Art and The Sweet Trolls of the Internet

Sweet Internet Troll
Hey I made a Print, get it here.

So I faced a troll this morning.
And I’d like to openly speak my mind, because it’s kind of therapeutic for me (hey I work alone from home and my cats are cute but not chatty haha) but also (and more importantly) because this happens every day for many other artists, and it’s getting a little tiring.

So, an anonymous troll commented following on my “So I cried at the SIMP” blog post :
You are a piece of shit .. 400 fucking euros for a miniature table? You think you are an artist? Like who? Michelangelo?” 

Aaaaah! What a GREAT way to start the day!

Beforehand I’d like to state that I’m fine. I actually laughed when reading the comment, especially since I’m not tired, nor exhausted, nor especially sad right. (here to taking long breaks!)
So let’s dive in, shall we?
I’ll first talk about art, so we’re on the same page.

What is Art? Wide subject, isn’t it?
After a lot of thinking about it, (since I studied art in university, so about 10 years ago) I define art in two ways. It’s my personal definition, you are most free to think otherwise. Frankly defining art would take writing a book. But for me it is something created by a human with some kind of skill and has at least one of these two characteristics :
1 – It makes you Think
The art that will make you think and that is the point of view of the artist on our world. 
It is about story, about pushing the viewer to reflect on his choices or the world.
Ourdays a lot of street art actually falls into that category. As it’s often an open critique to capitalism or our society.
This is what I’m (very modestly) trying to do through my latest work on the impact of meat and also my daily fruit and veggie challenge.
2 – It is beautiful
The art that is skilled and has a visual impact on you, it makes you happy or emotional but just because it’s visually striking.
Kandinsky and Vermeer are good examples for me, but I’m sure you have others.
Again a lot of street art is “just” visually striking, but also yarn bombing falls in that category.
In a way that’s most of my work, as I just try to sculpt in the most realistic way and well… make it pretty.

Artist = artist?
Now, now… Is really a Kandinsky and little old me to put on the same shelf?
Heck no!!
There are all kind of artists in the world, some will have a huge impact on the world and future generations, like Michelangelo, Picasso, Vermeer, Rothko, Marcel Duchamp (yikes I totally dislike his work btw), Malevitch (White square on white square from 1918 anyone?), Dali, Pollock, Yves Klein, and so on.

And then there are all the popular artists that will cheer up your day with modest pieces of art, sometimes colorful, sometimes gloomy, sometimes abstract, sometimes realistic. Nobody knows if these will have much impact on the world or future generations, but it’s likely the impact will stay in the present and quite small.
And this is where I put myself along most street artists, illustration artists, jewelry artists, miniature artists and actually most artists I’m following right now on IG.

Creation takes time (no kidding!) a lot of time to be precise.
But time isn’t all, you also need skills and let’s just say it out flat… talent.
I have been teaching now and again and no matter how precise your explanations are, some people have more ease to sculpt in miniature than others. Maybe it’s because they like it more, maybe it’s something else, fact is, not anyone can do anything with the same amount of skill.

But let’s get back to Michelangelo, shall we?
Michelangelo Artwork sells of for hundred of millions.
This one sold for an exact 300 million $, and I actually think it’s a bit cheap haha 😀

I’m following a lot of small artists right now, so I have a fairly good idea of their pricing, and let me tell you it often ranges between 500 and 10.000€
I’m talking here about small, relatively unknown (as of yet) contemporary artists.
Because if you look at the stuff from Damien Hirst, Lullaby Spring sold for 11 million of pounds (and it’s basically just a stack of pills) //

Now, now, do I resent Damien Hirst for selling for so much money? Of course not. I mostly don’t care really.
But sure, I’d love to sell my stuff for so much money. I take that and change the world in a heart beat. I’d invest money in education, in helping people change their habits, cleaning the ocean and what not.
AND I would not have to wonder if I’ll ever be able to reimburse our house loan.

But I digress.

Price is just the mean to say :

“So I worked on this and it’s my job, it took time and skill and I settled on (insert your fair price) so I can continue making what I do best : create”

Too pricey? I know the feeling, I’d probably be swamped by art if I had limitless money. Heck I’d have a full Kilgast Foundation of popular, colorful art. *dreams*

But really now :

Art is pricey? No it’s just another job.
Artists also need money to eat and live.
And most art you can enjoy for free, by only viewing it online.



I recently saw a very good serie on youtube about trolls and what the author calls “angry jack”.
If you have the time, I strongly encourage you to watch it, as I’m pretty sure most of you have encountered angry jacks in your life.
To make it short, it says that people get angry when they are faced with people who made tough decisions that are better (or at least feel better) then what they do themselves, thus placing them in the position of the “bad guy”.
For instance, if someone says “I’m vegan”, as a non vegan carnist, you might feel like you are a bad guy and instead of reflecting on your own choices or on what other good things you do or could do, it makes you angry as (most likely) you are not a bad person, but the simple “I’m vegan” from the other one makes you feel like you were.

Back to our trolls.
When someone tells an artist “you are a piece of shit, this is too expensive“, why do they do that?
Here are some possible answers.
Trolls rarely self reflect and go into a rational argument, so I really have no clue if these apply or if there is some other mysterious reason.

Product vs. Making of said Product
Some of my followers tell me it’s because people our-days are not used to think about the making of a product but just the product itself and it’s immediate use. They don’t wonder, where does my dress come from? Who did this? Where children involved? Is the milk I drink from a happy cow? Who made the pair of earrings that I just bought?
Society has involved into a society of supply. People want something, they go in a shop and buy it. Everything is done to cut the link between the actual maker/producer and the one who is going to use it. Hence why people, unless they stop and think about it, never realize what it takes for a bottle of milk, a cotton dress or a pair of earrings.

Some people tell me it’s jealousy, be it jealousy from a fellow artist who doesn’t do as well, or jealousy from a random person who is unhappy with its own life.
Jealousy is powerful because it’s often irrational. You resent someone else’s success, instead of focusing on your own life. You see that someone makes a living from something you think is silly and you shout how unfair it is, that you totally deserve as much if not more success because what you do has meaning.

Probably the worst of all and the first step to any kind of extremism. Some people see the life through a particular lens, and so everything that doesn’t fit their scheme is wrong, and thus people who don’t fit that scheme must be blamed over and over again until they change their mind and behavior. You see that a lot against homosexuals but also in most religions, you’ll always have a handful of extremists that will tell you how you are supposed to live.
Here I’d like to add that some behaviors are wrong no matter your point of view. If someone or an animal gets harmed, beaten, abused, that is always wrong, and that should be addressed. But if someone prefers blue over pink? Heck, let them live.

That’s all I can think off.
I realize the post has gotten a bigger dimension that what I had initially planned, but that’s me all blabbing my mind aloud!

To keep it short and sweet :

If you don’t like it and it doesn’t harm anyone, just pass your way.
Be nice, so people can be nice to you as well.

Anything to add about art or angry people? Feel free to comment below 🙂

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