Have you ever received a gift from an artist? What was it? How did you react? I received a beautiful gift from an artist recently, and as an artist, I like to give my art out as gifts. So, what’s the best way to receive these artful gifts?
If you ask me. The best way to receive a gift from an artist is to appreciate it. REALLY appreciate it. Don’t just say “wow, that’s beautiful” and move on. Say “wow, that’s beautiful,” and admire its beauty. Take a moment to really look at the strokes involved in the artwork, the pattern of the stitches, or the blend of the colors. Look for the shapes within the patchwork, and hear the story behind it.
Now, you do have to be careful. Taking the time to admire the beauty of the art also gives you a chance to find its flaws. Artists are human, we’re not perfect. You may find a hair in the painting or a loose thread in the stitching. Spacing might be off, or details might not be fine enough. When you come to these flaws, the best thing you can do is to NOT MENTION THEM. What you’re receiving is a gift. The artist worked hard to make it for you. They spent their time for you. They didn’t make it so you can critique it. They made it so you can enjoy it. So, why bring them down by pointing out the flaws in their hard work? The best thing you can do as a gift receivers is to make the giver feel good about giving the gift.
Now, I get it. There are people out there who aren’t artists. The best thing you can draw is a stick figure. So, when an artist gives you an incredible piece of work, you compare it to your own abilities and it makes you feel a tinge of jealousy or inadequacy. I certainly feel that way when my art is compared to others. These feelings of jealousy or wishing you were a better artist then you are tend to lead you into looking for the flaws in the artwork you’ve received as a gift. You point out the flaws because it makes you feel better. Tells you that this artist who gave you this incredible gift isn’t perfect. Well, it might make you feel better, but it doesn’t make the artist feel very good. They worked hard to make this for you, so don’t point out any of its flaws. Keep those flaws to yourself and appreciate the gift. I mean, that’s our job as gift receivers, isn’t it? Someone takes the time, money, and thought to give us something, we should make the giver feel good about giving it out. People say that it’s better to give than to receive, but how people receive may ruin someone’s desire to give. So, it’s equally as important to know how to receive any gift, not just artwork.
I hope you’ll keep this in mind whenever you receive a gift. May you receive it with appreciation and keep its flaws to yourself. You don’t want to be that person nobody gives anything to because you always find what’s wrong with it.