What people say to artists

Having been an artist/illustrator all my life  it is not easy to put my mind in the position of someone who cannot draw. You think to yourself “Why can’t everyone do this?” It has always been a talent I’ve had which was thankfully though inexplicably encouraged by parents. You become ‘top of the art-class in school’ until you go off to art college and then discover you were not that good – all the students are there who were best at art in their school. I can however empathise with unskilled art-lovers as I love music in its various forms and have always wanted to play on a musical instrument, but failed miserably in my attempts, so that I feel astonishment and envy at anyone who is proficient that way. I recognise too that it is not just about talent but about hard work, endless practice, an individual style, knowing when to stick to rules and when to break them, etc. All the skills that any creative artist needs to function at best.
So here are some common things folks say about my work:-

“How long have you been drawing?”
General

If we are talking about actual drawing – since I could hold a pencil and from watching other ‘tops of the art-class in school’ wishing I could do better. Femdom artwork from my late teens . See “The Lightbulb Moment”

“How long does it take to do a drawing?”
General

The classic “how long is a piece of string?” It varies enormously depending on subject, composition and technique. Some take a few minutes, some weeks. I don’t like to come back with “how long is a piece of string?” as it just sounds too abrupt to an innocent question, but really it is exactly that. Every one is different.

“What do you think of this modern art?”
Old guys watching me drawing outdoors

This used to be very common, asked by older members of the society but has tailed off in recent years. Perhaps we no longer care about art we don’t understand. It really is such a broad subject as, like most people I expect, there is some modern art I like and some I distinctly don’t like. But usually the tone of the question suggested I give an unfavourable response and so I obliged quite often with a negative view which led to much satisfied agreement .

“My  –insert obscure relation here- is an artist”
Young kids watching me draw outdoors

Well it happens .Those ‘tops of the art-class in school’ have to fulfil their dream somehow – and you go out far enough in any family you’ll find one mad enough to imagine they can earn a living as an artist. How to respond…positively, encouragingly (of course!)

“Money”
Other artists

When two artists meet do they talk about the latest exhibitions and wax eloquent on the refined palettes of the great painters? Do they hell! More often then not they moan about money, payment and the lack of it!

“I like your art – you can draw me if you like”
Vain but beautiful princesses

So drawing is a pleasant way to earn a living, but it is also my work and as such needs to be properly remunerated-a fact which is difficult to comprehend to some people who imagine that just drawing is so pleasurable it should not need any payment. So, vain but beautiful princesses, why not consider a commission of yourself and please the artist too?

Art is a cruel mistress….

cruelmuse

Oh, cruel muse!
Who do I draw for if not for you?
You come to me with your haunting visions and compel me to draw them for you.
I am just your vehicle on earth, a mere slave to be used for your ambition.
I draw, and draw but you demand ever more.You can never let me rest!
Then guide my hand and if I never satisfy you, at least let me draw as well as my strength allows…

 

 

6 thoughts on “What people say to artists

  1. Sardax, but you won’t ever run away from Her? The more demanding the better. We all know She loves you though. Classic Masoch in the poem. Very much enjoying this ‘art theory’ post.

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  2. Great post, amigo! I love the bit especially about “old guys” questioning you outdoors about modern art and how the “unfavourable response” is expected, leading to much “satisfied agreement.”

    The “piece of string” concept reminds me of what I think about when people ask me how long a story should be: Abraham Lincoln was once asked how long a man’s legs should be, and he said, “Long enough to reach the ground.” That’s the way I feel about a story–when it reaches the ground from that floating place up in my brain, it’s done.

    I love the muse in your picture, carelessly and greedily tossing the pages into the air before she goes back into the forest for a spell, probably to smack some naughty satyr on his bottom…

    Liked by 1 person

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