Past Posts

September 2011
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Accepting compliments gracefully

Just how DO you respond to compliments about your art? Or yourself? DO you smile and say “Thank you!” or do you immediately go into an explanation and reasons about why the compliment can’t possibly be for you or what you do?

What we learned about dismissing  or negating a compliment was that you are essentially telling the person giving you the compliment is that “his/her tastes are not very good.”Think about that and it will make sense!

“I love this art piece!”     “Oh I was just playing around in the studio!”

In the art world I recently congratulated an artist at an opening on her long distance sale via telephone. I happened to be in the gallery when the owner received the call and the sale from another state after seeing the email with images! The artist’s response to me was “Oh that was just a very old friend from Florida who wanted to help out!”   Now seriously. The best response to me would have been a simple “Thank you.”  But to diminish the sale (after all it WAS a sale) by dismissing the buyer also put her confidence in her own art in question. Better for me to think that buyers were flocking to her art than only a close friend would buy my art. See the difference?

I have had students in art workshops who go on and on about how bad their attempts are until it becomes very trying for the other students! At one such event I finally said “OK. it’s not good.” There was a moment of silence but the other participants laughed and then I laughed too and said “I am the teacher. If it wasn’t good I would tell you. And I have told you it’s good! But you still don’t believe me so I might as well agree with you!”  The woman laughed as well and agreed that she would accept my compliments as fact from now on. Silly story but it happens ALL the time. You might  dismiss compliments because you honestly fell you don’t deserve them but to dismiss them because you’re fishing for more compliments is manipulative :-)

Read the article and see whether or not you agree with it.


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