This really isn’t that much of a rant, but I don’t think it belongs anywhere else so here goes. I am not sure whether to be amused or insulted—both, I think. But mostly amused.
I have a little art tutorial site that gets a fair amount of positive feedback. It’s a nice site, and I write about something that I am confident I have a clue about. If I didn’t have a clue, I’m sure I’d have gotten barraged with email by now telling me so. But it’s been quite the opposite, so far.
But, today, I got a weird email that has amused me no end.
This woman, a schoolteacher in an elementary school (so her email extension tells me) sends me an unsolicited graphic of some of her artwork. I specifically ask for people to not do this, (especially not large files) but maybe she didn’t catch that part of my site. OK.
The thing that got me to thinking she was being insulting was that she told me about an art art technique that she’d used (that I specifically don’t use, and took pains to explain why on my site). She ended her email with this: “Good luck. Try using [this technique] and see if you get better quality work”. Hmmm…is she being a little insulting or am I reading too much into it? I think she’s being a little insulting. Condescending, at the very least.
I wrote her back a polite (I think) email saying that yes, I knew about the technique, but no, I didn’t feel it was an appropriate technique for what I was doing. I complimented the artwork sample she sent (said it was “nice”) and said that we’d have to “agree to disagree” since I didn’t feel I’d get a “better quality of work” by using her suggested technique.
But what I WANTED to say was:
ARGGHHHH!!! You show me the ONE technique that is like fingernails down a chalkboard to me. I am SO SICK of seeing this tacky trick—it’s so overdone and every newbie does it—badly, I might add. I am glad that I make a point of warning people to NOT use it on my tutorial site. Yes, it’s just my opinion and of course people will ignore me if they have a mind to, and that’s fine. But it’s my steadfast opinion and I’m sticking to it.
And to be honest, the artwork you sent me kind of sucked. It’s a really good example of why I abhor this specific technique. But I can’t exactly tell you that, can I?
And I’m sorry to sound arrogant, but to be perfectly honest, I think my “quality of work” is better than yours right now. And even though I think your artwork is mediocre, I’ve got just barely enough sense to not actually tell you that. I have seen other tutorial sites touting the same worn-out dreadful technique that you are so fond of and it has never occurred to me to write them and send an example of my work. Never. And NEVER, no matter how dreadful I thought they were, would I offer up unsolicited suggestions to them and make a reference to “better quality work” (as if what they are doing now is not that high quality). I might think it, but I wouldn’t write that to them, unsolicited. Oh my gosh. How tacky.
OK, so I got that off my chest. I am sure the rest of you have gotten “Criticism from the clueless”—please share!