Freya writes: Hello there, Lachri!
I have watched your videos for a long time, and you inspire me to no end!
I have a question regarding a friend.
She claims to be a cartoonist and she has recently started taking commissions. She has a Facebook group which consists of hundreds of members.
Her work (I’m not joking) has the skills as if a child has done them. Figures are really out of proportion, bad line-work, and colouring outside the lines etc.
She has charged a fairly big price per piece of work (at least £20!) and I can’t help but want to tell her that she has to improve her skills as an artist in order to make it work, if that’s what she really wants to do for a living. It just frustrates me to no end.
Is this none of my business? Should I keep my comments to myself? What would you do in this situation?
Honestly, unless she specifically asks for your help, I would stay out of it. When she doesn’t get sales, that is going to tell her that there is a problem without you having to risk your friendship over offending her. If she IS getting sales even with her work at the level it is, then she is doing a great job of marketing and branding herself, in which case good for her! I remember years ago seeing an artist’s website who created work similar to what you’re describing. His description of the art was absolutely hilarious, though. He did such an amazing job on the marketing side even I would have bought one of his drawings! Art isn’t just about the artist’s skill level.
If she is happy and enjoying what she is creating, I don’t see why this would be a problem or even need to be brought up to her. Why bring negativity into something that she enjoys? Not everyone will be the next Rembrandt, but that doesn’t mean that the joy of creating should be taken away from them.
Even if she is unhappy with her lack of sales I wouldn’t say a word to her unless she asked. If she is someone you spend time with you could suggest taking a class together or something like that for fun, but even then you have to be careful of how you word that offer. You don’t want to risk coming across like the husband who buys his wife a gym membership for Christmas!