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Getting out of your comfort zone & talking about your work

December 9, 2013

Falling Leaves Fabric by KT Doyle

Last Wednesday, I was invited to talk about my work currently showing in the Hightide: Queensland Design Now exhibition at Artisan to a gathering of lovely gallery patrons and their guests. And, an interesting thing happened… When I was preparing my talk, I realised how nervous I was!

I guess that’s not unexpected as I am not a natural when it comes to speaking to a crowd. It seems for most people it’s much harder talking to a group of people you don’t know, than it is having a conversation with a couple of friends or colleagues who have followed your work and understand the joys, challenges, disappointments and revelations that go hand in hand with bringing ideas to life.

To help reframe the way I feel about speaking publicly and tame those nerves, I try to turn the situation around in my mind and instead of talking to people, feel like I am sharing with them instead. People—whether they know you or not—love stories and by telling them my story I can connect with them in a way that delivering a dry description of facts never can. I think about what I like when I listen to other artists talk about their work. I engage with not only the story they share, but the passion with which they share it. You can always tell when someone loves what they do. Their joy is palpable. Oh, and one last thing… I’d like to think that sharing your work with others is something you genuinely want to do. It’s not something you do merely in return for a speaker’s fee or notoriety, but because you believe in what you do and want to give it wings by sharing it with others.

That’s what makes it possible for me to get out of my comfort zone and talk about my work… How about you? What do you do that helps you get over those butterflies?

Image: Falling Leaves Textiles by KT Doyle, showing in Hightide: Queensland Design Now at Artisan gallery until February 8, 2014.

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