Ep 63 How to talk about your art (FINAL VIDEO)
[00:00:00] Marijanel: Do you ever feel like a deer in the headlights when you need to talk about your art in public? Because we, artists tend to be introverts, and we don't wanna be in the public eye. But a really big part of selling ourselves and selling our art is talking to people, which can be terrifying.
[00:00:23] Charla: And we know because here we are, artists who spend all the time in their studio, and we're talking to you in public about art all the time.
[00:00:30] Marijanel: On YouTube.
[00:00:31] Charla: So we know what it's to go through.
[00:00:32] Marijanel: On YouTube.
[00:00:34] Charla: YouTube, yeah.
[00:00:36] Marijanel: Well, here's the thing, in episode 44 of the Bold Artist Podcast, we actually gave the advice to stop explaining your art. We said art should speak for itself and be able to carry its own message, and we don't need to overexplain and tell everybody everything about every little detail of what the art has meant to us.
Art can speak for itself. But there is another side of that conversation where when we are out at shows, in galleries, when we're representing our our art, we need to be able to talk to people, and to be able to look people in the eye, and smile, and be welcoming because if we're pros, we are also in the business of art, and that means selling and making ourselves connect, like able to be connected to and personable.
[00:01:29] Charla: Art, like really at its core, art is communication. Art is communicating something to somebody somewhere. It always is. It's speaking, it, it speaks for itself, which is what we talked about in the LA, in that podcast. But because art is communication, it actually will give you the ability to talk because it's already saying something. And you can, you can jump off of that to some degree. But it's, it's kind of like, um, well, anything you do in life, if you have some practical ways to approach it, if you practice it a little bit, you know, there's, there's actual ways you can, you can prepare and be ready for it.
I think, um, I mean, many, many people, majority of people in the world have a fear of public speaking, and lots of people do it even though they have a fear. And most people who do it a lot say they're still just as afraid as they ever were to public speak. Getting on a stage in front of an audience is terrifying.
So was YouTube in the beginning, but we've overcome that and, but getting on a stage is, is terrifying to be in front of people, but there are still ways to do it and do it well.
[00:02:37] Marijanel: Well, here's the thing. I do need to interject because being on the stage in front of people is terrifying to some people. It's actually a place that I'm really comfortable. And interestingly enough, I'm way more comfortable on stage in front of a crowd than I am sitting here in the camera, on the camera, on YouTube. It's interesting how different dynamics, uh, feed into the experience that you have in public. And what I find, now I am quite comfortable with the camera now, but it took me a while to get comfortable and I have a different set of nerves, when I talk to the camera, or when I'm in a small, closed in gallery with a few people. But when I land myself on a stage with a really big audience, it's a completely different kind of energy. And I can deliver a speech public speaking in a lot more ease. Of course, I get nervous ahead of time, but when I'm in that moment, on that stage, it's a completely different experience than this.
[00:03:35] Charla: Yeah, it is.
[00:03:36] Marijanel: And so that's why today I've wanted to bring my tips of how to talk to people and how to connect with people, because that's been one of the areas of my life and career where I've actually been able to shine as just in people connection.
[00:03:52] Charla: Yeah. I find if I'm going on stage and I'm confident in what I'm talking about and it's something I've spoken about before. It's not a brand new topic. Like, I'm not gonna be on the spot with something I've never, I'm not even prepared for, or it's a brand new topic I've never talked about. If it's something I've talked about before. I am, I actually can go on stage with confidence to speak.
That's why I think it's really important to prepare ahead of time. ;Cuz even if it is a new topic, if you're well prepared ahead of time, then you'll feel like you've done it before. You feel like you've done it already. I think that's what makes you comfortable is knowing that you've done it already and you've succeeded at it already.
[00:04:31] Marijanel: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:04:32] Charla: So there's some really good practical information. I think we look at people who are on stage and just presenting with absolute natural flow. We think that it's a natural talent and they have no fear, but there's ways that they approach it, and Marijanel is so good at it that there's ways that she approaches it.
I've done it. I don't think to the same extent as Marijanel has. And there's ways that I approach it. Uh, so from our combined experience, we have a few things to pass on.
[00:05:02] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:05:02] Charla: And that's basically what we wanna say in this episode. We're just gonna give you a long list of practical ways to be ready and be prepared.
And all you have to do is spew these things out. Do these things, say these things. When you are in that, that, that moment where you have to talk about your art.
