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Focusing on the Right Artistical Reasons

Connor J. Coyote

¥otie ¥oteTastic
It's always a very good idea I think..... to focus more on the *right reasons* whenever one engages in any sort of creative artwork..... be it drawings, paintings, writings, photography, sculptures, etcetera.

And just do the artwork (that you do) for the enjoyment of it only; and perhaps also - for the creative challenges of it that it presents to you..... and not necessarily do it so much for any "popularity" reasons; such as "likes" or getting noticed, or aquiring any new followers, and those sorts of things.

Because as I eventually found out for myself that - whenever I paid *less attention* to those sorts of (I guess we'll call them) "popularity contests" that people often link their artwork with, I found that I *enjoyed* it a lot more, and I got much more personal benefit out of doing it.

And so perhaps re-focusing one's efforts only on the enjoyment and creative aspects of things, and less on the social media, or "likes", or popularity aspects of things - may be something others can (and should) consider doing with their creative works, both now and in the future.

And this way here, if you find yourself flummoxed due to a lack of notices, or followers, or likes or whatever..... then my advice is to simply focus more on the right reasons I'd suggest.

On a personal level - I've had this philosophy from the start myself; and when I took this approach - I found that those sorts of trivialities mattered a lot less to me, and my artwork was done for the right reasons..... (reasons that benefited me the most, at that point).

And so..... I wanted to put this thread out there for whatever it's worth to people on a topic that I was thinking about lately.

► And perhaps others may agree (or disagree) with this, and I'd certainly welcome any feedback on it. ☺

----------------------
* (Please note though): it's certainly understandable that people often want to make money with their artwork.... which is a laudable goal, that I totally get and understand.

However, I'm not really focusing on the financial (or income) aspects of things on here.... as it's more in the lines of: besides financial reasons, what are some the purposes of doing the crafts that you do (that may be beneficial for you)?

That's largely what I'm most interested in hearing, from those that want to bother responding.

-Thanks all ! ☺
 

Ramiel0912

Member
First of all, I completely agree with this! Our creative process should not be interrupted by whatever we think the algorithm wants. Ive had a somewhat related experience...

I realized that whenever I worked on something that I genuinely found exciting as soon as I posted it somewhere, its value transferred to whatever amount of "likes" it got, and that feeling sucks, especially for smaller artists like myself. So please if anyone wants to make a living out of this accept the fact that it takes time to be noticed and any opinions or stats online don't reflect the worth of what you do ( ◜‿◝ )♡
 

Kumali

Lupine-American
In Stephen King's book On Writing, he directly answers the question of whether he does it for the money (we are, after all, talking about an astronomically successful author here) with a straight out No. He says he never has and he never will. Direct quote: "It's morally wonky, for one thing - the job of fiction is to find the truth inside the story's web of lies, not to commit intellectual dishonesty in the hunt for the buck. Also, brothers and sisters, it doesn't work."
 

snowsketches

Active Member
Nowadays, I do personal art almost as a stim. I'll doodle while I watch a show or play a Nancy Drew game with my partner. Figure drawing and gesture drawing are just fun and flowy, and I don't finish most things I start. It's not for the sake of having a finished piece, it's for the sake of having fun and doing something with my hands.

There are days where I wish I had a topic or a fandom that would inspire me in terms of content, and might inspire me to finish something. Just because it was fun when I was really obsessed with something, to the point of wanting to create fanwork. But I haven't had that kind of feeling in awhile, and that's okay too.
 

Connor J. Coyote

¥otie ¥oteTastic
Nowadays, I do personal art almost as a stim. I'll doodle while I watch a show or play a Nancy Drew game with my partner. Figure drawing and gesture drawing are just fun and flowy, and I don't finish most things I start. It's not for the sake of having a finished piece, it's for the sake of having fun and doing something with my hands.

There are days where I wish I had a topic or a fandom that would inspire me in terms of content, and might inspire me to finish something. Just because it was fun when I was really obsessed with something, to the point of wanting to create fanwork. But I haven't had that kind of feeling in awhile, and that's okay too.
Yes.... thank you for that. There's probably many others out there that do the same thing (when they have extra free time)..... and simply just draw and doodle away, whenever they want something else to occupy thier minds and talents.... (even if the pieces don't get finished).
 

Kope

Artist?
Banned
It's always a very good idea I think..... to focus more on the *right reasons* whenever one engages in any sort of creative artwork..... be it drawings, paintings, writings, photography, sculptures, etcetera.

