Insults and comebacks for Artists | Col Mitchell Contemporary Paper Artist

How Artists can Wrestle Insults into Opportunity

Col Mitchell Contemporary Paper Artist Art Tips & Lessons 4 Comments

Insults and Comebacks

How to wrestle insults into opportunity

With many artist friends and colleagues on Facebook it is not rare to find a post lamenting on the slights received during craft fairs (along with a slew of commiserating comments) similar to the list recently posted below:

Insults and comebacks Artist-advice-col-mitchell-contemporary-paper-artist

And many a pithy or witty comment do tend to follow. Some are of similar stories and some offer suggested “artist replies” that range from polite and clever to pure and simple steam blowing.

But one comment stood out from all the many I have read! It contained the type of advice I feel every artist should hear before being faced with any of these types of customer interaction dilemmas —  many of which seem inevitable considering how often these posts occur, and how often artists  commiserate.

Copied here with permission is one of the best responses ever, in my opinion, from  JF Amprimoz of Small Web Strategies.

Insults Tweaked into Opportunities and Clever Comebacks from a Marketing Consultant:

As someone who sells his time and creativity as a consultant, I think there are some shared frustrations here  … As a marketing consultant, specifically, I’m just gonna throw out some ideas on how I might try to wrestle these insults into opportunityJF Amprimoz

#9  “You know what you should make . . .”

What’s wrong with 9? Sure there’s a lot of stupid to filter out but if three people suggest the same thing maybe that’s worth thinking about? 

#8  “Do I get a price break if I buy two?”

You can tell people how this isn’t a batch production where you are doing them twelve at a time. Each one takes you the same amount of time and attention to create so unfortunately you can’t really do volume discounts.

#7  “I can make that myself.”

“Oh that’s great, here’s a starter kit with all the tools and equipment you need to make a xyz. You even get a coupon on my course/book!” (secretly means “Go ahead asshole, you wanna buy everything you need to make this and then figure out how to do it yourself? Then buy all this other stuff from me and do it. Or just buy the one I already made.”)

#6  “Why does it cost so much?”

6 is a chance to tell people about how incredible and unique your creations are as well as the skill and the quality of the materials that go into them.

Take a deep breath, remember how much you love creating your work, and give your prepared explanation not of why your work costs so much, but why it’s worth significantly more than that. If you are selling something people can get a cheap knock off of, you have to explain why it makes sense to invest in the real thing.

#10   “I’ll just get my friend to make me one of those.” and #5  “How do you make this?”

“I’d love to show them/you! Sign them up for my class/buy my book!


#4  “Will you donate your artwork to our event? We can’t pay you, but it will be great exposure.”

“Sorry, I actually have a pretty significant backlog of paid work to get done.” Such a great slap in the face to remind these people that not only do you have to make a living doing this, but plenty of other people seem to not have a problem with paying you to do it.

#3  “My nine-year-old makes this kind of stuff too.”

 We always have a great time in the kids classes!” (“I’d love to show them/you! Sign them up for my class/buy my book!)

#2  “Kids, this is what happens if you don’t go to college.”

Ok this person is just messed up and taking it out on you.

#1  “I can buy that at Walmart for $3.99.”

“I’d be happy to give you directions to the walmart. Here’s my card if you ever want something special.”

Go ahead Artists, tackle those Insults and Comebacks with these  great bones to chew on.

And thanks so much JF for your counsel and support!

Col's art signature







JF Amprimos is Founder of Small Web Strategies, a consultancy delivering big Internet marketing and analytics thinking to small businesses.

Posted with kind permission.

Comments 4

  1. These are great replies. So often, the hurtful things people say are off-handed and unintentional. I usually walk away grateful I’m not such an insensitive clod. On the other hand, occasionally, hurtful comments work their way into our brains…like weed seeds (I actually wrote about weed seeds a couple weeks ago). Thanks, Col, for giving us some ammo to defend ourselves! 🙂

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      “So often, the hurtful things people say are off-handed and unintentional.”

      Completely agree Michelle, and I would also add naive, or have minimal understanding of the profession/industry.

      And then there are some who would take advantage…it helps to be prepared 🙂

      Weed seeds! Love it!
      I had to go read your post. Very entertaining, loved all the clever analogies 🙂 And so very true!
      We could all use a personal weed whacker!

  2. Wow Col, thanks for the insight! I’ve endured a few of these questions (#9, 8, 7, 6 and especially #4) and they did become like weed seeds (I read Michelle’s blog religiously!) But you’ve given me the ability to laugh again and so I will be fully prepared for my public exhibits in the Fall! I cannot thank you enough!

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