We’ve all seen those lists going around the internet regarding what artists (of whatever genre) do and do not want to hear from their viewers. Those posts that go “15 things you should NEVER say to an artist” or in other words, “The 1,000,000 deadly sins towards artists.”
Taking the topic seriously though and speaking as an artist as well, not everything in those lists applies to all of us. Each of us creates works in different environments and each of us addresses circumstances in our own way. Although there are some items in those lists that we would all undoubtedly agree to, some of the things enumerated get on our nerves.
Free or discounted art. This definitely has to be in the top of the must-not-tell-artists list. We take a lot of time and effort to craft the works that you, the viewers, are enjoying. Or at least we assume that you do if you’re asking us to make artworks for you. We may enjoy making them but it would also be nice to be compensated for the hard work. That’s why we set up commissions in the first place. If we want to make free or discounted art for you then we’ll let you know. Besides, it feels great when people actually pay us for doing something we love to do. It would make us feel as if all our hard work was worth something.
I wish I can draw. And you can! Anyone can draw; it’s not a blessing or a gift that only certain people are born with. I know many of you may mean this as a compliment, but most of us actually take this as something very demeaning. We got to where we are today because of practice (a lot of it) and perseverance. In reality, you don’t wish you could draw, if you do then you would be doing just that right now. You just wish drawing is easy. Everyone starts with works that can be considered cringe worthy but if you just continue practicing, one day you’ll look back at your old works and just laugh. Every artist goes through this and it feels good to see how much you have improved.
Touching the art. Now this part depends on the kind of art being presented. If it were traditionally drawn, we advise and plead you not to touch it. If you definitely have to just to get a closer look, you can lean forward or ask for permission. Traditional artworks are very sensitive. When handled wrongly, pencil shades could be smudged, colors could be erased and dirt marks could be formed. This makes the artwork less appealing and loses its original quality. This is why sometimes artists display their works inside plastic sheets and/or folders but people still slip them out into the open to view. The same could be said about digital prints although the common issue with that are finger print marks, which could also affect the artwork negatively. Again, artists work hard on these projects and to just see them damaged before getting sold is truly heartbreaking.
It’s sad to see that despite the fact that a lot of these awareness posts are going viral, there are still people out there who continue to ignore them. If you truly want to help your favorite artist, the best way to do so is to support them by either buying their artworks or promoting them by sharing them to your friends. Just like any other person, artists need the exposure and when they do see their followers happily supporting them, they would not only feel like they’re actually doing something worthwhile but would be more than pleased to make more artworks for your future viewing pleasure.