“Artists are a peaceful race: inside their lairs they work quietly, hunched over their blank sheets or their digital tablets, inspired by the creative thought that their mind sprang up in that magical moment. They don't bother anyone, they're perfect for indoors and don't take up much space. They don't ask for much in return, just peace of mind.
Unfortunately, however, the artist is a creature with a delicate balance, it takes very little to upset their emotional state.
Its existence is endangered by the invasion of its habitat by the human being who, curious about their way of life; it intrudes on their routine with the risk of driving them to exhaustion. For this reason it is important to preserve this endangered species. "
Okay, after this idiotic introduction, I start the actual article.
Seriously, we artists are really people who like to be quiet.
Leave us in one place to draw, and you will find us there in the same pose. In reality everyone has their own way of working and concentrating, but stillness is almost necessary for everyone. There are few things that make us angry… but the ones that really piss us off are the people who underestimate our work. No matter the context, there will always be that someone who will bother us.
On the Twitter profile of “Tea, Cookies and Art” I asked this question: What are the phrases that a person should never say to an artist?
The (many) responses I received are not hypothetical phrases, but real offenses that users have been told during their life as freelance artists. "Offended" is perhaps a big word, but that's how I see it. They are divided into two groups: phrases based on artistic skills and phrases based on commissioned work. Below I have collected some of these most common expressions, collected from the discussion proposed in the blog. Following each sentence, I wanted to add my personal comment, sorry.
- · Distrust of ability.
The most common, you always hear them say, and have the same effect as a scratch on the blackboard.
To be honest they wouldn't always be uttered by ignorant people, indeed, there are some who are genuinely surprised at our abilities and in that case they really want to learn more about what we do… this in the best of situations. Unfortunately, it is precisely the dull ones who pronounce them, those who refuse to accept and understand that being an artist is a recognized profession, as well as a difficult job. For them it seems easy and they denigrate the difficulty, or they devalue it to a trivial pastime. I would like to see them in my place, wasting a week trying to complete an illustration.
1. "But did you make them yourself?"- no, my grandmother made them. If I'm showing them to you, it will mean something right ?!
2. "Ah but you draw digitally ... so everyone is good"- this irritates me because a lot of people think that there is a special button for doing digital drawings. No, drawing digitally is very difficult! I have no idea where this thought comes from and it pisses me off.
3. "Ok, but what is your real job?"- as mentioned before, it is still not believed that being an artist is a profession. It's everyone who draws Captain America so what are they? Pizza chefs?!
Many freelancers are able to financially support their lifestyle thanks to this profession. Some are satisfied with little, while others pay their electricity and gas bills.
In short, a very respectable work in which the person has made their way into the art market, thanks also to their original drawing style. Well, not everyone thinks this way: many try to get a drawing for free with flattery and compliments, or they don't think that the work is not worth the proposed sum. These are often stabbed in the heart because they can also be said by people who do the same job as ours ...
- "Not worth the price / costs too much." - then go to someone else, stingy.
- "Ah but do I have to pay you? Can we do a AT then? " - Dude, if I did them for free I would not have called them "commissions" but "gifts".
- "Can you do it in the style of this other small artist, who costs too much / has closed commissions?"- this is an insult both personally and to the colleague! Do you see me written on the forehead "Made in China"? That person worked hard to get the style he/she wanted and you want me to copy it just because it's cheaper? Get out of the way, dude!
- Can you take a portrait of me (free)? - No. Drop the money.
- "Ah, artist, beautiful! So you can do a drawing for me? You do it quickly, right?" - No darling, not when you ask me to draw you a flower with a hundred petals, which floats on the sky-blue water of the Nile on the bottom of which you can see a frog dad with tadpoles children and on the horizon the sun is setting with that evening light a little red, a little orange ...
These, my friends, are some of the phrases that an artist does not want to hear.
But this is a tiny sliver of a gigantic iceberg that is the problem; so, don't think that's all there is to it.
Often it is enough just to ignore some people, block them from social networks and continue our life with the usual normality. It becomes a dilemma when their "kindness" turns into insistence and then finally into aggression. Yes, because if you don't please them they start insulting your mother and accusing you of being a horrible person. I noticed on social media that this is becoming a habit of people who want to commission someone. Many artists tell of their experiences confessing their confusion and discomfort felt towards complete strangers, who expect to receive a product at the cost of nothing with an arrogance that if it were up to me I would slap them.
Therefore, to all of you who one day want to ask someone for a drawing, be respectful, pay them right and don't be arrogant. It can also be your cousin who promises you to recreate the Mona Lisa in one day, the rule does not change, treat him with due respect.
The artist is a person who is dedicating their time to create what you cannot, to comply with your requests with patience and above all to make you happy.
Respect ... is an appreciation of the other person's diversity, of the ways in which he or she is unique. (Annie Gottlieb)