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    Talking social skills

    It's okay, you can relax. This isn't me waaahhhingg at you all about how I have no friends and nobody loves me (not even my own mother!) and god I just can't draw I just can't do it

    I did some project for my art course the other day (we had to do something in the urban environment) and I ended up asking strangers to tell me stories and then going home and drawing pictures inspired by them.

    Which is a little hokey and twee, but it was fun. I met some nice, interesting people and surprisingly nobody told me to fuck off!

    Anyway, me extremely vague point is I'd just quite like to hear some thoughts about artists and social skills and your own personal experiences. For kicks!
    What an overwhelming lesson to all artists! Be not afraid of absurdity; do not shrink from the fantastic. Within a dilemma, choose the most unheard-of, the most dangerous, solution. Be brave, be brave! - Isak Dinesen


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    In my experience artists are generally pretty sociable types. The whole introverted recluses make the best artists is some kind of strange myth. Well, except in my case...
    "I've got ham, but I'm not a hamster"

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    I'm an introverted recluse too tobbA.
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    It pays to talk to people. I've found it much easier to give a client what they're after after socialising with them (rather than just asking "so, what kind of design / aesthetic do you want?), instead, I've gone out for a meal with clients, hung out with their family, even gone to a gig with a couple... You get a much better idea on what kind of people you're dealing with, and that just gives you more places of inspiration to look into to formulate a final concept and idea.


    Not to mention it makes the work all the more enjoyable.

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    No man is an island, bro.
    I think that it's so very nice to meet people in an alienating society like ours, where strangers become part of the decor.

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    If you want to make a living at art, you HAVE to socialize on some level, of course. Networking is all about being friendly and social. And of course the more pleasant you are to interact with, the easier you'll get along with clients, and the greater the likelihood they'll want to work with you again... So yeah, social skills are good. Social skills and basic hygiene.

    Personally I can deal with being alone while I work (it kind of goes with the freelance territory), but I find it's healthy to get out and interact with people in between working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilaekae View Post
    ...?...sew...shaul...skilz...?






    ...it's French. Right?
    I dunno man! I'd ask them but... I'm scared.

    That sounds pretty wicked BlightedArt, certainly sounds like a good way to get people the stuff they want! Social skills are obviously invaluable as er, a person, never mind an artist (how are you going to get by without them?)

    I personally love people but socialising is a conscious effort to me. I'm friendly but bumbling, awkward and anxious (better than misanthropy!) but people are just too damn interesting for me to stay away.
    What an overwhelming lesson to all artists! Be not afraid of absurdity; do not shrink from the fantastic. Within a dilemma, choose the most unheard-of, the most dangerous, solution. Be brave, be brave! - Isak Dinesen

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    I'm all about dealing with disgusting fleshbags. Uh... PEOPLE. Dealing with people.
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    Is there tutorial for that?

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    I'm a pretty social fella, I guess. I go to parties, meet new people, make new friends, meet ladies, all of that stuff. I'm also not averse to telling strangers my opinions, if that makes sense. Or yelling at folks.

    I might be overly social.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vari View Post
    Is there tutorial for that?
    I've been trying to find the social filter for ages, is it a plugin or something?

    On a serious note, I like being social, but my communication skills arent the most fluid I must admit. I just need to get out more, simple as that.
    Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form.

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    I'll play ball
    Yeah obviously social skill's are essential to any one, in any occupation. But I do think as artist, we have even more reason to interact and experience people and situations. You've got to draw inspiration from somewhere right? But saying that, I think observation is just as, or more important.

    Quote Originally Posted by gutss View Post
    I personally love people but socialising is a conscious effort to me. I'm friendly but bumbling, awkward and anxious (better than misanthropy!) but people are just too damn interesting for me to stay away.
    Yeah that's me too, I'm friendly, but shy and you wouldn't exactly call me a confident person if you knew me.
    I just fake the confidence. Why the hell not, people are awesome, every stranger can tell a story. I speak to people on the bus, train whatever. Sometimes with mixed results sure, but its always entertaining at least. In fact a I stopped once for an awesome old homeless guy just known as Bob, and had a fantastic chat (even if I didn't believe most of, full of conspiracy's and the lot). And the poor guy pasted anyway 2 weeks later.
    So even those who don't think they have any born social or communication skills, there's still hope. FAKE IT!
    Quote Originally Posted by gutss View Post
    yesterday, God came to me in a dream and told me that if I don't become a comic book artist, he has decreed that I shall instead be a burlesque dancer.
    And I said, "But God, nice panties are so expensive!"
    And he said, "Welp, I suppose you better shut up and draw."


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    Same as some of you guys. I love talking with people, and if someone tries to talk to me, I'll not run away screaming. But I fail very hard at starting the conversations and it looks like I don't like to talk at all... which is not true. The good side of all this is that I have no problem being alone for a long time. I have friends who would go crazy in just two hours if there is none to talk to. I can stay silent for days

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    Social skills are probably even more important for when things hit the fan. Regardless of the situation, if you can defuse it with a minimum of fuss and without creating a scene, you'll look much more mature and colleagues will likely respect you for it.

