I've been a crafter and artist for 22 years. Yes, that's correct; 22! I've sold my work off an on over the years and am currently selling, so I have vast amounts of experience with comments--good, bad, and downright stupid. I'd never made it a habit of storing these comments (bless their hearts), but something brought them to the forefront. Someone shared a social media post from the California Arts Council about such comments. The ones they quoted were spot on. These have been said to me and my other artsy-fartsy friends in one form or another.
This week's Thursday thirteen: Thirteen things never to say to a crafter or artist with their appropriate (or inappropriate responses). Please insert tongue in cheek. Some of these are the art counsel's comments, some are my personal ones.
- "I'll just get my friend to make me one of those." - Then why are you here? Why are you either at a show/sale, on my website, or worse yet, at my house watching me create? This comment is from people who genuinely wish to be pimp slapped...repeatedly.
- "You know what you should make?..." - Hold it! Before you tell me, are you going to buy one? No? NEXT! Now, granted, I do solicit ideas (that's NOT what I'm talking about) and a friend gave me a wonderful idea, I made it, and she bought the first one. That's the point. To me, offering an unsolicited suggestion, but not being willing to buy is, quite frankly, rather tacky. (Play the Weird Al song here).
- "Do I get a price break if I buy two?" - Do gas prices all of a sudden drop because you bought two coasters?
- "I'll have the money by the time you finish mine." - I've been burned too many times with that one...and it's never for a $5.00 item! (Watch the Tacky video again.)
- Calling the art form by the wrong name. No, knitting and crochet are NOT the same thing.
- Giving lame excuses for why you won't pay for an item. No lie, I once had a woman who refused to buy a baby blanket because she said the holes in it (they were part of the design SHE asked for) would pull off the baby's toes. WTC?! Honey, I've made HUNDREDS of baby blankets, no kid has lost a toe, and no kid is going to either. Goodnight, how fast and tight are you planning on rolling the kid up in it?! #SomePeoplesChildren (Play Tacky video yet again!)
- "I can make that myself." - See response to number one and repeat here.
- "Why does it cost so much?" - Well, if you can make it yourself, you should know!
- "How do you make this?" - Now, this one requires some clarification. If someone politely asks in curiosity, I don't mind discussing how I make my art. However, most times, it's not asked "HOW do you make this?" but "How do YOU make THIS?" as if to say, "I didn't think you were smart enough to be that creative." You know a backhanded question when you hear one!
"Will you donate your artwork to our event? We can’t pay you, but it will be great exposure.” - What am I, a photograph? I cannot buy soap and toilet paper with exposure. Before anyone gets testy, if you've read this blog or my sister blog any amount of time, you know I donate my art to various charities. It's the way it's asked and when it's asked (usually when I'm flat broke and am rolling pennies for gas).
- "My nine year old makes this kind of stuff too." - See response to number one and repeat AGAIN. Besides, the only child I am personally acquainted with who this could remotely be true about is a young girl who knits socks like nobody's business. However, her mom would never come to my art sale looking for socks in the first place.
- "Kids, this is what happens when you don't go to college." - Hey genius, ever heard of an art degree? Just for the record, I have two degrees from Jacksonville State University, known as the "Friendliest Campus in the South," where we know, among other things, how NOT to act like a doofus! Put a sock in it! FYI - you might get away with that with artists; I wouldn't try it with musicians, you
mightwill get hurt! More FYI - I'm a musician also.
- "I can buy that at Wal-Mart for $3.99." No, you can't. Seen one of these for $3.99?