Over the first week and spring break, I’ve gathered more than a dozen contacts that I tried to get in touch this week. A big thank you to Dr. Beck, Instagram, and LinkedIn! Now, for the first topic of discussion: I realized that I did not explain my project in the last post, so here’s a one-sentence summary for your convenience if you haven’t read my abstract — I’m interviewing visual artists in the Bay Area. Specifically, I want to know what kind of path they have taken, their successes, their struggles, and what they think of their socioeconomic status. I don’t really know what kind of answer I will get, but this is a process of investigating and learning! 🙂
Moving on to a more “thrilling” topic: stalking people. With a name and a brief idea of what this person does, it really elicits a chain reaction where I can find their email, personal website, and even relevant organizations that can help me with finding more artists. I feel like I already know some of them just by looking at pictures of their artworks, which can sound weird to you, but I’m really hoping that I eventually get to interview them. I carefully crafted an email on Wednesday with the help of my advisors and sent it out over Thursday and Friday. I’m still waiting for responses, but I’m positive that even one person will lead me to more contacts!
On Friday, I conducted my FIRST EVER INTERVIEW, which was sort of a practice round to test questions. This was the most exciting thing for me this week and a big milestone. My questions proved to be effective in guiding the conversation, but it definitely wasn’t enough to get all the detailed information I needed, so I improvised more questions while making them blend into our conversation. While I used Voice Memos to record, I also took notes on paper so I could pay more attention. I felt like an investigative journalist when holding my notepad! The interview went really well and I learned a lot that I didn’t know, which was the whole point of this project. It also gave me a new topic to include in future interviews: the advocacy of art and its social value.
In preparation of the interview, I wrote a consent form to voice recording, showing the data to BISV, anonymity if requested upon, etc. I thinks it’s really important and gives you legitimacy, because we are really just high schoolers. For those doing interviews as part of your research, I recommend using the template from the University of Edinburgh and revise it to suit your need. As for the timing, I hoped the interview could last 30 minutes, and it turned out to be 45 minutes! I’m excited to transcribe the recording next week, analyze it, and improve my line of questioning for the next interview.
That’s it for this week!