[00:05:20] Marijanel: Yeah. So in the same breath that we say, don't overexplain or stop explaining your art, we also wanna give you ways to talk about your art and ways to talk to people that will make your art sales feel a little bit more comfortable and natural.
Have you ever had the experience, Charla, where you were the guest at, let's say an art show or a craftsman show where you're walking through the booths of the show and you're exploring and looking, and you have all these different experiences with the artisans or the artists of those booths.
Some of them are knitting, and they don't even look up at you. And others are standing there eagerly, like with these little smiles just waiting for you to acknowledge their art. And that feels awkward too, and then every once in a while you come to a booth where it's just the right combination of how you connect with that person, that they are eager to sell their art, but at the same time it's not awkward and you wonder, what, what was that that made them different?
I've been able to pinpoint what I feel makes an experience different at an art booth or an art sale. And I'm gonna share those in just a minute. But first, can you break down for us just a little bit about some of these practical things, these practical ways that you said we can talk about our, our art.
[00:06:44] Charla: Yeah. I think with my experience being in the shows, as well as, like you said, being the person that walks around and seeing all these booths and the different personalities that are in them and who I want to even approach and talk to.
[00:06:58] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:06:58] Charla: Um, you know, that's, that's where this is all coming from, that experience, and I think like the first thing you'll do if you walk into a space that you are showing, or that you're, you're enjoying experiencing, is to read the room and know who you're talking to. So if you're showing your art, and I'm thinking a lot in the ways of if you're in a big art fair and there's a lot of different types of people walking through now, an art show, like an opening night show, it can be very similar, but lots of times you, uh, people know who you are. They know it's your work. They know what you're about, they're there for you. Whereas in a bigger art fair or a conference of some kind where you're speaking.
[00:07:38] Marijanel: Multi with multi artists.
[00:07:41] Charla: Yeah, they might not really know a lot about you, so they're approaching you. Um, maybe 'cuz you caught their eye, your, your art caught their eye.
So, read the room and know who you're talking to. Like, is this, and you might not know specifically, but um, you can find out pretty quick. Is this person a collector? Like a collector, meaning they're there to buy art? Are they a curator for a gallery? Because oftentimes they're walking around looking for new art, uh, to represent.
They wanna represent somebody new. Is it an artist? A lot of these shows have artists who just love art, and they're not there to buy. They're there to, uh, learn really, and, and they're excited to talk to you and to, to find more out, more about you. Or, is this person somebody who's been dragged to the event and is there
[00:08:28] Marijanel: Like my husband. Like my husband.
[00:08:30] Charla: You know, their whole key is like, I'm just gonna make fun of everybody I see. You know, ;cuz you need to know who you're spending your time on. And then that, that brings it to the next point, is like, be careful who you engage with, and don't waste your energy on somebody that you can tell is really not interested in your art.
Uh, you know, they're either just been dragged there, or you know that your art is not for them. Like, just don't waste your energy on them because you can get really worked up when you're talking to somebody like that.
[00:08:59] Marijanel: And well, shows are exhausting. They just are.
[00:09:01] Charla: Yeah.
[00:09:01] Marijanel: You, no matter how much of a people person you are or if you know, let's say you're an introvert who has refueled yourself and geared up for the show, no matter how the show goes, even if it goes amazing, you're gonna come home drained.
[00:09:18] Charla: Yeah. They are.
[00:09:19] Marijanel: They're just so draining. And so what Charla's saying is key. Don't drain your energy on people who don't wanna talk to you. But when the right person comes along, then I'm gonna have some tips for that.
[00:09:31] Charla: Yeah. So the first thing is don't, like, you're so, you're actually now engaging. Like, don't fake it. You don't fake it till you make it. Don't pretend you're, you're something that you're not, because you are actually interested. You are interesting. You're the artist who made this work. You're standing there, the person is in your booth, they wanna talk to you because you are interesting. So you don't need to fake it.
And then don't become a used car salesman.
[00:09:57] Marijanel: Right.
[00:09:57] Charla: You know, be genuine. Why, why, what is a used car salesman? Uh, what we think about is somebody who's not genuine. They're selling you a piece of junk, and they're trying to pretend or lie about it. Don't be that person. Be genuine.
You are who you are. Your work is who it is. And, and talk about it in a genuine manner. And let, let it again, speak for itself. Um, you don't need to make things up, and you don't need to be a used car salesman.
