Episode 48 of the RockStar Mentor podcast
Diffusing the Negative Crabby Holiday Shopper
Tis’ the season for a wonderful perspective holiday season, and as much as I don’t want to delve into negativity based on some questions I received from a few of you in regards to how to deal with crabby shoppers this holiday season….. ahhhhh BAH HUMBUG! It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do or what kind of art you do, you could have the happiest are in the world and eventually someone will come up to you and be a naysayer, will say something negative about your artwork. So I’ve received a couple questions about this and I want to be able to address some of these questions, specifically what to do or how to say certain things to get your message across.
Now perhaps many of you grew up in a household where if you have nothing nice to say you say nothing, however I believe in this day and age especially with the over excessive bashing and behavior online sometimes the filters are not up and people say what is ever on the top of their head because they think it’s fashionable to behave this way. Bad form indeed!
Now as you might know, I have owned a gallery (several in fact) and I have heard it all. Everything as blatant to “why does this cost so much” to “do people really buy this stuff”. Now being an artist I have found positive and creative ways of spinning the comment into a nice conversation, a little detour to the “crabby person” to lighten the mood a bit, and I try to put myself into their shoes, perhaps they don’t realize the way that something had come out of their mouth and that they have possibly hurt your feelings. Another thing is that they don’t realize you’re the artist so they can freely say whatever they want even if it’s hateful or bashing.
I have gotten this several times, I simply don’t I don’t blatantly tell them I am the artist, but I will hint around about my creation process so that it is a lightweight way of telling them hey, I am the artist, are you serious?
Some people are more direct and they say I am the artist and you’ve offended me, that approach is a little too rough for me so I prefer to “kill it with kindness” and be more creative about it. The bottom line is, it’s personal, and it hurts and for many… “how dare you talk crap about my art”. It’s almost as though you’re telling someone that their baby is ugly. (Good grief, I certainly hope that people aren’t doing that now and this day and age because that would be really bad.)
Simply telling someone that they’re wrong doesn’t make their comment less intrusive or rude. I have found that explaining the artwork typically works better than trying to prove if one is right or if one is wrong.
The top three things to keep in mind is:
1) Ask the person: “what is it about the artwork that you don’t like?”
2) Ask them “Do you prefer presently collect original art?” If they say yes then ask them what kind of artwork do they gravitate towards and talk a little bit about that.
3) Then proceed to tell them a little bit about yourself, why do you create, why you create the artwork that you do, and what drives you as an artist. It gives them a sense of who you are and what you’re about without being combative. You may event end up with a sale because of this approach!
Rockstars, do you feel this way as well? What do you think are the motives behind somebody’s raw opinion of your work?
I would love to hear more about this. I was hoping for the holidays to pass to share something very personal with you, but I might go ahead and bring this up next week, it was an anonymous note that was sent to me from a person, that I will not give credit to because I don’t want to give them the satisfaction but it was sent to me by way of my website and this person proceeded to tell me and judge me on why I close my gallery and their opinion of my personality for doing so. This note is almost 4 years old and I had pretty much forgotten about it until I was on the website cleaning out some data and discovered a folder of comments that were marked as spam. And I’ll tell you right up straight that this was not spam, I put this in that folder because of the time I considered it pure rubbage.
The fact is, haters are going to hate. I have witnessed over the past 4 or 5 years that even just people online tend to cower behind words and trolling behind their keyboard more so than if they were to have a conversation with you to your face. It’s gotten so bad that I just sit back and witness so much. I let most of it go and roll off my back. But artists on the most part artists are very emotional people who are introverted and aren’t a fan of criticism or critique. Not everyone deals with it in the same way that others do.
All I can say for myself, if you know me personally you know what drives me as an artist, if you’re just now getting to know me then you’ll learn and if you listen to the past series of podcasts you can get a sense of where I’m coming from as an artist as well as a mentor. I don’t dwell on one or two negative people, I know for some it’s hard for you to balance out the 99 great people versus the one crabby unpleasant individual.
You’re creating as an artist because you want to make a difference, not only for yourself but to bring joy and enlightenment about your art to others. Keep it going, don’t get discouraged, kill it with creation and don’t allow one person with a bad demeanor to stomp on your dream or to wear you out with their woes.
I would love for you to share with me any type of hater mail that you get, sorry there is really no other way nicer way to say it but it is “hater mail”
There are ways to defuse it and ways to embrace it and would love to have you share your experiences with our other friends and listeners.
On a more positive note, if you like art supplies as much as I do be sure to visit my website RockstarMentor.com and check out the art supplies tab on the right-hand side of the podcast page and you can get discounts at Amazon.com just by simply clicking on the art supplies tab. If you like the RockStar Mentor podcast and would like to support the show for as low as $5 a month you may do so by visiting the patriotic link on the right-hand side of the podcast page as well. We’re gonna pick this up next week I’m going to share more personal stories with you I hope that everyone is having a awesome week and that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I look forward to hearing more from you.
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