Recently, we decided that we wanted to create some interviews involving inspirational and talented people.
The reason? For years I had simply been looking at art but never really engaging with it, when it suddenly clicked with me and a whole world was revealed behind the canvas. I can thank my university course for that, teaching me to sink my teeth into the context to see a picture without the picture. Now, this wasn’t just about oil paintings made my dead men long ago, this was all sorts of works from Victorian ghost stories to modern horror and photography. If you look at art the way a historian does, you would see a new perspective. It doesn’t matter if the artist himself had seen it before. Art is always about interpretation.
After that, looking at an artist’s work was more than just the piece. It was about the artist themselves.
The modern artist is usually behind a screen, art piece after art piece churned out with only perhaps a hundred views. The internet is an ocean full of talented people, but everyone is drowning as they try to reach the top. If we calm down and look around, we’ll see all sorts of beautiful coral reefs and fishes.
So that’s why I am finding interviews for artists of all forms. It opens your mind to different levels of artistic and creative spectrums and can often give you some great advice.
WHO TO INTERVIEW
It totally depends on which art form I want to interview. There are a lot of talented people out there who have information, stories and advice to share:
- For visual art I can go onto sites like DeviantArt and then look at my favourites. You always go to your favourites because you know you like the art and have spent time looking at it. There’s nothing worse than an interview for something you don’t have passion for. And don’t disregard fan artists and cosplayers! They are just as good as any artist, some would argue better simply because they have to work within the confines of the original – and there’s always that one critic to say, ‘It’s not as good as the real thing’.
- Another talent to consider are writers/authors. Not only will they be able to share tips for your readers on how they achieved their career goals, but they will also be able to help you. A lot of authors can be contacted through their website, so drop them a message!
- Youtubers and bloggers all have different methods, beginnings and back stories. It’s always interesting to go a little deeper than what they would usually publicise on their own page. You can ask them to elaborate on comments they’ve made on their blog or videos or get tips and advice.
RESEARCHING FOR INTERVIEWS
By interviewing a person whose work you admire, you can spend hours enjoying their talent, thinking about it in detail and knowing what you want to look for:
- By observing at the interviewee’s art, reading their books and admiring their creativity, questions should form in your head about them and their methods.
- Look at their online profiles and see who they have favourited. This way you can ask them all different questions regarding what they enjoy and their inspirations.
- Always check for information they’ve already given you. Save their profile information for the interviews introduction. That way, new people will be drawn in and the artist doesn’t get the feeling you’ve not done any work.
Each question should be personally tailored for each interviewee. It’s boring for your readers and even hurtful to them if you just recycle questions. It implies that you don’t really care for their work or personality and the effort they’ve put in. Your goal is to help bring them to the forefront of people’s attention, not for a huge turnout of interviews.
- Make sure your questions are open-ended. There’s nothing worse than an awkward ‘Yes/No’ interview. Everyone loses interest and you will be simply putting words in the artist’s mouth. In a court of law that’s called a leading question.
- Have fun! Be unique. Have fun and interesting questions that don’t just focus on their work. Of course, don’t be completely bizarre and obscure unless the artist knows that’s the kind of interview you do and they are up for it. Even though weirdness can be fun in small doses, many people find it annoying after a while.
- Questions, though unique and fun should always reach a point. If you are interviewing a movie star you have to talk about their work at some point. An interview for them is promotion, an interview for you is to get information for the readers. You should both be taking something away from it, so make sure you give what you get!
Lastly, thank the person you’re interviewing and link their social profiles and website.
Who would you like to see interviewed here on LFTN? And what questions would you ask if you could?