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Artists of Fur Affinity: what motivates you, specifically?

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jeveswist

Guest
Basically, my question can be divided down like this:
- Out of all the aspects of feedback that one can receive on one's art (viewcounts, favourites, watches, positive/negative comments, retweets/reblogs/other forms of sharing, financial compensation like from Patreon or Kofi or other similar), which ones are most important to your motivation to make art? Which are insignificant to you?
- Would you be unincentivized to make art if you were not receiving one of these incentives (if, say, you were receiving only viewcounts but no explicitly positive feedback, if you were receiving favourites and watches but no comments or other actual communication of opinion, or if you had a Patreon or other form of getting paid but were not being paid).
- Does the nature of your artwork genre or niche have an impact on this? (for example, being an SFW artists vs. an NSFW one, making art that is, for lack of a better term, "alien" to mainstream furry content such as extreme/polarizing fetishes, gore, or strongly political content).
 

Yav

wig snatcher
Out of all the aspects of art that keeps me going, it's mainly the community feedback on the art like comments and favorites. Shows that at least someone is seeing it.

Maybe? Maybe not? It's impossible for art to go completely unviewed. But even with the low view/favorite counts I get now, I still want to keep making art to just overall improve because I know one day my art will reach a bigger audience, and I also really want to one day create an animated show / cartoon.

Obviously in the furry community NSFW will always overtake SFW, it's just the nature of the fandom, no matter how many people say it isn't porn-oriented.
My more raunchy art always gets more favorites and likes (more fetishy stuff on FA and buff men on insta = UGH FAVORITES), but that still doesn't stop me from being primarily SFW.
 

Ziggy Schlacht

Hasn't figured out this "straight" business
I started hoping to make real money on commissions, but I realized that there was a lot of effort in terms of advertising and getting seen involved in that. Some folks seem to get lucky and get a following overnight. I didn't, and when I couldn't bring myself to dive into the marketing aspect (even with the pandemic giving me lots more free time), it occurred to me that while money would be nice, it wasn't what I was doing this for. If it was, I'd have been motivated to market like hell to get customers.

Instead it's two fold. One is to just improve. I'm here to get better for the sake of myself - seeing my old art and my new art and the difference is nice. The other is posting on FA is enough motivation to actually draw. I enjoy it, but without anywhere to send it, there's no incentive to finish and less to start. Posting to FA is a defined goal for art, regardless of reception.
 
T

TemetNosce88

Guest
Two fold. One is trying to just improve my art quality. Sometimes I do this in a way that's detrimental, namely, spending weeks re-drawing little bits of a piece that nobody will ever notice. But I am happy with the massive improvement I've been able to make over the last year or so of drawing.

Second part is the desire for validation in terms of views and engagement, which I am still chasing and generally failing to get (Just speaking honestly here). I can tell you for certain that NSFW art is no guarantee of views on its own, and the pieces I've drawn that have been successful (success for me is >100 views) seem to have gotten so arbitrarily or randomly. It could just be that I occupy a very strange niche in the fandom, too.

Despite that second part being a strong drive for me, I am trying to get rid of it. It just stresses me out a lot when a piece fails to perform as well as I think it should, and I should know better than to rely on other peoples' opinions of my art for my own happiness and validation.
 

Ziggy Schlacht

Hasn't figured out this "straight" business
Second part is the desire for validation in terms of views and engagement, which I am still chasing and generally failing to get (Just speaking honestly here). I can tell you for certain that NSFW art is no guarantee of views on its own, and the pieces I've drawn that have been successful (success for me is >100 views) seem to have gotten so arbitrarily or randomly. It could just be that I occupy a very strange niche in the fandom, too.
*Half asses a piece for the helluva it* - tons of views
*Carefully follows every convention of good art and puts in real effort* - crickets

I don't understand either.
 

