Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Picture a Day - Day 196

Well, we had a little bit of excitement yesterday now didn't we mister blog? But we all know what Benjamin Franklin says about house guests and fish, they both love being wrapped up in newspaper.

Only it wasn't all roses and sunshine. My little feature on Wedding Bee (which was still very sweet of Miss Bear Club, I'll send her some virtual flowers as soon as the virtual florist gets into his virtual greenhouse) morphed into what is becoming typical of the web.

Anywhere where a bunch of people can gather anonymously and face absolutely no recourse you will get the most narrow minded, bitter, and downright nastiest people. As soon as a place become popular, nice and evenhanded discourse goes flying out the window.

The other trend I see over and over is that the first negative comment is all but held up like a holy grail and the other anon comments will rarely stray. It's as though no one on the internet can think or form ideas for themselves, so they just repeat continuously what that first comment was.

This was what got the ball rolling:
"the headless people are freakin’ me out"
Then there are the responses that try to be funny and to fit in with the crowd but instead come off as heartless, like this one
"I just don’t get the missing heads and arms. The dog is there, why isn’t he invisible?? Must be easier to paint than human faces."
As I explained in the comments I included the dog because she had recently passed on so it was a memorial so nice way to go and open up old wounds. I'd also like to challenge every one of them to try and paint faces. People who can do portraits are extremely gifted on their own. Of course no one ever wants to listen to the voice of reason when there's a mob mentality.

Over and over it was "this is creepy" or "why the hell would you want this?" and no matter how many times I tried to explain and defend myself with links to other dress paintings or how photographers do not capture all the detail I can put into one painting I was completely ignored because it's so much easier to just keep with the group think.

You wanna know what's really creepy? When people cannot think for themselves and refuse to listen to any new information in favor of keeping their old prejudices.
Almost as though there's nothing between the average anonymous commenters ears but a bit of cobweb.

Some of the Bee's themselves did try to come to my defense (though I wonder if I would have had so many if I hadn't done a painting for one of their own). It's just about next to impossible to convince people that that person you are trashing is a living and breathing human being with feelings on the other side of the screen.

But it wasn't me I felt bad for (I think it's the benadryl I'm on, whee!), instead I felt a stab of pain for everyone I created a painting for. They were basically being told their tastes in art and their ideas were all creepy and weird and wrong. Because I don't create my paintings in a vacuum, they are formed from ideas and input from each customer.

I couldn't take having them trashed like that. So I asked some of my customers to "defend" themselves in case any of the more open minded bees are still around.

From Kelly at My Island Wedding whose painting they all specifically attacked:
I am the proud owner of that dress and that painting. I sent her 4 pictures and she worked very closely with me as to what I wanted.

I requested the beach and my dear doggie, if she could. And I knew ahead of time she did not do the people.

Do I have photos also to look at? Yes, quite nice ones that I am very happy with. But now, I have a beautiful painted canvas to compliment them, of which I am also quite happy with.

I think it’s possible while at one’s computer terminal alone, to become numb to someone else’s feelings. It’s kind of like being able to press a button to shoot a missle as opposed to seeing someone in the eye when you shoot them with a gun.

I feel that I have become “close” with the artist, and some of these comments hurt me as they just may have her. What is it they say, “if you don’t have something nice to say…?”

And from Rachel whose dress is everywhere *crossing my fingers the doggies find something tastier*
I love my dress painting!! I've never really seen it as creepy or headless.... whatever! I see it as the painting of a beautiful dress, and the fact that it's not really similar to anything else out there makes it more special to me.
It's sad that we're all so busy trying to fit in we forget and ignore that there are people we are hurting. The Internet has turned into one giant high school where the cool kids get to decide who is worthy of praise and who deserves to be tore down.

And I have never once thought any of my paintings were creepy or weird no matter what wild things customers asked for. I put as much effort and work into every single one and am proud of my little portfolio.When I'm looking for creepy I'll keep my spider web pictures, thank you very much.

Is anyone else sick and tired of how cliquish places get? How sadly it seems inevitable that as soon as a place is popular (like the Knot) it's the dark hearts who roam and police the site getting to decide all the rules regardless of what the site formerly was? I hope and pray that my blog will never be that famous because I'll take the few wonderful commenters I do have over the horde that just repeat the same mantra over and over.


Anonymous said...

That's unfortunate. I think people are jealous of you because your paintings are so neat.

See the thing I don't get about people objecting to another person's art is that no one is forcing them to look at or buy the art. Yes, it can be weird and yes, you may not understand or like it but that doesn't mean that you have to announce it to the world. (Unless of course you're an art critic. But they're usually a bit more eloquent than "it's creepy.")

Ruby Slippers said...

I was quite shocked at some of the comments on that Weddingbee post, but I got to it soon after it was posted, so I only saw the first couple. I wish I'd gone back and checked later and commented in support.

