100% real comments from real poeple

Incredibly these are some of the comments and questions I have been asked over the years; all genuine and unaltered and my replies are pretty much as I replied to them by email.

I believe in treating such disdain with an equal amount of ferocity. Enjoy…

10. If I wanted a painting like that I would paint my own
Then be my guest. What paints are you going to use then? I take it you have used paints before to produce abstract art? Mmmmm…..Let’s see. You will need canvas. I assume you know all about the weave densities and primer properties? Leaving paint aside what kind of painting are you going to produce? You are obviously confident about what colours to put together so it should be easy for you to stand in front of a blank canvas and create something you will want to look at every day?

3d man emailing on laptop9. My five-year old could do that
I have no doubt that they could. If I could throw off the chains of adulthood and revert back to a pure state of innocence, like a child, I am sure that my art would develop into a place I can only dream of. Having said that, feel free to bring yourself and your offspring to my studio and come and prove it. You can’t? Quel Surprise…

8. You should paint smaller pictures? I can’t put a large painting in my house
Yes you can. You can do anything you want to. Big is good. You wouldn’t hesitate to put patterned wallpaper up all over your  walls would you so why baulk at the thought of filling a wall with a painting? It makes no sense

7. Have you got one like that one but different?
Sod off. What’s the point of that? If I have a different one then it’s not like the one you like is it? I mean, come on, where did you last leave your common sense?

6. You will never get anywhere in the art world without a Gallery behind you
Bollocks. I position well on all major search engines and do absolutely NO marketing, NO advertising and NO promotion in any Gallery because I can sell my work all day long without them. The Gallery network, on the whole, is stuffy, pretentious and elitist. They charge too much money, rip off their buyers and leave artists stranded for months without payment. Public galleries and museums are brilliant, private galleries are dead meat – I chose not to waste £1000 on a ‘limited edition’ print by some Joey I’ve never heard of.

5. What is it supposed to be?
It’s not supposed to be anything. It is whatever you want it to be – and that will change every time you look at it and with your passing moods and emotions. If you look for representations you will miss the point. Shapes will appear and forms will be recognized but this is entirely a personal thing. Don’t think of it as being anything but think of it as being everything

4. Jeez, are you some twisted retard? What the hell made you paint that?
Thanks for that. I would estimate that by your comment my IQ is roughly twice yours therefore you may want to consider revising your previous statement a little. When I paint I am remarkably empty of most thoughts. I don’t paint when I am sad, I don’t paint when I am upset and I don’t paint when I don’t want to. Painting under these circumstances doesn’t work (well, actually I’ve found out that it does but we’ll do that post another time!) Mostly though it comes out like pants if you do or it gets so twisted and gnarled up that I have to spend the next few months trying to explain to shitheads like you what was going on when I painted it – which is as pointless as giving the Sistine Chapel a coat of brilliant white emulsion.
professional man in cafe emailing

3. You are not an artist in my opinion
And you are not a human being my friend. Ergo: the truth hurts. Are any of us artists or are we all artists? Who cares? Jealousy is a cruel mistress. Accept that.

2. Can you do me a painting that has red and blue and green and yellow and that is 1.1 metre square and is 28mm thick and has a house and some sheep and some abstract people standing on a hill and one of them must look like my dad?
Errr….No. Absolutely not. May I suggest that you paint it yourself?

1. Not being funny mate but I could paint that in ten minutes
No you couldn’t. Despite your masculine bravado and pathetic, over-inflated sense of self-importance you couldn’t. You have not spent years learning about paint and what it does, you know nothing about the properties of canvas, primers, mediums and application techniques. You know nothing of colour, shape, forms and texture. You would not understand compositional balance if it smacked you in the face.

To be honest I wonder if you could even find your own ass in ten minutes, let alone paint an abstract work of art. But I’ll give you the chance to come and prove your claims by inviting you to paint with me at my studio, where I will pay for all your materials. Come on; let’s see how big your balls are? Oh you’re busy? Oh well now that is a surprise isn’t it you fucking ignorant twat-faced retard.

