While the tattoo artist was busy creating a winged-dragon-masterpiece on your arm, were you already
anticipating questions from your friends and family?
“We didn’t know you were the type to do that!”
“That stuff looks so evil!”

When you quit your old job did you anticipate the sage advice you would receive from
all the wisdom-enriched people around you?
“Do you know how risky a new venture is within this economic climate?”
“I would never leave my safety net!”

Did you think buying a new car would be devoid of criticism?
“No dude! That thing is so heavy on gas!”
“Why didn’t you get the sporty version?”

You will always find a couple of people around you who criticize and comment out of pure habit.
They are used to dispensing advice like cheap fortune cookies containing misinterpreted inspirational quotes.

Have you ever entertained the idea of disappearing from the world you know?
Something similar to “witness protection”?
You simply pitch up in town one day and strangers will simply get to know you as
“The guy with the dragon tattoo who drives a SUV and does some freelance design work.”
There aren’t easy solutions for dealing with comments and criticism.

This technique works for some:
“Demystification after the fact.”
Show them the tattoo, explain everything in detail… Explain every little feature in your car… show brochures…
Pull out graphs and charts that explain the potential income you can generate as a freelance artist.
In a lot of cases those who prod you just wanted to get some morbid satisfaction by seeing you squirm.
We’re a funny species that way.
Pile on the detail and bore them to death.
You will soon figure out who is genuinely interested.

Once you’re done defending the choices you made you can focus on mocking your neighbor
about the hideous gnomes and other assorted kitsch ornaments he purchased for his garden.

(Drawing and words by me)