And just do the artwork (that you do) for the enjoyment of it only; and perhaps also - for the creative challenges of it that it presents to you..... and not necessarily do it so much for any "popularity" reasons; such as "likes" or getting noticed, or aquiring any new followers, and those sorts of things.

Because as I eventually found out for myself that - whenever I paid *less attention* to those sorts of (I guess we'll call them) "popularity contests" that people often link their artwork with, I found that I *enjoyed* it a lot more, and I got much more personal benefit out of doing it.

And so perhaps re-focusing one's efforts only on the enjoyment and creative aspects of things, and less on the social media, or "likes", or popularity aspects of things - may be something others can (and should) consider doing with their creative works, both now and in the future.

And this way here, if you find yourself flummoxed due to a lack of notices, or followers, or likes or whatever..... then my advice is to simply focus more on the right reasons I'd suggest.

On a personal level - I've had this philosophy from the start myself; and when I took this approach - I found that those sorts of trivialities mattered a lot less to me, and my artwork was done for the right reasons..... (reasons that benefited me the most, at that point).

And so..... I wanted to put this thread out there for whatever it's worth to people on a topic that I was thinking about lately.

► And perhaps others may agree (or disagree) with this, and I'd certainly welcome any feedback on it. ☺

----------------------
* (Please note though): it's certainly understandable that people often want to make money with their artwork.... which is a laudable goal, that I totally get and understand.

However, I'm not really focusing on the financial (or income) aspects of things on here.... as it's more in the lines of: besides financial reasons, what are some the purposes of doing the crafts that you do (that may be beneficial for you)?

That's largely what I'm most interested in hearing, from those that want to bother responding.

-Thanks all ! ☺
Due to my depression/ lack of energy I can only do at that I'm truly interested in. This does come with the downside that I find it hard to practice
 

Connor J. Coyote

¥otie ¥oteTastic
Due to my depression/ lack of energy I can only do at that I'm truly interested in. This does come with the downside that I find it hard to practice
Well, sometimes focusing on the things that one enjoys only - can make it still worth it for most folks.... and so, if it's just for the enjoyment of it to begin with, then.... practicing can always come later on (perhaps) when ever one has had their fill of just enjoying what they're doing. Unless someone's being paid for the work they're doing, then.... there's no real schedule one needs to worry about and one can take their time, (in practicing).
 

Connor J. Coyote

¥otie ¥oteTastic
In any case, commissions are certainly important to people, don't get me wrong... but, I think - sometimes we have a tendency (both as creators and consumers) to focus too much on that dynamic sometimes; and less.... on enjoying the pure creativity aspects of it...... and *that* was kinda the focus I was most interested in focusing on.
------------------------
So, if anyone want's to bother chiming on this, feel free.... otherwise - I think the points I'm making here are valid, and hopefully - those out there will think about them, at the least ☺... thanks all.
 
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Fluxbender

Active Member
I think wanting followers can be the right reason to make things — if you're someone like me, that is.

To elaborate, I'll just come out of the closet and say that I have never enjoyed doing art, and never will. I do it to communicate an idea, or to illustrate something (so it is made for a strictly utilitarian reason). Without an audience, the art serves no purpose. I do not need the picture — I already know what it looks like and what it is in my mind, so its value (and my enjoyment) comes from seeing how others digest the idea(s) presented.

There was one thing I loved doing as a teen, and that was making maps for a video game. It was great to work on levels and then see people playing them, watching them figure out how to beat the obstacle courses I would make, and getting their feedback on the music I would put on the maps, or whatever. I stopped because not enough people played the game anymore to justify that level of effort.

I've learned that it isn't really the views that I want, but the COMMENTS and the ENGAGEMENT (the views are therefore just a means to this end). It is boring to sit and make something all day 'just for myself'. I know everything about it. There isn't anything else to do with it except clog my archives with more stuff. Now you add another person into the mix who has something to say about it, or possibly something to add to it, that instantly makes my effort worth something because now I have something I didn't have before and cannot make on my own.

I want 'fame' (a fanbase) because that will give me lots of comments and discussions on my work (the thing I want). I cannot make comments or discussions for myself… unless I develop DID and end up on the DSM-5, that is… or unless bots become advanced enough to do this in a manner that is indistinguishable from human commenters. This leaves me no other choice but to get on the popularity treadmill.

Due to this lack of internal passion, I'm not even sure I deserve the title of 'artist'. Sometimes I feel like a robot that... makes things?
 

Kope

Artist?
Banned
I think wanting followers can be the right reason to make things — if you're someone like me, that is.

