ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Most Common Questions Asked to Artists

Updated on December 6, 2019
PAINTDRIPS profile image

Denise has been studying and teaching art and painting for 40+ years. She has won numerous prestigious awards for her art and design.

Forty-Niner Home Plate collage
Forty-Niner Home Plate collage | Source

What Are The Most Common Questions

I asked a group of my art friends,” What are the most common questions people ask you about your art (visual arts, photography, writing, music, crafts, etc.)? I got so many interesting answers I had to share them.

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.

— Norman Vincent Peale
Forest Fire Collage
Forest Fire Collage | Source

Special Camera

Kristine: What kind of camera is that? It takes really good pictures. To which I answer, “It’s not the camera.” Seriously, I hear this a lot.

It is a shame that people think it takes a special camera to take good pictures. I had a student who thought I wasn’t giving her the best paintbrush because her painting didn’t turn out like mine. She kept asking to use my paintbrush, which she thought was specially trained. The truth is that you can turn out masterpieces with a burnt stick on rocks if you only try. My friend, Kristine is right, it isn’t the camera. It is about the experience and the practice put into it.

We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.

— Galileo Galilei
Still Life Collage
Still Life Collage | Source

Did You Do That?

Becky: Did you take that photo? Typically with a surprised tone. Yes, I actually have layers.

I get that too. “Did you paint that? Wow. You’re a real artist.” Umm. Yes. I have been for quite some time and don’t act too surprised. I have layers too.

We want to impress people but sometimes the level of surprise is insulting. Especially when you consider that this kind of quality didn’t happen overnight. We didn’t wake up one morning and decide it would be fun to paint professionally or take professional-quality photos. This has taken the better part of a lifetime. A great deal of blood sweat and tears have gone into this work and to have someone act not just impressed but surprised… Well, we have to roll our eyes and consider the source sometimes.

We have art so that we shall not die of reality.

— Friedrich Nietzsche
Old Boots Collage
Old Boots Collage | Source

What Is It?

Sherry: What is it?

Okay, I could indulge my baby brother when he asked that question. I was only 12 when I started painting and he was 5 or 6. I was a beginner and he didn’t have much experience being subtle. But when folks say that now it means basically I have failed as an artist to bring out the image I was intending. If it were abstract, that would be one thing, but I paint in a representational manner always depicting something that should be readily understandable.

My sister used to ask this question knowing it was a sarcastic dig that would get my goat every time. I can laugh with the best of them but this is my life’s work and it is a bit close to my heart. Don’t ask “what is it” unless you really want to hurt someone’s feelings, or know them well enough to know they won’t take it too personally.

Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only.

— Unknown


Debbie: I know people are always asking me if I went to school to paint like that or if it is just raw talent. What they seem to forget is that raw talent doesn’t get you anywhere. You have to practice and work and perfect that raw talent or it amounts to zip.

This is true. Education is fine and is helpful to learn the basics of anatomy and rules of light and shadow, but when it all comes down to it, practice and years of work are what make the artist worth his salt. The musician who can play by ear still has to practice, learn how to read music and put in the time before he or she is of concert quality. Writers have to write, artists have to draw.

My Experience

I went to a meeting of the Society of West-Coast Artists where the president at the time asked how often we drew something. I was the only one of 30 people who raised her hand admitting to drawing something every single day. I feel I must or I will bust. I need to create. For me, it is as vital as breathing.

At the age of 12, I had an English teacher recognize some talent in me that I didn’t know I had. She told my mother to be sure to enroll me in art classes in high school. Imagine my surprise. This teacher had never told me anything but that I had poor spelling skills. I feel bad now for having called her “Bird-Legs Tedrow” all year. Because of her remarks to my mother, I have been painting and drawing ever since. I will forever be grateful to her. Who knows what direction my life may have taken if she hadn’t made that announcement to my mother?

Kitchen Window Sill Collage
Kitchen Window Sill Collage | Source

Final Thoughts

What are the most common questions asked you about your art? Are they laughable or spot-on? What do you answer people when they ask you these questions? I would love you hear your thoughts in the comments below.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)