Are Artists Too Senstive?

We all have our things. That thing we are touchy about when someone says something other than, “You’re the most amazing person I’ve ever seen doing that thing.”

Just me?

Actually, I know it isn’t just me and this article trying to spell out things not to say to an artist is my proof.  Artists are sensitive people by nature. Even if they aren’t born sensitive they are trained to be sensitive. To find meaning behind everything and depth where maybe, it’s as shallow as a mud puddle in July.

I actually had a very heated discussion about this topic in my Creative Thinking class in college. I was told I was thinking too inside the box when I was the only person who spoke against what every one else was saying. But that’s another story. It was a bit ironic because we had just discussed Socrates, but whatever.

My opinion was and still is, sometimes, people just don’t know what to say. Most people aren’t “artists.” They don’t always have the language we do or the experiences. For instance, it is really easy to forget sitting in front of naked people for 2-4 hours a day is not normal. When someone who runs a tractor all day finds out I took classes where I sat in front of a stranger’s naked body and stared at it, they’re going to be shocked. They will say something.

Just like if you found out they artificially inseminate cows with their HANDS, you’d do a double take and say, “Wait, what?”

You’re not trying to be insulting. You’re just not sure if this is real life any more.

Most of the examples read as people who just don’t know what to say. Granted, you know when someone is being a snobby jerk and says, “It’s interesting,” to insult you. However, if you have to explain to someone it isn’t okay to say these things, chances are, they are just trying to talk about your art with you.

There was one in the comments about saying nice colors. I LOVE it when people comment on my colors because I love color theory with my entire soul.  It’s like when you buy a new dress and just wait for someone to notice how lovely you look in it. If no one says a word, you start questioning every life decision you’ve ever made.


Wait, that one may just be me.
Of course, if you know and love an artist learn how to discuss their art. Ask them questions such as:

  • I love the colors, is this your usual palette (colors they use in the painting)? 
  • That’s very interesting, is there a story behind this painting? 
  • That’s very creative, how did you come up with the idea? 

Just get them talking about and you will learn the language. Ask them what they mean if you don’t know. Artists love talking about their work. Also, complements will get you everywhere. We really prefer it when you say,”I am buying that painting.”

About Elisha

Elisha Dasenbrock is an award winning, international watercolor artist. She paints with a limited palette on claybord. Dasenbrock graduated from the American Academy of Art in 2009 and has been painting professionally ever since.