44 replies
  1. Pam says:

    I love your article. I’ve heard all of these comments before and then some. I recently finished a new project that I’m excited about. I showed a couple of people (friends) my finished piece and 3 out of 4 of them gave me their “ideas” of how I could change it. They were not great ideas and they missed the whole point of what I had done. I wonder why people have to give their 2 cents especially when they aren’t working on anything themselves? My take away? I will be more selective with whom I share with. I trust my vision.

  2. Alex says:

    At first, I clicked on this thread and was reading your article with utter confusion at how you could argue that a 5 year olds couldn’t do this abstract art. And then upon seeing your artwork I immediately retracted this because your artwork I can see is incredibly intricate and beautiful to look at. The issue I was having was I thought you were addressing artwork like Mark Rothko’s for example, with merely one or two shades of a colour on a canvas and that’s it. Personally, I am unable to comprehend how anyone can find that art anything but a canvas with one colour on it and can justify its sale of millions of pounds! But your artwork is very impressive and I can clearly see why that would require great amounts of work and you would take offence at someone saying a 5 year old could produce one of your types of artwork!

  3. Nancy says:

    Twice I’ve had people tell me they can make what I make. My reply, “no you can’t, you don’t have my secret ingredient.” One lady got snooty at that response and said I charge too much. “Well, you won’t find it at Wal-Mart, but I’ll be happy to give you a blank for $15 and you can try to do what I do.” I’ve stuck a chisel in my knuckle doing my work, done years of research, a professional artist friend has estimated my market value, and I’ve sold pieces that I’ve been told should sell for more. Thank you for following your passion and sharing with us your methods and advice.

  4. vince edmunds says:

    And the old favourite, “you should paint me”, or, “can you do horses, or dogs or cats”, etc, and my personal favourite, “I’ll tell you what you should paint…….”
    I love the closing line on this piece, very impressed that you haven’t swore yet on your live sessions. Keep it up, excellent job.

  5. Michael Ploplis says:

    In my youth, I thoroughly enjoyed creating art…in many different disciplines and forms. I felt compelled (obsessed) to create, to express emotions or feelings into visual interpretations of how I saw them. The joy, and gratification I discovered through expression eventually (like most burgeoning artists) became sadness and despair after encountering criticism.
    While I didn’t necessarily believe the opinions of the critics immediately, over time I allowed them to convince me that I wasn’t talented or worthy. Eventually, I gave up-caved in to the criticism, and stopped creating. Not entirely, but what I did create largely stayed under wraps, protected from the opinions of others.
    As an adult, I pursued and obtained gainful employment as a paramedic. As a career choice, it’s gratifying. Dedication to the service of others has been a rewarding and noble choice of profession. However, the inherent stresses of the job began to take its toll on my mental well-being. One evening I experienced an epiphany…I needed an outlet, a release, a therapeutic pressure valve. So, after nearly 30 years, I again began expressing myself with paint on canvas.
    My cathartic experience has produced quite a portfolio, and has been met with surprise from most who’ve known me. Surprise, because until sharing the body of work I’ve produced, no one (outside of close family and friends) had any the slightest idea I possessed an artistic bone in my body.
    Then emerged the critics. Again, like before, the gnawing voices of doubt began to erode my confidence and whittled away at my desire to create. But, this time, unlike in my youth, I could care less what they think. Because I realize I don’t create for them. I create…for me.
    I’ve no time for them, and have grown tiresome of proving them wrong over and over again.
    There’s always going to be someone who tries to tear someone down, someone that is so filled with negativity, so miserable in their own existence that they can’t help but attempt to stifle anything positive or beautiful. But there’s always going to be someone who appreciates and admires what you do too.
    Funny thing at this point in my life, I don’t care about either of them.

  6. Yvonne McQueen says:

    A thought for the ignorant trolls. At the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the shop sells a T-shirt with the words “Modern art? I could do that”. “Yeah but you didn’t” Good point. This guy is seriously talented, and his bloody awesome paintings have made a massive difference to my apartment. Live long and prosper!

  7. Matt LeBlanc says:

    This is hilarious and SOOOO true!! I could probably add ten more to this list. I’ve said it before my friend… you’re awesome! Keep doing what your doing. It’s working!! Cheers!

    • swarez says:

      Oh Matt, thank you so so much for your epic words of encouragement – you’ve no idea how much that means coming from a man like you. I’m blown away by that! I bet you’ve got a hard drive full of the same subject matter? :) Keep the faith my friend and, as always, keep being awesome!

