Dear American Girl,
There's a girl in my art class who always asks me if I like her drawings. The truth is, I don't. I always say that I do because I don't want to hurt her feelings. Deep down, I don't want to lie. What should I do?
Here's your advice:
Maybe you don't like the drawing as a whole, but I bet that you can find one detail of the drawing that you do like. Compliment the bright colors she used or the creativity of her idea. This way, you're not lying and you're still being genuinely polite and friendly.
-Alex, age 12, Minnesota
Say something true but nice. You could say, "That's really unusual," or "I've never seen anything like that before!"
-Grace, age 11, Georgia
Put yourself in this girl's shoes. How would you feel if the tables were turned? Continue to be kind when you share your opinions of her drawings. This girl isn't wrong for having a different artistic style than you.
-Molliee, age 13, Texas
When it comes to art, there are really no rules. This girl can draw whatever she likes.
-Alyssa, age 11, California
This girl might be worried that she's not doing a good job on her artwork. The next time she asks what you think, encourage her to talk to your art teacher (she's the expert anyway). You could say, "I'm flattered that you value my opinion, but I don't have half the art eye that Mrs. Thomson has. Why don't you ask her?"
-Sasha, age 10, California
Work in one of your own interests for a different conversation starter. If this girl drew a horse, you could tell her how much you love horses.
-Emma, age 11, Pennsylvania
Here's an idea for a nice comment. Say that the girl's name is Kaitlin. You could say, "Wow, another Kaitlin original!"
-Laura, age 13, Virginia
You could say, "It's cool! Do you like my artwork?" That will change the subject, too.
-Jubilee, age 11, Maryland
When I create a picture and I ask for someone's opinion, I want honesty, so try not to worry about hurting this girl's feelings. Instead of pointing out mistakes, try making helpful suggestions, such as, "If you use a lighter shade of blue for the sky next time, those pretty clouds will really pop."
-Zoe, age 9, Missouri
Every girl has her own talents. Perhaps this girl's talent isn't art, but it might be music or athletics. Try to encourage her no matter what, because she is probably trying her best.
-Olivia, age 11, New York
Remember, art class is a time to express yourself, and that's exactly what this girl is doing.
-Melissa, age 10, Canada
It could be that you're not seeing the big picture behind this girl's drawings. Ask her, "What was your inspiration?" If you are able to find out the true meaning behind the drawing, you might appreciate her art more.
-Sarah, age 12, Oregon
This is something I learned in my creative writing class. You can say something negative as long as you start with a compliment and think of one way the person can improve (said in a kind way, of course).
-Layla, age 13, Virginia
Maybe this girl is asking if you like her drawings because she doesn't like them, either. Try giving her advice in an encouraging way. She might be looking for some tips and tricks from you.
-Caitlin, age 12, Illinois
My little siblings always ask me what I like about their artwork. If my sister draws a nature scene, I might say, "I really like the colors, and the bird looks great, too!" It makes her feel good to hear such things. This girl in your class might be searching for someone to help her feel good about herself, and your kind words could be the little boost she needs.
-Bernadette, age 11, Russia