And don't use jargon. You know, clarity over complexity is so important. I remember being intimidated talking about my art because I had been, I forget, maybe it was university, but I remember very specifically at an event talking to another artist who was an installation artist which I didn't understand installation art at the time.
And this guy, he was talking to me like really interested in talking to me, and everything was going over my head. I'm like, I have no clue what you even said in that sentence, because he used all kinds of jargon. Artist artist, art jargon, and I think he was just... Looking back, he was trying to be way cooler than he was. Or maybe he was like so far out there in a world that I don't understand. But either way.
I don't remember who he was. Don't remember what he did because I couldn't understand him. He was just too complex of a conversation. So, if you are trying to connect, and you're trying to sell your work, or you're just trying to have somebody connect to your work or to you, , you, you need to be clear, you know, you don't need to be complex and, and try to impress somebody with your, your smart wise words.
[00:11:38] Marijanel: Yeah, for sure. Are you ready for my tips yet?
[00:11:41] Charla: Um, sure.
[00:11:42] Marijanel: Or, do you have some more?
[00:11:44] Charla: I've got a few more. I've got a few written down. Let's see. Um. Yeah. I think that's just a lot in like how to approach, approach it. But I think some of my more practical tips would be like, you ahead of time, you can kind of create what in business is called an elevator pitch.
Which I think would be around your artist statement. And artist statements freak me out, freaks out a lot of people because people think they need to have complex jar, jargon laden paragraphs about their work. But really an elevator pitch is a couple of sentences, and there's lots of stuff online that you can find to help you write something like that.
But it's, it's real and it's what, what your art means to you. But if you have that written down and you, especially if you practice it, you'll have something to just spew out when someone says, Hey, what's your art about? And then you have this go-to topic and then followed up with a question. So you say a few sentences, followed up with a question.
What do you think about that? Have you ever thought about that before? You know, and that gets them, them talking.
[00:12:44] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:12:44] Charla: And then from there, talk about your process because you are the artist and you're the one who knows how to make this art. Like I know how to make bold color. , large scale art. So I'll talk about my process.
Maybe if I'm showing the work behind me, I'll talk about what it's like to paint large scale. Cause it's very different than small scale, and a lot of people don't know that if they don't paint large. So, I would talk about my process and because I'm the expert, and that will enthrall them, like, like draw them in.
Which then goes to a little bit more of an emotional side is to know your own story, like, create or curate story. Like, why does your work matter? So, it's a little bit like your elevator pitch, your artist's statement, but you know, where did your work come from, and what did you have to overcome to, to make this happen and to be where you are.
So know your story and then practice it with your friends, and see what kind of hits. So for instance, one of the things that I know that really hits home with my own personal story is that I'm from Newfoundland, which is a remote island off the edge of Canada, but I'm also from a tiny little town called Happy Adventure.
And as soon as I say that, people are like called what? Happy Adventure. It's just a story that hits and it gets their interest. They might not remember it, but it gets them interested. They connect, and they wanna know more. So, practice your stories, and see what really resonates with your friends, families at parties, you know, stuff like that.
Practice what you think is important. 'Cuz sometimes, you know, it just goes on by and people aren't interested.
And don't vomit out your story. This is a really important point. Don't vomit it out. Don't tell every hardship you ever had. And you know how you were broke for this long and that long.
And people just start. Like thinking, like, okay, I'm, I, I'm feeling sorry for you now. This is a pity party for your life and your hard life. It's okay to talk about the hard times, but again, know what's relevant to the story and practice those difficult bits so that you're not just vomiting out your story and people just wanna get away because, okay, I can't take this anymore.
You're just a victim in your own life.
[00:14:52] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:14:52] Charla: Um, so. And going through these things really, really quickly. They all kind of require a little bit of time with them.
Um, and then I think just a co the couple of last, two more last tips is to educate the person on how to critique art. So, it kind of comes away from you. It comes away from your story and the reason you made the art. You can talk to them about how do you critique art?
'Cuz a lot of people are wondering like, So your work is this bold, weird, colored, large portraits. Does anybody even want this? Is anybody interested in buying this stuff? And they may, um, be an artist interested in making it, or they may like it, but they're feeling a little awkward about it.
You know, they just don't know. So teach them how to critique art. And if you're at a show, you should know a little bit about critiquing art. Talk to them had about how, about how to look at the brushstrokes, and the color, and the focus, and the textures that you created, and you know, those types of things.
