“I paint short attention span paintings for short attention span culture.”
Since he’s a minimalist, you’d think he’d be great at small talk (pun intended). But because not everyone understands what a minimalistic painter does, not everyone on that proverbial elevator is going to understand his pitch. So Jason sums it up with a catchy sentence that intrigues the listener just enough to ask for more.
As a Savannah-based family man and artist who exhibits in places like Berlin, teaches at SCAD, and contributes to publications like ArtPulse Magazine, Jason has his hands full. He also has a good deal of experience in the arts and knows exactly how to speak about his work with different audiences.
So I asked Jason to share some advice — the same advice he shares with his students — about how to craft an elevator pitch as an artist.
Here’s what he said:
“Boil down what your work is about in 3 sentences or fewer.”
“A good elevator pitch will help you network, talk about your work, and get people interested in checking out your stuff. But it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Keep it limited to some basic information about what you make and do.”
Are you the type of artist or creative business owner who does A LOT of things? You may find it challenging to boil down your pitch into just 3 sentences. So consider an umbrella “theme” that covers everything you have to offer. Like, I’m a photographer — I help brides and families capture memorable moments and life events.
“Keep your elevator pitch tight and non-fancy.”
“It should be something you can fit into a conversation without sounding like a memorized sales pitch — which would probably make both you and your listener a little uncomfortable.” Instead, toss out something light that your listener can grab hold of quickly.
“Ideally it will be interesting enough to prompt a follow-up question, which then gives you license to go into more detail.” Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be perfect! If your elevator pitch leads to additional conversation, you can share more then.
“Keep it short, concise, and to-the-point.”
“Does it leave out a lot of important info? Of course. But it’s to the point, and usually gets the other person to ask me for more detail, which is exactly what you want to happen. When used at art openings, museum shows, art fairs etc., it’s been a good excuse to give someone my business card, invite them to view my website, etc. Every once in a while it’s even helped me set up studio visits, which led to shows.”
Much like writing an artist statement, the most important factor in crafting an elevator pitch is your audience. Who are you speaking to? What words are going to click for them? What information will keep the conversation going rather than cause it to come to a screeching halt? And how much information is too much information?
Sensing a theme here? When it comes to crafting your artist elevator pitch, brevity is key — but even a short, concise and to-the-point intro pitch has the power to evolve into a rich conversation, naturally.
Ready to test your elevator pitch on a new audience? Share yours in a comment below!