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 listen to Annyen Lam, who talks about her Tiny Blades paper cutting sculpture.

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 Lam do well? Honestly, she does almost everything well. She speaks clearly and seems confident, although you do get the sense that she is very thoughtful and maybe a little shy. Her volume and speed are good and she pauses very effectively to make her points. She smiles and uses vocal variety for emphasis. She avoids filler words and generally looks at the camera when she is speaking.

What could she improve? Because of the way this interview is filmed, she doesn’t speak to the camera a lot, but that’s not her fault. Also, she doesn’t gesture much because she’s cutting paper during much of the interview. These types of demo-style interviews are much easier because there are different shots to break it up and cut out any mistakes. It’s more difficult when the camera just records one shot of you speaking for the entire interview.

What professional vocabulary does she use? She begins by talking about the importance of negative space, and how paper cutting is a subtractive medium. Next, she describes the process of creating her miniature house, which begins with sketching. Then, she talks about the sculptural possibilities of paper and how you can find it everywhere. She describes the Tiny Blades project and explains her motivation for beginning it by saying that sometimes the process is more important than the product. Next, she talks about the low points during the project as well as what inspires her, such as the forms she observes in the world around her. She likes to manipulate and repeat these forms until they are not recognizable to anyone but her. 

Lam answers a lot of questions that are important for artists and designers to think about. Working with a coach can help you to be able to talk about your work to others, and also to help you focus on what’s important for yourself. Practicing for an interview is a great way to get comfortable talking about your work.

At Artglish, we help artists and designers to speak confidently about their work. We coach you to speak professionally using the best vocabulary and correct pronunciation. If you’d like to learn more about what we offer, click here to get exclusive content, or check out our Courses page.

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 CBC Arts on February 20, 2018, click the link below: