Here’s 8 ways to make your artist friends cringe. Artists can’t stand it when they hear these 8 annoying comments repeatedly!
Being an artist is incredibly difficult at times. In a world that demands quick results and is fine with clip-art, makers of handmade artwork are typically overworked and under appreciated. There’s also a divide amongst artists and the general public. I have found that the general public frequently doesn’t have anything useful to say about artwork. I must admit, I’m actually fairly choosy with whom I even discuss art with these days. This restraint is mostly out of the fear of hearing the same old annoying comments by people who seem the least qualified to make any comment at all.
After interacting with the general public it’s amazing just how often I’ve heard the same old valueless comments in response to artwork. Without a doubt the most painful experience was when I used to endure the crowds at outdoor art fairs in which I was a participant selling artwork. So many lovely folks would commonly stop into my display booth to share their insightful words of wisdom. They seemed ever prepared to talk and far less equipped to listen. Here are some of the doozies I had to deal with.
8 Comments Artists Hate Hearing
1 I Can’t Draw a Straight Line
Nobody can, at least not without any tools. If the task of drawing a straight line ever becomes life threatening, consider using a ruler.
2 It Looks Like a Photograph
If I wanted my artwork to look like a photograph I would have taken a photograph with a camera and would have been on with my life in a matter of seconds. I work hard at manipulating the painted brush strokes and textural effects that my paints make, one that a photograph will never come close to reproducing. I would mention color gamut, interpretation, levels of abstraction, temperature, and artistic license but I can see you’ve already made up your mind.
3 So, You’re a Visual Person…
Whenever I hear this one it’s invariably followed by an obnoxious request to work for free or for such a low wage it mind as well be. Some common examples:
So, you’re a visual person, can you help me design my backyard? Seriously? You realize I’m a still life painter right?
So, you’re a visual person, can you paint a mural on my kid’s bedroom wall? See above response. Now go to Walmart, buy some posters and call it a day.
4 You Know What You Should Paint?
No please tell me. I tremble with anticipation! I can’t tell you how often I get advice from people whom:
- Don’t collect art
- Don’t make art
- Have never taken an art history course ever in their life
- Don’t understand any artwork even slightly outside of the realism tradition
Yet, these same folks are never short on expert advice as to which direction my painting career should take! Wow, thanks so much buddy, I don’t know how I got this far without you, it must have been dumb luck on my part!
5 Have You Ever Seen…?
This is when a person names another artist and claims that your artwork is like theirs. These people usually have a very short mental list of artworks in mind and they’re always playing a childlike game of match in their head. Cool, you mean to tell me that all of those years of developing my own artistic voice has resulted in my artwork being a duplication of something that has already been done? Sweet. Thanks to your keen eye and superb ability to categorize artwork, I‘ll be sure to change my artistic style right away! Also, thanks for adding such an in-depth analysis to the discussion.
6 I Wish I Could Afford Your Artwork
Translation: I can afford your artwork, I am just not willing to spend money on your art. Having been in the arena of art-sales ventures for over a decade this was originally frustrating for me to hear. I once heard this from a colleague at an art show 10 minutes before she got into her gigantic gas-guzzling, $60,000, luxury, sports utility vehicle and drove away. It was almost comical. I wish I could attend your direct marketing Tupperware party-scam at your house this weekend, but alas I’ll be busy doing something else… probably making artwork you can’t afford 😉
7 You’re Lucky to Have Artistic Talent
Yes, it was really wonderful that day I woke up and found out I could draw and paint just like a pro! You’re lucky to be good at accounting. You’re lucky to be good at running marathons. This is probably one of the most offensive comments an artist can get although it’s often said with the greatest subtlety. It implies that artists have not worked extremely hard to get to where they are and that art cannot be learned. Both of these statements are perpetrated by fools with a fixed-mindset of course.
8 I Wish I Could Draw Like That
Right, and I wish I could eat a gigantic bowl of ice cream every night and not get fat. What this person means to say is “I wish I could be good at something without making any effort.” Making artwork takes an incredible amount of discipline and focus. There’s nothing to wish for. You either want to be proficient at art-making and are willing to spend years getting better at it or you don’t. It’s that simple.
Sorry, but I was feeling a wee bit sarcastic today and just wanted to get this off my chest. If you are an artist whom is serious about your artwork, especially selling it, I’m sure you can relate to many of these annoying statements.