I think we can all agree that artists are the most amazing people to date. They’re creative and passionate, adventurous and sensitive—sometimes temperamental, but never boring.
If you find yourself in the company of an artistic woman, consider yourself lucky. Here are a few tips to help keep you in her favor.
DO Ask to See Her Work, but Accept “No” for an Answer
I absolutely encourage showing an interest in your date’s artistic endeavors, but don’t be offended if she wants to keep them private. An artist’s work is personal and letting someone in on it, especially before it’s finished, can feel more intimate than sex.
It’s best to say something like, “If you feel comfortable showing me, I’d love to see what you’re working on.” If she’s hesitant to talk about her art to begin with, you might not want to ask at all.
Don’t Offer False Praise
If she does decide to show you her work, politely state your opinion. If you don’t like it, say something along the lines of, “It’s not really my style, but I can see how passionate you are about the subject matter and I respect that.” If you love it, say so, but don’t gush over it for the sake of winning points with her. False praise is easy to spot.
Be genuine with your feedback and remember that art is more than just a pretty picture to hang on the wall, it’s meant to make you feel something. Share the emotions it evokes in you, be they positive or negative.
Do Respect Her Artistic Process
Don’t pass judgement on her technique, or the amount of time it takes for her to complete a piece. Even if you think you’re teasing, it can come across as criticism. Remember that creativity is an extremely personal process. The very fact that she’s inviting you into that part of her life is a privilege not to be taken lightly.
You might be tempted to buy her art supplies as a gift, but unless you know her process well enough, even this could be considered a judgement. Maybe she likes to paint with brushes that are nearly bald or mix her paints on the broken pallet she’s used for years. Unless she’s expressed frustration with her chosen materials, trust that she has a specific use for them. She knows what’s best for her art.
Don’t Ask if It’s About You
Don’t assume that just because you’re dating, she considers you her muse. I deal with this all the time in relation to my writing. If I’m dating a guy, he often thinks I’m saying something specifically about him. Spoiler alert! Most of the time I’m drawing stuff directly from my imagination, or from deep within my past. It takes time for life’s experiences to filter through the creative machinery and come out the other side.
Who knows? You might never be reflected in her art, and if you are, it could be twenty years from now.
Do Understand if She’s MIA Sometimes
Inspiration is elusive. Artists often have to wait months or even years for it to strike, so when it does, it strikes hard! Your date might be elbow deep in plaster of Paris, or a hundred pages into writing her novel, unable to pick up her phone or answer the door. Have patience with her. These times of complete focus are rare gifts to an artist.
If you want to show your support, leave a care package of food and drink at her door. Chances are, she’s so deeply immersed in her work that she’s not taking the time to prepare proper meals. Either that, or she’s gone away on vacation and will be greeted by a rotting pile of sandwiches upon her return.