Things People Say to Artists

People say stupid things when they hear what one does for a living; sometimes inappropriate, sometimes rude, sometimes comical and enlightening. For example, when I tell people that I have a degree in English Literature, I save them some trouble and immediately follow it with, “theoretically, I should be robbing liquor stores but I’m actually an editor.” 😉

So I want to ask you, what are some memorable things that people have said to you when you say that you’re an artist? Professional, amateur, and everyone in between, I welcome your answers. One of my favorites that I’ve heard is, “Will you draw me?”

Oh, and by the way, we’re celebrating the 10,000+ fans who’ve connected with us on the Artists Network Facebook page. If you’re here because you saw the status update about this, then thank you for coming! If not, join us on Facebook for more fun, updates and special discounts at North Light Shop.Ultimate Artist Collection

Open up, let it out. What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard? We’ll choose two of our favorites and send the winners* a copy of the Ultimate Artist Collection, a DVD that includes 2,000 pages of art inspiration featured in The Artist’s Magazine, Watercolor Magic (now Watercolor Artist, thank goodness) and The Pastel Journal.



 *Contest open through Wednesday, December 12, 2012. DVDs will only be sent to U.S. addresses (sorry, international friends!).


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8 thoughts on “Things People Say to Artists

  1. Cherie Haas, Associate Editor Post author

    These are priceless! Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your stories! Our winners are nerdypainter and elainesartist, whom I’ll be in touch with soon!

    Keep painting,

  2. SJP

    Most people are impressed by the fact that I’ve been an artist and illustrator for so long. When they hear that I’ve illustrated over seventy books they can’t believe it and when I tell them that I’m showing my work somewhere they’ll say, “Great.” or ” That’s nice.” I always remind myself that most people have no idea of what it’s like to have a career in the arts. My daughter, an aspiring dancer, singer, actress experiences many of the same responses. Of course there are always the, ” So how long are you going to do this?” comments. Gotta love those.

  3. eibhir

    My favorite response came from a 6 year old boy. He saw a painting I did for my sister in law and loved it. when he was told I did it he said. “No way! I want to do that too!” I’m painting him something for Christmas now. I hope he likes it as much as the pink kittens and blue fish!
    Another response I get to being an artist is “What do you do for money.” I just smile and say I’m still figuring that out. They always drop the subject at that point. My husband and I agreed to give me time off from a day job to work on my art and writing so technically I don’t make money yet, but it will come.

  4. Lizzie

    I have had people say, ” for real? Like to you rooms in houses, like that?” I guess they don’t know what an artist really is. LOL That is when I explain what it is I actually do, to which they say, ” Oh! I guess that’s okay.” LOL, But I’m sorry, I don’t remember any of us asking for permission to do art for a living or otherwise….LOL

  5. nerdypainter

    As an art teacher in an elementary school, kids get fascinated when I say I am a real artist or when I demonstrate how to draw. They think Im a super star and super famous. They always ask, “Are you a famous artist?”. My answer is always yes. (which I’m not, but who cares! I am famous within my school 🙂

  6. elainesartist

    I guess the worst I’ve heard is, “But what do you do for a REAL job?” Apparently if you’re not in the art world, you simply can’t imagine that it could be not only what you do, but what you are!

  7. vwsweetie

    I had somebody tell me that they were good at painting too. She painted her daughter’s room in a day! I didn’t even try to explain what I actually did!!