    Both of which, I'm sure, bode better for your employment prospects.

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    I almost have a phobia of ... what I can only describe as "forced social situations". What I mean by that is the type of events which have numerous people, usually involve alcohol and have no other purpose than for "socialising". I find the concept really awkward.

    It's a real hinderance.

    And the weirdest part is, I'm a very sociable person when conditions are natural. People are always baffled at my unwillingness to "come out" with them.

    Anyone else experience something similar or have any advice for overcoming that feeling?
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    Hajime, I too dislike these "situations". I don't go unless I have a close friend or two to come with me. And even then we don't stay with the "main crowd" but sort of mind our own business. I don't drink alcohol or smoke and these late night parties or whatever are just not my idea of fun. I'm not some moralist you know "drinking is bad... yada yada", but it's just that I'm indifferent to it.

    If you don't like going, just don't. You are not the only one. We can't all like the same things. Some like me would rather take a walk in the park with one or two friends than dancing all night with 20 people I don't know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vari View Post
    Hajime, I too dislike these "situations". I don't go unless I have a close friend or two to come with me. And even then we don't stay with the "main crowd" but sort of mind our own business. I don't drink alcohol or smoke and these late night parties or whatever are just not my idea of fun. I'm not some moralist you know "drinking is bad... yada yada", but it's just that I'm indifferent to it.
    Sounds like we are very similar in this aspect. I do drink, but little and infrequently. I think what I really hate about drinking environments is that intelligent conversation flies out the window and I'm left a bit lost.

    If you don't like going, just don't. You are not the only one. We can't all like the same things. Some like me would rather take a walk in the park with one or two friends than dancing all night with 20 people I don't know.
    Problem is, I end up missing out on gallery views and other "networking" opportunities. I had job at a theme park over summer (not anything arty, minimum wage part time stuff) and at my review I was criticised for not coming to the social events. And, whilst on one hand I'm very "oh ffs, why is everyone so obsessed with this crap" on the other hand I see why It's an issue. You end up being "left out" of general chatter and miss out on opportunities to meet people and get contacts.

    I think because I'm so social in "normal" environments, people think I'm just being lazy when I don't go to dinners and stuff. I did explain that I've never enjoyed these events but I got a confused look. It seems like to most people, "drinking" is as fundamental an interest as breathing or eating and the idea that someone may just not enjoy it is utterly baffling. It really pisses me off, but I do wish I did enjoy it, because it's a huge hinderance not to.
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    When it comes to networking, I have managed to be social and open towards other people in social environments. I also find it easier to socialize in a group of people that share my interests / work environment because then I usually have some mutual ground to break the ice with someone, whether it's in a normal or drinking environment.

    However when it comes to just normal socializing I kinda go blank. I'm not one of those people who can just "chat" naturally. If I don't have anything in common with the person I have trouble finding something to break the ice and usually give the impression that I'm a shy and closed person. After a few drinks I'm good though.

    However I live in a country where the business is tiny and pretty much not many arty/vfx people to socialize with

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    I've been trying my hand at this - this "social skills" thing - but it hasn't been working out too well for me. For instance, a while ago I was waiting for a friend of mine outside this comic book store - he was getting "The Walking Dead" (before the TV series was announced, I'll let you know) which I highly recommend because it's great fun to read. Anycase, there I was, outside this comic book store, waiting, and there's this "Stress Test/Dianetics" setup outside, with loads of books and dvds and a few people sitting there talking to other people. As the other people left, more people were queuing up to talk with them, and I thought, "Hey, this is a great opportunity for me to talk to a stranger, these people are obviously getting paid to talk to strangers and I probably won't get pepper-sprayed again."

    So I sat down and the first thing this guy did was to ask me to hold on to these two cylinders that looked like the cardboard around which toilet paper gets wrapped, except they were metal. Then he I asked me think about something that bothered me, and since it was a hot day I thought about how hot it really was. Then I thought about ice-cream, and how awesome it would be. And beer.

    He looked at some meter thing and said, "Well, there's something that troubled you, what were you thinking about?"

    "Ice-cream," I said. A pause. "And beer."

    He didn't answer, just stared at me blankly. So I said, "Well this is pretty awesome. How do these metal toilet rolls know what's going on inside my brain? I can't even fathom it, it's like something from the future!"

    He didn't answer, but blinked a couple of time and just stared at me blankly. So I picked up one of the books they were selling - it had "Dianetics" written on the cover, and a picture of a volcano. I said, "This looks like a really great book, is it fact or fiction?"

    This time he did answer, in a stern, cold voice, "It's more like a text-book. It's a remarkable piece of work and I really think it would be worth the investment."

    I said, "I'm kinda broke, could I borrow it from you perhaps? I take great care of my books, so you won't need to worry."

    He didn't answer, just stared at me, less blankly but seemingly more agitated. It was a stare I've gotten before and I was hoping he didn't have any pepper-spray. But I continued, "Well, since this is a text-book, could you point me to the bibliography? I'd very much like to do some research and bibliographies are always a good place to start."

