I was able to complete 4 interviews this week, which made a total of 11. I’ll try to do 2 more next week if time allows, but it’s already a good sample size to me although some of the opinions might be biased due to the limited demographics, which I will explain more in later blogs and my final presentation. I’m wrapping up the interviewing portion next week because I still have A LOT of transcribing then analyzing to do. I also want to make a huge, mixed-media painting on canvas that is inspired by my interviews and meeting artists!
Some thoughts after completing so many interviews:
– It’s hard at first, but you get better at asking the right questions, because your line of questioning, although it is helpful, doesn’t fit well with how each individual chooses to share their narrative. The right questions are the ones that doesn’t interrupt the person’s train of thought yet move on to the next topic.
– You need time to “warm up,” which means letting the person talk about whatever they wish for 5 to 10 minutes without interrupting or guiding them. Once they are in the mood of sharing their story, commence with whatever questions you actually want to ask. Also make sure you are the listener, not the other way around!
– Eye contact is very important! I did one interview without being able to see my interviewee and it wasn’t as smooth as the other ones for some reason.
Johanne said something during our interview about the artists in San Jose that I really loved. She said, “You have these wonderful critical thinkers, and they’re very very powerfully spirited people who want nothing but good for those around them, and the community.” I think it really captures the essence of being an artist in our time.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog where I share more quotes from the interviews, and several techniques I’ll be using to collect both quantitative and qualitative data!