eyebrow game strong? more like eyeBAG game strong. i’m fucking exhausted. haha lol
I know this sounds crazy, but just keep posting it.
Let me tell you a story.
I have a friend who used to want to go into art professionally. She made some cute doodles and stuff, but it was pretty amateur. She used to tell me that my drawings inspired her.
That was weird but cool to me, because I’ve only taken a few art classes and I have a particular style but I’m no professional and never will be.
So anyway, she goes off to art school. She doodles and draws and goes to classes. She practices all the time.
She starts a blog.
She gets a few notes here or there. Nothing big. I follow her blog but don’t really see much from her.
One day, she draws this silly wolf for class trying to put on pants.
I laugh. I see it on Facebook before I see it anywhere else. I tell her that’s a cool, funny drawing. A wolf trying to put on pants.
Months later, I’ve entirely forgotten about the wolf trying to put on pants. She keeps her stuff updated on Facebook and I see her progressing projects which are all really cute, but she never mentions much about them after she posts.
One day, I’m scrolling through my dash. I see a comic. It’s clearly her art. I know it is, because I’ve been able to follow the progression of her style, and immediately I recognize the character. The wolf trying to put on pants.
This comic has close to 70,000 notes.
If you look at her other stuff, you can see that her previous work got close to no notes. Suddenly her stuff gets anywhere from 50 notes to tens of thousands of notes, depending on the content.
Please, do not give up. Art if very competitive, and it may take a while until you create something that really catches the eye of the audience. It doesn’t have to be a fan work, either. I think a lot of tumblr users worry they’ll have to catch the eye of people with fan work first.
Just be yourself.
But most importantly, work hard, and never give up.
The reason people don’t succeed is because they give up. They give up practicing, they give up learning, they give up trying to achieve things. You need to keep improving and keep moving forward, even if it’s hard.
Trust me, I know it’s easy to think that it’ll never be you who gets lucky and gets a lot of attention for your work. But that’s precisely how everyone else in art feels. It’s very difficult. It makes you emotionally raw and can be frightening. That’s why so many people give up.
I have seen my art friends, writing friends, dance friends, music friends, break down crying because sometimes it’s just that hard. And in the creative industry, you don’t tend to see people in the middle, because it’s so easy to forget they exist. You see one of two people: people who have succeeded, or people who have failed.
You don’t see people who are in the middle, still getting everything worked out, because that is what society considers as not yet being successful. And no, being in that middle place isn’t going to pay the bills, but neither will giving up.
It’s never going to be easy. In fact, sometimes it feels like the better we get, the harder it is. It’s so easy to look at someone who can’t draw what so ever and tell them their drawing is good, because they’re just doing it for fun and there’s no point in giving a life-shattering critique to a beginner. At that stage, you can only really give small tips and start them off with basics.
But when you get better, that’s when things get difficult. You see your own weaknesses. Or someone else sees them and points them out to you. Now that you’re better, you can’t just doodle a flower and get your friends to all love it. (Or if that’s your thing, maybe you can, but maybe not.) You may look at the work of other people and be puzzled as to why their work is getting notes and yours isn’t, especially if their work is similar to yours, and ESPECIALLY if their work is mysteriously not as skilled as yours.
That’s when you have to really look at the picture and figure out what it is about this drawing that people like. I’ve known people who’ve gotten really pissed off at me because my doodles got more notes than the digital portrait they spent 20 hours painting.
The thing is, sometimes I just doodle something cute and fun. Most people will hit the little heart or reblog button if I doodle a cup of coffee with a steam genie coming out of it. People like that stuff. They enjoy it and want others to see it. But what is it about a portrait that makes people want to reblog it?
I know nothing I say will take away the feelings of apprehension and sadness, but I’m serious when I say to not give up.
Another friend of mine has been an editor for years, working on small projects. Finally, out of nowhere three months ago, she suddenly got a publishing contract, then in the same week out of nowhere had an author offer her a $17,000 contract to edit series of erotic novels for her.
The hardest part of this is that, from the outside, it seems like she was an overnight success. But she earned it. She struggled. She cried. She worked very hard. Those two contracts took a lifetime of work to earn.
Find your style. Work on it. Stay true to yourself.
You will get there.