How to Talk About Your Work

It’s one thing to make beautiful artwork, and quite another to confidently communicate about it.

Talking about your work can take many forms: writing descriptions, presenting a statement, studio visits, and answering questions at exhibitions or vendor events. You know your work best, there’s a lot to say, and sharing the right blend of objective vs. subjective info can be tricky. Remember practice makes perfect!

Your body of work evolves over time, and so will the way you discuss it. If talking about your work doesn’t come naturally, try asking a friend to practice with you. Encourage them to ask questions ranging from inspiration sources to pricing. The worst mistake you can make is refusing to talk about your work at all. When self-consciousness sets in, slow down, take a deep breath and pace yourself. Nervousness can speed up language, breathing, and have us tripping over words.

If you’re nervous, that’s ok- talking about your work is a skill to develop. Remember to relax, take your time, and invite curiosity. By engaging with a variety of friends, family, and patrons- you’ll become a better communicator and discover what makes your work distinctive. Half the battle is knowing your own data points, like pricing, titles, and dimensions.

Start there, and add those personal elements (inspiration, stories, future goals) once you’ve nailed the key logistics.

Studio Visits

  • Set the stage, tidy up & have pricing, dimensions, material lists prepared
  • Offer curious buyers a range of pieces to choose from and explore
  • Listen to their interests, budget, and ask about where they might put your work
  • Studio visits are a great chance to make collectors feel special & take a personal approach. Share about your process and creative journey.

Artist Statements

  • Check out other Artists for inspiration
  • Don’t use flowery, grandiose, or self indulgent language. Keep it simple.
  • Be specific about your body of work, motivations, and accomplishments.
  • Write a long and short statement to use in different situations.

Vendor Events & Exhibitions

  • Practice your elevator pitch
  • Know your prices
  • Have business cards ready for follow up conversations after the show
  • Keep conversations short and sweet so everyone has a chance to engage with you

Product Descriptions

  • Include the essentials: Title, Year, Dimensions, Materials & Price
  • If it’s part of a series, mention that
  • If it has an interesting backstory, briefly mention what that is
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