Etiquette for Artful Living

Dear Babs, Is there a “best” way to get paint off a cat?
—Jim, Los Angeles

Dear Jim, Firstly, you didn’t specify if the paint was oils or acrylics. This is important to know as I am fully aware of feline behavioral patterns of constant grooming, meaning licking their fur. So, if it’s oils, turpentine is out! If it’s acrylics, I’m sure it’s dry by now. I’m sorry to say you may have to resort to my little brother’s method with our family pet growing up. He took the scissors to our cat’s whiskers…you might have to do the same I’m afraid. Let the fur fly!

Dear Babs, What is the proper social etiquette after receiving a drunk “I love you” text from the local art scene photographer? Say, it happened during a big art world gathering and on the heels of very little “warm up” conversation. Thanks Babs!
—Lauren, Los Angeles

Dear Lauren, In vino veritas is my first response, but considering the words came from a photographer (and an art-scene one at that), remember, while the camera doesn’t lie, that doesn’t necessarily go for the guy behind the camera.

Be that as it may, let’s say you actually like this person and wouldn’t mind seeing them again. I would not respond at all to the text. Act like it didn’t happen, as chances are they probably wish they could take it back. Wait and see if they contact you again, hopefully with a phone call or email.
Or you could have simply responded, “UR drunk, T2ul.”

Dear Babs, I started making art seriously a couple of years ago. I get pretty positive responses from people who see it. Not just family and friends (what else are they gonna say, right?), but also from artists, designers and strangers. I have done a few local shows and sold about a dozen pieces, for as much as $1,000. Everyone says: “You should be in a gallery!” I agree, but I get the idea that without a track record of legit shows, or a degree, or an “insider” introduction, no gallerist would even consider me or my art. Is that so? What do you suggest? Also, a good portion of the art I see in galleries looks like crap. What’s up with that?
—Buzby, Los Angeles

Dear Buzby, First off, you might want to change your name. And patience, my dear—you’re off to a great start. Being in as many local and groups shows as you can is the way to go. This makes your name (again, I can’t stress enough) more known, and soon you won’t be an unknown. Try to have studio visits routinely. Go to openings, hang with other artists, go to their studios too. Be a comrade. Maybe even take an art class! Become engaged in the art world, and it will eventually give back, Buzby. And yeah, there’s a lot of crap out there. Maybe you can change that!

Babs cares.

Please email your questions to: