Q:

How do you interview an artist?

A:

The interviewer should know the subject before the interview, form a relationship with the subject conducive to sharing, ask relative questions and pay attention to the subject. These are the four journalistic principles for interviewing anyone. In determining which individual questions to ask, the reporter should consider what is going to engage both the artist and readers. It is important to understand what readers may want to know about the artist.

Having a healthy background on the artist prior to entering an interview is essential not just to knowing which questions to ask but in establishing a relationship with the artist. The reporter should get a little bit of biographical information about the artist and research the artist's work. Showing up to an interview with little knowledge about either makes a writer appear disinterested, which the artist might find offensive. Artists will be less likely to open up to the writer if they feel the writer is just there to do a job. During the interview, the reporter should ask detailed questions about individual works, find out what inspires the artist, learn what led the artist to create art, ask the artists about his or her style choice. All of these help readers understand the writer's voice, which helps readers understand the artist.


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