On Tuesdays, we watch talks or interviews with artists and designers and discuss how to present our work clearly and with confidence. This week we’ll look at the work of fashion illustrator Lily Qian.

As you watch this interview, consider these questions: Does the artist speak clearly and with confidence? Does she use gestures and intonation to emphasize her points? Does she smile and look at the camera? Does she use professional vocabulary?

What does she do well? She speaks clearly and uses gestures very effectively to engage her audience. She smiles a lot and looks at the camera when she speaks, which is great. Her speed and volume are good, and she also has good vocal variety. Put these all together, and you get a speaker who is very enjoyable to listen to.

What could she improve? She uses a few filler words, and her posture is a little closed off. She crosses her legs and arms for much of the interview, and although this is considered polite for women, it also conveys a lack of confidence. It’s better to take a more open posture if you can.

What professional vocabulary does she use? She talks about her family’s Bohemian lifestyle, working with her hands, studying color theory, life drawing, and perspective drawing. She likes to do figurative drawing and portraits, which is perfect for her career in fashion illustration.

She covers a lot of topics that typically come up in artist interviews as well: first giving her background and training, then talking about her work and what she enjoys about it, then changing from a career working for a company to doing freelance work and finding a good work-life balance. Finally, she describes her artistic process. It’s a great idea to think about how to answer these questions in order to write a good About page or artist/design statement, and so you can talk about your work to others.

What do you think of this interview? Do you agree with my comments? Do you have questions about the vocabulary? Do you want to suggest a piece for me to discuss next week? Leave a comment below!

I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today. They are in bold. If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.

To see the original video from YouTube, posted on May 18, 2017, click the link below:

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