So, it has recently become blatantly obvious to me that my artistic friend end up with the wrong people. Part of it is against the artist for following the bad folks, but it also goes to the people they date. Artists are not the easiest people to be romantically involved with. So, I give you my tips.
1. Know the difference between an artist and an artiste. An artiste is someone who’s gotten caught up in their own BS. They’ll wear you on you arm to show of to their other artiste friends and ignore you. An artist is usually completely shocked you’re there with them and will want you in on all the gossip. They’re good fun.
2. An artist is compelled to be artistic. They don’t need a “mood” to do their work (see artiste). They have to do it. They’ll get sick or stressed or crabby. I, for example, feel like my brain will burst out of my skull and kill someone if I don’t write. Expect it and embrace it.
3. They’re going to ignore you. Because their work compels them, they might disappear for days at a time and re-emerge from their studio covered in paint, ink, dark circles, etc. with a dazed expression on their face. They NEED you to drag them back to reality.
4. LET THEM WORK! They need alone time. Creativity doesn’t come when you’re playing 20 questions. My boyfriend knows when I ask him for some time to myself, he needs to grab the dog and go play in the garage for a bit or he needs to let me go hide for a while. This plays into three a bit.
5. Don’t, don’t, don’t guilt trip them. They do this because they love it and because they want to be successful. YOU are part of this success. They want to take care of you, believe it or not. I want to be a successful writer so I can support myself AND my boyfriend. If they take some time away from the relationship, remind them, kindly, that you want some one on one time. There’s nothing worse about feeling bad about wanting their dreams.
6. Ask them about their work. Artists want their partners to be interested in their work. Watch them as they paint, write, compose, etc. if they’ll let you. My boyfriend has read everything I’ve published, behind my back. It’s adorable and I know he supports me. Now, I send it to him before it goes live. If they tell you that you wouldn’t understand, they’re an artiste. RUN!
7. They’re probably shy. Artists are notoriously the worst judges of their own work. They may try to hide their work from you, explain it away, and make excuses. Don’t let them. Build them up.
8. Be willing to drag them away. Sometimes, they get too obsessed and worked up. They need to have a distraction. Learn when this is appropriate.
9. Get a hobby. You’re gonna have a lot of time by yourself as they get more and more engrossed in their work. If they’re working, find something to entertain yourself while they’re working. Not only that, but an artist appreciates an artistic person. They GET it. Explore.
10. Please, understand if you can’t deal with this. If you have to have attention ALL the time, you’re not artistic, you can’t stand the solitary lifestyles, be willing to step away. Don’t suck away their creativity and don’t make yourself miserable.
I’m sure there are things I’ve missed. Please feel free to add them. This is what I have for right now.