I find it a difficult prospect to scrounge motivation for art and writing as of late. Interacting with online art world and communities is like licking a wall of ice, freezing slowly to death while rewarded by hazy glances of what could be on the other side. No matter the community, clean or smut, writing or visual art, promise is all they have, while those that eventually get lucky often carry thousand yard stares or have lacked soul to begin with.
My mental health is what it is — my amount of available energy for any given day is very limited. I have to juggle tasks in the most economical manner possible, and the ratio of stress I can soak up without having an anxiety attack is small. I’d need a flamethrower to melt an opening in that wall of ice, while all I can deliver is a candle.
I fix cars in my regular days, netting me at least some money to keep on marching. Self taught and wrenching at it for some six years, it is generating me income, and people are thankful for a job well done. That means I can have my own car that I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise, and I actually get to see the outside world and interact with people.
On other hand, my art venues got me almost nothing in return. I’ve met some wonderful people, found the love of my life, had some great conversations too but at the end of the day, I made no income from it. Blame can be shifted all day long, that I’m not good enough, don’t post nowhere near often enough, or didn’t try to monetize my efforts, which are all valid points, but what do the art communities really offer to reach potential audience? Nothing. They are glorified chat rooms at best, and burning dumpster fires at worst. How can you monetize your efforts when you need at least a small following first, but all you are given is a two second spot in the newest submissions queue?
I want to make it clear, I’m not directing this against any of the people who enjoyed my content throughout the years, and who still might be around. I thank you for not ignoring my hard, hard work, and perhaps even enjoying it.
So where does that leave me? The Muse won’t let me go. I have constant remorse over not trying more despite knowing I gave it all I could, and sacrificed a good chunk of my life and health in the pursuit. For the good two years of the decade I tried to establish my presence in the furry fandom, I overdrove myself past the point of breaking, resulting only in deepening my anxiety, gaining resentment for the things I enjoyed, and having anxiety attacks whenever I go to upload any sort of content I made, knowing it will either get ignored, or, at best, gains a small spark or recognition that ultimately goes nowhere.
Damage control is all I can think of. If I can’t get at least something in return for my art, there is no motivation for me. I cannot and won’t promise any content from now on, and I refuse to work for free any more. What follows are rough steps that I and my Muse devised to try and salvage this hobby into at least something.
- Specialise myself more: I found knack for both digital painting and writing, but dabbing in both spreads me too thin. I shall concentrate myself only on visual arts for the time being.
- Set up commission rates: anxiety and self doubts kept me from trying to set up rates, but this is the only way to gather satisfaction without begging for a miracle. I want to handle this mostly like my garage, via word of mouth, and by working for good customers. This is how I run my business, and this is how I’m comfortable trying commission work.
- Make recognisable fanart: now, I won’t be following trends, as that would just jade me more, but there are aplenty hunks and vixens that turned me appreciative of anthropomorphism, like Krystal, Elora, Kharjo or Kimahri. I’d enjoy giving them some exposed positions.
- Post my recent artwork on e621.net: a step I’m apprehensive of, but it is the one site I can stomach searching furry art on, thanks to its art centric design and enforcement of good tagging practices by the community. I’ll likely get hardcore ignored there as well, but it’s the only place I can think of expanding to without adding just another wall of ice to lick at.
I cannot promise to finish the long postponed project of polishing Marcella’s slutty diary, nor continuing writing her or any other exploits. Whoever is left to enjoy it, with the continuous decay and death of SoFurry, it’s still a losing proposition.
All that had to be let out, no matter that it gets ignored. If you read my thoughts, I thank you. Wish me the strength to find joy creating furry smut again, and mellow out the creative anxieties plaguing my art.