dahbastard

Well-Known Member
Basically, my question can be divided down like this:
- Out of all the aspects of feedback that one can receive on one's art (viewcounts, favourites, watches, positive/negative comments, retweets/reblogs/other forms of sharing, financial compensation like from Patreon or Kofi or other similar), which ones are most important to your motivation to make art? Which are insignificant to you?
- Would you be unincentivized to make art if you were not receiving one of these incentives (if, say, you were receiving only viewcounts but no explicitly positive feedback, if you were receiving favourites and watches but no comments or other actual communication of opinion, or if you had a Patreon or other form of getting paid but were not being paid).
- Does the nature of your artwork genre or niche have an impact on this? (for example, being an SFW artists vs. an NSFW one, making art that is, for lack of a better term, "alien" to mainstream furry content such as extreme/polarizing fetishes, gore, or strongly political content).
For your first question, it's a nontrivial combination of everything but financial compensation. Ultimately, I want to know that what I drew mattered to, and inspired others, and it makes me feel great, when that happens.

No, I would not be unincentivized to make if I couldn't receive positive feedback for it, but I would get pretty distraught about it. To me, creating art is a discovery of something that moves me in some satisfying way, and, as a social animal, I feel compelled to share that discovery with others around me so that everyone can appreciate it. And I won't lie. There is a component of vanity to it, where it feels great to be identified as the person, who discovered it.

I guess I feel similarly to the quote attributed to Michaelangelo: “The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”

I don't really understand what you are getting at for the third question. That being said, I find most NSFW art unpleasant to look at, so, in general, I don't make NSFW art, either. However, I believe my reputation as a SFW artist influences what I am comfortable putting out there. I suppose it is very fortunate, then, then I don't really like NSFW art.
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
For me, it's feedback and engagement of the viewers that matter the most. Views and faves are nice but not entirely satisfying. I don't get any money for my art and I'm not aware of any sharing so these don't matter.

If I wasn't receiving any feedback then indeed, part of motivation would be gone. But only a part. I'm making my art for both my watchers and myself. So I'd continue anyway, at most at a slower pace.

And yes, the nature of my artwork does have impact on popularity, which seems to be negative. Looks like my attempts at 3D photorealism are quite a niche thing. I do have some dedicated appreciators though, and it's for them I dedicate my efforts, rather than for the crowd.
 

Saokymo

Art Cookie
I make art for myself first and foremost - if it wasn’t furry-related then it’d be something else, cos it’s just the simple act of creating things that makes me feel good. Sharing with folks online helps my ego, and I know I’m good enough to get paid if I worked social media angles more. I’d still be making art even without validation from online strangers or earning commissions.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
- Out of all the aspects of feedback that one can receive on one's art (viewcounts, favourites, watches, positive/negative comments, retweets/reblogs/other forms of sharing, financial compensation like from Patreon or Kofi or other similar), which ones are most important to your motivation to make art? Which are insignificant to you?

Comments are cool. It'd be nice to hear what they specifically like about a certain piece if it's beyond face value, but I don't need any of these to keep going since I'm drawing for myself.

- Would you be unincentivized to make art if you were not receiving one of these incentives (if, say, you were receiving only viewcounts but no explicitly positive feedback, if you were receiving favourites and watches but no comments or other actual communication of opinion, or if you had a Patreon or other form of getting paid but were not being paid).

No.

- Does the nature of your artwork genre or niche have an impact on this? (for example, being an SFW artists vs. an NSFW one, making art that is, for lack of a better term, "alien" to mainstream furry content such as extreme/polarizing fetishes, gore, or strongly political content).

Kind of? It's personal works, and most people don't typically go online to learn about something new, but to sate their impulses and be entertained. This ain't gonna stop me though. I'm not worried about popularity, I'm out to complete a personal goal. :cool:
 

MischievousPooka

Artist, cosplayer, and of course a furry
Aspects of feedback don't motivate or unmotivate me to make art. Feedback just makes me decide if I will post it on certain websites or not. I do like getting faves and comments. I don't always post to FA since I make anime art also besides furry art and FA always seems pretty dead to me on people seeing my art. Other sites like Instagram, DeviantArt, ArtStation, and Twitter is where I find more traffic so I post just about everything there. I don't really make money online. I make the most money from anime/gaming conventions. I do okay at a furry convention but the anime peeps actually buy more stuff from me than furries do. And I always make sure I have new art for conventions.

