Illustrations by Casey Webb
This is the second half of a two-part article based upon things that actual artists have been told- most of which by friends and family. As an artist, it’s a bit upsetting and yet frustratingly humorous just how many of these I can personally relate to. What’s with this stigma about artists? People are either extremely impressed or incredibly discouraging regarding art being a vocation. This is part 2 of this post, for more, check out part 1 here.
1. “I’ve tried to make money as an artist and you can’t.”
No, no, no… Just because you can’t, doesn’t mean I can’t. People do, so obviously it is possible, even if it’s not for you.
2. “You should get an actual job.”
How do you think actual jobs are made? Via Entrepreneurs.
3. “You should see what others are doing and try that.”
True art is not about doing what everyone else is doing, it’s about vision, imagination, and creating something new.
4. “I have an idea of something that you should make.”
What I need is more time, not more ideas.
5. “You should change this, this, this, and this…”
You should stop blurting out unwanted advice.
6. “You never take my advice.”
So then why do you keep giving me it?
7. “There’s no demand for stuff like that.”
So what you’re saying is that it’s not generic enough, and because you have never seen anything like it, you assume no one wants it. Ever heard of a niche?
8. “You need something to fall back on.”
Oh, you mean a nice cushion of broken dreams? So comfortable.
9. “How crafty!”
My work is not a scrap book page.
10. “That’s a nice frame.”
11. “That looks like a child’s artwork.”
As Picasso once said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child” and “Every child is born an artist. the problem is to remain one as we grow up”.
12. “I can do that. How hard can it be?”
Yeah, it’s pretty easy to copy an idea when half the work of thinking it up is already done for you.
13. “Show me how to do it!”
A magician does not reveal their secrets.
14. “I’m going to go home and make one!”
Okay, great! Glad I could inspire, as long as you’re not stealing my exact vision and making a knock-off.
15. “Can I borrow your expensive tools/supplies?”
Can I borrow a deposit?
16. “It’s just some wood with some paint on it.”
And a lot of time and skill required, but you don’t see that part of it.
17. “Do you make any money doing that? How much do you make?”
My finances aren’t up for discussion. Let’s talk about how much you make. Got any debt? How about any medical problems?
18. “But it took you no time at all!”
It took me my entire life, and is not something everyone can do or even learn to do.
19. “Can I get a discount?”
Do you go into the grocery store and try to bargain?
20. “Please explain your price.”
My pricing is the amount I would need to sell this item for to make it worth it for me to have made it. I could tell you the cost of supplies, but the truth is, I spent A LOT of time just to find the best deals to save you money. I could tell you how long it took me to make something, but truth is, it took a lot of practice and trial and error first. I could tell you my chosen hourly rate, but then again, I could also ask you how much you make an hour but that’s a bit personal and rude.
21. “Will you fix this for me?”
Unless I made it, I’d rather not. I’m a creator, not a fixer, it’s a waste of my imagination and time.
22. “Your work space is messy.”
Yes, because it’s never not being used.
23. “What kind of art do you make?”
Although this one isn’t that annoying, it’s truly hard to answer. It’s like describing a personality, until you experience/see it, you can only get so much of an idea from adjectives alone.
24. “Photography is not art.”
Art is relative. Whether you consider photography an art or not, it still requires skills and bringing elements together to create an image just as any other art does.
25. “I heard artists are moody.”
Well I hope you can now understand why.
There’s more!.. To read part 1, click here. Let us know what you think in the comments.
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