This chapter discusses the relationship between artist and medium, drawing on 33 artist interviews. When the artist begins work with her medium, her elation about her initial idea (if she had one) may fade, and she may have to face disillusionment as she encounters the inevitable problems of translating the idea into the language of her chosen medium. The artist attempts to coerce her medium into a form that will embody her internal experience (and also present a new view of some aspect of the external world). She has to make the medium sufficiently malleable to respond to her demands, but she is also sensitive to the behaviour of the medium. A dialogue is set up in which artist and medium respond to each other. As this dialogue progresses, the developing artwork comes into being and gradually acquires its own ‘vital import’, a liveliness that is also an expression of the artist’s own inner experience. This chapter references the work of psychoanalysts Ken Wright and René Roussillon, art critic Adrian Stokes and philosopher Susanne Langer. It includes quotations from interviews with artists Simon Faithfull, Sharon Kivland, David Johnson, Jo Volley, Dryden Goodwin and John Aiken.