  8. Lizzie says:

    Lord Swarez, you should be a writer. Your words are as beautiful as your art… hold the phone; that’s not possible…!

  9. Phil Jefferies says:

    One way I like to deal with written criticism is to simply reply “noted”. Then they haven’t gained pleasure from getting me to defend myself, and they might be left wondering what I mean (hopefully). I like your work and your confidence. Phil

  10. Shelly_Shell says:

    Like seriously…I LIKE YOU…and I don’t even know you!!! I just happened to stumble upon your page from perusing abstract art images on Google. I am and have ALWAYS been a fan of art. I consider myself an amateur however some people think I’m good. Anyway, if ever, when ever, I make it to the UK…I will definitely make an appointment to come to your studio. That has NOW become a goal. :-) I love the way you think and from your comments, you seem to be one cool dude who’s talents far surpass the “common mindset”. I hate it when people make light of the God-given gift of other people and I do often believe jealousy plays a major role. I’ve come to learn that art (visual, fine, decorative, applied, etc.) in its entirety is something everyone is just not meant to comprehend, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect it. I love your work, respect your work and the extensive process, and please know that you have truly inspired me even further to “get off my arse” and work even harder.

  11. Kay says:

    I used to think like the people who made some of these comments. My parents always taught me to never judge something unless I’ve done it myself, and so, I decided I’d do it. I’d paint a picture. And… it’s not as easy as it looks. At all. I had no idea what kind of canvas to use or even what type of paint. I knew the basics of mixing colors… but even that was harder than it seemed. Although I don’t see myself as an artist, it was a good experience for me. I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know before (and I even ended up with a painting I proudly hang in my living room!) So yes, the people who say these things are not only uneducated about what you do, they are rude. Like, seriously. Who even SAYS those things? Even when I THOUGHT them, I’d never have told someone that.

    Keep doing your thing. Even though it’s not my style, I can see how much skill and insight is in each of these pieces.

    • Swarez says:

      Thankyou for such an awesome comment Kay; there are so many of use how feel like this today and it’s very reassuring to know I’m not on my own! Have a great day and thankyou…

  12. Josa says:

    I am in law school. I was searching for top stupid comments because I am just stressed out and want to laugh then I came across your blog. Wonderful artwork. I probably can’t afford any of them right now but I just want you to know how wonderful they made me feel. I am glad artists like you exist :)

  13. Cindy Wider says:

    Swarez your art is incredibly beautiful, well composed and shows great ability, loads of experience and a great eye, mind to hand coordination. You are a master at this!

    Well done Swarez and please forgive the people who don’t understand the challenging nature of Action Painting in general. Even the greatest artists of all time had to put up with those sorts of comments. You are amazing and keep going! Cheers!

  14. rsbsa says:

    Your arrogant, no one can dislike my work attitude is so typical for abstract ‘artists’. It’s abstract which means it has no defined meaning, except the sin of not liking it. And yes, pretty much anyone can create the same crap that you people call ‘art’. A quick browse thru the Internet and a stop at the local art supply store and voila – abstract art. The only one who really looks stupid at the end of this article is you.

  15. Andrea Carrasco says:

    You sir, are very brave to do this…and for that I applaud you. It takes a lot of guts to say what you really feel (specially in England) in the art world. I am a starting artist and I am afraid of having to deal with galleries and people who don’t like my art or say mean things about it. You are like a punk rock musician (I hope you don’t take that as an insult because it’s not, I greatly admire punk rockers), you don’t care what the ney-sayers say! That is a an awesome quality. You want your art to be bought by people who like it. You rock!

  16. Cathy says:

    Hi Swarez, I love your paintings – they are amazing, but your website is also a work of art! Like Elise, I was wondering who had made it. It’s the best artist website I’ve ever seen, because you have thought about everything from the customer’s point of view. You are a SERIOUSLY talented individual!

  17. Analaigh says:

    I find your work and site very inspiring. Hope one day get to a level of confidence in art. I love your colours and how different your work is. Extremely talented. Unfortunately people can not stand people making a living and actually enjoying themselves. It brings out an ugly trait in themselves. Wishing you all the best.

