Saturday, April 30, 2011


-copypasta from Deviantart:

I've been drafting several versions of a journal on mental health, motivations and attitudes towards work. I think I just came across a journal that solidified my stance on the matter

It was basically a moan that nobody turned up for a livestream, and that there was no point to being on DA yadda yadda yadda. Typoes, caps lock, the whole shebang.
I've a good mind to unfollow that person, as that's pretty much the exact wrong attitude to have.

The big question is WHY does everyone do what they do? Get out of bed, eat healthy food, draw pretty pictures, live in general. What is it that makes you tick. There might be some horrible answer to that like 'out of habit' or 'well that's all there is to do', so spin is absolutely vital. Perspective has a profound effect on how life treats you. How you treat life affects how life treats you, I guess.

On motivations-
The obvious tack to take here is analysing drawing, painting and the whole art element. Most of us have this in common. I used to think that I drew as an emotional crutch and as a means of escapism, and in a way that's still true, but mostly I do it to stop myself getting bored. Painting, designing characters, writing stories all challenge me to take what I've experienced, wrestle to understand them and churn them back out in a way that is understandable useful and creative. Like origami with your memories.

Anyone who's spent time with me in a city may have noticed I can be like a curious puppy looking at everything, from lamposts to underneath shop signage to light arrangements and stall construction in clothes shops. Everything is interesting , from design, form, colour, decay, how people interact with it, it's something I never get tired of studying- sketchbook in hand or no.

I find things interesting, I enjoy doing it, I want to improve, I want my artwork to affect people, I want to tell stories, somewhere in there I gotta make a living too.

Seamless tangent into mental health- well, almost seamless.

I realise these are very selfish reasons, and for a while this had me quite depressed. I came to the conclusion that I've put all this time into learning these skills, the best course of action would be to do something good with it, so I could have my cake and make the world a better place. I'm still working that part out. Figuring out what is good for the world is tricky.

I've hit a broad range of ideas, some very positive, and some requiring leaving the internet and never returning. But these are just ideas, and chime in my head like the infantryman in War of the Worlds. We'll see what happens. If it goes the most drastic way, it may end up being me incentivising myself to interact more in reality than I have to date.

So yeah, my motivations for a large part have been self serving, and I think that's a bad thing. Knowing that and wanting change, I think that's important. I find it curious that my desire for self improvement has extended beyond my pen and paper, which is a welcome change in theory. In practice it makes me a mopey sod, but again, knowing I need to press through this and come out on top gives me drive.

That being said, I have no idea where I get this from. Actually, no, I have ideas but some of them are in of themselves discouraging and others are downright terrifying. One battle at a time.

I get incredibly depressed from time to time, other times I'm an unstoppable force of wow. I'm not diagnosed as bipolar, but I'd say I'm well on my way there. Stephen Fry did a talk on something similar, really need to look it up. Understanding these things make them easier to deal with. Here's where I've been using art as an emotional crutch, and one I'm learning to walk without. Now, I go for a run. Eat more healthily, socialise more. Not sure if it's the effects of a better lifestyle or giving myself less reasons to hate myself, but it helps a little. I choose to think the former, focusing on positives is always better. (other times I eat junk food, wail on my guitar and drown myself in TV shows, but that is part of the problem not part of me dealing with it)

I said earlier I wanted my artwork to affect people, and I want to draw more attention to that. Not me, but my artwork. Yes, I'm a total attention whore, but that's not where I want the focus to be. I get a kick out of it when people think I've done my job well, but I don't expect them to bend over backwards or take any special action on my behalf. That's just silly, they're only pictures. Sometimes they're stupid, sometimes they're funny, and sometimes they're awful.

Which brings me to livestreaming.
Some of my friends, mainly *kitten-chan *TWULF and ~wanwan do regular streams from time to time. It's a great marketing tool, networking opportunity and in many cases learning experience. It's probably not bad for the aul ego, but it's not of itself an ego trip. I've seen other people walk the wrong side of the fence, and use it as an emotional crutch...which of course didn't work. Making a livestream as a means of egoboosting is dangerous. It shifts the onus of how important your work is from yourself onto other people. Motivational crowd surfing. I don't think I've found anyone who cares about my work as much as me. If I did, it'd probably be really creepy. If I do stream, I'll make sure it's for the right reasons.
People may like your work, but they don't owe YOU anything, and probably don't give a crap about you. It sounds cold, but how many of you worry about the dairy farmer who provides your shop with milk? Unless you've met them, interacted and formed a bond, they won't mean much to you on a personal level.

That's not to say I've not made good friends on here, but most of them I talk to on other platforms besides dA.

I've tried to show both sides to my attitudes towards work here to show that I' m not 100% super creepy optimist guy, but that the important part is actively seeking to improve things and find the right way of looking at things. Comments are most certainly welcome, challenge any or all things I say. I love a good debate

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing such an honest and engaging post. It's really interesting, I think a lot of people in the arts have the same feelings but few ever try to understand them or talk about them.