Hi! Welcome 2 my first blog post! There's been something on my mind 4 a while now so I thought it would be alr if I spoke about it on here. Maybe you'll be able to relate 2 what I'm talking about and maybe you'll be able 2 learn some things that may be helpful. I hope whatever I say now will be of use 2 you!
I've been an artist ever since I was young. I love being able 2 portray things with my art and I love bringing scenes that aren't usually drawn before into reality! And about a year or so ago, I started sharing that art 2 the internet. I didn't get many likes or follows since I was just a new artist with skills that couldn't compete with accounts with over 100K followers. But I still appreciated every new follow and like.
Now I don't remember when this happened but it was in the year 2022. I wanted 2 create a piece of fanart 4 my Sonadow fanfiction "Nightmare to Dream." It's a smut fanfiction but I'm not a spicy person so there was a lottt of fluff. I wanted 2 get that across with this piece of fanart. So it had a shot of Sonic and Shadow's hand's intertwined while they sat on the lush green grass of a forest.
It was a piece of artwork that didn't take me much time 2 create but I enjoyed making it and the final product. So in the late quiet of the night, I uploaded it 2 Instagram and Tumblr. I have different timezones and I always seem 2 get more traction when people in the West see my artwork. So I went to bed, not knowing what would happen in the morning.
The next day, I awoke to 97 likes on Instagram and 20 likes on Tumblr. That doesn't sound like a lot, but hear me out. When you're getting 2 likes per picture, that type of traction surprises you. It caught me off guard but I didn't have too much time 2 dwell on it as I had 2 go to school. At school, I excitedly told all my friends about the number of likes that I got. They were happy 4 me and congratulated me. I felt so happy. But I was unaware of the affect this single post would have on my relationship with art.
Since I'm an artist, I immediately began working on my next drawing. It was an Ultra Despair Girls drawing of Monaca manipulating Kotoko. I spent A LOT of time on this drawing as I wanted 2 get it accurate 2 the game. But when I posted it to my socials, it barely got any likes. I was so confused. How could a drawing I spent 2 days on get less likes than a drawing I drew in a few hours?
I didn't know, but that information got 2 me. After a while I found myself drawing Sonadow not because I liked it, but because it was what got me the most likes. I'd post drawings and doodles, hoping, praying that it got likes. But they never seemed to get anything above 50 likes.
Thinking back on it, I lowkey started craving likes and social media attention like it was some sort of drug. It stopped being about me showcasing things that I enjoyed drawing 2 the world, and it turned into me chasing after what got me attention. What got me approval.
After a while, this habit of drawing 4 attention killed my interest 4 drawing as a whole. This with the fact that I started using a stylus 4 school just killed my want 4 drawing on my tablet with my finger. I stopped posting art. Stopped MAKING art. Just doodles.
This isn't what I wanted. I wanted to put art out there 2 put value into someone's life. These doodles aren't going 2 do shit.
Coming 2 this realization, I got off my ass and started drawing with my stylus on my school chromebook. I started drawing on a site called "Aggie" and I started LOVING drawing again. I made cringe Sonic art that would probably not get many likes but I didn't care. Not anymore. I could use the stylus which I liked and I wasn't restricted with my want 4 social media attention. Obviously going from Ibispaint 2 Aggie caused the art 2 downgrade, but as long as I was having fun with drawing, I knew there was going 2 be some charm 2 my art.
So here I am now. I made a tab on this website where I just have all the art I'm proud of or enjoyed drawing. There's no likes. No follows. No reblogs. Nothing. And I think it's better that way. :)
If you're an artist and you feel as if likes and attention are dictating what you draw, stop, take a moment to relax, and draw what you want. You don't owe art to anyone. But you shouldn't feel as if you shouldn't get sad when your art doesn't get attention. I know a lot of artists who make art to share it to other people in the world. It can be really disheartening when you spend all your time drawing something to share it to others, just for it to not get any traction at all.
I understand the sadness that comes with that, but if you find yourself becoming increasingly upset due to the small number of likes you have, you should try contecting with what makes art fun to you. You should try finding what makes art fun to you, as an individual.
I'm not sure how to really end this, I just wanted to get my thoughts out there. Create what you want, and other people's opinions shouldn't dictate that. If artists let their art get dictated by what other people thought, we would never have revolutionary artists that change the state of the art world. Just keep on drawing, keep on creating, and keep having fun. Thank you for reading! :D