I’m an adopt creator! This thread has given me some great perspective so thanks for proposing the question.
My answer about creators creating would be something like this;
I create canine characters from scratch exclusively at the moment, I’ve been doing so for almost 2 months, it started as a style experiment, I didn’t need to keep the design I made in the process so I offered it up, it was bought quickly so I kept offering up the designs I was making. once I had the style i wanted to achieve established I thought I should keep going and see how much time i could knock out of the process of initial thoughts, plan of action and how quickly I could fully render a fullbody canine with added details like wings, horns, heads, limbs, etc. I’ve managed to knock off 40-60 minutes from my process, not to mention the huge skill increase. I’m not even using references anymore. The designs are still being bought too! If anything now my style and anatomy is 100% more consistent, more people are interested in the designs I’ve been making as a hobby, a mental challenge, designing a canine every other day for 2 months and I’ve still got imagination left is crazy.
tl;dr I make characters to challenge my imagination and skill, making spare cash is just a bonus, when I feel I’m consistent enough and ready to communicate more with clients I hope to move to commission work
as for why buyers buy:
Some buyers buy adopts for the artists style or notoriety, saying you own something created by a huge artist and people know who you’re talking about makes people feel special.
Some buyers are short on time but would like a new OC they can make their familiar.
Some buyers may buy blank slated adopts from small artists as investments, writing backstory here and there and drawing art, then selling them off at a later date for a little more.
Some buyers are scouting for artists and characters for their longterm project like a show, story or game.
Some buyers are just casual collectors who liked having imaginary friends when they were smaller and adopts are a way to comfort their inner child.
Some buyers just want a pet but for whatever reason a real world one isn’t an option.
as for what people do with their adopts, some people like to give them a personality or backstory, usually these can get quite personal, the character may act as the persons ideal friend, what they wished they were like, a pet they can 100% understand, basically it’s a super good outlet for the self to realise what it wants or needs. Now the character feels like living flesh and blood to their owner, so the owner commissions a portrait since they can’t just take a photo, they’ll commission stories about their character since the character is a 3D concept at this point that the owner doesn’t just imagine only lives inside their head, it has its own adventures away from home. I could go on but I think I’m just rambling now haha
Theres so many reasons, and it’s okay to not get why adopts are a thing, I just hope adoptable artists aren’t seen as the lowest of the lows artists because ‘adopts are quick, easy money’ I assure they’re not lmao