People looking over your shoulder as you draw

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  1. #1
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    People looking over your shoulder as you draw

    So sometimes when I draw in public places on ocasion people will creep up behind me and look at whatever I'm drawing. This annoys the hell out of me. I know they're showing interest which is nice, but it's really annoying when someone just walks up and stands over my shoulder uninvited. So a few days ago I was drawing nude women doing some (ahem) provacticve things, I'm not really around anybody, and then this woman creeps up behind me to see what I'm drawing and she gets angry at me, starts yelling, and is like "That's awful! Why would you draw that? Why don't you draw something decent?" I'm like what the hell? I never planned for you to just stand behind me and stare. Go away.

    Ugh...

    Last edited by Sphyzex_9; September 29th, 2009 at 11:14 PM.
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  4. #2
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    People do it at school a lot. I get a lot of unnecessary ass pats, get told I'm 'talented', etc.

    I know they don't know any better, but I get pretty rattled and just quit whatever I'm working on.

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  5. #3
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    Why do you draw nudes in public?

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  7. #4
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    I get a bit thrown off when people do it. At a school, it's a little easier to take but out in the general public? Can't say I like it.

    I don't mind people showing interest, it's just a little distracting though. Also I suddenly get self-conscious.

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    You did tell her to fuck off did you?

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  10. #6
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    that's awesome. You should've drawn something truly horrendous like a fly headed man eating babies. She'll never bother another artist again.

    Now that I think about it, I wonder if this is why so many people shy away when they see me painting/drawing outside. All I'm doing is landscapes, but some people react as if it were a fly headed man eating babies...

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  12. #7
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    Haha, you should have started to draw that woman!

    SECONDS: Do you work from life of photographs?
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    It doesn't really both me, except when they stay for too long. A quick "oh what are you drawing?" glance is fine but after a while it just makes you feel uncomfortable about making any mistakes.

    Also I hate people that feel the need to give me advice on how to "improve" what I'm drawing. Perfect example: the other day I was sketching this scene for a school project of a dude fighting a zombie and one of the dudes in my class was like "dude you should like draw the guy with the gun with like this huge armor with spikes and stuff and have like a bunch of blood on the zombie and having him go all 'raaaaargh!' and stuff and like holding a severed head or something" to which I reply "heh yeah maybe" all the while thinking "what are you fuckin' twelve?"

    As for the woman, you should have drawn her on top of a huge pedestal looking down on people since apparently that's how she views herself

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    No way . Should have turned and scrawled her bending over, naked or somesuch .

    Nah, i don't draw anything provocative in public, really. Faces, gestures and drawing contours of people around me usually is what i draw in public in my traveling sketchbook. But then again, i have trouble truly focusing if i'm not in my haven with proper stimuli.

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    you can always just 'not' draw in public....-_-

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  18. #11
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    I don't like it when people do that either, I think it's pretty rude. If they are interested in art and want to see I'd prefer if they asked to see, or asked if they could watch as I draw. It's a little like standing behind someone who is writing a letter or a diary and reading along, it's bad etiquette. A sketchbook is something personal, what goes in there isn't necessarily the kind of art that is for display, and I don't just mean subject wise.



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    Quote Originally Posted by R a n d i s View Post
    Why do you draw nudes in public?
    I was wondering about that too.

    Nudist beach?

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    And you see, this is why it's great to be a New Yorker. Nobody ever bothers me on the bus while I'm sketching, despite what I usually wind up doodling: nudes, guro, overly graphic 'War is Hell' imagery, and stuff like that.

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  22. #14
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    Bothers me. I stop, pencil hovering above the paper, turn my head and look at them...waiting.

    It only DOESN'T bother me, if the girl is hot.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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  23. #15
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    A polite "thank you" and I keep drawing. Occasionally I'll smile or nod at their comments, but I try to keep working regardless. They usually don't linger long.

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  25. #16
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    Oh man, this really tends to irritate me. I don't draw in public, but if I'm at home or in school, people see me drawing and just have to come over and invade my personal space. If they asked first I wouldn't mind as much, but I just find it extremely rude.

    Most of the time I just stay away from others when I'm drawing. If I'm stuck in class or something, I cover as much of my sketchbook as possible, either with my hands or another piece of paper. Most people seem to get the message from that alone.

