Artist Gabby Malpas – ‘Harmony’ Group show Artist talk January 2020 at ArtSHINE Galleries in Pyrmont, Sydney
Artists are excellent at what they do, but trying to bring their work alive through talks is a completely different art altogether.
However, grabbing the public’s attention and fuelling their imaginations – whether through talks, public lectures, one-to-ones or social gatherings at art galleries – is a whole new skill altogether.
While artists like to court attention with their messages through their art, they must also be ready to stand up and be counted to speak about and bring their artwork to life. Why?
Public speaking, and with confidence, will enable artists to focus on reliving their art, broaden their potential attraction to a great clientele and investors, increase sales and create a buzz about them and their talents.
However, artists can be notoriously shy and say “I let my art do the talking”, but in fact, they need to be able to describe and explain so that art becomes real in public. Ultimately, the art is the promotion of the artist, and the artist is the salesperson for their talent – their art!
To tackle this challenge an artist should be prepped in rehearsing their introduction and description of their art, and sound convincing!
The art of you
If you have a chance to talk about your art, then grab it with both hands. Remember to be ready at all times in a public place – whether a small chat or a big talk. Have an introductory talk prepared for all occasions, work on it alone and talk convincingly to yourself about your art.
You need to be able to leave an impression, a good one, on people if you only have a moment’s shot in time. So get at them with your art and try to be ready for answers to awkward questions. You could actually confront yourself with hard to answer questions in the privacy of your own home and work out the answers.
Draw in a little human background so that investors or art lovers know a bit more than the signature in the bottom corner of the artwork.
Be brief, but deliver with clarity and communicate carefully. And listen to what people have to say.
And when discussing your art, emphasise the positives in your work, its significance and meanings.
Try to keep your responses brief when facing questions and deliver with humanity and humility, and a bit of humour. That helps to get on their level. But guard against the hard sell as investors will want to decide on their own about the merits of buying your art.
Don’t shy away on opening nights but be accessible and go with the flow Circulate and get yourself noticed. Be polite but friendly.
One of the key aspects of Pr-ing yourself is to make a video that helps you speak of your work. It adds professionalism and edge to your PR persona. Consider it as another channel towards building a bridge to investors and art lovers.
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