I have found, through many avenues, that there will always be cynic, the pin to your balloon, the naysayer. A naysayer is not, I repeat NOT, a critic. A true critic is most often educated and savvy on whatever he/she may be critiquing. A naysayer is another beast altogether, whether they be narcissistic, anti-social, or just plain miserable. This naysayer seeks to slap a raincloud over any accomplishment, any expressed opinion, and milestone- basically, anything good or of value you choose to share with others. All it takes is about a half hour of reading Facebook threads. There is always at least one user that has something negative or nasty to post about another user or the originator of the comment. Counseling professionals may call these “toxic friends or colleagues.” I recently read a comment thread from a page featuring the works of a well-known British street artist. His fans enjoy his work and also enjoy letting all the fans of the page know this. In comes the naysayer, ” You people do know that this is not insert artist name here and he does not have a Facebook page…” Another thread involved a local television station and a debate over salary amounts for public and private school teachers. This was a debate and purposefully posted to incite opposing reactions. Most posts were in good taste and supported their claim for their chosen “side.” A particular user posts that she was “tired” of hearing about raises for teachers because she worked in a tip-based position and has found that regardless of their socio-economic status, many people choose not to tip (this a whole other debate in itself-I will save for later…). Insert naysayer… instead of focusing on the debate topic, the naysayer chooses to focus on a particular “commenter,” our tip-based working mother. To paraphrase, the comment went something like this,” …you must be joking when you compare serving me dinner to the impact I will make educating children throughout my career…” Immediately my reaction was to find out what school she is employed by to make sure my children will never have her as a teacher. Naysayers will frustrate you, they will try their absolute best to bring you down. Artists, deal with naysayers on a regular basis (who mask themselves as critics). I was told once that the only person you should be please with your art is yourself. I paint things that make me happy. I haven’t transitioned to the crazy commissioned patrons who want something totally off-the-wall. I hope that patrons will enjoy what I enjoy. They will not want to change me. I just don’t think I want to change, unless it is for the better- NO NAYSAYERS ALLOWED!
Many people lately have been talking, particularly concerning arts-based small businesses, about some sort of catch, gimmick, hook, or what have you…What if there isn’t one. What if you have no blue animals, you’ve never been homeless or addicted to anything but Diet Dr.Pepper, you thankfully have never had any sick children? What if you are just an artist who loves to make things that are beautiful and sincerely hopes that others may want to purchase your products or pieces. It has always been a dream to own my own store with a menagerie of curious things to buy, unique items, a small gallery for emerging artists, and nonsense and such that makes you feel special, quirky and a just a tad eccentric. I see stories about someone who has an illness or unfortunate circumstance that happens on some innate talent from needlepoint to making sculptures out of toilets seats and whoooosh, bammm, they have 7,000,002 Facebook fans in a matter of days. Suddenly Etsy isn’t big enough and Oprah buys something from them….Oprah being a modern-day Midas, one can only imagine what happens to our entrepreneur next. So…what about us seemingly healthy, law abiding dreamers? Where does our “hype” come from? I am fairly certain it’s a beautiful, potent and sometimes bitter brew of hard work, dumb luck and great colleagues. I am fortunate to have someone in my corner that create hype from thin air and who believes the my dream deserves to be a reality. Artists are notorious for being loners, the schitzotypal personalities that pretty much prefer their own company. I am guilty of this but not Ryan. He will make sure that a healthy, happy me is all we need to get to 7,000,003 Facebook fans ( no illnesses or felony convictions necessary).