Sunday, November 19, 2006

Low Marks

I often get emails from high school students who want information about my work for their art assignments.
When I was younger, I didn't have any access to professional artists – even when I was at art school – and nearly all the great art I saw was reproduced in books. When I came across a work I loved, the idea that I might be able to talk to the artist who created it never occurred to me. Artists lived in another world, another universe, very far from my own.
Of course, the web changed all that.
I always take the time to reply in detail to students' questions, no matter how busy I am. Still, I don't know how much longer I'll do it. Only one has ever written back to thank me for my time – symptomatic, maybe, of a peculiar sense of entitlement elemental to the character of Australians – and it's begun to feel like I'm answering anonymous surveys from strangers. Besides, my website details a decade-long career and
there's plenty of material to be found there, from downloadable images to links to interviews and reviews that can be read in full for free.
I'm all for being accessible but doing some ungrateful kid's homework for them isn't quite what I had in mind.


Anonymous said...

I think that is just the peculiar sense of entitlement elemental to the character of teenagers everywhere. Someday, when the realities of life set in, they will thank you.


Lauren said...

I get these emails too and I have one kid email me back saying something very cheeky along the lines of "too late" I can't remember the exact wording but for that reason I no longer answer these emails. It's not my job to do their homework for them, and with no thank you why should I? I too believe teenagers have a sense of entitlement and some should just stop being lazy and do their own research.

Anonymous said...

I ussually get mail trade request from younger people, this due to fact I'm a street artist. I think sometimes the hard part about this constant request is feeling like people are always wanting something from me, want me to send them stickers, want me to donate time/art to a charity, want me to answer questions for their school/collage/personal projects. Sometimes I give them what they want, other times I just politely say no, and I think it's ok to say no :)....still sometimes I wish they would just leave me alone.

Sincerly Basco5

d.edlen said...

I have had a couple school age questionaires too. Ironically enough, the one who didn't say thank you or follow up was from Australia. Just a coinkydink I'm sure.