Monday, February 20, 2012

Things Non-Artists Don't Understand

Bookkeeper always loves talking with her fellow artists. One thing she's noticed is that artists seem to have similar habits and pet peeves.

Now, "art" is a huge category and Bookkeeper can't speak for everyone, but these certainly hold true for her:

  • When an artist at heart compliments you on your cool hat/jacket/hairstyle, you can bet she'll draw a picture of it as soon as she gets her hands on a pencil.
  • The difference between an artist an a non-artist is this: when someone says "I like to draw!..."
    • An artist will say "Awesome, can I see some of your drawings?"
    • A non-artist will say "Awesome, can you draw me?"
  • Drawing isn't a talent, it's a skill. Great artists are the ones who spent years improving their art style bit by bit until they got to where they are now, they weren't magically born with it.
  • "That's really good! All I can draw is stick figures!" Is not as witty as non-artists seem to think it is. 
  • Most artists have learned to cringe when they hear the words "Can you draw my charrie? I can give you a description, you just draw what I tell you."
  • A lot of good artists draw pictures of people all the time. That doesn't mean they also have the skill to draw your favorite animal, or even a tree for that matter. So don't expect every artist to know how to draw a giraffe off the top of his head.
  • What an artist visualizes and what she draws are completely different.
  • What an artist draws and what he describes are completely different, too. Expect to hear a lot along the lines of "Yeah, it's really messy and the anatomy is awful, I know..."
  • If you ask to look at an artist's sketchbook, nine times out of ten it will be open to the picture she least wants you to see. 
  • If you are an artist, prepare to receive pencils, paint, notebooks, color-by-number kits, and how-to-draw books for every gift giving occasion. Even if you don't want them.
  • People who watch over an artist's shoulder as he draws are both flattering and really annoying at the same time.
  • Upon seeing a really fantastic piece of art...
    • A non-artist will say "I could never do that."
    • An artist will say "I could do something better... if I really tried."
  • Learn these magic words: "Wow, thanks for drawing this picture for me! Is there anything I can do to repay you?" 
  • Sometimes an artist just doesn't feel like drawing

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