It’s true, nobody wants to have to deal with tricky artists, but sometimes we have no choice. Not all artists are happy, smiley, easy-going people. Although we couldn’t live without them either, artists can be divas and super-sensitive. That, my friends, is where we come in, as we’ve rounded up a list of ways to make even the moodiest of artists turn that frown upside down.
Hear Them Out
“Show them that their concerns make sense to you,” one curator said to me, “no matter how crazy.” If the artist sees that you are generally taking the time to listen to what they have to say, they are more likely to be on your side in the future. Respect goes both ways: if you respect them, they’ll respect you.
Pretend To Understand, Even If You Don’t
Artists live in their own worlds (ones that are foreign to us), so often what they are trying to explain won’t make sense. Instead of arguing with them, let them think that you get where they are going, even if it seems insane.
Feed Their Ego
“Turn on the charm,” explains an artsy friend, “but don’t go too heavy. Go for appreciation, the more exaggerated your reactions, the more they’ll believe you (ironically).” Point taken.
Artists are working on their own timescale. Deadlines and normal working hours are alien to them. And, although it’s hard, try to not bombard them with questions about when they will deliver X, Y and Z; it will freak them out. Be gentle with them, or you may scare them away.
Work Hand in Hand
If you’re collaborating, supply them with an endless range of material. If they like what you put to them, let the door open and give them freedom. By giving them all the credit for the ideas you lead them to, they’re likely to make it their best work, and generally have pride in making it. What’s more, they’ll be on side with what you wanted them to do in the first place. It’s a win-win!
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text by Lizzy Vartanian Collier