No, would still do art since I have fun making it. It just mean I might not post on the sites where I lack faves and comments. And I also sometimes hang out with others and just draw together so it is more about having fun making art and being paid for it is an extra bonus.

No, I just draw what ever I like. I like anime, monsters, furry stuff, and animals so I just draw them when I want to. I do draw some NSFW sometimes and will post them on sites that I know will allow them. Since I draw what I like, then I just try to find where the audience that likes my art and post it where I find the most interest. I been like this with my art for a long time probably because I drew art for fun before the internet was a popular place to post art. And if I was in public and someone saw my art and wanted to buy it, I sold it to them.
 

JuniperW

Birb Fanatic
Okay, for real this time.
I’m primarily an author, though I do draw things sometimes. First and foremost, I make the kind of content that I would like to see myself (unless it’s a commission.) It’s hard to get noticed as a writer who’s not into ahem, niche subjects, but really, what matters to me most is having fun doing my hobbies.
 

Gushousekai195

Fanatic Artist
I like to spread my ideas as far as is appropriate, and I love it when they ignite the imaginations of others.

I like comments on my art. Though I’ve gotten more faves than comments on my art. I understand that faves mean the other users like the art, but what about it do they like? I really like positive feedback on my stuff.

The fact that I don’t get many comments on my art, even from close furiends, is becoming rather sad now. I don’t know how to politely get people to comment.

I am also a primarily SFW artist, though I may create NSFW pieces later on. But, not of an explicitly sexual kind of NSFW.
 

FaroraSF

Active Member
I'm just an inherently creative person, I've drawn all my life and have fun doing it.

I actually have a Bachelors of Science in ecology but when I think about actually trying to find a job with it I just don't feel motivated.

What I really want is to do art commissions, but I need to overcome my shyness. I've been really trying to use social media more (unlike everyone else my age I've barely used it) to gather an audience to eventually sell commissions too, but I still have a lot to learn.

Also its fun looking back and seeing how much I've improved in certain areas. Motivates me to continue.
 
J

jeveswist

Guest
I don't really understand what you are getting at for the third question..
Basically, the intent there was "if you make something that is niche, are these kinds of forms of audience communication more effective to your motivation to make more of it than they would be if you were making something more mainstream".

Thank you all for your responses. I tried floating this same topic on the e621 forums (as it is, to my knowledge, the most active furry art site forum besides this one and would therefore be more likely to provide the kinds of answers I was looking for), but got no replies. Do any of you know where else I can find furry artist communities to ask the same question?
 

GreyCatfish

Member
The only things that motivate me are people with similar interests or characters that if find close to my interests. I like to share my stuff in hopes to find what am looking for.
Statistics like faves, watches, or other things are something I never cared about.
When I can't find anything interesting to draw I tend to disappear for a long time.
I have absolutely no problem with not receiving anything for the stuff I do for people. If they credit me or not - also makes me no difference. Drawing something is already a huge reward, but mostly it can be very disappointing.

All my works are SFW and centered around big cats or felines in general so I can't expect much here. Such works always tend to lure in the depths just to be found by few people.
NSFW/fetishes will always be more popular/visible on FA but it's something I'll never do. I always felt like I don't belong here - I feel like an alien on FA.
 
T

the sleepiest kitty

Guest
I always draw when my depression isn't overwhelming. Right now it's severe and I have an art trade I gotta do, but here I am making memes to cheer myself up instead of drawing!

I'll just force myself to draw it in the morning
 

Filter

ɹǝʇlᴉℲ
If anything, watches/faves/stats might actually disincentivize me a little. One of the things that discourages me most is when the stuff that I upload as an afterthought gets lots of faves, yet my best work gets relatively few. Frankly, I'd rather not know! This may have something to do with the adult side of the fandom. Compare the same drawing of a character fully clothed vs. the same character in a provocative pose. However fun pinups can be, would be nice to feel like modest art just as worthy as the racier stuff. Unfortunately, fave counts tend to work against that.

Things might be different if I tried to turn my furry art into another source of income, and advertised my wares here, but I already have my hands full with my day job and IRL responsibilities. Maybe it's too business like for me? There's just this artist inside of me that likes furries and needs to make art for creativity's sake.