To elaborate, I'll just come out of the closet and say that I have never enjoyed doing art, and never will. I do it to communicate an idea, or to illustrate something (so it is made for a strictly utilitarian reason). Without an audience, the art serves no purpose. I do not need the picture — I already know what it looks like and what it is in my mind, so its value (and my enjoyment) comes from seeing how others digest the idea(s) presented.

There was one thing I loved doing as a teen, and that was making maps for a video game. It was great to work on levels and then see people playing them, watching them figure out how to beat the obstacle courses I would make, and getting their feedback on the music I would put on the maps, or whatever. I stopped because not enough people played the game anymore to justify that level of effort.

I've learned that it isn't really the views that I want, but the COMMENTS and the ENGAGEMENT (the views are therefore just a means to this end). It is boring to sit and make something all day 'just for myself'. I know everything about it. There isn't anything else to do with it except clog my archives with more stuff. Now you add another person into the mix who has something to say about it, or possibly something to add to it, that instantly makes my effort worth something because now I have something I didn't have before and cannot make on my own.

I want 'fame' (a fanbase) because that will give me lots of comments and discussions on my work (the thing I want). I cannot make comments or discussions for myself… unless I develop DID and end up on the DSM-5, that is… or unless bots become advanced enough to do this in a manner that is indistinguishable from human commenters. This leaves me no other choice but to get on the popularity treadmill.

Due to this lack of internal passion, I'm not even sure I deserve the title of 'artist'. Sometimes I feel like a robot that... makes things?
Can I see your art?
 

Kope

Artist?
Banned
Links are in my signature. If you mean the maps I made... I'm not even sure the game server that hosted them still exists.
Cool style
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
what are some the purposes of doing the crafts that you do
This is equally simple in itself for me, as it is difficult to put into words. Art is a sort of basic need for me, can't imagine not doing it in one way or another. And more specifically, there are things I want to see but they don't exist - so I take it upon myself to give them visible representation. The satisfaction from pulling it off successfully can't be compared to anything else.

Admittedly this situation becomes sort of circular, it feeds upon itself. Input from others is greatly appreciated then; after the initial hype I get from finishing a project starts wearing off, other people's reactions can keep it on and prolong it.

Aside from that: time and again I come to the conclusion that I don't want to get my art into the monetary side of things. I prefer to keep it completely free from such worries and get my money from elsewhere. This way art becomes a world in which I'm free to do whatever I bloody please. Do that, and no other shall say nay.

Due to my depression/ lack of energy I can only do at that I'm truly interested in. This does come with the downside that I find it hard to practice
There's a way around it. Decide on an interesting art project you want to make - and then practice only what is strictly necessary for the task at hand. This way it doesn't feel like some boring practice, it actually already is a part of the project in the making. I'm working like that all the time.

The key is to give some care and consideration to the difficulty level of the intended project. Ideally it should be just a few steps outside your comfort zone, so that you learn something new but don't get overwhelmed by it. And if you don't feel like getting out of your comfort zone at the time, choose a project which lies completely withing it, no shame in that.

My own levels of "life energy" are rather low as well and I learned to adjust my art activity to its ebb and flow, waiting out the lows and taking advantage of the highs. It's a slow process but on the years scale it brought me from "I can make a blocky tank model which looks like crap" to "I can make a minute-long photorealistic character animation".
 

Fluxbender

Active Member
There's a way around it. Decide on an interesting art project you want to make - and then practice only what is strictly necessary for the task at hand. This way it doesn't feel like some boring practice, it actually already is a part of the project in the making. I'm working like that all the time.

The key is to give some care and consideration to the difficulty level of the intended project. Ideally it should be just a few steps outside your comfort zone, so that you learn something new but don't get overwhelmed by it. And if you don't feel like getting out of your comfort zone at the time, choose a project which lies completely withing it, no shame in that.

My own levels of "life energy" are rather low as well and I learned to adjust my art activity to its ebb and flow, waiting out the lows and taking advantage of the highs. It's a slow process but on the years scale it brought me from "I can make a blocky tank model which looks like crap" to "I can make a minute-long photorealistic character animation".
This is exactly what I ended up doing! I've had to learn creative writing, HTML/CSS, and now (soon to be) 3D modeling/animation to fill in certain requirements of the project. All things considered, the energy problem is still ever-present, but feeling like you 'have work to do' (especially if there is another person(s) involved with the project) can help ease it and make you want to force yourself to get things done. Burn out is still a mofo though, and may even worse at times as a side effect...
 

Inafox

Member
Speaking of algorithms, I don't think FA nor re-post sites like boorus or chans use that much in the way of algorithms. The front page is pretty much just new art.
It's highly down to niches and tag-relevancy. deviantArt and Twitter suggestions are examples of algorithm, but I do know that most art is found via the categories, groups and hashtags, not the algorithms. Like with Google ads, suggestion algorithms are great for finding stuff you don't want.

