Sunday, November 04, 2012

What do you do?

oil on canvas   4 x 12

Whether right or wrong, our raison d'etre seems to be defined to some large degree by our occupation.  Most gatherings involving drinks and nibbles where you meet strangers and grasp for some common ground to get a conversation started often begins with "What do you do?"

How comfortable are you with your role as an artist?  Do you have a short and sweet 'elevator speech' of a sentence or two that succinctly sums up what kind of artist you are and paints an image in another person's head of the type of art you produce?

An elevator speech should be restricted to a couple of sentences and should roll easily off the tip of your tongue in conversation. Think carefully about what represents you as an artist and what defines your style - what makes you stand out from the crowd?  Use clear, simple, conversational language then practice your pitch on friends, family and in every situation where you have an opportunity to tell people what you do.

What's my elevator speech?  Read the sentence below and tell me if you think this sums me up.

I'm a visual artist who creates images of fish and water through Japanese printmaking and traditional painting techniques. 

Depending on the situation and audience and what impression or action I want them to take, I can increase the amount of detail required to cover how my work evolves in different areas, mediums used, teaching, etc. etc.  Different people will have different levels of interest in what you do, from polite conversation making talk to gallery managers and other artists.  Be prepared to go into detail or retract detail.  And always have a business card ready to present to cement your role as an artist to others.

What's your elevator speech?

1 comment:

Hedera said...

I think/hope my blog profile sums up what I do reasonably well. I notice that you haven't mentioned your portraits or drawing in your elevator speech... :)