The Art (Gift) of Small Talk

My wife is brilliant! Yeah, I know every husband says that about his wife. At least he should. I am not talking about Jeri’s visionary brilliance in developing compelling artwork with unique color palettes, patterns, and shapes mere mortals are envious of. I am not even talking about her culinary brilliance in being able to prepare something from nothing. I am talking about her “gift.” And it is brilliant! Not many people have the gift, but Jeri does—that rare ability to engage in conversation with a complete stranger. She has the gift of small talk. Sadly, I don’t have that gift … yet. But, I am working on it. In the meantime, I stick like glue to her at gallery openings, dinners or other events where you actually have to talk to people. Starting conversations, as in starting new works of art, can be very intimidating. So, why not learn from a master?

Then it dawned on me: What a perfect way to position a blog! I can talk about anything under the “small talk” umbrella. I was feeling plenty smart until I Googled small talk and discovered I wasn’t the only clever person on the planet. Many sites—even art sites—use the moniker “small talk.” No one had copyrighted the phrase so I am in the clear, as far as I know, to use it for my blog. It is one of those chameleon phrases that can be shared across many disciplines and many topics.

I don’t consider myself a blogger and I am still ambivalent about even considering becoming one. I am an artist first. Everything else is a distant second in terms of my life’s creative goals. But, I was thinking if I write small talk in a blog then I might become more comfortable and proficient in real situations where small talk is actually useful. Talking about my art at gallery openings or other social events is not my forte. Not because I don’t have confidence in what I do, but rather because I was reared to not “toot my own horn.”
I guess it’s a Southern thing. As artists, we need to learn this conversational art form. Art events and gallery openings are great opportunities to learn and test our skills. The more we can small talk about and discuss our art with potential collectors the more it may lead to big talk and a sale!

So, this is my inaugural blog with the expectation that I will get better as I go while learning what I can along the way. I don‘t profess to be an authority on any subject. I‘m just a guy with an opinion about art and life—right or wrong.

I have not decided on a post schedule but I hope you will check back periodically. And, like I say, I’m just tryin’ to make small talk.


8 Responses

  1. Hey…I know someone like that, too.
    Phenomenal how some people have that gift and others of us struggle to say hello to a stranger. Good luck on your efforts…in the meantime, your blogging skills are excellent. Between that and your painting skills; you’re doing great!

  2. I look forward to following you on your mission to achieve “small talk” mastery. It will be yet another mark of my fandom.

  3. EXCELLENT blog post, Nick!!! Fantastic is so many ways! So, you don’t think you have the public small talk gene – I get that, I’d rather write – but a blog post like this every month, will certainly get you some followers. And you know where that can go. Next, I’ll be looking for the place on your web site to sign up for your posts!

  4. Jeri definitely has the gift and you two make an incredible pair with your artistic talents!

  5. Wonderful blog and I couldn’t agree more about your ‘gift’ in Jeri and you are certainly her gift too! AMAZING work Nick, so beautiful!
    Thank you for all of your generous help too!

  6. Nick , just a hello to a young life friend. Proud, to see you so well. Hope you can make it to our upcoming class reunion. All is well in the Tindell life and family. Hope to see u soon. Chuck Tindell

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