Thursday, 12 May 2016

7 people every artist has met

In the spirit of spending far too long on those time wasting sites that list everything from '22 cartoon guys that sexually awakened you' to ' 17 things you probably didn't know about Eurovision', I thought I'd do my own list based on my experience as an artist. 

Over the years of working in art organizations and taking part in art events I've met lots of people, some of whom seem to crop up periodically for every artist. They fall into certain categories, there's the good, the great and the... well, I'll just let you read on;

The Bullsh*tter:

This character hears you are an artist, it turns out they are also an artist, curator or entrepreneur. They have have an amazing exhibition, event or project planned and they think your work would fit really well even though they have only just met you or know very little about you. They then proceed to bombard you with ideas about what they are going to do and what they think you should do to be included. It sounds way too good (or utterly rubbish) to be true... and it is. The fantastical production which I quote, 'will really shake up the art world' never materializes. You thank your lucky stars you never got involved, especially when you bump into them again some months later spewing the same story to a bunch of new people. Back. Slowly. Away

The Know-It -All:

This is usually another artist or someone who enjoys dabbling in the arts, they can be very nice people, they are interested to know what you do. You tell them. They then proceed to tell you all about your chosen field as if you are a novice and haven't just told them you've been working as an artist for X amount of years. Usually they don't understand your work yet continue to tell you how it should be done. Usually you want to punch them.

The Flake:

They love your work, they want to include it in a future event or exhibition, or purchase some, or commission you. They have creative connections, they are enthusiastic. They give you their details. You get in touch to discuss further. You get some response. You contact them again. They give you a reason for the delay in proceedings. You wait. You wait... you give them a nudge. They give you a different reason for the delay in proceedings. Things continue along this pattern until you realise nothing is going to happen. It's not the end of the world. You grind your teeth and move on.

The All-about-me:

This person is programmed to talk enthusiastically about themselves and their work AT you rather than to you. They show no interest in what you do or have to say. This character can be found in many industries but the arts invariably (the burlesque circuit has a few!). They are exhausting and boring. Even if their work is wonderful and interesting, their personality puts you off and that is the impression they leave you with.


The Supporter:

This person in interested in your work and they have something genuinely interesting, thoughtful or advising to suggest about it. They understand how to discuss your work without pulling you or it down and how to be constructive. You come away full of possibilities and ideas and a nice warm fuzzy feeling.

The Coach:

This person is usually a friend an acquaintance a colleague or somewhere in between all three. They are usually unassuming, but their input into your life has huge positive effects. They help to clarify your ideas, give you direction and guide you. They put opportunities your way and are always good to turn to in a creative jam.

The Enthusiast:

They try to make it to every show and usually do, they re-post your tweets and Facebook posts and leave lovely uplifting comments that make you feel good. They probably don't think twice about it but they make your career choice worthwhile and give you that extra little boost to keep doing what you do!

Did I leave any out? If you have any other arty-type experiences please share!

No comments: