Art at Work: Let’s talk about talking about yourself

LET’S TALK ABOUT talking about yourself

Hey everyone!  Thank you so much for your awesome response to the little survey we did a few days ago.  I am so excited about this new series!

Let’s dive right in!

Some people are just so great at talking about what they do and why they do it. They can reel people in and get everyone around them invested in their dream in mere moments.  You people, go away.  This post is not for you.  (no, really, you can stay…  just don’t laugh).

Personally, the hardest part of my job is telling a total stranger what I do.   There is usually a limited amount of time, they have no clue where I’m coming from, and it just feels kind of weird.  I mean, how many bloggers/artist/designers/stay-at-home-moms do you run into every day?  It’s an unusual “job” and I have a hard time being clear and far too often I feel more awkward than confident.   I think many, many creative people feel this same way.  It is so hard to narrow down our lives and our passions into a succinct, bite-sized concept.

In order to successfully share my passion with strangers, I have to change that!  My goal in talking to a new person is simply to share a tiny bit of my story.   I’m not making a pitch, trying to make a sale, gain a new team member, or get a new blog follower.   If it happens naturally, then great!  It means they caught my vision and are also excited about it.   But lose that stress!  2

So, where do we start?

  1. Narrow down who you are into a short easy to comprehend sentence.   For me, this sounds like “I’m an artist and I run an art and design website.
  2. If they seem interested, go on to a one-two sentence description.   “I create collages and paintings, and on my website I feature all kinds of outstanding creative projects.”
  3. If they’re all like “Oh wow! Tell me more!” you get to do what everyone loves to do, talk about yourself just a bit!  And, of course, spend some time getting to know them and finding out what they are passionate about!  Leave them with your card, et theirs as well, and walk away patting yourself on the back.  You did it.  And you were so cool.

I hope this helps you think through who you are and what your story is!  If I happen to bump into you on the street, let’s be bold, lets chat!

I’ll be putting these new found skills to use this weekend at The Makers Summit!  I’m so excited to attend this event geared for small, creative businesses.  I’m sure I’ll have so many wonderful bits of knowledge to share when I get back!   Stay tuned!

Emily Jeffords

Most days you can find me, in the studio with my little girls, speckled in oil paint (drinking too much coffee), creating artwork for collectors around the world and collaborating with select brands. Check out my artwork on


  • I’ve heard of this concept before – sorry I missed the survey. I’ve always heard it called the “elevator speech” – a brief description of what you do that can be said in passing (instead of my usual “Errrr… well… it’s kind of like…”). I was told to always have one ready… maybe I should get on that >.<


    • “errrrr, wel…..” yep, that’s me! Shameful! You are such a cool person I’m sure it’s pretty hard to boil everything down into a tiny sentence. You have a hard job, my dear. ; )


  • I’m a chef, by day. My co-workers still think its incredible and unique that I paint and write in my spare time. Really? Isn’t a chef a type of artist? I know that I am, at least. So, thier shock and awe is a lil suprising to me.


    • Certainly! Creativity with food is an art form (and one every human appreciates!) I think artistic people are very in-tune with their senses, so creativity isn’t limited to just one method.


  • I hate that look after I say, ” I’m an artist” It’s like they are saying, ” So you don’t have a job”
    its hard not to try and justify your choices to every person you meet. but the few times i have confidently said that to a stranger, it has turned out okay. Anyway thank you for this post definitely helpful.


    • I know just what you mean. I think it’s even more important for artist and creative people to be confident and professional (at least a little bit!) to help people understand that we’re not just crazy people who fling paint around. ; ) It’s hard work to make a living as an artist! Rock on, dear!


  • Reblogged this on Music Vision Sound and commented:
    I find it hard at times to explain what I do and to try and keep it short and sweet, but being able to do that so others understand the concept without blabbering on, can be troublesome.
    Thanks for sharing you’re approach, it has giving me a better idea of how to deal with that now. 😉


  • Lovely approach you have; I’m sure you will be great at The Markers Summit! good luck! & hey if we ever see each other in the street, for sure I want to hear everything you have to say!


  • What a great article. I always feel so unworthy of telling someone what I do or who I am just because i do not have a huge title or constant paycheck. I need to get over it and be more confident and this just reminded me to do so. On another note: could you let us know what other “summits” are around? Thanks!!


  • This is fantastic! I just wrote down my “about me” elevator speech after your suggestion based on being an artist. I just quit my corporate job in June, so it’s still pretty new to me to have to talk about writing and blogging as my job. And so far, I often get asked “And you get paid for that?” Yes, yes, I do.


    • That’s great! Good for you for following your passions and not sticking with the social norm. Isn’t it exciting? Good luck with your writing! I’m about to go check out your site!

      Xox, Emily


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