It’s 30 past 8, I haven’t slept much, nor well. Something has been on my mind all night, I even dreamt about it. You know, these bad decisions you take while you were ready to sleep, already curled up in your blanket ? Like taking one last look at your phone ? This happened last night, and I ended up browsing DeviantART’s ‘Undiscovered’ section. Which is, let me talk about it just a bit, pretty hilarious if you ask me : more than half of the deviations presented here are from people who have an average of 1500+ watchers, how are they so undiscovered ?
I didn’t realize until a bunch of other deviants pointed it out on an actual deviation that was featured here, and they were all pissed, frankly. I tried something simple then, I clicked on at least 10 deviations from this section, completely different ones, and checked the Artists' profiles. Guess what ? While they didn’t have so many favourites nor comments on the featured deviation in question, they were all somewhat famous deviants, most of them actual pros. I honestly don’t know how you can feature such things in a section called ‘undiscovered’, but oh well, that’s how it works I guess *sigh*.
Coming back to what I was saying, I clicked on a random picture that actually caught my eye – yet again, it was obviously from someone who didn’t need to be featured in this section one bit, for they had more than 15.000 subscribers. Even better, I realized when browsing their page further that a second deviation from them had been featured on the same day, too. This person has a really distinctive style and is actually mad talented, so what I’m going to talk about doesn’t target at their art one bit.
While there is, I think, a quite legitimate feeling of unfairness when someone like this gets featured in a section that is supposed to highlight unknown art, the feeling didn’t get better when I read a journal entry by that same person, who was making a good point, yet, felt somewhat out of place for me. This one artist had been on dA since the very beginning, and having actual recognition on here, I guess that, after a while, you can get somewhat detached. It’s pretty normal, but what felt wrong for me was the way they were speaking of other artists. It honestly was a bit pretentious.
Basically, they were saying we were too numerous on here (which is true), and that most of us were just 'begging for attention', or were just sadly happy with the few feedback we would get, or then, gave up on art and got used to the lack of reaction, eventually. While I do get the point, expressing it the way they did was wrong, for, yes, most of us are ‘begging’ for attention. Why ? Because anyone producing art wants it to be seen. And there’s nothing wrong with it.
You can’t blame someone, and this NO MATTER their skill, because they want to succeed. Calling them delusional and accusing them of bringing everyone else down is honestly stupid, because it’s basically insulting viewers/supporters as well, too. Not everyone will succeed, only a few will, we know. Yet, we’re probably speaking of our biased vision of success here, because it doesn’t require international fame to be happy with your work, nor actually be considered good.
Yet again, all of this bothered me. Like I said, I didn’t sleep well, I just couldn’t sleep on it. What this person said was true, it was a harsh truth, but it was true. I wouldn’t be so bothered by it if it wasn’t, but I still don’t agree with some terms. Actually, I think it’s pretty easy to have this one point of view and in fact complain about it when you’re a successful artist that doesn’t even need to take commissions.
It’s easy to be bothered by Fan-artists (they were the one targeted the most here again) when you have an armada of OCs that people appreciate and follow, even more so when you’ve specialized in one theme, and that it works. This is what most of us are looking up to, no more, no less.
While I understand the complaint, I don’t find it justified, especially, I’ll say it again, when it comes from someone who ISN’T in a situation where this is a problem for them. It’s pure and simple judgement, and it doesn’t help unknown artists getting a better opinion of themselves.
Art is hard. But Art is subjective. While this could sound like an easy way out for me, I do think that you can’t judge someone who puts hard work in what they did, or, it’s the basic problem, judge anyone at all. While it’s obvious some DeviantART users aren’t here in any kind of serious way, I fail to see how this prejudices to these particular persons, who already have the attention they want (and, for this one case, totally deserve.). If anything, it prejudices persons like me, who are stuck in the middle. I personally don’t think it does, though.
Call me naïve, but I genuinely think there’s room for everyone. dA is overcrowded, that’s a fact. We all fight for the same goal; so it’s obvious to me that it’s not gonna be easy, nor fun. It’s just like that, and I’ve accepted it long ago. And it doesn’t mean I ‘gave up’ on it all. Yes, I do hold onto the feedback I get, no matter how small. I cherish it dearly, and I don’t find it pathetic. Once again, it’s easy to think it is so when you have thousands of subscribers. I have exactly 806 watchers on dA. And I gained 200+ of them this year, after 4 years of inactivity and a brand new way of drawing. I’m honestly proud, really. And I don’t know, the littlest results tend to make me happy when it comes to my work.
I’m truly unconfident about it, I always think other people are way better, no matter what. I really do. 15 minutes on DeviantART and I feel like a bad Artist, so, needless to say, journals like the one I’ve been mentioning here don’t help my lack of confidence. I'm certainly not asking for them to stop writing down their feelings and thoughts though, because, it's exactly what I'm doing here as well. I just have trouble swallowing such opinions when I don't get where they're coming from, moreover.
One thing, though, was good about this journal. People who commented it were 50% agreeing, 50% not. There really were both. And those who weren’t agreeing made a good point too, saying it wasn’t a good thing criticizing this way, as basically, artists were worthy enough no matter what, since had to do all the job themselves, promote themselves alone, create pages, sites, ads, everything. It’s totally true, and this is what I think also differentiate people who draw ‘for fun’ and those who want to make something out of it. The person I was mentioning was, maybe without realizing it so much, being condescending with Artists they didn’t like the work of, and yeah, doing what I hate most, saying in subtext that they don’t actually deserve anything. You never know how a person might be struggling with Art or might have progressed by taking one look at their page or one piece from them.
I know things might look different when you have (at least) 15 years of experience on that field, but really, because you have a bigger experience, you should be able to realize that not everybody has it.
There was another thing that I found somewhat odd. I quickly checked what this person had in their favourites, since it generally speaks a lot. Well, I didn’t expect that. There were deviations from Artists with drastically different levels, which contradicted what this artist was saying in their journal. Overall, it actually seems that they don’t like Fanart, like most persons trying to defend the artistic community. Actually, I just recalled that they said it was sad that most artists were doing things to actually get views, and that fanarts were a good way to get attention. Well yes, it is. And there’s nothing wrong with that either.
Because, if you’re a ‘good enough’ artist (I hate the expression, but you get the point), people will probably like what you have to offer alongside, too. I’ll say it again, but you can’t blame someone for orientating what they’re doing, to some extent, and want to get noticed. I hate elitism, and this entry I read felt just like it.