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Giving Interviews – Did I Say That?

July 22, 2010
Photo by Mike Simmons -Summerland Review
Photo by Mike Simmons -Summerland Review


I recently had opportunity to do an interview when I had my work on display at an Okanagan winery. The article turned out great: the journalist did a wonderful job of making sense of what I said and clearly articulated my relationship to both realistic and abstract art. Read the interview!

This got me thinking about artist interviews.

For my very first show, I was asked to do an interview for the newspaper as well as for a local TV station. I have a recording of the TV interview, but to this day I haven’t watched it; I can’t bear to see myself on camera!

When I had my second exhibition, I did another newspaper interview. I had a great chat with the journalist and towards the end of the interview, the conversation turned much more casual. I mentioned in passing that one of my profs always thought I was very anal, as in “anal retentive.” When I got the newspaper a few days later, I was surprised and mildly embarrassed to see that she had included that in her article. It’s not exactly a word I want people to associate with me and my work.

For artists, it’s very important to be able to talk about their work in a way that the general public can understand and follow. Interview skills are like anything else: they need to be learned and practiced. Joanne Mattera has an excellent article on how to talk to the press.

Be prepared for your interviews, practice and be aware that everything you say is fair game! You don’t want to read your interview and think, “Did I say that?”

  1. Re: not watching the tape of the TV interview. I know exactly what you mean! For years I was hung up on something someone once said about me sounding like a run away shopping cart with a squeeky wheel.

    Then, more recently, I’ve been vlogging. While it’s still a little painful at times to see myself in video, it’s also been good. It’s helping me to figure out how I want to talk about my work when I’m not doing the filming myself–it’s building those interview and artist talk skills!

    • Hi Gwenn! Yes, I’m sure watching myself on video would be a great way for me to see what I’m doing right and what I can improve, I just don’t know if I can bring myself to do it! Vlogging sounds like a good way to ease into it. Less pressure and no need to share unless it’s good.

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