In this week’s blog we’ll discuss some of the techniques and tricks for training and working with artists. Having an artist can be a fun and rewarding experience. If not handled in a stern but caring manner however, you might find yourself in a world of trouble, heartache, and frustration.
There are many varieties of artist, but for the purposes of this manual I will be discussing my breed: the short-haired English-American Cartoonist (referred hereafter as short haired EAC). I will use this post to discuss the characteristics of this peculiar breed and then move on to more general training trips next week.
Let’s get this blog on the road!
The short-haired English-American Cartoonist
The short-haired English-American cartoonist (EAC) is a clever, creative, talented, lively, affectionate, romantic, proud, brave, amusing, merry, devoted and loving cartoonist with a well rounded sense of humor. They are spirited and obedient, careful and amusing, and like many artists enjoy escapist activities such as video games. Like all cartoonists, they are half-artist, half-writer. Due to the trans-Atlantic nature of the breed, EACs travel well. Devoted to their sketch books and lampooning everything they disagree with, they can be slightly difficult to train and housebreak, but not impossible.
Be nice to me and play with me, otherwise I tear up your stuff and doodle everywhere!
This breed is highly intelligent; if you let them take an inch, they can become willful and determined to take a mile. This little cartoonist needs a practical Project Manager (PM) who understands how to be his pack leader. He needs to be given rules to follow, and limitations as to what he is and is not allowed to do. Do not let this little cartoonist fall into Commercial Artist Syndrome, or else he may begin to believe he is pack in charge. If you allow this he will take over the business and begin to run the company into the ground with his artistic perfectionism and obscure references that no one else would possibly understand. Cartoonists that are allowed to take over will display many behavior problems, such as, but not limited to, unmet deadlines, large amounts of in-stock product, financial debts, excessive drinking, pencil shavings strewn across the floor, and maniacal laughter at their own jokes. This breed is highly trainable and is able to perform many impressive tricks. However, if you do not show authority toward the cartoonist, it will be resistant to training. EACs are usually only recommended for experienced, well-mannered administrators, simply because most PMs do not display proper pack leadership with artists. Handlers need to be as strong-willed as the cartoonist otherwise this little guy will take over. If not guided properly the EAC may show moderate to severe protectiveness over their work, a behavior that can only change if the PM offers stern management laced with an even amount of praise and encouragement. When an EAC is shown good leadership, they can get along famously with Project Managers. With the right owner an EAC can really excel. Short-haired English- American Cartoonists that have solid business leadership, along with well-placed praise and appreciation are wonderful companions with excellent temperaments.
Short-hair EMC are an overall healthy breed, but have a tendency to become overweight and lazy if not made to exercise regularly. (They have a penchant for drinking heavily in the studio when no one sees them – this is a serious health risk) Contrary to how many EACs behave, they are not, in fact “Allergic to Responsibility”. Be forceful and persistent when giving out tasks. They should be discouraged from multitasking however, as they are prone to nervous breakdown.
Good for apartment living. They are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. They need to get out of the house daily. However, don’t put them in office cubicles or 9-5 jobs! They heavily dislike meeting rooms, and are known to doodle if they have to be there for longer than an hour.
Like most artists, EACs enjoy sessions of play in a pub or other environment with alcohol. They are prone to restlessness and may become destructive if they do not receive enough exercise or activities to occupy their keen mind. EAC’s that are mentally stable, with all of their artistic instincts met, will not display these negative behaviors.
Oh yeah, that’s the stuff!
40 – 90 years, depending on how angry he makes me.
Stay tuned for Part Two: ” The Do’s and Don’ts for training your artist.” (coming later this week )