10 Things Artists Are So Tired of Hearing
When you tell us that you 'wish you could draw', what you're really saying is 'I wish I had that talent without putting in the effort.'
Here's what us artists really want you to know...
1. Can you draw me for free?
Can I? Yes. Will I? No. Seriously, that is an artist's biggest pet peeve. If you expect free work because you're a 'friend' that should be even more of a reason why you shouldn't expect it. You should support your friend's small businesses rather than take advantage of them.
2. I wish I could draw like you!
You can. I didn't just wake up one morning and magically know how to draw. I picked up a crayon when I was five and never set it down. When you tell us that you 'wish you could draw', what you're really saying is 'I wish I had that talent without putting in the effort.' If you want to be good at art, you have to do what everybody does when they have a talent… PRACTICE!!!
3. Are you ever going to get a real job?
Cue eye roll. Who are you to dictate what makes a job a 'real job'? If I'm making enough money off of selling art, then you have no need to worry. Even if I'm not, I'd rather go broke doing what I love instead of dying in a cubicle with no dignity. Worry about your own wallet, I'll worry about mine.
4. No offense but...
NO! Stop. Offense taken! Unless you are an artist who has an undoubtedly higher skill level than me, I'm not interested in hearing it. Yes, the nose is crooked. Yes, the eyes don't exactly match. No, I didn't ask for your opinion. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Stop telling me how to create my own art.
5. My [insert relative] is a REALLY good artist!
Oh, thanks? What on Earth am I supposed to do with that information? When I hear this sentence, all I can do is read between the lines and hear you basically saying 'my relative is better than you'. Good for them! I don't doubt that they are; I'm sure your niece or whatever is great, but I'm not interested in being told who is better than me at what I do.
6. Oh wow! Did you trace that?
GRRRR. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't! Does it matter? If I've been slaving over my sketchbook for 4 hours creating a piece, it shouldn't matter if I did it free-hand or if I used a reference. If you have a problem, just keep scrolling.
7. Art can be just a hobby.
So can selling drugs. Do you see me out here trying to be El Chapo? For all you know, art is just a hobby for me. Again, don't worry about what I consider a career in my life if it isn't any of your business.
8. Can you teach me how to draw?
Sure! Let's drop everything we're doing right now and I'll teach you in 60 minutes what took me a decade to learn. The answer is no, I can't teach you to draw. I can make a few recommendations on how you can learn! PRACTICE! Find a picture, study it, draw it, fail, try again, and fail better next time. You have to put the time and the effort into art if you want to be good at it.
9. How about you try [insert art style] instead!
Cool recommendation! I'm not going to do it, but still, thanks for the input. I might look it up and consider trying it, maybe I already have, but I'm happy with what I'm doing. If you see me posting a lot of the same genre, odds are that that's where I feel most comfortable. Every artist steps out of their comfort zone at some point and it's a lot more common than you think. If I like doing realism and that's my strong suit, I'm probably not going to just switch over to contemporary because you told me to. If I do switch my genre, it's because I feel confident enough to do so.
10. You should post more of your art.
Eh, maybe I will or maybe I won't. When you're in the art world, there's a sense of insecurity. You're constantly being reminded that someone out there is better than you or that you aren't where you'd like to be, skill-wise. If I'm not posting my art, it might be because I don't feel confident enough to do so. Nobody is entitled to see what I create. I'll post it when I'm ready.