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  26. #17
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    don't give a fuck
    i learned this from a friend

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  28. #18
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    Not only drawing is a very solitude process. Artist need solitude to reach their optimal solitudeness.

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  30. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by R a n d i s View Post
    Why do you draw nudes in public?
    The better question is why not draw nudes in public?

    I draw wherever I feel like. And if you're drawing in public you have to expect people to come up and see what you're doing because people are curious and want to see if you suck or not.

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  32. #20
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    you should've just turned a new page, and drawn a big cock and balls. That'd learn her.

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  34. #21
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    I enjoy people watching me draw.... strange i know.

    should'a seen this guys expression when he glanced down and saw my cockfish... Got to love double takes.

    People looking over your shoulder as you draw


    EDIT: i should probably clarify that my cock fish was a drawing of a cod fish with a rather interesting head .

    Last edited by Muz; September 30th, 2009 at 09:53 AM.
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  36. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troubadour View Post
    you can always just 'not' draw in public....-_-
    i don't think that is quite possible.

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  37. #23
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    "you can always just 'not' draw in public....-_-"

    No man, drawing in public's an adventure. It should just be seen as such. Expect to get glances and interest, and use it to make stories. The story you brought at the start of this thread had potential to be really great. You just needed that one snappy zinger to teach that lady a lesson, or at least give it a punch line. Like looking up at her, smiling, and saying, "HA! Made ya look!"

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    Does this mean I'm the only one who likes drawing related attention? Sometimes I even like the stupid comments. Like the other day some stranger said my dragon looked like a "mouse." I told her it was a dragon, and she said it was "trying to be a dragon but inside there's a baby mouse trying to get out." Yeah, that was stupid. But you know, someone looked at my drawing and was interested enough to come up with a nonsensical story about it, and I like that. I talked to her and she told me about her sister who was an artist and who went to the same school I went to, and if I had just ignored her comment I wouldn't have gotten that story.

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  41. #25
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    When I sketch outside I usually like to look for a place to sit down like a bench or a chair with a table. You won't attract a lot of attention and you can just mind your own beeswax. People will think you're just jotting down some notes or reading.

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  42. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    "you can always just 'not' draw in public....-_-"

    No man, drawing in public's an adventure. It should just be seen as such. Expect to get glances and interest, and use it to make stories. The story you brought at the start of this thread had potential to be really great. You just needed that one snappy zinger to teach that lady a lesson, or at least give it a punch line. Like looking up at her, smiling, and saying, "HA! Made ya look!"
    i enjoy drawing in public, but if you're gunna sit and complain about people doing that kind of thing you 'do' have a choice here.

    I'm with Xinranliu on this.

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  43. #27
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    Spectator's build character!

    One of the greatest ego smacks I ever got was from a very sincere spectator who spoke up, over my shoulder, and said:

    "You know, there's this woman, Betty Edwards, who wrote this book called 'Drawing On the Right Side Of the Brain'. . ."

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  45. #28
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    "i enjoy drawing in public, but if you're gunna sit and complain about people doing that kind of thing you 'do' have a choice here. I'm with Xinranliu on this."

    Well, obviously there's a choice, but it sounded to me like you were implying it's not a good idea to draw in public, because, god forbid, it draws attention to yourself.

    I think drawing outside in public is a must for learning and I don't give a rats ass if people watch, so I'm with Xin too. From what you first wrote, it seemd like you weren't with Xin. Now I'm confused...

    And I got names mixed up so I had to edit this post...

    Last edited by TASmith; September 30th, 2009 at 12:21 PM.
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  46. #29
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    When someone is wathcing over my shoulder I start a conversation about what I´m doing and why I´m doing this and that, why that line has to be here and that shade has to be there, and that it´s alway about correcting mistakes and so on.

    The people get interested in my interest in art and feel the fascination of it.

    Feels good.

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  47. #30
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    I used to shut down when this happened. I'd get really pissed and just stop what I was doing and not move until said person left. Some manner of performance anxiety or stage fright or something. Now I could care less. It is interesting that people take interest in what you're doing and often have interesting things to say. Sphyzex_9, if you insist on drawing women masturbating in public you should expect some backlash. Turn it into a social experiment. Toy with people to see what their reactions are. There is no reason that drawing tentacle porn at Starbucks cant be fun for everyone.

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