I recently posted a list of 5 things Not to say to an artist on Instagram. I have a lot more than 5 and I'll be doing additional posts with others. But, another artist said in the comments that she would love to hear my answers. I thought it would make a good blog post. So here goes.
I have a studio that is open to the public once a month so I have the opportunity to talk to hundreds of people every month. Here are just a few of the comments.
#1 I wish I had a creative flair.
I understand that they are trying to compliment me but what I'm hearing is it must be easy to be an artist when you have "creative flair". I usually answer that the creative flair is just a small part of it. "What I really have is passion and persistence." Passion and persistence to slog through year after year, taking classes and workshops, painting canvas after canvas, going to galleries and museums to learn how to paint. There are those savants out there that have cravy innate talent. I'm definitely not one of them!
#2. I love the frame.
I heard that a lot more when I used to use those gold ornate frames. I'm not in the frame business! My answer is that I'm happy to switch frames from painting to painting or if it's a different size, I can order one at my cost for them. I'm able to get framing cheaper than my client.
#3. What do you do all day?
"Do you mean besides painting? I do marketing, framing, updating my website, shooting and editing videos for social media, order supplies, and paint."
#4. What's your real job?
Or more to the point, do you do this full-time? I work Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5 and Saturday from 9 until noon. In the evenings and weekends, I'm on the computer. Working. My Husband thinks I'm having an internet affair, I'm on the computer so much!
#5. My kid could do that.
People usually aren't that rude to say that to me. I might hear it whispered to a friend. I remember years ago when I didn't understand abstracts. I also know that my art isn't for everyone. Depending on how it's said, I might respond with, "You should get him a studio. He might be a savant!" or if I think they would like an explanation of the painting, I explain about differences, balance, composition, color harmony, layers, and design. By that time, I've bored them to death and they're ready to leave my studio!
I'm going to be doing more of these 5 things not to say to an artist. I'd love it if you'd sign up for my newsletter so you don't miss them.