The Anxiety of Artists



one thing that pretty much goes hand-in-hand with being an artist is anxiety a lot of people tend to think that this is something that really only impacts creators with lower amounts of followers or subscribers but this isn't the case a hundred fans are a hundred million fans almost all content creators will get anxiety about their work at some point I wouldn't say I'm a big youtuber but I do know that plenty of people look up to me the fools maybe it's not conveyed through my normal videos but I get anxiety too a lot in almost every video almost every week well most every day after making my self reflection video I noticed that a lot of my fans actually related to my problems or worries that I thought I was alone in so I thought to myself maybe it'd be good to talk a little bit more about anxieties I have specifically as an artist or a content creator you know something more general that other artists could hopefully relate to now I'm not the most stable person myself so I apologize if the views or advice I give is faulty but I'm gonna do my best to hopefully help out some artists struggling to pick themselves up the first thing a lot of people probably wonder maybe is it worth it seeing all these other artists posting non-stop may be a deterrent aspiring artists often feel scared of posting work in fear that it will be judged too fiercely or they don't feel like they want to take the time in order to get better to catch up to these artists that have already skyrocketed everyone's got their own style even when inspired by others it generally shines with a hint of uniqueness that is generally what attracts people to your work it's almost impossible to not find someone to enjoy it if you enjoy creating anything by all means share it with the world don't get into art or something with the soul mindset of this will make me famous and popular when stuff is done out of love it normally shows in your work and invites people to follow that whereas too much pandering or forced work will tend to have a negative aura and draw people away alongside that it's important to know who you are as an artist this is something that generally takes a good amount of time people flip-flop constantly as they discover new things a fan artist may realize that they want to make OC when they see the reactions to their work but wish it was for a character they actually created or an animator could realize they really only enjoy the storyboarding process and focused solely on that it's important to figure out not only what you'll create but how you'll present yourself I don't really know who I am as an artist some days I'm a video creator some days I'm an animator other days I'm a speedrunner and other days I just want to draw boobs and butts you may wind up freaking out if you spread yourself too thin like that because if one aspect of yourself isn't doing as well as another person focusing only on one thing it's possible to feel like you are falling behind even though if you add up all the things you're doing it would probably wind up being higher not only that but you can often lose track of who you are as an artist with any success this normally stems from doing fan art the mass appeal of pre-existing characters and viral campaigns do make it easier to gain some traction but when diving into this too often you may disconnect yourself from your personal projects the fear of losing the fan base you built with the fan art causes you to shelve any of your original work it's as I said before essentially the only way to build a fan base with your OC is to make your OC it's okay to not do it full-time just be sure that when you get an inch to work on it do it maybe it isn't even OC maybe you draw not-safe-for-work stuff but you want to focus on environments or character designs rather than just helping people beat their meat no matter what the situation is you need to take time for yourself as a creator you're the sole supplier of your own product even if you get some backlash for not pumping out the same exact thing again and again it is important that periodically you K do to yourself instead of your fans this kind of leads into my next point of successful content oftentimes people will be discouraged if their content isn't breaking in as many views like shares or what-have-you as previous works or the works of their friends or the works of people they admire I think the easiest example of how silly this would be would be viral tweets oftentimes you'll see silly videos or fan art of a recently announced thing supporting tens of thousands of likes or retweets almost always you'll see a reply tweet from the O P basically plugging something else and if you ever venture to their page you'll notice this super shared and liked post creator barely has any followers but why is that exactly and it's pretty simple foundation fame and success won't be achieved instantly if you have a viral project and people look around your page and see nothing but shit posts and garbage they aren't likely to stay one amazing piece of work will not keep a page of flow people like consistency adapt to semi-regular schedule whether it's just one video a week a stream or even just a piece of art my videos definitely don't clock in as many views as they used to but because I now have many of them it allows it so that when people come to my page they realize I will keep putting in the work maybe they won't like one piece of your content but peruse around and find another that they like content success isn't measured solely by numbers I've also gotten approached for sponsors collabs or even just gotten recognition from artists I admire off of less popular videos as long as you are proud of the work you put out it'll pay off with enough time and effort it is important to interact with your fan base as well but remember you are still your own person if you cater solely to your existing fan base it won't grow you need to try and branch out periodically whether it's moving away from your comfort zone or your fan bases in order to draw in new followers it's okay to read the comments but be wary that some people would do their best just to get under your skin either because they are asses like that or they want a reaction out of you to feel recognized listen more so to the comments that actually have some thought put into them if someone says they don't like it don't pressure them to explain why because chances are they don't actually want you to grow people who do want you to grow even if they dislike it will often explain why and maybe offer advice on how to remedy this situation in their eyes it's important to listen but you cannot please everyone and trying to will lead you into some really mediocre work with a lot of artists I've talked to and even myself as soon as you do start to build up numbers you hit a point where you may suffer from the impostor factor which essentially boils down to do I deserve this I oftentimes do this shooting down people when they say they admire me from my point of view I'm still just a fat potato boy in p/j pants who sits in his apartment staring at