I’ve had this conversation the other day with one of my friends. We are both artists but she decided to pursue the teaching career and we’ve been discussing how many young artists (including me) are afraid to sell their art. There is a stigma, that if your art is commercial, or if you make a profit from doing fanarts or portraits on Fiverr you are somehow not ‘artistic’ enough or that you can only do it under a nickname no one would recognize you from. Well, it’s obviously not true, but for many – especially after formal training in art schools, art universities, etc. it’s something of an unspoken rule.
What are your thoughts about this? I’m always quite reluctant of posting any type of fanarts that I know may get more attention because I feel like it’s an ‘easy way’ of getting recognition.
But really, why is it so bad? Especially when you’re just starting your career you want that attention, you want to build up your following so later on you can gradually and smoothly switch to doing something more experimental. Maybe you need time to discover your style, maybe your form of art takes way longer than doing these few portraits? We all know we are fighting against an algorithm. Our art on the internet is not judged by its quality, but rather of the quantity – Instagram will make it accessible to way more people this way, right? So why for some of us it feels wrong?
I have been struggling with not producing enough art, simply because I thought it’s not professional enough, or maybe that something small I do for fun is not worth ruining my ‘perfectly though portfolio on social media’. Again – not true and I know it. But maybe some of you feel this way too.
I’ve decided that the best way to find out why am I feeling this way and hopefully to stop it and allow myself to create more freely is to create a project I can potentially make a profit from. Lockdown definitely helped since I’ve got way more time now, but I’ve found myself feeling a bit blue. Anything more than a ‘comfort’ drawing was somehow too much. So I’ve taken my camera, set it up as best as I could, and tried to make a youtube channel.
I’ve started by simply making a mind map of what I like to draw when I’m at home trying to relax. I’ve chosen simple watercolors, insects, flowers, and movie stills, I’ve got a couple of projects I’ve been putting off – and that forced me to stay on top of the task. It was frustrating at first and I didn’t quite knew how to set up everything as I would want to exactly, but it’s pretty much trials and errors till you get it right.
With each video, I feel that the quality is better and I want to make more.
Now it’s mostly something I enjoy doing, and the original idea evolved – I want to make as many videos as I can, learn more and keep creating, as it opened a door for some newly discovered creativity that I was squishing under the bed like it’s some kind of bad monster.
That is all for today, but it would be lovely to start an open discussion about the topic of making commercial art, what are your thoughts? Do you feel anxious as well? Please commment down below here or under the videos if you want to chat 🙂