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10 Things I Hate About Being an Artist

1. The Donated Art Supplies

I appreciate the gesture, but I don’t need the two and a half sticks of compressed charcoal you found while cleaning out your grandma’s closet after she passed away. For $8, I can go down to Michaels and buy all the charcoal I need without worrying about the ghost of Beatrice haunting me in my life drawing class.

2. Crank, Bang, Whip

These are words used by my employers to make themselves feel less guilty when they ask for more work.

“Hey Brian, I know it’s late and you’ve been drawing for the past ten hours straight, but I have ooooonnne more sketch I need you to bang out real quick.”

There’s no “whip” or “crank” or “bang” setting on my pencil enabling me to draw faster.

3. Tattoo’s

“I want something cool. Something thats like crazy but not too crazy? Maybe with flowers, or dragons, or fish or horses. Something I’d like to show off and have on my body for the rest of my life. Something that’s unique to me and reflects who I am as an individual. Just whip out a bunch of sketches based on those instructions and I’ll tell you which one like. ”

This is the kind of direction I get for tattoos. How would you feel if you tended bar and I sauntered in and asked for a drink in this way?

“I want something cool. Something not too weak but not too strong. Maybe with rum, or vodka, or tequila, or whiskey, or soda, or beer. Something that only I would truly be able to appreciate. Something I will want to consume all night. Just make a bunch of drinks based on those instructions and I”ll tell you which one I like.”

4. “How long did that take you?”

I don’t fucking know, I didn’t have a stop watch on me when I started.

5. Pictionary

Everyone assumes I’ll be the best, and is thusly disappointed when I don’t dominate every round. This is like challenging a girl to an arm wrestling match; If I win, I beat a girl, If I lose, I lost to a girl. Knowing how to draw doesn’t give you much of an advantage in a game where all the answers are designed to communicate through quick elementary symbols. Plus in Cranium, I’m always stuck with the sketch challenges and never get to do any of the fun stuff like cameos or humdingers.

6. My artistic eye . . .

Gives me the privilege of sorting through an endless amount of color swatches to help select the perfect shade of red for my parents to paint their new front door. It gives me an afternoon of looking through fabric samples in order to help decide which pattern to reupholster their living room couch. It makes me an expert on selecting the decorative border that will surround our families Christmas card. “The snowmen don’t really seem to capture “us”. We don’t really live in a city that gets snow. . . the candy cane stripes, however, are a timeless classic.

7. Plein-Heir

Since day one, every teacher I’ve ever had has stressed the importance of going outside and drawing from life. This never summons the cathartic experience one might expect. It’s either too cold, or too hot, or I’m forced to squint at my shiny white paper reflecting the suns rays into my retina. The shadows are always changing, people never sit still, and I look like a sexual predator sitting in the dark corner of a park with no dog or kid or girlfriend with me.

8. “I’ll hang it in my living room”

Many people think the honor of having a piece of your artwork hanging in their living room is a viable substitute for actual payment. I don’t really know of another occupation where people would assume you’ll work for nothing but the satisfaction of a job well done.

“Oh you’re a plumber? Can you come over to my house and fix my toilet? We’d reeeeally appreciate it, we’ll totally use it all the time!”

Just because I like to paint doesn’t mean I want to do a bunch of free shit for you.

9. Oh you went to art school? So did you get like a certificate?

I went to an accredited four year college and got my bachelors degree. Dick.

10. The uninformed analogy

People that know little to nothing about art will compare me with the small amount they learned in elementary school.

“Brian’s a really good artist dude, he’s like Picasso!”

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