Draw the Connections

Draw the Connections
November 29, 2016 Andrea Muhlbauer


This is the second in a series of tips for communicating with your audience. If you know me at all, you know I’m obsessed with artists communicating with their audiences. I talk about it ALL the TIME. But sometimes I get too excited about WHY communicating with your audience is important, and I forget to mention HOW. These tips are intended to give artists a new perspective of how to communicate better with their audiences. I’ll post a new tip every week. Take them or leave them – find out what works for you. And if you REALLY want to become a better artist, take on this challenge…

Every week, create a bite-sized piece (learn more about bite-sized pieces here) that focuses on the tip of the week. The only way to become a better artist is through practice!


It’s easy to let little connections slip by during the creative process. A plot point, a symbol, a defining characteristic. When you’re the one creating a piece, it’s easy to let those connections slip by. Why? Because you already understand them. And of course you understand them – you made them up! What artists need to remember is that they have an entirely different perspective on the piece than literally any other person who will see it. Never assume that something makes sense.

When it comes to creating, it’s all about finding a balance. The creator should never assume that something makes sense, but the creator also must treat their audience with respect. No one wants to be blatantly told what to think or what to believe. The key here is to guide your audience, but ultimately allow them to draw their own conclusions. You are completely in charge of defining your characters, plot points, and symbols. Your audience depends on you to draw those connections so they can understand what’s going on. But that doesn’t mean you need to shove those connections in their faces. It’s like asking someone a question and then shouting the answer at them before they’ve had the chance to think about it. What makes a piece really engaging and empowering is when the audience members are allowed to discover the connections. When the artist can find the perfect balance between telling the story and communicating the message, and allowing the audience to draw their own conclusions, they have succeeded. It’s not an easy balance to find, so start practicing now.

See Tip #1 here, and stay tuned for Tip #3 next week…


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