a computer for 90% of his day I don't go out much I don't have too many friends and if it weren't for the internet I wouldn't really have anyone to socialize with yet I'll still have people say that I inspire them or that I made them want to get in a video making or even speedrunning I just constantly ask why it is tricky because whereas you may not feel like the inspiration you are to your fans you still are no matter how many followers or whatever you acquire you'll still be seeking more feeling like where you're at isn't enough you aren't an impostor as long as you keep working hard you'll be an inspiration maybe you don't feel like it right now but if you keep bettering yourself not only will your quality increase but maybe you'll hit that point where you're like yeah you know what I do deserve this I've worked really hard if you manage to it some success you may unfortunately encounter fake friends naturally the bigger you and your content get the more eyes you'll have on you whereas the majority will be supportive and nice there are some people who see your numbers as something they can coast off of people will act friendly are nice in an attempt to collab or interact in a public setting in order to get some of the eyes on you on them this has happened to me a few times to the point where I often sit here wondering okay who actually likes me and who is just smiling at me for publicity sake which is an absolutely horrid mindset friends care about you fake friends pretend to it's tricky to try and differentiate that it mostly boils down to a good sense of judgment and a gut feeling it's okay to be cautious but try not to alienate people you converse with if someone is being friendly towards you but you notice on Twitter all they do is at popular people asking either collaboost them or voice than work there's a fair chance their intentions aren't entirely pure but if you can get along with someone just talking offline and not including them in your work there's a good chance they are genuine that's not to say you shouldn't include your friends in your work but if they are the ones constantly asking to be included in your public pieces just keep an eye on them a real friend will reach out to you when you're upset not just when you are happy or had a popular piece of work remember too that friendships like all relationships are a give and take but also keep in mind that a lot of artists and creators do have other stuff going on if a buddy isn't constantly sharing your work don't take it as a slight against you some people are very strict about what's on their page others might just not share things often and a lot of the time people just don't see it unless you outright show them I talked to a few other creators and a lot of the time yeah they don't share my project tweets or something but if it's ever important and I asked him about it 9 out of 10 times it's either been I've been busy or oh what fuck I didn't even know this was out social media nowadays is terrible with what's shown and your post can easily be lost in the timeline or subscription formulas well almost all of these subjects have had in common though is the biggest anxiety factor I've seen for any content creator ever numbers oh boy oh boy numbers numbers are such a disgusting necessity in the artistic community whether it's from wondering if you should be charging more than five dollars for a sketch Commission you should by the way pay yourself at least minimum wage figure if a sketch takes you an hour that's at least ten bucks should I make a patreon if it'll only have a few supporters or if it's from thinking that you're small following needs you're a small person it's almost like some post-apocalyptic movie where everyone feels as though their self-worth is determined by the amount of followers they have and the number is broadcasted on their sleeve so that the hundred thousands don't dare look at the 1000 s this is silly I have over five hundred thousand subs at the moment on YouTube but here's the dirty little secret this doesn't make me better than anyone at all like I mentioned earlier I'm just a slob sitting in front of his computer not talking to anyone more often than not that kind of person is generally met on a lot of people's radars but for whatever reason if I slept the 500k sub badge on my sleeve it instantly becomes interesting I'm still a human my followers are – I'm no better than any of my fans just because I have a bigger number just like the people I admire aren't gods among men or anything I've only interacted with a few of the higher ups in terms of YouTube popularity but what I have we just talked like people it's important to remember that a lot of the people you looked up to were where you are right now hell even just three years ago I used to have only around 20 viewers when I would stream on Twitch but I kept at it and now I generally have somewhere between two or four hundred it is insanely difficult to not let numbers get in your head especially when you compare your numbers to others someone else's success might just seem like a missed opportunity for you but instead of letting numbers destroy you try to let them inspire you if they put in the work and got successful then by gum you put in the work and get successful yourself it may not seem like it but another big factor for success in the creative community is luck its lucky if some content goes viral its lucky if you find someone in the business its lucky if your work gets seen in all honesty that's not to say it's a deciding factor but let's put it in a disgusting analogy I bet the kiddos can understand if you are playing a battle royale its lucky if you drop and instantly find a good weapon but that's not to say that if you drop and find a bad one you can't still get that victory royale got it I feel so gross the point being some people will have it easier but that doesn't lock you out of success you'll have to work harder but you know what it's just gonna make it that much more satisfying when you get there people often think that they need to make it big as fast as they can but forget that it can come at any time there's plenty of people that hit Fame much later in life look at one of my favorite youtubers terminal montage he was pretty under the radar for a long time and he's just recently started to blow up because of his something serious because he kept at it as long as you want to keep creating content just keep creating content it is important to know that at first you may not be able to solely support art be smart if necessary and take a part-time job or something you may have to create as a hobby at first but just keep at it and work when you can as I said these are mostly my anxieties and some of my friends or Mutual's but what are some things that make you feel anxious feel free to comment with what you've faced and maybe some other common tears will relate or have advice for you I know it's tough but just keep at it the ability to stick with something will take you far in this life just keep up the persistence you

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published