Dating an artist:
To say I have limited success with the dark arts of dating would be an understatement (the reference to ‘dark arts’ being a hint). If you were the betting kind you’d put money on a one legged donkey winning Crufts rather than on me having any level of success!
So the question that begs to be addressed is; how the hell am I qualified to offer advice on this subject? And since I’d rather throw myself into an active volcano with a dynamite coat than engage those dark arts you’d be quite right to ask.
Being one of the chosen that life has gifted with the creative ability I’d love to say I’m selling my artistic works for five grand a piece and living in a penthouse with a scantily clad model as my girlfriend; but no… On the plus side I’m more than qualified to point out the various pitfalls of the creative personality for those crazy enough to date an artist. If however there is a penthouse in need of an artist, a scantily clad model looking for a low maintenance boyfriend or an art collector with some money to spend, my address and phone number are….
- Know the signs of Project Fever
Project Fever is the complete and utter focus on The Project and there is little you can do to break his blind devotion to The Project, no matter how special the meals you prepare, whilst looking like a goddess to tempt out of your other half some basic recognition of your existence. Such efforts are likely to result in him mindlessly scoffing the food and at best you will get a grunt of acknowledgement.
Given the futility of breaking your other half away from The Project I recommend taking advantage of this by:
- You can quietly dispose of that terrible shirt he wore on the first date, which since your whole purpose in life is to destroy it for the good of womankind, go for it!
- Watch the chick flick he replaced with ‘Man beats up Giant Crocodile’ on your last movie night, all you have to do is acknowledge his existence and leave a cup of tea nearby to stop him emerging from his intricately organised nest of creative materials and getting in your way (adding a plate of biscuits is recommended)
When he emerges from The Project Fever looking like he’s just been airlifted from the jungle after several days, you can hose him down in the shower and throw him a change of clothes; he will emerge thankful and dedicated to you for giving him space, telling him the current year, date, time etc and having not left him.
- Know how to offer a compliment
An artist creates master pieces that transcend the barriers of time and space, to a point, where he feels he’s communicated with the angels in the act of crafting his defining work; all you can see is a big blue square he has painted, with a question mark made of cut up take-out menus fixed with crazy glue.
Now you may be tempted to say something snippy or negative; to this I say no, no, no and for the love of having the peace and quiet of your man in a good mood, NO. The only thing your comment will achieve is a pair of shiny bracelets that the police have put on you, because the ‘Project master’ felt provoked and bad tempered enough to say “You look fat in that outfit” and you’ve taken the frying pan to his head.
Have a well tried but regularly refreshed list of compliments on hand like “It speaks to my inner anarchist” or “It has a meaning all to its self” and if you want something shiny, a great meal out or to buy that new pair of shoes without the obligatory ‘another pair’ comment try “Your artistic talent in beyond mere mortal understanding”.
Creative types need space; if you don’t give him space he will invade yours! Ensuing results are never pretty so if he says he needs space take advantage. This particular cloud doesn’t only have a silver lining; for the resourceful women it’s made of jewel encrusted gold!
If your artistic boyfriend is selling pieces for five grand each, get him to foot the bill for a spa weekend for you and your mother, sister, girlfriends or whoever else’s other half wants some space too! (Or combat training and criminology if you’re planning on removing your artistic boyfriend!!)
And if you are looking for the advantages of dating a struggling artist: i.e. yours truly – see section 5
- Always watch them like a hawk at social events
Some of you will get the best looking social butterfly that has read the sacred tomes of fashion advice columns, carrying you on his arm to rapturous applause as every other lady in the room is jealous of your man, let alone the relaxation that you get from not having to worry about those conversation ending remarks or jokes that lesser men would fatally make.
This I must tell you, is not every artist you will meet, as evidenced by the nerve wracked women waiting by the nearest exit in order to make a quick getaway, or nursing a drink like it’s a matter of life and death. If you are so blessed with that anti-social creature and there is no avoiding taking him into public environments, there are simple precautions to take when presenting him to society “With these handy hints you can turn him into a true gent” the advert would say.
- Remove unwanted items from his wardrobe before he chooses what to wear and if asked “Didn’t I have?” reply with “You got rid of that after we went shopping for your new suit”, whilst simultaneously trying to repress the torturous flashbacks of that traumatic day!
- Coach him weeks ahead of the event, train certain jokes and phrases out of his social vocabulary and covertly introduce new ones, this will take planning but does have long term advantages and if you need assistance with this task refer to advice on pet training, lion taming and fine art manipulation!
- The most important thing to consider is the reward, physically dragging a reluctant hermit to a grand event will draw unwanted attention, with a suitable reward on offer; however, he will be a willing victim! Don’t forget yourself when considering reward!
As is evident by the time and passion they put into their works, Artists are capable of great passion, this ability to channel so much of our feelings into something we value is the key to artistic talent and without that blind focus that drives an artist to create; we are mere shadows of ourselves. The artistic temperament is both wild and unpredictable, reflecting the organic nature of creativity and imagination itself, so if you’re with such a person just go with it and enjoy the ride!
And consider, that emotion and zeal he puts into inanimate collections of paint and canvas, carving stone, fashioning raw materials into unusual forms, is the same level of commitment he feels towards loved ones, even if on occasion it seems that they have forgotten you exist (as when in the grips of project fever).
So if you want an uninteresting, unimaginative partner who buys flowers from petrol stations with a pre-printed ‘I Love You’ written on a cheap and tacky bit of card, feel free. But if you want artistic master pieces dedicated to you that will outlast empires, displays of affection and commitment that put mere mortals to shame and you are willing to put up with a bit of crazy, I hate to say it but you’re looking for an artist!