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I am roped into weird things...

I made the mistake of IMing my buddy Squid, and...err...apparently I'm going to be on the Squid's Redoubt talkcast Sunday night. (The man is persuasive. I grant you, it consisted of "Hey, you wanna be on the show Sunday night?" but since I have the spine of a jellyfish and no plans Sunday night, it worked.)

I think I will be talking about interacting with your friendly neighborhood artist at Cons. (Squid is threatening to turn it into "how to flirt with your friendly neighborhood artist at cons." I probably shouldn't have mentioned my weakness for men who can talk about art history...)

If anybody's got any points they'd love to see discussed about interacting with artists (or stuff people do that makes you, the artist, batshit crazy) I'd love to hear it.

You can listen to the cast and download past shows of Squid's Redoubt
(If you get an account there--s'easy--you can even chat with the weirdos involved, and send in questions and whatnot.)

and there's a blog with links and URLs and all that wacky stuff HERE.

Be warned. This show is often obscene, bitter, and full of cursing. At last, my unfortunate tendency to say "fuck" instead of "um" when I'm nervous is an asset!

You can tune in and listen to me humiliate myself tomorrow night! Musical guest is Rugged 'N Raw (Warning, link has music)

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At last, my unfortunate tendency to say "fuck" instead of "um" when I'm nervous is an asset!

... *grins* It cheers me up immensely knowing I'm not the only one who does that.


I'd like to hear some advice on how you can compliment an artist (or writer, comic author, etc) and come across as sincere, as opposed to some vapid fan. I think fans (or at least me) kind of worry that if they try to tell the artist how much their artwork means to them, they'll come across as overly effusive and fake, if that makes sense. What's some meaningful feedback that a fan can give an artist?

Ooh, that's a good one!

I've been on both ends of that one.

Turns out, I personally really enjoy hearing, "I just love your comic. I've read all the archives, and shown it to my entire family!"

Blows me away every time, as long as it's true.

Ursula and other artists may have differing experiences. But I find that if you tell the truth, it sounds sincere. If you lie, it sounds fake.

Here's a wordy example of how cons can give you a chance to work on your people skills. I have no idea if it'll be useful to you, but it's the funniest thing that's happened to me yet.

The last time I went to Emerald City Comic Con, I was manning a booth for a number of my artist friends, including the work of mcjulie who makes Goth House.

On the back of one of her books is this great comic where-in one of her cast members is asked why she's wearing black on such a hot summer's day, to which she responds with a stream of semi-sarcastic wisdom.

Anyway, I'd been gone to get pizza, letting pussinboots watching things out of the corner of his ear (he was being distracted by our neighboring booth). When I got back, there was this lady there in a blue puffy jacket, and she was angry.

I couldn't exactly figure out how by her responses, but she felt personally insulted by back of that book. She used terms like "do you people really think...?" and some stuff about depression and life. I pointed out that it was a kind of self-deprecating humor, that my friend was making fun of herself. Which kind of derailed the lady a bit and helped me get a few more words in edgewise. I explained what the joke was about and what perspective it took to find it funny, and who the audience of the comic was assumed to be.

I still don't think we were really communicating with each other well, because her parting words didn't quite match what it sounded like she was angry about in the beginning. But they were quite the bon mot!

She said, "Yeah, I know. I have friends who wear black all the time, too."

The one thing that drives me "batshit crazy" is people who attempt to psychoanalyze you based soully on a drawing.

Sometimes (Read: most times), people draw stuff just to draw stuff. It has no Secret Meaning.

weakness for men who can talk about art history...

I can't remember if I ever told you; my wife is working on her PhD in Art History. Our house is awash in Gallé and French colonialism.

I have an example for artists on what not to do:

Scene: Con hotel coffee shop. People: One of my favorite artists, her male companion, and me.

I told her how much I liked her artwork. She thanked me.

Then she turned to her maile companion and began with "You tell that bitch friend of yours..."

The "bitch friend" had been telling people where the artist's work could be bought more cheaply than at the con.

Talking fairly loudly about what she didn't want the public to know wasn't very bright of her.

Note: This artist hasn't been active in sf fandom for a while. I suspect she found her real-world art more profitable than her sf art.

How to flirt with your friendly neighborhood artist?


One time my boyfriend bought me a bouquett.
No, not of flowers.

Of Oil Paints! Two dozen different colors.
Arranged and taped just so, with fake leaves and baby's breathe and tissue paper, that it actually looked like a bouquette of flowers at first glance.

It was really cute, and even more thoughtful after the whole incident where I was seperated from my art supplies, and was dirt poor and going through "Oh-GOD-I-must-paint..." symptoms.


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I was at a art festival a couple of weekends ago, and as I said to my friend, "Wow, I bet we are really obnoxious. I bet these guys hate us." We played "Guess the Price", and being poor and 18 with no knowledge of art, it went something like this, "Okay, how about this?" "Mmmm...700?" "Oooh, sorry, not even close! 3,000 dollars!" "Holy shit!" And then we wandered away without buying anything.

You probably don't have to be told that artists hate to be asked, "Where do you get your ideas?"

Partially relevant -- so do writers. Because nine times out of ten, the true answer is, "I read Tithe the previous day and then played Prince of Persia for about six hours, and then I'd just drunk a latte the size of Lake Tahoe while on my period, and I was giggling over really badly-written House fanfiction, and then my dad cut the phone lines in the middle of the threesome scene and this idea sprung fully formed into my head while I was holding the flashlight for him to try and fix it."

... why, of course that isn't a true story.

The thing I have grown to hate is "Oh that is so beautiful.." And then they turn and walk away as though I never existed. Of course there was varying parts to that, but it boiled down to that basic scenerio.

Drove me nuts...probably will do so again this year my con. Kinda been getting that when I was helping my parent's garage sale and all of my mom's antiques and crystal. Same song....

I think I will be talking about interacting with your friendly neighborhood artist at Cons.

Why do I do these things?

I read the above as "Con artist" instead of "artist at Cons."

I probably shouldn't have mentioned my weakness for men who can talk about art history...

Hope you're not too into Richard Dadd, my father died years ago so flirting with intimations of patricide is right out...

...yes, this really is the very first thought I had after reading that line. Should I be worried about that?

*laugh* I'm not that into Dadd, although it's nice to actually see the art mentioned in "Wee Free Men" at last...

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