How to Talk About Your Images

Should you and (if yes) how to talk about your images, your creative work?

The other day Facebook “reminded” me of a picture from a couple years ago, showing yours truly with her artwork at a gallery opening. Looking at it through the present Covid-19 lens, the image appeared to speak of a time long ago and another life…. It also brought to mind the idea of creatives talking (or not) about their work, especially at art shows, when meeting face to face people interested in their work, potentially.

Artists approach talking about their work with the lay audience in different ways. I think, it depends on the artist’s style, work, setting in which the artwork, itself, is displayed, and so on. And I think, all in all, it adds to the mood evoked by the work.

Some artists let the work speak for itself. Others might ‘eavesdrop’ on people looking at their artwork, before engaging in conversations. Some might talk about their work, but in a very sketchy way (which sometimes leaves individuals with more questions than answers) and others share stories about their work with a curious lay audience.

I believe that each artist decides what’s best for their artwork. I also think that talking about one’s work (at a gallery opening, for example) or not, adds (or perhaps not) to the overall mood and feel evoked by that artwork, enhances its story, message, symbolism, etc.

Myself, I try to engage in conversations with those curious enough to check out my work to ask questions about it. I believe that there’s a story behind each piece of artwork, a story which brings that work to life. Helping others connect with that story allows them, in turn, to connect with that particular piece of artwork and even with a body of work.

B&W nature photography by Alina Oswald on canvas at La Vie Galerie.
Some of my b&w nature photography on canvas displayed at La Vie Galerie.

So, what do you do? Do you talk about your work? Do you answer questions a lay audience might have about your work? Do you let the artwork “speak for itself”? Feel free to share your thoughts, if you so desire 🙂

Hope you all are safe. As always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald

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