The Introvert in Me & My Art [Part II]

wellness Jan 02, 2018

By Dr. Yanina Gomez

In my previous post titled The Introvert in Me & My Art [Part 1], I shared with you a few suggestions to effectively navigate through social situations (networking, openings, etc.). If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you check it out before you read this post. In this second post, I’m sharing 4 tips to help you prepare yourself for Artist Talks. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

You’re probably excited about your solo or group show. Yet, you’re not that excited about facilitating an Artist Talk. Let’s go over a few suggestions that you can consider to help you ease the stress associated with speaking in public.

1. Prepare your talk before hand.
If you want to present yourself as a professional artist, try not to “wing it.” Instead, prepare for your talk! Some artists may have the ability to improvise, but preparation often leads to excellence. You can create an outline (mental or written) that covers the main points of your career (keep it short and relevant to the show), artwork or series on exhibition.

For instance, talk about your inspiration, reflections as you were creating, the technique you’ve implemented, the story behind your work, etc. Hey, it’s OK to bring your notes (notepad, tablet, phone, etc.) if you need to! Memorization is an option not a requirement. And always keep in mind that NO ONE knows your art better than you do! As long as you are truthful and authentic, people will believe what you say and possibly connect with your artwork.

2. Practice with loved ones or friends.
Once you have your outline ready, gather a small crowd or just someone you trust. Go over your talk with them. Ask for constructive feedback. You can always practice by yourself if the latter is not an acceptable option. Get a familiar crowd together for the Artist Talk such as your guests, the curator who invited you, etc. and ask them to stand close to you (e.g., sit on the front row, stand in front of you). Begin your talk by addressing your crowd and slowly transition into the large group as you feel comfortable. This could ease your stress!

3. Selective Focus.
During the talk, focus only on those who are with you and showing interested. Block out the rest! If someone is busy texting while you’re talking, simply ignore them. Don’t waste your time and energy trying to get their attention. Instead, invest in those interested in your talk.

4. Draw Attention to the Art.
As you’re speaking, draw attention to the artwork. Refer to details in the work and invite people to check them out as you’re speaking. Invite them to get closer to the work to explore it. Eyes and pressure on the artwork, not on you!

So, here are my suggestions for introvert driven artists to effectively navigate in social situations and prepare for Artist Talks.

Next Steps…
For more suggestions on how succeed in this loud society, I invite you to visit Susan Cain’s website at

“In a gentle way you can shake the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Do you have a strategy that has worked for you to ease the stress that comes with facilitating Artist Talks?

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