Questions for an Existential Interview for Painting

Over the next week, I will be conducting the first of what I will call an Existential Interview on someone’s painting. Basically, it’s an interview of existential questions on the meaning of painting to the artist, and paintings produced by the artist. After some initial questions on the artist’s history and style, to get some grounding and direction, will come the existential questions, like why they paint, what meanings their paintings have, what legacy they hope to have with their art, etc.

In preparation for said interview, I thought I’d write out the questions I plan to ask, roughly in the order I will ask them. There will always be room for questions that will arise pending answers given, of course. It’s not all preset cookie cutter format. I intend to be a human interviewer, not a robotic one!

Pending the artists’ wishes, I may or may not publish some answers, along with links to their arts for reference, in future posts.

In the meanwhile, below are the questions I thought of on first draft. I will edit these as I think of more, or gain experience with these interviews. If you think of any to suggest, please do so in the comments below.

  1. What is your name?

  2. What kind of artist are you?

  3. What is your primary art medium?
    (answer will be painting here)

  4. How did you get yourself into painting?

  5. Why painting and not some other art form?

  6. How long have you been painting?

  7. What does painting mean to you?

  8. How would you describe your art style?

    (techniques and topics, repeat if only one answer given)

  9. Why do you paint what you do?

  10. How did you come to paint that way?

  11. What makes your painting “unique” or stand out among others?

  12. Why do you say that?

  13. What role does painting have in your life now?

  14. What role do you hope painting will have in your life by the time you die?

  15. What steps are you taking, or planning, to make that happen?

  16. What place does your art have in the art world (or community) now?

  17. What legacy do you hope your art to have after you die?

  18. What steps are you taking, or planning, to make that happen?

  19. How would you wish your art life to be different, if you wish it so?

  20. What steps are you taking, or planning, to make that happen?

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