And it makes you look like an expert, but it also educates them, and they walk away feeling like they learned something valuable. They're at an art show. So they're gonna be interested.
And then the last thing, which I learned from a public speaker, was to start creating, this goes along with a couple of points ago, to know your story. Start creating the story bank of your life.
When you have a story that resonates with people, like for me, the Happy Adventure story, actually write it down. Like, create a document, or find a way to store it in a journal, or on your phone, in your notes, whatever. Start banking your stories. And then if you are being asked to actually present, like maybe a university asks you to present, uh, your art and talk about it to a class, then you can grab from that story bank so you don't have to think about it right off the top of your head.
Grab a few stories that will help illustrate the story or the main point you wanna bring home in a speaking event. And it just becomes easy. And you know that you're prepared. You just have to pull something together.
[00:16:50] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:16:50] Charla: Um, yeah. And I think that's, that's a lot of my tips. That's what I use when I'm going out into the world, leading the studio.
[00:16:57] Marijanel: Yeah. Well, you're bang on. I especially love the idea of starting a bank of stories for your life, which is why, like, I'm all about memoir, my memoir cast. I have a podcast where I share the stories of my life and I've found that as I tell them and I build them, it just, it makes me seem more interesting, but, but the truth is I find it like, wow, I'm building this bank of of stories and connecting the dots and
[00:17:25] Charla: yeah.
[00:17:25] Marijanel: And. Definitely do what Charla just recommended there, because I've benefited.
[00:17:30] Charla: It's fun.
[00:17:31] Marijanel: I've benefited from it so much of, of just making those, um, documenting my memoir that way. Um, so, you know, as we mentioned earlier, when you're at a show and you're selling your art, it's all about the power of communication.
Your art is communicating, and you and your customer, your potential customer, are going to be communicating. But it's not only through words. It's gonna be through body language, through signals of the eyes, and just knowing if they're even someone that you should apply a lot of energy to sharing all of that with. If they're even interested.
And so one of the things that I like to say is that you can't watch a video to learn how to ride a bike. And you can't just watch this video to learn how to communicate with people. You're gonna actually have to do it. You're gonna have to get yourself in the scenario to learn and practice your elevator speeches in your communication and your body language. And sometimes when you're first starting out, you can't get into the big shows. Or maybe like you, you don't even have the finance to get into the big shows, but you wanna work your way there, and you wanna be ready when you get there. Then I would say to you, in whatever way you can to start small and to do it in a professional way, that you would practice to where for where you wanna get --where you wanna go.
So, what I mean by that is I have done things as simple as around the holiday seasons... I know it's not the holiday times now, but around the holiday seasons, I have, um, hosted an open house at my house and had friends and family, you know, people that I know and that I'd be comfortable having them in, but have them come and look at my art that way.
I remember one, um, year I felt comfortable enough to invite the whole neighborhood and there was strangers there and everything, but it was so fun. I had hot cider and Christmas music and just like this really lovely open house, but I was practicing all of the things Charla just mentioned in order to, you know, not just know about it, but to learn how to communicate with people to be welcoming and all of the things that we're talking about.
Your charisma as a person, even if you feel really shy, your charisma is unique to you. Your warmth and approachability is unique to you and people want to not only connect with your art, but to, when they connect with you, they wanna feel some kind of warmth, um, some kind of, of connection. And it doesn't mean you have to be ooey gooey and full of all kinds of like false, you know, words.
And like what Charla said about vomiting things. You don't need to be like that, but you need to have some kind of warmth and and openness. So, to bring warmth and openness into your charisma, it's gonna be things like eye contact. And that's one way that you can tell if someone's even interested when they're walking past your work.
Now, I just mentioned something like an open house or hosting your own show. If they come to see you, they're gonna wanna be there. So that's a whole different story. But when you're at a show that's like a multi artist show and people are milling around, like the description I gave of like, some artists just sit there and knit.
They don't even wanna look at you. And then, and then others are, like, too in your face. Well, what you wanna do is you wanna be aware enough of the people walking by that you see if they make eye contact. So, they may just look at your art, and appreciate it, and keep walking. They might look at your art and pause and, and look, you know, and then keep walking.
