Don't you say that "IT'S A TALENT!" or "How to offence an artist with a compliment"

in art •  6 months ago

Hi, guys!

I decided to write this post cause I just want to explain something most people don't know about most artists:)

There're some things that sound like offence, though it may look like a compliment. It may be a bit hard to understand, but I'll try to explain, on example of two feedbacks I often see under my artworks and every time they make me feel ambivalent. From one hand yes, a person who wrote it wished to compliment, but from the other hand from my side of the fence it sounds depreciating and demotivating.

I'll start with the main killer, comments as:

  • -You're so talented!
  • -You have a great talent! 

Why it's not a compliment?

Let me tell you a story:

Once I was walking with Astro and met another woman with a dog, who was sooo chatty... The woman, not the dog. The dog was completely silent, though I'd prefer to listen to hr rather than her owner. She asked me about my job, and I said that I work as an artist. Our further conversation looked like this:

She: Really? I feel so envy to people who are talented, everything is so simple for them, they can just do something with their hands while I have to work like a real estate agent and it's so hard and boring...

Me: You know, it's a work like any other. You have to learn a lot and put a lot of effort to achieve something.

She: Oh, really? I thought that people are born with this.


See how easily she told that "You need to do nothing, and you still will be successful"?

Second story:

When I was a beginner artist I had to draw a lot of people (sorry, not sure how to say it in English) while they were sitting next to me. So, to draw live people:) And I asked my mother-in-law to pose for me. When I finished she looked at my drawing and said that it will be better for me to draw landscapes, cause I have no talent for drawing people. I don't have this portrait anymore, but it looked somehow like this:

I was really upset, and really angry. The main point here - imagine that! - an artist have to study like a human of any other profession. No one expects a first year law student to know everything about the law and to be an experienced advocate, but from artists everyone expects to be super good from the very beginning.

After two years I brought her a portrait of my hubby, and some other portraits of actors. And she said "Ah, now you're talented, I thought that you can''t draw people, that it's not you cup of tea".


So, may be now you see why saying "You're so talented" is not a compliment, but more an offence. If not, I can explain it again with one simple phrase. Saying things like that just depreciates all effort that a "talented" person put in his hard work, including study, hours and months and years of practice. And you say it's a "talent", when actually it's a hard work. Like any other.

Love, Inber

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Помню, подруга мамани попросила портрет. Сидела позировала, старалась. А у меня не получилось.

Она так обиделась - Не похоже совсем! Это не я!

Каков облом?)))))


Ну, люди ж свято уверены, что материалы вместо нас рисуют. Особенно если речь идет о цифре. Народ поголовно уверен, что там есть кнопка "сделать ох*енно"


Ага, я занимаюсь арх проектированием. Так там клиенты поголовно уверены, что за меня всё компьютер делает))))))) - Тебе ж только кнопку нажать!


Стреляй((( В голову, на поражение(((

I totally agree with you and I can understand you! I have similar stories to tell you abut things happened to me along the years, very similar to the stories you wrote in this content. Sometimes people seems don't understand that behind an artwork there are a lot of work and not just a "general" talent. I prefer when people say me that my artworks give an emotion to them ;)


Yes, it's better to hear something like that🙂

If "talented" is offensive to you from your viewpoint, then the word shouldn't be in existence. We've got talents. One person can do virtually every thing like dancing, singing, drawing etc. It's what the person loves that he or she will develop. You had the love for art, means you had the talent in you. Many can draw but some people will always be exceptional. Some don't struggle while some struggle. You choosed to develop that talent(drawing) in you and be good at it. So "being talented" should inspire you not demotivate you. Many regards from a fellow artist.😊😊😊 you are amazing!

Well, I'm back visiting some of my favourites and leaving my tiny votes. I hope we have steemit back now.

It might be simply that we are different generations, but I don't really care if someone says I'm talented or not, I mostly don't care that much what other people say full stop, but that's probably just because I am so much in my own world, I don't pay that much attention :)

I do think you are talented but I mean that you have a natural inclination to draw BUT you took the time and hardwork to MAKE IT YOUR SKILL, so it's really good when I say it I promise ;)

I'd say, life has a lot of sour in it, so I'd take the sweet as it is and not over analyize it, just be happy to hear anything that has a nice ring to it from someone, still so much better than an outright insult right?

I hope we are back here on Steemit :)

Hello @inber, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

I totally sympathise and support your viewpoint. I agree that most people, in general, are just not willing to acknowledge the hard work and effort put in by the artist, nothwithstanding the inborn talent, the artist may or may not have.

Posted using Partiko Android

Respect to you and all the hard work you put into you artwork. Keep up the great work and screw the ignorant haters.

Posted using Partiko iOS

I understand your efforts hardwork beacuse i also doing drawing but i am a biggner and i need much hard work and years of i appreciate your work 😊 💟

hmmm i really get your point but this is a rather complicate subject in my opinion. The majority of people that can't actually draw or at least haven't tried for a whole lot of period of time saw all of you artists like "gods" in away.

Things that we can't accomplish fast look like just a dream so when we see people accomplishing them we consider them talented. There is a little bit of truth there too. Not everytime it's only hard work as people are born with specific talents some which will never find out, like dancing,martial arts,singing,drawing etc etc

Take Leonardo Da Vinci for example, the man was a genius. If that man hasn't any talent then we should right now cease from existence the word :P

I really get it though, people like the one you mention in your post who said "you do nothing" are just stupid and get in my nerves too. In my opinion they don't even appreciate anything not even themselves. In this example i completely agree with everything you said.

Generally speaking though to the eyes of everyone else you seem talented but they/we mean it like you are pretty good and awesome not like you did nothing and just ink came out of your pen magically without any effort!

As a beginner, I already have received something like this. Some also ask me to draw portraits for them but will only pay very little because they think its very simple for artists. My minimum commissioned portraits is 500 pesos only (that less than 10 US Dollar) but they still think that is very expensive. They dont count the number of practices we have made to achieve this skill. They dont count the price of the art materials we use for our artworks. They just think that we only use an ordinary writing pencil and an ordinary crayons for these.