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 printmaking process of Kiki Smith.

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 Smith do well? Her volume and speed are good, and she smiles often. She doesn’t seem nervous, but she doesn’t really seem confident either. I’d say she seems comfortable, which is in between. She also has good intonation. She’s likable, but I’m left with the feeling that she’s a little flighty.

What could she improve? She’s a little difficult to follow because there isn’t a lot of structure in her talk. She uses some filler words, and she doesn’t look at the camera very much. The other printmaker is actually a more effective speaker, in my opinion, because she speaks directly to the camera, gestures, and explains her points clearly.

What professional vocabulary do Smith and the other printmaker use? The other printmaker talks about how Smith needs to make a lot of proofs because she likes to see what her changes look like as she works. The other printmaker also describes a previous series that Smith worked on, and she shows us different states of that plate. She does this to demonstrate the transformation of the plate, and she describes printmaking as being very process-oriented. Smith talks about her aquatint technique, and explains that she likes printmaking because it allows her to “build things up” very slowly over time.

What do you think of this video? 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, posted by Art21 on July 26, 2013, click the link below:

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