I say “working in the studio” you think “he’s not doing anything important”

Most creatives reading this understand that title. Below are some actual quotes from family, friends and strangers offering me unsolicited advice and insights. Some of them are actually nice, others …. part of the job I suppose.

– “I’ve never seen anyone work so hard in order not to work”

– “What are you going to be when you grow up?”

– “If it’s important to you then it’s worth it.”

– “Must be nice.”

– “Do you sell your stuff online?”

– “Do you want to go to [some event] with me instead? I have an extra ticket.”

– “Can I stop by? I need to talk to you.”

– “What kind of art do you do?”

– “Let me tell you about the kind of art I like / don’t like.”

– “My [somebody] was a really good artist. You must of heard of [whoever]? No!? Hmmm.”

– “That’s super.”

– “Is there an admission fee to your show?”

– “You should sell calendars of your work.”

– “I like everything up to the Impressionists.”

– “Do you actually sell your work?”

– “Call me if you do anything in blue.”

– “I can draw a horse.”

– “Maybe you can get a job teaching art.”

– “We should have a party in your space.”

– “You know, painting celebrity heads on funny bodies would sell really well.”

– “You’re very lucky. Most people can’t afford to be an artist.”

– “I know a really talented artist. She’s also a Bio-Engineer Scientist, scratch golfer and Rhodes Scholar.”

– “There’s already too many artists.”

– “You went to school for that?”

– “I’m a photographer.”

– “Did you hear about that painting in the news that sold for [lots of money]?”

– “I believe art should look like something.”

– “I have an idea for a children’s book, and need an illustrator….”

– “Ever design a logo?”

– “What is art?”

– “Did you see that [huge exhibit] at the [huge museum] last year?”

– “I like your earlier work.”

– “I have a painting at home that I don’t know who did it”

A proposed code of conduct for public galleries

I promise not to steal art works.
I promise not to bill for hours I did not work.
I promise not to work for the gallery in order to get an exhibit.
I promise not to steal money.
I promise to contribute to the committees I sit on.
I promise not to hold a grudge against volunteers and employees of my former organization.
I promise not to accost persons of interest at exhibit receptions.
I promise not to disparage cultural workers to other cultural workers.
I promise not to resent other organizations for their successes.
I promise to not attempt to undermine or interfere with the ambitions of other organizations.
I promise to keep records of where money was spent and why.
I promise to let others do their job even if I could do it better.
A communication with a typo is better than no communications at all.
I promise not to resent other organizations for being forced to compete for an inadequate pool of funding.
I promise to help promote other organization’s events and exhibitions.
I promise to share knowledge and opportunities with other organizations.
I promise to work with other organizations in good faith on mutually beneficial projects.
I promise not to lie and bully others to achieve my professional goals.
I promise not to use money for programming for my salary.
I promise to be responsible to my organization and use all available channels of publicity.
I promise not to put my own career ambitions ahead of ethical considerations.
I promise not to withhold valuable information from my ex-organization.
I promise not to be ruthless, humourless and literal in what is essentially an absurd industry.
I promise to respect my colleagues’ schedules and personal lives.
I promise not to apologize to critics for the work of volunteers.
I promise not to live in the past.
I promise not to stay in my job forever.
I promise to declare any conflict of interest.
I promise to respect all artists and communities.
I promise to expect respect for the organization from elected offices.
I promise to make all decisions in the best interests of the membership.
I promise to expect support from the membership and the community, and provide meaningful opportunities for the membership and community to provide support.
I promise not to charge admission fees to the exhibits.