But if they look at your art and pause, and look to make eye contact with you, that's gonna tell you something now from the eye contact that they're gonna, it means that they probably wanna talk or they wanna see who the artist is. And all you have to do is make eye contact back, and say hi. You don't have to try too hard.
You can just be like, hi, you know? You've made yourself
[00:21:49] Charla: Sometimes I say, like, how, are you enjoying the show? I don't make it about my own work. I say, are you enjoying the show? Like there's so much to see. Like lots of times there's old ladies there, right? And there's so sweet.
[00:21:59] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:21:59] Charla: And they just wanna say hi to everybody.
[00:22:01] Marijanel: Exactly.
[00:22:01] Charla: And I certainly don't wanna pull them in if they're not interested. They don't want to. But you just ask them, are they enjoying the show? Like, have you seen any really awesome art yet?
[00:22:11] Marijanel: Yeah. And there, there are a few ways that you can say, are you enjoying the show? You can be like, Are you enjoying the show? Like, you can be, you can be like not into it. Like, hey, you know, like, hey, I'm really bored.
I can't wait to get outta here and pack up tonight. You know? So the idea is that you would enjoy yourself with a smile on your face. And a real smile actually engages all the muscles in your face. Like, when you do a true smile. Like when Charla and I laugh, our heads off before end, after the show, our whole faces are engaged. When it's fake...
[00:22:50] Charla: Sometimes tears rolling down.
[00:22:52] Marijanel: Yeah, . When you have a fake smile, it's just really tight on your lips. And you're, it just.
[00:22:58] Charla: And I think to be real, it's kind of like having to look at that person and I, I like the idea of the old lady, like an 85 year old woman with a cane walking by slowly. Just feel genuine care. Like this woman's walked this whole show, she's probably tired. It's not about selling your piece. Right. That's not genuine. That's not a genuine Hello. Your genuine hello is Wow, you've been walking around all day. Like, are you enjoying the show? Like, hi. Like, are you enjoying the show?
[00:23:26] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:23:26] Charla: You know, don't, it's not about you.
[00:23:27] Marijanel: It's a real genuine smile.
[00:23:28] Charla: Yeah.
[00:23:29] Marijanel: And, and they also, when I say they, people who teach charisma and public speaking, talk about tilting your head a little.
Like, I know you can't practice all this, but like try to loosen up and not just be. Are you enjoying the show? You know, you wanna tilt and be in the moment, but one thing that's recommended is, is to keep the openness of your body. So, signals that are body language for openness is having open arms and open hands, like when you're talking and you're using, like, when you go to, to show your artwork on the wall, it's a nice open hand that is open toward the customer, the the person that you're speaking to, if you're crossing your arms.
[00:24:13] Charla: This is one of my favorite ways to sit.
[00:24:15] Marijanel: Your shoulders hunched. Yeah. If you're like crossing your arms and keeping your shoulders hunched, and when you're talking to them you're not using any kind of open or inviting
[00:24:24] Charla: And not making eye contact.
[00:24:26] Marijanel: They don't get the vibe from you, like, you really want them to be there. It has a go away feeling.
[00:24:30] Charla: I do this, this a lot in public. Like, when I'm at art shows, I'm very specific. I, I have forced myself not to, but if I am at group events, parties. Any type of event that it's not just all my friends. I stand there like this all the time, and I feel comfortable.
[00:24:49] Marijanel: Yeah, and that's a sign.
[00:24:50] Charla: And I know it's because I don't want people to talk to me.
[00:24:53] Marijanel: That's a guarded signal.
[00:24:54] Charla: And I'm good with that.
[00:24:55] Marijanel: Now that's the, it goes the other way around. Where if I was the one representing my art, and you were the one standing that way with your hand, your arms crossed, it's showing me that you are not feeling really open towards me either.
[00:25:09] Charla: Yeah.
[00:25:09] Marijanel: So you can read their body language. Do they make eye contact? Are they, do they have open body language with like relaxed arms? Not crossed, open hands, but if they're really construct, constricted and kind of keeping a shoulder towards you or a part of their back towards you, they just want some privacy.
They don't really want to engage in a conversation. Um.
[00:25:33] Charla: So, then you think about if you are on the other end, you're thinking, well maybe that person and that artist doesn't even wanna be here. You know, maybe they are not competent in their work, so maybe they have stuff to learn still, and, and you kind of really quickly you, it's a judgment call based on their, their, their body language. Um, but it's true because I've watched myself, and when I'm in situations I don't want connection, I am doing this automatically, not on purpose . So, I don't wanna do that at a show because you want connection. You want it to look and feel confident. So you have to practice these things because there's very subconscious.