I've been looking at your dress paintings for ages now on your blog, and it never crossed my mind that they were creepy headless people. I just didn't see them that way. Each to his own taste, but if I see something I don't particularly like I just don't comment. I guess I only ever comment on blogs when I like something, or when someone has asked for a direct opinion (which one of these veils should I wear? etc). Other people will argue that it's a free world and they can say if they don't like something, but while that's true, I don't get the point. It just hurts people, so unless they've ASKED for a critique (like on a photography forum, or perhaps art forum in your case: "What do you think of my paintings, and give it to me brutally honestly!") I don't see that it's necessary.

Oddly enough, on a post the previous day - the one from Mrs Toucan about her paper anniversary gift - someone in the comments linked to another artist who does wedding dress pictures, and *that* seemed to go down well! So there's your proof about the sheep mentality of crowds. I'm sorry this happened. But just think, it happens to the best of people - Jasmine Star and Jessica Claire, just off the top of my head, have had some naaaasty comments on their blogs. It's so unnecessary, but people are bullies behind a computer.

Christy said...

I am so sorry to hear about this! I love your paintings - I think they really capture the essence of the dress. How awful that people are so narrow-minded that they can't see the great works of art you are creating!

Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

Nice touch... the cobwebs!

I think after my comment yesterday on "The Bee" people chilled out. Unfortunately, the author of that post did end it by asking people's opinion. Well, I say, "keep it to yourself, if you're going to be nasty."

As far as what you said about these being the "cool kids from High School"... I couldn't disagree more. COWARDLY, yes, not COOL.

We miss our doggie everyday, and still can't get ourselves to even think about getting another one. Thank you for including her in my painting and I'm sorry it has caused such a scene!
-Kelley Lewis Venturo

Linda said...

When people can be anonymous, it's like a license to be mean.

Jessica said...

First let me say, that I was your last customer (at least that I've seen posted on here) and I got the painting last week and just loved it! It is going to hang proudly in my office (as I am a new wedding planner).

I've been completely shocked with all this. I saw that original post on weddingbee, but didn't see the comments as I go through Reader.

Art is so subjective. You will always find someone who loves a piece and someone who hates it. I'm not sure why people have to be quite so nasty about it though. No one is forcing them to hang it in their home.

Anyway, thanks again for my beautiful painting.

Chesney said...

Wow, somehow I managed to miss that post - you must have done it later in the day. Amen to your new post! By the way, I love your paintings! Fresh and innovative! :)

Shell @ Disappearing Mist said...

Aww, that is terrible. People are crazy sometimes. Just wanted to reiterate that all of your loyal readers don't think that at all. I love what you have been doing! It's fantastic!

Jennifer said...

I am soo excited to get my painting (when i finally send you pictures)! I think your art is cool and YOUnique. As a bride who doesn't have a dress photo- I can't wait for my painting.
Weddingbee can take a flying leap-when Bee sold out to eHarmony- she rreally sold out.

valerie said...

Well, you know how I feel about a lot of the Wedding Bee people. I'm sorry you got smeared by some mean comments/people. I hate how the internet makes people feel like they have the right to treat other people like crap.

I've never really considered your paintings as creepy or even headless. So, for what it's worth, I'm sure there are as many people out there that love your paintings as those that think they're "creepy."

valerie said...

P.S. I'm sorry that last sentence comes off as awkward or something, but yeah... that's me. :/

Rachel said...

Yes, anytime or anywhere that people can be anonymous, some of them take it as permission to lose all their manners! It's a sad commentary.
But don't let it get to you!! It's just their opinions, and at the end of the day - it doesn't change anything. You still have your job, your hubby, your friends (including us, your bloggy-buddies!), and your fans! I usually see those who leave the nasty comments like that as pretty immature and probably very young.... Not that it is an excuse, but I realize that they are just being the way they are to help them feel better about themselves.

So don't stress too much about it. Just think of all the cute puppies you're going to be around this weekend!!! *Puppies!!!*

Ruby Slippers said...

In reply to your message - if they're charging $100 for one drawing, no wonder they need to pimp themselves on Weddingbee! Haha.

Kathy G said...

It is amazing the ignorance that we face. Ignorance that comes from behind a "web" (double meaning here). They totally miss the point of a pic or story and jump at picking on the negative. And yes becauce negativity breathes negativity there are a bunch of mindless individuals running to say the same thing. So much for the "road less travelled"

Carly said...

I *hope* that despite the negative comments, you had double the amount of readers who appreciated your work! I read your blog pre-weddingbee and I still read it. I also enjoy your art work. I was pretty put off by all the downright mean comments I read. Keep your head up!!

melissa said...

Oh no! People can be sucky. Who cares if they like the paintings or not. So long as you and your customers are happy. I hope you did get some good exposure out of the feature.