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What's the rudest comments you've had towards your art?

While photographing one of my paintings, I was having difficulty getting the true colors to come out.  So I posted my photo of the artwork to a photography forum, asking for suggestions on how to correct for this.  To my surprise, the very first response was from someone who wrote "May I be frank?  That painting is horrible!"  Um, ok.  But I didn't ask you to critique my artwork, I asked for help in correcting the colors in the photo.  So I just responded that "that was fine, we all have different tastes, but please can someone address my actual question." Luckily, many others did post responses addressing my question, and quite a few chastised the first poster for his rudeness.  

So, just wondered, what is the rudest comment someone has made concerning your artwork?  And how did you handle it?

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Some old grumpy German(?) guy at Maitou Springs (Colorado Springs), CO about 20 years ago: He "I don't pay $40 for no belt".  Me  "and may the bird of paradise fly up your nose". He walked off in a huff. 

at St. James in Louisville, lo many a year ago, "$250 for a photograph? I don't even pay that much for a car."

Central Park South a zillion (40) years ago. If you like that picture, I'll take one for you, as soon as I can afford to buy a camera.

Larry Berman

The one that I always get is Oh, don't buy that, I can make it for you. After many years I mostly ignore it, but if the person is very rude and loud I ask her, how would you made it, she then will tell me and even if she is right on I look at her right in the eye and say, I didn't make that way. With knitting everyone thinks that they can just do it, they forget that they will need a pattern of the design, since I write all of my own patterns it confuses them:)))))))))

Everyone thinks they can do it themselves.

Yep, any a$$hole thinks they can do the job, even though they are not qualified. After all look what happened in our presidency. :-)


Yes, as Larry said everyone thinks they can do it themselves.

That is because they are seeing the finished product or piece. What they don't see is the years of experience, the knowledge of art/design, all the 'fails' before, all of which went into that one piece.

Professionals make it look easy and that is how I respond in some fashion.

"I have been doing this so long (for so many years) I make it look easy don't I?" or

"I have a college degree and years of experience..."

Anything that makes them actually think about (the stupidity of) what they said without being confrontational works like a charm. It has a way of stopping people in their tracks.

I am essentially agreeing with them first without getting defensive, pointing out it really isn't so easy and putting it on them and because there may be others within earshot is a good professional way of handling their ignorance.

@David, thanks for posting this. I am a fine art photographer, I take my pop up art gallery to east coast shows, and my signature collection is macro. I think you just gave me the perfect answer to the ubiquitous show comment/insult: "You must have a REALLY GREAT.... CAMERA!" Instead of the swallowed, unsaid responses such as "Oh. When you go to a gourmet restaurant, do you approach the chef and tell him: "You must have a REALLY GREAT OVEN!"

Erika,you are welcome. I know photographers get more of those types of comments than we painters do because anyone can push a button on a camera. Of course that doesn't make them a photographer anymore than owning a fast car makes them a race car driver.

I shoot photos for reference sometimes and even with an artistic eye for composition, understanding more than the average person even I don't get anything near what a pro-photographer can do with a camera.

Erika, I too am in your medium.

I don't say this to customers, who feel they can do what I do. However, I am confident, I could give them my equipment, bring them to the subject matter and even give them a few pointers. Then bring them to my shop and let them use my equipment for developing and printing...they still will not be able to achieve what I do.

Now, there are exceptions. Some, might have great skill and talent. They might be better than I am. They might create something better. However, those people NEVER knock my work. Instead they compliment me and often purchase.

A significant amount of my work has been sold to other Pro Photographers.

Don't ever remember getting a rude comment in 30 years. Sometimes a person will turn and leave and say “whoa “ or “too much fo me” but never in a rude way. ( I paint backyard bird pictures )

I do digital aviation and have only been to a handful of shows so far.  People are always curious how I create my work.  They can tell it's not a painting, but that it's not a photo either.  When I describe how I create the work on a computer most people seem interested and want to know more.  I had one woman tell me that I was "cheating" and this wasn't art.  I just kinda shrugged it off, but my thought was I'll sit you down in front of my Mac and let's see what you can create.  I'm the first to admit my work is not art, more in line with illustration, but cheating was a bit extreme.


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