Observe your own follow habits. What do you follow? Would you be too low quality for yourself to follow if you weren't an artist yet? What's your niche? Why aren't you reaching out to others of whom make similar art? Do said others even exist? Why not? Why would you expect others to follow you if you're not what you'd want to follow?
If these questions say it's all about you and not what others want, then your art is personal and you're unsuccessful in popularity because you're marketing to yourself and not others. If not, then you just need to improve. Newbie artists market themselves way too early, I've only done art on and off for a year and I've only barely considered doing commissions. So if you came with the expectation to sell what others don't want, that won't work and you'll quickly feel like you're failing this sole goal. If you came with expectation to enjoy making art yourself, then you will naturally improve to the level you want to. Also being noticed isn't really about making art, there's plenty of popular furries who aren't artists on FA and yet there's some amazing artists who aren't noticed hardly even when they're globally exposed, just saying.
 

Connor J. Coyote

¥otie ¥oteTastic
If you came with expectation to enjoy making art yourself, then you will naturally improve to the level you want to. Also being noticed isn't really about making art, there's plenty of popular furries who aren't artists on FA and yet there's some amazing artists who aren't noticed hardly even when they're globally exposed, just saying.
And hence - focusing on the "right reasons" when deciding to create the craft's that one makes, has two benefits I think: one - one's skill level is being worked on when they just enjoy the work and aren't distracted by getting enough follows, enough likes, and so on..... and two: it avoids any disappointments (I think) when less social media elements are paid attention to; which can lead to more fulfillment overall, as a creator.
 

Kope

Artist?
Banned
And hence - focusing on the "right reasons" when deciding to create the craft's that one makes, has two benefits I think: one - one's skill level is being worked on when they just enjoy the work and aren't distracted by getting enough follows, enough likes, and so on..... and two: it avoids any disappointments (I think) when less social media elements are paid attention to; which can lead to more fulfillment overall, as a creator.
Yeah I just wish I could be inspired more often
 

Inafox

Member
And hence - focusing on the "right reasons" when deciding to create the craft's that one makes, has two benefits I think: one - one's skill level is being worked on when they just enjoy the work and aren't distracted by getting enough follows, enough likes, and so on..... and two: it avoids any disappointments (I think) when less social media elements are paid attention to; which can lead to more fulfillment overall, as a creator.
I think it really depends on the individual's temperament and values. Some people are naturally service-oriented and feel they have a sense of purpose when showing their art, and others also like a sense of approval from others. Those two qualities can make someone stress over getting better for what others want, and as much as this might off-put some people, for others it actually is a source of reasoning to push harder and improve. There's a greater deal of artists who push beyond their own comfort zone that have more diverse and solid artwork; whereas the hobbyist has to have passion in more than just say drawing to get to a higher level. A hobbyist needs some kind of passion directly in improving themselves rather than just enjoying the activity in order to improve. So it all depends what you want and what's your passion, some don't care much for improving, certainly traditional art therapy is not focused on results for example. Basically, in the end it's a case of "you do you".

Yeah I just wish I could be inspired more often
Inspiration stimulates values, so if you work out what your values with art are, then inspiration will tingle your values. The more you care about those values the more motivated you'll be to act out on them. With art there's financial values, attractive values, spiritual values, mystic values, biological values and relationship values, etc. I can easily be inspired by nature, a physical/artistical process or a matter of interest to me, and that'll inspire me to do art. The best way to be inspired is to be a deep, conscientious, open and scientifically-minded person. That is, someone who is intrigued with the mystical processes of the universe, the sensations of complexly layered materialism and the semiotics of composition. Inspiration comes best from a maximalist source, nature and diverse sources are the most maximal. For example, browse Pinterest with a child-like curiosity for a few days, you'll end with "too much" inspiration for the kinds of worldly subject matters you can apply to your visual artwork. That might sound incredibly OTT, but honestly, most successfully creative artists already do this, just not necessarily consciously.
 

Connor J. Coyote

¥otie ¥oteTastic
Basically, in the end it's a case of "you do you".
Well.... yeah. In a way "you doing you" (like you say) can mean for some of us - paying less attention to the social media issues that many of us feel are a "negative" and a "distraction"..... and hence - those issues will matter less in the future (perhaps) when we re-focus our efforts on the creativity elements themselves.... both now and in the future.

And then - the artwork itself is what the focus will be on, and.... is probably what it should be on for some of us.
 
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