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Turn Artsy Small Talk Into Networking

Turn Artsy Small Talk Into Networking

Elisha-Rio Apilado

“Hello, my name is (blank). Oh, you have your own business? Need a logo?”

Imagine this scenario. You’re waiting in line at your local coffee shop. You look down and see a sweet pair of doodled Chucks. You tap the person in front of you on the shoulder and compliment their shoes. You get into a conversation about how she came up with the doodle design and why you both enjoy the arts.

She mentions she’s a graphic design student and (DING!) an alarm rings in your head. You take this cue to talk about your graphic design experiences. Your hand reaches down for a business card. Or maybe you have your iPhone on hand with examples of your work. You smile, exchange contact information and talk about a possible collaboration. Or maybe she knows somebody who knows somebody who has connections at Leo Burnett and can get you an interview.

Bam! You’re networking! And all because you took the time to talk to the person ahead of you in line. You expected to just grab your cup of coffee and leave, but you’ve managed to squeeze in some small talk — small talk that has the potential of becoming the next big thing in your graphic design career. How simple was that? So simple.

Now this scenario can vary in so many ways. You don’t necessarily HAVE to be at a coffee shop to exchange art talk with another artist (especially if there isn’t a cafe nearby). Networking can happen anywhere, anytime. You don’t have to plan it. It can happen anytime during your daily routine.

And although it can take place anywhere, it will probably only happen if you initiate the conversation. Small talk can turn into something big; you never know when it can happen. But just remember to keep small talk in context. Don’t be random. For Example don’t say, “Hi, I like your shoes. Oh by the way, I’m a graphic designer… need a logo?” That just makes you seem like a desperate salesperson, not an artist.

Next: The Necessities of Good Art Networking →

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