Be Nice!

Updated: Feb 22, 2020

Having collected some of my paintings in mixed media & resin finish from my framer today, I am really pleased with the over all finish and what I have achieved. I have found myself reflecting on why I do this and why personal comments, sometimes from other fellow artists, can hurt and seem unfounded, personal and nasty, especially when negatively spoken or whispered from people who really should know better, and perhaps less qualified and experienced. Why do this, are you better, more important, better placed to pass such judgement?

I enjoy selling my work, it's my profession, my source of income, my passion. It is the biggest compliment to me when someone makes a purchase and hangs my work in their home to own & enjoy. I don't churn works out, I am not fast, I take time and effort over each one, sometimes to finally finish a work can take weeks and sometimes months for me. I'm not precious over any of them as to me I'm on a journey, there is always more to do, to explore, to push my boundaries and develop and progress further. I'm always flattered & grateful when my work is appreciated. This is me, my way. I wish I was quicker, more confident and less self critical, but this is my journey.

Why do I say all this? Because I've heard negative comments, I've been on the receiving end of criticism that has been unjust and ill informed. Haven't we all? I just wish we could all behave in a kinder and positive way. I felt implored to say the following, to give my view and to implore anyone who is guilty of poor behaviour, and I'm sure they know who they are, to think about why they think that this is OK.

I've studied and practised art all my adult life. I've qualified with BA Hons in Sculpture, PGCE in Art qualifying me to teach Art to children and adults. I have recently furthered my own artistic journey with a high graded MA in Art. I consider myself a professional full time artist on the back of this. Galleries support me by showing and selling my work. Clients purchase my work in the UK, Europe and a few have been taken further afield. I feel blessed and grateful for this.

This is not my hobby. This is my life. Art is subjective and I totally support and understand that we all have different tastes and enjoy differing styles and techniques. I've never felt that I can please all of the people all of the time.

However, recent behaviours of some known to me have given me reason to say the following... If you're an artist, please don't judge or compete like art is a isn't! If you 'teach' art and you don't have any qualifications or training to do such, do not criticise those who do! It's not your place. This is a bug bare of mine, qualifications do not make the artist, however, they do qualify the artist to pass on educated skills beyond their own ability. Hosting an art group is fair enough but if you're TEACHING art skills, then I believe that it is very important to be an authoritative and experienced practitioner yourself. Maybe you facilitate art activities, rather than teach? If you re an artist don't undermine fellow artists by leaching off what they do ie extract skill, knowledge and expertise just to apply it to your own work without any respect or gratitude to the very artist you are learning from. Give, not just take. Ask, don't just assume, and give acknowledgement where due. This includes if you re working from a photographer's work. Proving plagiarism in the art world is impossible , but does it make it use another's art work without permission? To reap rewards without a mention of where your inspiration was derived from? I don't think so.

In short, I feel strongly that artists need to respect other artists. Artists need to unite in a common aim to do the best they can in what they are striving to accomplish on their own personal artists journey. Artists do not need to succeed by negatively criticising, insulting, or using other artists to their own end, to raise their own profile.

Do the best you can, develop your own skill set, show respect to fellow artists and don't walk over others on your journey.

Price your work according to your care of presentation and skill set, and your journey. It takes time and perseverance together with originality and developed skills to raise your asking price. Don't assume that one artists price level is your business, it's not! Look after your own garden, be honest and true to yourself. Judge yourself rather than others. Don't underestimate your audience, the art lover and purchaser. Be true to yourself and continue to learn, never rest on your own laurels, there is always more to learn explore and communicate. Be original, and above all... Be nice


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