  18. Neil McBride says:

    You say you don’t do any marketing but your web site is the dog’s bollocks and your attitude and style are really refresshing! Top ranking on Google and really well crafted site means you have got it sorted.

    You can be the best artist in the world and that means nothing if you aren’t seen by anyone.

    Well done!

    • Swarez says:

      Flippin ‘eck Neil! Thankyou so much for that! It’s true I spend a huge amount of time optimizing the site and despite three years of effort I am still learning and still trying to do things better. Really appreciate your comments , thankyou again!!! It’s just a numbers game to be honest… reach more, sell more. This is where real effort pays off. Wow! You made my weekend :)

      • Josee says:

        It is totally that… a numbers game. Thanks for following my njwnoise twitter account Swarez!! I liked going through your art pieces… maybe add the size…?? Cheers!

        • Swarez says:

          Hi Josee; thanks for the great feedback. I do actually put dimensions on every painting – you should be able to grab all the info by clicking on ‘Details and Price’ under each painting (from the Art For Sale link on the top menu. Cheers; have a great day:)

  19. Anne Wooff Ellis says:

    Think your art is amazing and a pleasure to look at, totally luscious. I’m just rediscovering art after a long break… one of the downsides of my being good at maths is that is the direction people push you in most; a surer way to earn a living, I guess. (Having said that, I love the abstract symbolism of maths and logic as an communicative ‘art’ in its own right, but that’s another story!) Absolutely fell about laughing at this top ten, still giggling now, nevertheless that does not diminish my appreciation of the frustration that surely underpins it.

  20. Wellydog says:

    Excellent, I wish I could reply in the same way when people come into my studio and whisper to their 5 year old child , that they cold paint better than me, and I haven’t really delved into the world of abstraction I need to play and learn more. Totally agree with 6 and am sick of hearing people spout on about galleries, what the hell is wrong with just showing in my studio ???

    • ADMIN says:

      You tell ’em Janice! I’m turning mine into a Gallery soon so I’ll be artist and curator in the same building! Kapow!!!!

  21. Sharon Cummings says:

    I believe I have heard from ALL of these SAME people over the years….he tells the truth…WE DO GET THESE!! My response to the 5 year old comment: Really? Your son can paint what I am painting? Then I suggest you go immediately and buy him lots of paints, brushes and canvas because my last tax return said (***K)….get him painting!! LOL

    I also get: What where you feeling when you painted (x)? And what was your inspiration?

    Like you, I dont paint like that….but seems everyone wants a story….



    • ADMIN says:

      You’re so right on every point Sharon; thanks for sharing your frustrations too… guess we’re all in the same boat really! Like you say – everyone wants a story… Have a great day :)

  22. Helen Hooson says:

    Great article , very funny – but serious points are well made too. I love your work, and just for the record , I know it is not as easy as it may look to the unknowing because I have tried … and when I do buy one of your paintings, trust me , it will be a BIG one ! :)

    • ADMIN says:

      Oh boy! Thankyou so much Helen! It’s always a constant effort to attempt to educate the uninitiated about how hard this is to do and to do well; like any craft, it takes practice to be any good. Thanks for your fantastic feedback; really appreciate you taking time out to read my post…

  23. Craig Alderson says:

    Brilliant, and very funny as well! Trolls exist everywhere, nice to see them easily mown down by simple intelligent responses. Its just a shame we have to be diplomatic and professional when replying to these but nice idea putting what you really think on your own personal blog.

  24. Shelly (tigger)Sexton says:

    Well said Andy. Swarez is inspiring! And smart and charming! I would love to see a paint off with any of the jerks!

  25. Lucas says:

    I am not a painter and I have never painted nothing at all. But when I saw your art, at one time I want to grab a brush and start painting! You inspire me to start something new in my life. I always was searched for something that would allow me to feel free – finally I’ve found it! Thank You a lot.

  26. ADMIN says:

    WOW!!!!! Thankyou so much for those amazing comments. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your thoughts. Your story about the person who thought they could do what you do made me laugh; I guess part of the reason why this happens is because we appear to make it look easy – a trait (so I am told) that’s common to those who are good at what they do. Well, maybe that’s true and maybe that’s not but I agree 100% with you – creatives appreciate, morons do not!!! Thankyou again, warmest wishes to you in sunny Germany!


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