I have more advice to give on art and such, so, if you liked my pervious journal entries named ‘advice on art’, you might like this one.

I recently discussed with someone how enthusiastic they were at drawing. Since I didn’t ask them whether or not they minded if I shared anything, I’ll keep it basic and not name names.

This person was dissatisfied with the art they were producing because of the amounts of comments and favourites they were getting here on deviantART lately, and hence did not feel enthused to draw more. This is a horrible cycle that leads nowhere.

Why did I join this site(deviantART)?

I did not join dA and start drawing to earn comments and favourites. Did you? I think not. I joined dA because I love to draw and I wanted to share my drawings (and stories) with others. So what happens on this site? People fool themselves by seeking the admiration of others in the form of comments and whatnot. Once one really starts seeking comments, one breaks away from the fact that that is not why they joined the site, or even ‘took up’ drawing in the first place.

I must admit, I sought pageviews, comments, and favourites madly some time ago because it made me feel accepted. What I forgot by getting stuck into this search was that I never got these things before I joined the site, yet I still loved what I do more than anything. Then, something happened that made me change my views…

I began to notice I was getting less favs and comments than I used to (it may have been just me) and after a while of letting this stop me doing art, I asked myself why it mattered. Why does it matter? What are you really seeking?

What are you seeking?

Why did it matter that I got comments and favs? Well, it really made me feel accepted, for one, and I like to try and impress friends and fellow artists. Along this journey, I thoroughly enjoyed making myself go, ‘wow, look what I’ve done,’ at many of the pictures I produced. Not long ago, I reminded myself that that was all that mattered to me as an artist. I still impress myself with what I do, and I love to draw, so I pushed aside that thirst for the acceptance of others and just kept on going.

I don’t draw for the sake of others – unless the piece of art is a gift. I don’t ask anyone to like my art. I don’t ask people to comment or fav. I rarely thank people for favs or adding me to their friends list – as it is basically their way of thanking me for doing art in the first place. I draw for myself.

Who or what do you draw for? Do you draw for the comments/favs? Do you draw for the acceptance? Do you draw what other people say you should draw? Do you draw things you really hate drawing? Or… do you draw what you want to draw?

It’s a dead-end!

You may find that seeking comments and favs is endless and pointless. Why is that? It’s because there is no ending point. There are no limits to the views, favs, or comments on any one image, so when do you want it to end? It can’t end. It’s pointless. It’s a dead-end. I urge you not to seek these things, though they do help to encourage us.

Ask yourself this: What do you think the artists you admire are aiming for?

Do you think the artists with all the pageviews are any more encouraged than you are? Maybe slightly, but the numbers aren’t the reason. Thousands of pageviews do not lead to satisfaction with one’s own art! That has to come from you and you alone. You are choosing how happy you are with your art. Do you love what you do? Of course you do! Why else would you do it? So listen to the part of you that says, ‘I’m proud of this image,’ and let that drive you.

What about the other end of the spectrum?

If I were to tell you to go and get a career in art and only draw for yourself, you may have a hard time doing it. This isn’t advice on getting an art career. It’s advice on art itself.

Sure, all clients seek something specific, but there will always be people who don’t like your art. I’m not talking now and then. I’m talking all the time! There is no picture in the world that the entire population of the earth likes. It doesn’t matter if some people don’t like your art. You are a person too. If you think nobody else likes it, include yourself, as that’s who it matters to the most.

Treijim must always be happy with his art with an attitude like that!

Don’t make me laugh. I always go through times when I don’t like what I do. In fact, if I like a picture too much, I can’t see what’s wrong with it and hence cannot improve.

After my pageviews went over about 13,000, I stopped trying to keep track, simply because I couldn’t and didn’t want to. It didn’t matter. I love my art. That’s all that matters for me. I don’t let a lack of comments or favs get me down. If artists could multi-fav and comment on their own art, how much more would we all have? That’s how I look at mine! I have a Daily Deviation and that has way more stats than my other pictures, but in my eyes, it’s not that much better. In my eyes, I love all my art but at the same time want to keep improving.

… and in conclusion

I suck at summarising things. So, in conclusion, wait a few minutes and read all this again. Unless you have the most unreal memory in the world, you’ll pick up something you skimmed over before.

I typed this to encourage you people, so read up! Any comments on this are greatly appreciated and thank you for reading. Until next time…

“10% of life is what happens to you. 90% is how you react.”


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