Putting yourself out there

Caravan - Abbaye de Saint-Germain-des-Pre¦üs_46These kind people made up part of the audience during my last public speaking engagement in Paris’ Saint Germain des Pres as part of the opening ceremony of The Bridge exhibition. Considering that I spoke in French, I didn’t do too badly (so I’m told). The more one speaks in public about one’s art, the greater the understanding of one’s own work – the inspiration, motivation, and process leading up to the final piece. 

This past year has been filled with such opportunities. I would highly recommend that artists not shy away from speaking engagements or interviews if they get the chance. Sure, it takes a lot of preparation and time away from the studio, not to mention the stress and nerves that go along with public speaking. However, there are benefits:

  • Forces you to order your thoughts and take the time to think about your art
  • Gaining unexpected insight into your own work 
  • Engaging the public who are often receptive and interested in what the artist has to say 
  • The feedback is usually very positive and sheds new and often surprising light on your work
  • Making yourself known to the community
  • Speaking engagements often lead to further invitations and added interest in your art
  • Networking 
  • Boosts self-confidence

My upcoming talk ‘Can Art play a role in the ever growing divide between cultures and religions?‘ will cover general and specific examples of how art can be used as both a weapon and a tool for social justice.  Some of the topics covered will be the recent terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo, The Bridge exhibition, Nazi propaganda and the importance of art that bears witness. As for my list of benefits, the press release about my work and presentation caught the eye of Northern Virginia Magazine and that led to a feature article in today’s culture and entertainment section!

Full details about my talk on May 11th here: Lilianne Milgrom Artist Talk flier. Open to the public.