If the kid says doctor or lawyer, parents beam and say, "That's my kid!"
If the kid says fireman or police officer, parents nod and say, "Respectable."
But if the kid says artist, a cold sweat breaks out on the parents brow and the finger pointing starts, "That comes from your side of the family!"
Why is that? Why is being an artist frowned upon?
Sure, there's the usual "starving" artist connotation, but I think it goes beyond that. Those who don't have a creative bent are freaked out by those who do because creativity can't be measured or contained or controlled. Artists are loose cannons and you never know when they'll go off on some wacky artistic spree . . . to which I say, "God love em!"
So here are some fantastic ways to support the artist in your life (and you know you know one) . . .
1. Buy their art.
Even if you don't like the music or painting or the thought of watching interpretive dance gives you hives, buy it for someone else and give it as a gift.
2. Share their art.
Word of mouth is the best way for the world to find out about an artist. Be that mouth.
3. Give them space.
Don't assume your art buddy is dissing you because they haven't spent time with you lately. Artists need lots of alone time to create.
4. Post a review.
Amazon. Yelp. Wherever, rankings are important to artists because good reviews -- wherever you post -- help increase their exposure to the public.
5. Send an encouraging note.
Artists struggle with self-doubt 24/7. Rejection and criticism is part of the artist's day to day life. Send them a warm-fuzzy.