[00:26:09] Marijanel: Which is why even just start to have some little events where you can begin to practice on your own.
[00:26:14] Charla: Yeah.
[00:26:14] Marijanel: But, um, you know, when I look back on the experiences of being the custom, in the customer shoes at a show, when I walk around a show, uh, my favorite, um, my favorite artists that are at their booth tend to be doing something. Like, they're not necessarily painting. Some of them do, some of them bring painting. But sometimes they're just doing something there that's related.
Like, if, if they wrap their art in paper though, they might be cutting the paper, or they might be doing something there that. They're not just sitting on the stool, just staring. And I think that sometimes we need to be creative to come up with something we can do at our booth or, you know, be constructive so that uh, people don't wonder if we really wanna be there.
Because I have that thought a lot of times when I see someone like the one, the poor one knitting that I keep picking on, but the knitting one who's just not even looking up, I think, why are you here? You're terrified.
[00:27:20] Charla: Yeah.
[00:27:20] Marijanel: And then the other one who's trying too hard, it feels not genuine. And then, There has to be this middle ground where you are comfortable and happy to be there, keeping yourself busy so you're not just like looking bored out of your mind, um, but not too pushy.
So, Charla and I were talking about good conversation starters for when we're at shows, and one thing that we came to common ground about talking about a good conversation starter was to not only ask how they're enjoying the show, but to ask something like, especially if you're from out of town or if you're from a neighboring town, to ask something about their local area that you think they might know.
Like, if you said, are you from around here? Do you recommend anywhere to eat after the show? It gets them talking and you can at that point, gauge and read their body language. Like, do they wanna talk more to you? Do they have questions about your art? Um, Charla might have mentioned, I think it was you that said something like, are there any good hikes around here?
Like, if the weather's appropriate or if that seems like a reasonable question to ask, but you can ask things that kind of give them some expertise, in order to open up to you and see if there is a conversation. But remember, you are there to sell your art, so you also don't want two talk talkative people to take you away from potential customers.
So, you don't wanna get sucked into like, these really, really long, drawn out conversation about where to go hiking when there's another customer who might actually wanna ask you about your art.
[00:28:55] Charla: It's being at a show, especially a busy show, and especially if people are in your booth looking at your work, it is, um, it's an art form and you, you really need to experience it to a few times to kind of get the feel for what works and what doesn't work. And you start understanding the looks in people's eyes, like, I know sometimes people will, will judge, uh, like we all want a collector. We want somebody to walk in our booth that's gonna buy a painting.
So, you're trying to judge these people, like, does that person look like a collector, or that person looks like a collector? Every collector I've ever had looks different. So, you can't judge based on what they're wearing or whatever, because even if they look, they're wearing expensive clothes, and you know they have lots of money, and they're there to buy art, doesn't mean they're gonna want your art.
So you've gotta look, you've gotta learn to really view the look in their eye, their expression. And if they have a que... sometimes, like I can, I can picture now my booth is full of people. I'm, people are talking to me. Especially if my friends are there. 'Cuz you wanna give them some time because you're thankful that they're there to visit you.
But then you see a group of people in your booth, and you can kind of tell they're waiting. They're wanna ask you questions, they could be a buyer. So, you have to kinda learn this art of judging everybody's expressions, knowing who to give time to and who not to give time to, trying not to blow the wrong person off.
You don't wanna blow anybody off. You don't wanna make anybody feel bad about being in your booth at all, but you then need to be able to judge the expressions and the looks of people.
[00:30:28] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:30:28] Charla: So, it's a real art form, and you need to go in recognizing that a lot of this stuff's gonna happen, and practicing a lot of these things ahead of time at at parties, at at play, at parties that you can throw in your home, which is art specific, you can even just go to, you know, a work party, your spouse or a friend's work party, and practice with strangers because everyone inevitably says, Hey, what do you do? You can use that as an opportunity to see if they're interested in talking about art, and then you can practice some stories on them. Even though they've never seen your art, but you can still practice. Right?
[00:30:59] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:31:00] Charla: And then you're ready. . Every experience is different. Every art show is different. I've had shows that's been super busy and you sell and you're feeling great, and it's easy to be happy. And then I've had shows where two days go by, I haven't sold a thing, and I'm starting to stand there like this, and my feet are tired and I'm hungry, and I'm having a bad hair day.