I started a new gallery, in part, to get away from the watchcount/faves/competitive dynamic, but it's happening again. Ugh. I'm not sure what to make of that.
 
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Keefur

aka Cutter Cat
I only have a bit of talent, but a lot of skill in Photoshop. I enjoy doing stuff to make the Fandom a better place, thus the large amount of promotional and parody stuff I do. 'Nuff said?
 

Stray Cat Terry

테리 / 特里 / テリー
Intriguing thread, kudos for OP for allowing such an opportunity UwU♡


Mine changed from past to present.

When I was a baby who couldn't even walk a few feet on my own, I just doodled for nothing particular but my primal(?) will, probably no different to common babies.

In my primary school years, I was only doing art alone and never even thought I could share em, I was already content that I could turn stuffs from my brain into visual material in reality, that was enough.

But as my classmates discovered my doodles(those were actual finished arts in my perspective back then, though), I started to be exposed to words of wonders and compliments that made me feel refreshed and awesome. I used to be kinda autistic so even the simplest "Nice." was a great treat for me. From then on, I started to aim for audiences, and fame(wasn't my goal) naturally followed.

Later as I changed schools multiple times since my junior secondary times due to some sorta personal issues in my home, I couldn't keep a friend for long thus A) having to let the new mates know me over and over. And B) the peers of that age have already seen enough stuff and they were most likely not focusing on other's petty doodles unless they have a close enough friendship. Plus, C) I couldn't call or mail my old friends just to show my art and hear a "Nice". So... I stopped sharing my arts.

However, me of that time have already reached the point I couldn't be satisfied just by seeing my own art alone. I was obsessed with attention, and I needed audiences to praise my art. I went after the internet communities, and that's the actual beginning of my online artist life.

And of course, since I never ever did digital arts, all I knew was MS Paint. And I was hella awful. And also, since I wasn't actively seeking improvements from external materials(informations, tutorials, other artists' works, etc), my skill was far from enough to be noticed. Then, I began to seek for external materials for improvements, and it worked gradually.

However, the life as an internet artist wasn't easy at all. Now I realized that fame was actually a thing, and those artists with more 'friends' were most likely be getting attentions, regardless of their art skills. So, I started to be craving for fame as well, and that's where I started to draw what people like to see, not what I want to draw.

Later, I had a few 'friends' who were either artists or simply web surfers. Naturally, I got fame, and I got attentions. It was great at first, but there emerged multiple dramas later. Those dramas gave me several lessons, but what's relevent here is that I should draw what I want, not what people want. I was missing my initial aim being a hobby artist, and I could get back to it after all.

At the moment, I was preparing for college as a senior secondary student, so I couldn't afford to share my art as much as I used to during my junior secondary times, but I kept imagining and doodling unofficially as I was too used to doing so and I simply enjoyed it to free myself from hardships.

As my reality being stabilized, I discovered that those I uploaded, no matter if it were what I wanted to draw or what people wanted to see, they got equal amounts of attention(favs, likes, comments..). That's where my view on doing art was supported even more, that I can still get the same results even when I care more on drawing what I want rather than doing what I don't really want in order to fit people's preference.
The internet connects more people than I expected, and there are various people on the internet. There's got to be some groups that fits mine.

I realized, the best way for myself to aim for as an artist, is to draw what I want. I'm sick of those fame and skills stuffs, so I'm no longer craving for fame and attention unless it's relevant to the arts I made for my own sake.
Because that's me, and I'm not doing this for career, just a hobby and maybe a bit money when offered. So there's really no necessity for me to crave for fame.

Whenever I review on my past galleries, I feel great seeing how far I have came through, and how much I have improved. Plus, I do tend to get some inspirations from my past works, which is great for me.

So, I draw cuz I wanna show future me how I'm doing in the past, and that's a connection between present me and future me. Just like a time capsule, but multiple. UwU

Well, of course, getting some attention doesn't hurt too! >w<

P.s. You won't find my past works from certain point as I wasn't 'Terry' before then. Ow<☆
 
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