A personal blog post from Tina-Sue Chamberlain
This past weekend, I accompanied my husband to Show and Tell.
The local art gallery had issued an invitation for artists to come and show their work and talk about it to artisan peers.
We are new to the area and didn't know what to expect.
We jested on our way to the gallery that there was a good chance of scaring away some of the attendees with the smaller portfolio of art my husband was bringing along. He thought (and correctly), it was more than likely to be a more mature and seasoned crowd and the erotica work often brings out strong reactions from people. Can't imagine why.
It was a very welcoming group of local artisans and an eclectic mix. A photographer, a couple of sculptors, painters and artists who worked with fabric and applied different textures to paper.
I am used these art-events; mostly I just find a quiet spot in the room and keep out of the way, or try to be helpful when I can be but I love to observe these gatherings.
The artists hung or leaned their pieces on canvases, propped them on tables and my husband left his large portfolio out opened on the table and daringly, the small portfolio with “18+ Only” on the cover opened to the first page, which is this piece...one of the tamer pieces in the book.
The group then took turns, telling about their work. Each artist stood up and talked to us about their creative processes, how the piece came to be, the techniques they used in creating it. All what you would expect for the “show” part of the equation.
But what struck me-and not for the first time, I have been around artists for as long as I can remember and these days I am often in the company of a large gathering of artisans—was each artist's ability to tell about their lives.
As they talked about their colourful works of art, they also told the story of why they liked art, what led them to painting, drawing, sculpting, where they worked, where they had traveled, about their children and spouses and pets.
Each person in the room took up maybe ten minutes in this free-form presentation.
I think in general, artists have more of an exhibitionist quality. They want to be seen, they want to be heard and they have no qualms about sharing the stories that are behind the works or letting you know who they are. Some do this loudly, some calmly with a serene confidence, but as much as their work is a visual medium, most of them really can tell the story of themselves quite well.
This is a concept I think a writers need to learn to be at ease with..
I encourage my clients to share about their lives and relate stories that led them to writing or citing events in their experiences where they drew inspiration from. Working with authors for quite awhile, I have learned many find this a daunting task.
A lot of my work with clients involves helping them to practice personal-story-telling and working with them so they feel comfortable and confident in relating to their audiences and then finding ways for them to relate further to their readers.
Show and tell is an art-form and when it is done well, it can be applied in various ways to the overall marketing strategies.
Give readers a chance to connect with who you are by learning to tell your story; show them your character as they read to love the characters in your books.
Tina-Sue Chamberlain offers publicity coaching and personal consulting to authors, small businesses and entrepreneurs. If you would like to work with Tina-Sue, contact her at: