So, it's been a while (read: more than a year) since I last wrote a personal journal, and that was a commission advert so it doesn't really count. I'm going to be working out a new commission info post and finding a way to keep that relevant on my front page soon, but for now I wanted to write something. Not sure why, though. Maybe just to prove I still can! But! I wanted this journal to be something topical, that could maybe open some discussion or at least draw some thoughts and opinions out, rather than a ramble about my super-lame life. So here we go...
Our topic today is 'Art and Success'. Humans are pretty interesting creatures; we can be very, very goal oriented. All animals are, to an extent, but their goals are usually purely survival oriented - gather food, build shelter, find a mate, etcetera. Without sounding too lofty, humans have evolved beyond that basis (although those things are still important) and now we set ourselves all sorts of goals. Be it to learn something new, or to make lots of money, or to finally cook a non-egg meal, people are always looking to achieve. We're also far more liable to celebration - I've not seen many animals make a big event of a success like humans do! So, as a creative sort, I began to wonder what I consider a successful piece of art to be - and then I wondered what other artists consider to be a successful piece for them. Is it a piece that they worked really hard on, a piece where they learned something new, or just a piece that went over really well?
Personally, I feel the most successful when I come away from a piece satisfied by it - and when I can keep being satisfied when I look at it in a week, or a month, or even a year later on. That's a huge success for me, and because I'm so self-critical it's one I haven't grasped very often. I guess it's an effect of development! At the same time, there is a part of me that feels grumpy when a piece flops in terms of views/comments/favourites. That's a pretty valid measure of success, I should say, because being reliant on selling pictures to earn any cash means that art that isn't getting a response could be considered a waste of time - it's not getting my name out there. But I'm not really that materialistic - primarily I do art for fun, I do it for my own enjoyment, because it's something I was lucky enough to be able to do okay at. Unlike, say, football. Or sewing. Still, it's impossible not to feel proud when a piece really hits a crowd well, or it pops up in unexpected places around the net. At the same time, I find a lot of the pieces I am most proud of aren't my most popular. In fact, my most popular piece right now is one I really don't like at all when I look back on it, for various reasons I won't go into. And my most popular before that was a vexel trace, which I was super pleased with at the time, but bothered me more and more as I started to draw more seriously.
So you might say I'm not an artist of numbers; I don't pay too much attention to statistics, but I do check from time to time and I let favourites and comments stack up after new pieces release to sort of gauge its performance. But I know many people push for big hits, and get disappointed when they don't make the numbers they wanted. They time their releases strategically, aim their content at a specific audience, and hope to hit that sweet spot. Again, it's perfectly fair to pursue that goal. After all, uploading stuff here sort of implies that you want to reach an audience, and a piece that succeeds in doing that is a satisfying thing indeed.
With that said, I'll open the floor now, before I go on for too long!
What, as an artist, gives you the feeling of 'success'? What is your biggest success, or your biggest failure? I'd love to hear what you guys have to say!