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How to live with an Artist by Marian Murdoch
1. Be sensitive to their need for praise. When shown a piece, talk about what you like about it, not about any flaws you may perceive. The wrong word can cause an artist to spiral into depression, ignoring their work for days, months, or even years out of fear of further criticism.
2. Artists are prone to depression, so be prepared to be there for them if they need to vent. However, some require some time alone, but watch that it doesnít become overwhelming.
3. Give them some space. Oftentimes, the creative process requires contemplation and isolation. Donít take it personally. Use this time to do something of your own that wouldnít interest the artist. Later, discuss your private adventures over dinner. Show an interest, even if you canít see what is happening behind the closed door to their office or studio.
4. Get used to stares by strangers while with the artist. An artist sees the world differently than most of the general public. They will gawk for hours at the shimmer of light upon a building or how the wind gently moves a fold of fabric.
5. Learn to read their body language and moods. Interrupting a creative thought can be disastrous to a work in progress so watch for signs that indicate a break in their thoughts before attempting to communicate.
6. Donít ask to see an unfinished piece of work. If the artist wants to show you, they will show you. The creative process is very private. If they do show you an unfinished piece, consider yourself honored that they felt they could trust you enough not to make a sarcastic or negative comment.
7. Get used to a mess. It is a rare artist who is concerned with keeping a neat space. The concern of an artist is the finished product, not the debris they leave behind. Even their non-work spaces can suffer from clutter. Whatever you do, do not move anything of theirs. Artists know where their things are, and if the objects are moved, it can cause frustration and alarm.
8. Most artists donít care about finances. As long as they are fed and warm and have a place to work, they are happy. Sometimes they are clueless as to how much something costs, or the general health of their financial situation. A gentle reminder from time to time may be necessary to keep them within budget.