Artist Talks

At the end of the semester, everyone in the class will give a source presentation where they discuss their sources/influences and how that affects/compliments their style. It is important to gain awareness of the choices we make and why we make them. The source presentation is a great way to share your findings with your peers, and heighten your artistic practice.

For an explanation of sources, influences and style, review this presentation.


1) IN CLASS – We will prepare for this presentation by learning more about other artists’ sources/inspirations through everyone’s Artist Reports.
2) IN YOUR SKETCHBOOK – Additionally, everyone should keep a running list of sources/inspirations in their sketchbook (I will look at this list during the semester to ensure you’re making progress)
3) Finally, we will have one session of class where we practice our presentations for each other, and everyone will give constructive feedback.


— We will be using Powerpoint or Prezi. If you are unfamiliar with either, plan on getting help.
Make good color choices – a black background for their slides usually works best to make the work pop
No more than 5-10 words written on any given slide. Preferably, NO words written on your slides. The powerpoint is meant to illustrate your talk (meaning, all the words should come from your mouth, NOT the slide). The only exception to this rule is an image credit (for example: “Panel Drawing 4,” Ellen Mueller, 2009, ink on panel, 12″x12″).
No less than 10 slides, and no more than 20 slides. (You may add one additional “title card” slide at the beginning with your name)
— You can use images of your sources/inspirations, images of your work, and anything else you feel is pertinent. Make sure that all the images are large enough for the audience to see without struggling. The images should be high-quality, meaning that they are properly lit, in focus, cropped neatly, and not pixelated. The resolution of the images should be 72dpi, and no larger than 1280 pixels either horizontally or vertically (if your images are higher resolution, be sure to change them to 72dpi to avoid creating too large of a file).


— You must have a “hook.” A hook is an introductory item that grabs your audience’s attention (a joke, a brief story/anecdote, a brief quote, etc).
— The hook should be followed by an introductory remark (a brief sentence to introduce what you’ll be talking about). For example: “Today we’ll be looking at the sources and inspirations that influence my artistic style.”
Discuss your sources/influences and how that affects/compliments your style. You can also talk about how you work, and why. I suggest making sure you touch on at least one artist that influences your work, at least one thing (a song, a board game, an activity – like skateboarding, etc) that influences your work, and at least one place that influences your work (Florida, beaches, mountains, Paris, the great wall of China, etc). Beyond that, you can fill the 10-20 slides with anything else that influences your style of working and the content of your drawings.
— You can use more than one image of an influence if it is very important to your work (like different two works by Elizabeth Peyton if you are strongly influence by her, etc). However, you should only do this AFTER you have met the minimum of 10 slides.
— It can be useful to create “comparison” slides that have an image of one of your influences on one side, and right next to it, put an image of your work that serves as an example.
— Spend no more than 20-30 seconds on each slide (your audience will loose interest very quickly). Think of this presentation as if you were doing an Artist Report (like the ones we’ve been doing all semester) on yourself.
— Your talk should take no more than 6 minutes. There will be a timer, and your presentation will stop promptly at 6 minutes. I recommend practicing to avoid early termination 🙂


Practice! Practice! Practice! Practice alone, practice with a friend, practice in front of a mirror. You cannot use note cards to help you with this presentation. You must memorize your talking points (I do not recommend memorizing a script word-for-word, but you do want to memorize what you are generally going to say for each slide). That is why it is so important to practice.
— Remember everything we’ve talked about throughout the semester – avoid talking to the wall, speak loud, look at the entire audience as you present, remember to summarize what you’ve presented, etc.

10pts – Evidence of Practice in your presentation
5pts – Must turn in your powerpoint presentation file on our learning management system by 1 hour before class. (submission link is on Angel), AND you must bring a functioning version of the file to class for the presentation (on a jump drive, or cd, etc).
5pts – Coherence/Flow of presentation (does it seem to move logically from one slide to the next, holding the audience’s attention)
3pts – Observance of the time restraints
3pts – Quality and Number of slides (observing the background color, image size, and text recommendations)
4pts – Introductory hook/summary (is it attention-grabbing/entertaining? do your remember to summarize)