Listening to: Dr. Dre - The Chronic
Reading: Book of Psalms
Playing: Make-believe: Grown-up
Eating: Rice + Ghanian Stew
My last journal entry was debating whether or not deviantArt was "worth my time". I had several arguments in favour of leaving, all of which seemed valid to me:
-I received virtually no feedback for the majority of my time here.
-Less than a percentage of my commissioned work was received on dA
-My old and more immature work received more feedback than my newest work.
-My tastes had changed, and managing a pile of irrelevant messages became a pain.
-Almost nobody seemed to care about or view my work.
-I felt like plenty of my old friends hadn't updated in a long time, or flat-out left.
-The ads and user interface don't seem to be in favour of the artist's best interests.
-While appreciative, I wasn't proud of the image in my gallery that was picked for a Daily Deviation. It wasn't nearly my best, and I received only a few comments from thousands of views.
Did some of those have merit? Perhaps.
I will now type a parallel list from my current point of view:
-When was the last time I left a comment on somebody's work? How few comments have I made in the last four years?
-I am thankful for the commission I received a year ago. It was for a dear friend I would not have met outside of dA.
-I do less fanart than I used to. This is neither all good nor all bad.
-I can delete my messages and use this time to start fresh.
-Some people do value my work. Those people are a gift. But I am not creating to make everyone like me more.
-I am grateful that I discovered artists on dA that challenge me to be my best.
-dA is bigger than when I first joined, and needs ad revenue to run. Their staff care about making a site that caters to artists, which is a difficult goal.
-Somebody featured my work for everyone on deviantArt to see. Thank you.
In short: I needed to put more effort into an art community before I can expect to more, and was a spoiled weenie to think otherwise.
It can be really discouraging to look on the front page, see all the most popular images, and not relate your tastes to the biggest demographics on a website. The truth I had to confront is that my desired subject matter and technique will—as far as I can see—never be popular. My art isn't for everybody, and that's perfectly fine. My tastes have changed dramatically since my joining dA eight years ago. I used to be excited at the idea of receiving a Daily Deviation, yet when I received one I was thankful, but nonplussed at the decision. I'm a college graduate now. I'm getting married in two weeks. deviantArt plays a different role in my life than when I was worrying about getting accepted into undergrad.
I received a few features on my newest images. Thank you to all the people that cared enough to comment or watch me. You are sincerely appreciated. To all my friends that encouraged me to stay, thank you as well.
deviantArt, thank you for fostering artistic growth in me for years. Although I am not a paying member, I appreciate the service you provide to millions, and I look forward to putting my best foot forward in our interactions from here on out.