What's Not Okay - PG rated

In the three years since I started Way Art Yonder Studio, I've come across a few situations that raise my eyebrows and make me question the sanity of myself and others. Fortunately, those instances are few and far in between, but the residual icky-ness is something that lingers.

What I'm about to share with you is for the purposes of education not shaming. I am a bit pure minded, albeit saltier these days, and I still believe that most people are good and don't really mean to do harm. For all those who think they've not done any harm ever, I'll beg you to read through this, just in case you've been Pollyanna'ing it through life.

I'll start with the worst offenses first ...

It's NEVER okay to take what you've learned in a class and repackage it, promote it, teach it and pass it off as your own work. Even if you do the repackaging, promoting and teaching part and then give credit to the artist whose class you took - it's simpy W-R-O-N-G. Ask first. Don't go behind that artist's back. Especially, with social media, you will be found out. You will be found out. Is that really the necklace you want to wear around your neck? "I steal other artist's classes and sell them as my own?" Of course not. Unless you're really an asshole human being, and then in that case, you're really so totally not invited back here again. Ever.

In a similar vein, please don't bring your personal issues with other artists to me to tell me who I can and cannot have teach here. I had that happen once before and when I dug a bit deeper, what I found instead was a case of the pot calling the kettle. I am not interested in being a participant in your 900 year war with another person or any other form of mixed media drama BS. No thanks, you may not leave that shit sandwich on my porch. Take it with you and don't let the door hit you on the way out. 

Is it okay for you to sell the work you do in class? Every instructor has different feelings on this but the answer to this question is this: ASK. The artists work hard to come up with class projects and spend many months/years creating curricula that ensures student success. If you copycat the class sample, and sell it as your own work, then you might be crossing a delicate line. Please ask and don't assume. Also, in the days of social media, galleries really do look at IG profiles for work they think fits their clientele. Is it really fair for you to put your class replica out there as 100% your own work? I'll answer that one for you, the answer is NO!

When you sign up for a class, you owe it to yourself and to the others in the class, including the artist who has taken months to prepare and provide you with the absolute best experience possible, to be on time! Don't stroll in 15 minutes after class has started or ask to come an hour or longer, late. It's both arrogant and disrespectful to everyone who planned their lives accordingly to get to the studio on time. I hate to break it to you, but you are not that special. Because you insist on being special, I have to do double time to assuage classroom and instructor concerns and energy, handle the interruption your late ass creates, or be the heavy and tell you "too bad" you can't come in. Just the kind of energy I don't want brought into the studio .... For the love of all that is good, be respectful of other's time and energy and get your butt to class at the designated time. FYI - that's 30 minutes before start time at my studio. Plenty of time for you to handle your bathroom needs, put your noisy lunch in the fridge, unpack your plentiful supplies and sit your butt down and be ready to listen when the class begins! I have yet to meet an instructor who is relieved and thrilled to hear that a student is running late. Don't be that person!

Please, don't be the classless person who beelines to introduce themselves to the instructor and then immediately issues an invitation to that artist to come and teach in their studio (15 miles to 1000 miles away!). I get the role of a workshop venue and host, and that you're always on the look-out for exciting talent to come and teach. I really do. However, please have some tact and class and wait until you get home to send an email invitation to that artist. Not a single one of your invitations, tempting as they may be, have been received well. It's an uncomfortable situation you put them in and your aggressive actions truly alienate me too.

And to all of you who think this is a "great retirement business" or "you must be really raking in the dough" to "I've been thinking about doing this too," all I can say is this: Hahahahhahahahahahahahaha. No really, hahahahahahahhahaha. And do, please do, go get your own studio going so I don't have to work this hard for so little, because when you find out all that is involved, you might have a greater appreciation for the work I do to bring you great classes at great prices and in an inspiring environment.

I get this blog post is not a very upbeat piece of writing but the truth is never a welcome dinner guest. Next time, and I promise to get to it more timely, will be the counterbalance of this post. If you've made it this far, thank you for sticking with me. I believe in the greater good and am hopeful that those reading, who may recognize themselves, will do the work and be better participants in the community.

Oh, and in case you think it's just me complaining about these topics, Seth Apter had a really great post and thread on Facebook. Read the comments and weigh in there too.

Until the "What's Okay" post is revealed, I look forward to reading your comments.


  1. totally right on! and I love that you didn't mince words!

  2. Please picture my paint covered hands applauding you for a beautifully honest letter!

    1. Awww, thank you so much for your support. This wasn't an easy blog post to write and I was a little nervous when I clicked "post" and I'm so glad that I was brave and did it anyway. Hope to see you again soon!


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