomfortably positioned to be judged.
Conversation and Connections
When someone arrives at your booth or views your art at a show or gallery, you should be able to engage, answer questions, and share a little about yourself and your art. Some people have questions, thoughts, or ideas to share. There are times as an artist, though, when you need to open the conversation, to speak personally, and explain what drove you to make a particular piece of art.
Art lovers and buyers want to get to know the artist, to connect with the person and the piece, to learn a bit about what inspires. Art is personal, speaking to the mind, body, and soul, and it’s subjective on many levels. When your art connects with someone, it’s helpful to be able to adequately and eloquently walk the viewer through your vision and help them explore theirs.
As an artist, I have strong feelings about what my work means, though often viewers have their own visions. For some artists, this is difficult to accept, that someone has a different opinion than the one the artist wants to portray. I however enjoy hearing about and experiencing the things others see in my art and taking that journey with them.
While discussing your art may not be many artists’ favorite things to do, I personally find it to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of being an artist. I’ve realized that beyond expressing yourself through your work, talking about your art is integral and forms strong connections with your audience.