[00:31:19] Marijanel: By the end of the show, we're all like that.
[00:31:21] Charla: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:31:23] Marijanel: But you know, Talking about not being able to judge your customer. I can remember several instances where a sale surprised me, where I didn't even have to talk to the person. Um, I remember this one lady saw what she wanted from across the room and walked over so fast and grabbed it, and paid for it, and she didn't wanna hear any stories about it.
[00:31:46] Charla: Yeah. .
[00:31:47] Marijanel: And it was just kinda like, oh, but I have a really good story to tell you about that piece, . And she's like, I don't care. I just want it. I love it. And then I, I remember another incident is it didn't happen exactly like that, that someone who had come through and looked who I would've thought didn't really soak it in. Like, they didn't really seem engaged. Left the booth, they came back with their eye on a certain piece. It didn't take them long. Yeah, it didn't take them long to have looked, and then they went away, thought about it. They didn't gimme any clues that they were interested.
They didn't ask any questions, and then came back for the piece.
[00:32:28] Charla: I love those ones because you're, you're always watching, right? And I always like to play a game as myself. Like, can I tell who's really interested in who's not? So you're learning expressions and body language. And every once in a while somebody will come through and I'm like, they're interested. They're, they're stopping. They're looking, they're looking at my book, their cards, whatever.
[00:32:46] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:32:47] Charla: They're interested and then they leave.
[00:32:48] Marijanel: I know.
[00:32:48] Charla: And you're like, well, why did you leave? You looked really interested. And then to, like an hour later, they've seen the whole show. They come back and you're like, They're back.
And you kind of know that there's going to be a sale.
[00:33:00] Marijanel: And you realize your intuition was right after all.
[00:33:03] Charla: Yeah.
[00:33:03] Marijanel: That's a good feeling.
[00:33:04] Charla: Yeah.
[00:33:04] Marijanel: But it all does come down to body language, communication, and being genuine.
So, any more closing thoughts before we wrap it up today, Charla? I think we've covered it all. I actually love this conversation.
[00:33:18] Charla: I love sharing stories of, of people, you know, it's an art shows-- I've got so many stories of the kinds of people. Maybe we should do a show on that one day where we just, we just tell the stories of these characters that we meet at art shows, and the conversations that we have, and the stories that end in sales.
They're, it's so fun to talk about all that kind of stuff. Um, but I think that the main thing is that, you know, your experience is gonna be unique with every single show. And you have to, you, you, your work is important, and it needs to get out there. It needs to speak for itself. You know, so go listen to episode 44.
That's called Stop Explaining Your Art. And, and look at the idea that we discuss in that we shouldn't have to overexplain our art. In fact, I think all of these things we shared today wasn't about overexplaining our work itself, it was really about connecting to the person that's interested. In, in a unique way and talking about our art in ways that isn't really like talking about our processes, talking about how to critique art, your story, where you come from, that's not overexplaining your art, at all.
It's really about connecting to the person. So go listen to episode 44. Stop explaining your art so you can hear the other side of the story about why your art should speak for yourself. And a lot of people have commented to tell us that that has relieved them of a lot of stress because they felt like they needed to explain their art and they didn't want to.
And, but that helps them through that. So, definitely go and watch that, like right away. Go watch it now while it's all fresh in your mind.
[00:34:50] Marijanel: Well, just in closing, I'll tell you a really cute little story today during lunch break. Uh, 'cuz I, my studio is right on a busy one-way street. I walked to a cafe and on my way back I was just minding my own business.
This little elderly lady comes right up to me. She puts her face right into my face, like I had to stop walking. . She puts her face right at my face and she says, sweetie, I really love your makeup. I don't see very many people wear makeup these days. Then she kept walking. talk about connecting to people.
That's one way to do it.
[00:35:25] Charla: Yeah, that works. Get right in their way.
[00:35:27] Marijanel: Yeah. Right in their way and compliment their makeup. That, that's... I'm not giving you any advice. It was just really cute that it happened to me today. Um, thank you for joining us on today's show. You can find us on boldschool.com where we have classes and a really amazing online community. And we would love to have you hop on our newsletter list to get all the news that's of classes and, and events that are coming our your way. Just get on the newsletter list @boldschool.com. And until next time, keep creating.