I have met artists and creative types who have been ‘in the business’ for years, but every pearl that escapes their mouths is coated in black bile.
I’ve put up with a few of them but these days, if I meet anyone new and recognize these traits, I just smile and edge myself out sideways – as soon as I can.
Jaded is contagious.
Here’s my handy bitter and jaded artist checklist:
1. Every good word you say to this artist quickly degenerates into offering you “constructive feedback” on your work or how you are “capable” of so much more.
2. They will take the time out to say derisive things about your work – one senior lady artist took the trouble of calling me after 9pm to ask me to send a link to my website just so she could show my ‘doodles’ to her grandson’s friend. Others have generously complimented me on my “good illustrations”.
3. According to them, the successful have invariably “sold out” or “have put their past hits on repeat.”
4. They hate the blindness and hypocrisy of the art world and the stupidity of the public at large who fail to embrace their work.
5. Their style has not changed or evolved in ages – but they blame everyone else for “not getting” what they’re doing.
6. They haven’t published/put up a show/performance in years.
7. Dismissive scorn appears in response to any mention of the marketing and promotion strategies you are trying. They are the best and they “know it all” and have “done it all” and it “never works”.
8. They blame their friends, family, teachers, employers, galleries, or ‘society’ for the current state of their art/creative career. Except themselves.
These artists may be sweet and charming people, but beware the jaded, bitterness – run away!!
I want to cultivate nourishing, nurturing encouragement and grounded, solid advice from people who want to see other people succeed, not add me to the reasons why the art world is doomed to fail.