One of the most important things that I have to do each week actually has nothing to do with art.
I have so many things that I take care of each week, many hours spent creating Comics and art pieces, updating all the websites, spending time with friends, going to work…it just adds up. And most nights it’s hard for me to go to bed because there’s always more I can get done in a day. Plus it never really stops.
If I want to make art my career, I can’t negate doing all the nitty gritty work, and the constant care and attention to the craft.
But I also can’t cut back my hours at my day job because I still have bills to pay.
That being said, I basically am trying to work 2 full time jobs and still stay sane.
So today I had to finish at least my comic for Sunday Story Time, which took longer then I would’ve liked. Then I was going to get other projects done to get myself a little ahead for next week…but every time I tried to make any progress on anything I realized how tired I was.
Saturday’s are my day off from everything. So that I can at least have one day of resting and rejuvenation.
But I started this Saturday off by working.
Thankfully I’m not ending it the same way.
I’m putting down all my ‘art career’ stuff.
I’m curled up on the couch with my cat.
I’m watch My Little Pony.
I’m resting. 🙂
We live in an age now where if you like something you give them a thumbs up. It’s just a push of a button, a tap on the screen and we are now a part of the group that agrees with what is being said. It makes us feel like part of a group, or that the recipient is going to see that we agree with them and thus are now closer interwoven into their circle.
But are we really making a difference?
Sit back and imagine your trying to start a business, your trying to get people to talk about you, to ‘like’ your post, and you get a few here and there, but not enough to count. So you invest more money, more time, more product, more, more, more…and though you might receive more likes, it doesn’t stop. It’s not enough.
As an artist starting my business path, I’ve tried really hard to not be another person to chase after ‘likes’. I don’t really care how many likes my images get, or how many shares, and at the end of the day, I’m just happy people get to see it…
This is a lie.
I get so discouraged when I only get 30 hearts on my Instagram update, when no one comments on my comics, and when the number of followers on Facebook hasn’t budged in months…Because I’m a chaser. I’m chasing after likes, shares, comments, people! I want to be noticed, I want people to want to see what I’m drawing and hopefully buy my work.
Is this a bad thing? In today’s culture, there is no word of mouth spread, there is no random person going to walk up and offer a job of a lifetime, people don’t want to leave their comfort zones to see what’s out there. We are in a land of technology. Where in order to reach people we have to have our images flashing on a screen, constantly, being that ever running horse after the carrot held just out of reach.
So how do we accept this fate for ourselves? How are we ok with putting so much time and effort into constantly updating various websites only to be slapped with a few likes but no other interaction?
I don’t know what others do, but I have embraced the chasing mentality…I’m just not chasing likes.
I’m chasing my dream.
I’m never happy clocking in at my day job, but I’m excited to paint and draw.
I’m never ok with long hours at work, but I’m enlightened with a full day of drawing.
I’m not accepting food service as my career, I’m meeting my goals and challenges to further my artwork.
My hands weren’t meant to only make sandwiches all day, they were made to create images that inspire the soul!
My life is a constant race, a run, a chase after a dream to not only make my life fuller, but I want to touch as many others with the things I see in my head, the way I see the world around me.
I’m chasing after a better tomorrow!
I have a youtube account were I post art adventures, subscribe to my channel to join along!
This is my third year doing inktober. I can tell that I’ve grown from the previous years. This time around I decided to apply a different challenge along with the normal rules of Inktober. I decided to draw as many humans as possible. I’m so used to drawing animals, and with needing to draw people for my graphic novels anyway, I figured it would be great practice.
What do you think of this years works?
I didn’t get to do all 31 images, and I didn’t think it was right to draw more images after October ended and still include them in Inktober. But I am proud of the images I got this year.
Another month has gone by of crunching as much art time in I can to appease the deadlines I’ve placed on myself and it’s gotten me thinking. Each deadline I’ve put on myself is to reach a goal, but if I didn’t have to please the ever sucking internet I wouldn’t have to be pushing myself so hard. I wouldn’t have to upload a comic every day, every week, make a finished product, try to make money…all of that wouldn’t be an issue if I didn’t have internet.
Is this what it means to be an artist in today’s day and age?
I’m losing sleep, not because of late night hits of inspiration for another soul moving painting, but because I have to update my websites. I’m no longer trying to influence people with the beauty of their imagination, but trying to get there money. My time is now non existent if you are sleep, food, family and friends.
Why? I shouldn’t feel guilty for taking some time to cultivate relationships, but I do. I can always be working on something, updating something, trying so hard to just get another follower, another like, share, comment…
Another useless blip on a screen that ultimately does nothing in our existence.
You must be wondering then, why chase after these hollow numbers and percentages of ‘being liked’ as an artist?
Here’s the answer, if I don’t, then no one knows I ex-hist.
How can my art influence people if they won’t look up from their phones? So I have to plug into their phones to try and get there attention. But even then, everything is a simple swipe away from no longer holding any meaning in their lives. Everything is a swipe to the left, right, scroll down, next page, next thing, next, next, new, new…you see where I’m going with this?
I’m not a robot. But I’m having to be to even attempt to keep up with all the other artists out there who have the time to do everything. Accept I don’t.
I don’t want to push my friends away. I want to stay connected with my family. I want to be able to take care of myself, but I can’t when I’m expected to create day-in-day-out like a machine. There’s no inspiration in that. There’s no genuine creativity. There’s no soul.
And if art lacks inspiration, creativity, soul…then what’s the point?