    "There is no bibliography here," he shot at me. "El Ron Buzzard (I think he said) invented this on his own."

    An awkward silence.

    "So...," I started. "What exactly is dianetics?"

    He replied by coldly explaining that we have a spiritual self that stores all our memories and about other spirits making us depressed. Whilst I don't know what that had to do with “dianetics” I was really very interested in these “spirits” so I asked him where he had seen them and I asked him why they hadn't taught this to us in science class. Surely the proof of spirit beings would be really important for all human beings to know!

    Then he asked me to leave, and make way for “people who really needed [their] help and [wasn't] being a wise-ass.” For the life of me, I do not know what I said to anger him so. Perhaps he was really trying to help me by preparing me for what the rest of adult life is like. Which is like walking up a sand dune in a mascot costume, being bumped into by homeless people who rob you as they bore you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobbA View Post
    In my experience artists are generally pretty sociable types.
    Not in my experience. I've found the best artists i know seem to have pursued art as a form of communication, because they struggle with normal communication.

    It's like how most of the best comedians are actually very depressed. Making jokes is how they deal with their depression.

    Well ok, that's not exactly the same mechanism, but my point is; a void in the human mind will invent a solution (i call it art).

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    I'd say artists are good at faking sociability (is this a wurd) because this is necessary while not really necessarily very socially needy/adept themselves.

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    Sociability is, 'wurd' is not.
    ahaha

    Spelling aside. I never thought of myself as sociable, but I've realized I find no problems in talking to aquantences or strangers (in the right circumstances), I suppose socialising comes naturally to me or something.

    Yet at the same time, I can just switch off and even ignore my friends if I don't feel like talking.
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    social skills

    Personally I was pretty bad at socialization in general (still not amazing) but purposely picked up a job in sales to force me to talk to people frequently. Seems like it as helped out a lot so far, although I now loathe saying "hows it going". Generally as well I really don't care if I'm with people all the time, I could stay by myself for a long time.

    Most other artists I know vary too much to categorize them as either socially awkward or charismatic. Although I would lean towards more socially awkward.





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    There is a significant difference between socializing with people and/or actually engaging with them on a more meaningful level... or maybe i just hope there is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karma militia View Post
    There is a significant difference between socializing with people and/or actually engaging with them on a more meaningful level... or maybe i just hope there is.
    I think socializing is the more engaging one. Small talk is the one you're thinking of: a neural algorithm for wasting energy in addition to time, with all the satisfaction of being shot in the stomach and falling into a pool filled with barbed wire and spirit vinegar.
    Brendan Noeth


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    This is going to sound really silly, but I spent 9 weeks in the USA over the summer and my social skills improved dramatically.

    Americans, from the perspective of Europeans at least, are very over the top, false, exaggerated, friendly and... well, fake. In the US people ask how you are when they don't even know you. In the UK, we're more reserved. American's are usually oblivious to their "fakeness". Once they visit Europe and their romanticised view is shattered, they just think we're all a bunch of miserable dicks. Because actually, we are, and frankly I wish I was an ott fake American sometimes.

    So, if you're shy and struggling with your social skills, go spend sometime in America. You'll come back a little happier, if also Disney-fied.

    If you already live in America, I wonder if you live in a big city? Seems that cities breed misrible arseholes wherever you're from. Lol.
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    ^Brendan
    I was just trying to point out that socializing does not necessarily directly correlate with it's subcategories; engagement and empathy, which i find to be far more important and nourishing than this empty dance which most of us seem to prefer (to escape the realities of actual human interaction).

    Ok, too many beers for me tonight, i'll STFU.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karma militia View Post
    ^Brendan
    I was just trying to point out that socializing does not necessarily directly correlate with it's subcategories; engagement and empathy, which i find to be far more important and nourishing than this empty dance which most of us seem to prefer (to escape the realities of actual human interaction).

    Ok, too many beers for me tonight, i'll STFU.
    I think we're saying the same thing. I was purely addressing the semantics, not the content. Say, could you pass me one of those beers?
    Brendan Noeth


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    Quote Originally Posted by HAJiME View Post
    This is going to sound really silly, but I spent 9 weeks in the USA over the summer and my social skills improved dramatically.

    Americans, from the perspective of Europeans at least, are very over the top, false, exaggerated, friendly and... well, fake. In the US people ask how you are when they don't even know you. In the UK, we're more reserved. American's are usually oblivious to their "fakeness". Once they visit Europe and their romanticised view is shattered, they just think we're all a bunch of miserable dicks. Because actually, we are, and frankly I wish I was an ott fake American sometimes.

    So, if you're shy and struggling with your social skills, go spend sometime in America. You'll come back a little happier, if also Disney-fied.

    If you already live in America, I wonder if you live in a big city? Seems that cities breed misrible arseholes wherever you're from. Lol.
    True, true. I was in a camp this summer with a bunch of Americans and as a stereotypically reserved Estonian I was quite shocked at first at how loud and chattery they were. I think it took me only two days till my voice increased in volume twofold .

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