Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Necessary qualifier

I have to admit, for the most part (that qualifier is necessary) I detest blanket statements.

I have a friend who has been very irritated with another friend's husband for making a blanket statement about "Mexicans". He complained about "them" and my friend took issue. Because her husband is Mexican. Her children are half Mexican. I've listened to her rail against this couple because of his errant comment. I tell her she should tell her friend that she doesn't appreciate the comments because while they may not think of her husband as "Mexican" (he looks hispanic but he has no accent) he is and that is the culture he grew up in and it's a part of him and his kids. But she won't.

So this morning we're discussing this guy in the office. He can be a jerk. And he just happens to be a graphic artist in our dept. Mostly he cleans up images, he does not do any original art for us. He DOES draw comics in his spare time (as well as during work hours but we won't talk about that.) It's sort of enough to know he's constantly complaining and raises his voice. One time he screamed at me not to ever tell him to be quiet, he's be as loud as he wanted to and nobody could tell him differently. This because everyones' screaming and yelling was unprofessional and I asked the entire room to calm down.

Ok, so the scene is set. My friend says to me..."Well, that's just how artists are, they're temperamental."

No, I don't agree. I don't think you can apply a blanket statement like that. She disagrees and says I have worked with a lot of artists (and she has worked with some) and they are all temperamental, they're always difficult to work with.

I tell her I consider myself an artist and I'm not temperamental. She agrees I'm not temperamental but everyone she's worked with AS an artist is temperamental. She's never worked with me AS an artist so I don't fit her statement but she cannot understand that if she has caveats then her blanket statement cannot be true. She states everyone she is talking about is MAKING A LIVING being an artist so they think their shit doesn't stink so that's why they're such assholes.

I told her I know lots of artists and they aren't temperamental. She countered with "thats because you don't work with them! And she told me, "That's why they say artists are temperamental!"

What I got out of the exchange was:
1. She doesn't think I'm an artist (or that only working artists are truly artists)
2. Some groups of people deserve labels because her experience is always true for all people.
3. She has no idea what the hell she is talking about.

I can't believe she couldn't see my point, I gave up and stopped talking because if I didn't I was going to get mad. Ok, madder.


Donita Curioso said...

She's full of shit. She's just saying that "works AS an artist" crap to make herself right. I know lots of artists who work AS artists. My daughter is one of them.

The guy you work with is a jerk who happens to work as an artist. Maybe those artists she worked with were difficult because they had to work with HER.

VO said...

Heh, I say anyone who creates is working as an artist. I believe she has no understanding at all of art at any stage.

I did say that I thought it was a chicken or an egg thing. Which came first: An artist is a jerk (because they're a jerk overall) so she thinks all artists are jerks OR she's got a preconceived idea of what an artist is so she treats them a certain way and they respond in kind. She maintains she has no preconceived ideas - they've just all been jerks.

Oddly she does not consider writers jerks. Personally I think writers ARE artists.

To me the creative process isn't defined by any one particular medium or style.

My husband is an artist - he sings and acts. My entire family is artists. Many, many of my friends are artists.

People can be jerks, never mind what they do for a living or what they do to create...some are jerks some are not. Some are nice people are jerks some of the time.

Anonymous said...

ok, here' my 2 cents.

People are jerks because they choose to be. There are jerks everywhere. It doesn't matter what the profession, belief, conviction, race, whatever. They choose to be jerks because that's just what they are, jerks.:)

Love ya!!!

VO said...

Right you are Pammmm!

Billy Canary said...

He's an asshole cause he's a bitter cartoonist, not an artist.