Making Art For The Self

"You vs. Detractors"

One of the reasons I was hesitant to make art in the past was because people online told me it was bad, and not worth making. I was in a space where my art was constantly being compared to that of others, those much older than me no less. But what you should do it take those feelings and use those to create even crazier, even "worse" art. There's nothing wrong with creating art out of spite of others doubting you. The only bad art is art that was created with bad intentions. Create things that others deem as "cringe", draw even if you don't think you're good at drawing, color in coloring books, write short stories and draw funny colored animals. Luckily, I also had spaces like Art Club that really encouraged my creative indeavors. Having a good support system is always great too.

"You vs. Contractors"

There is a sentiment that you have to make money off your art, or it's not worth making. Or, on the other end, that your art can't be made unless you have money. This is not the case for either! While it's great to make money off something you love, it's not mandatory. And sadly, a lot of the time when you plan on getting an art degree, they will try their hardest to teach you how to create "profitable" art, and want you to conform to a certain standard. There's a good chance if your story is picked up by execs or a publisher, you could lose rights to that story and those characters, with how copyright laws have recently been handled. They might have you compromise your art in this way. Once again, there's nothing wrong with wanting to create shows, or be a script writer, or director. It's just good to know where your rights will be going, and if you'd like to make that compromise, as it's something many don't have explained to them.

"You vs. Yourself"

The biggest challenge an artist will have to overcome is their own thoughts about themselves as an artist, and their reason for being an artist. You will constantly get in your own way as an artist, and doubt your abilities. As someone who's been drawing for many, many years, this doubt will never go away. Any long-term artist will tell you this. Artists will often beat themselves up over things like not finishing a sketch, failing to create the exact image in their heads, or feeling like an imposter. However, this is all part of the artistic process. Don't let these feelings get in the way of you making what you want to make. If you're doing something that make you feel happy, it doesn't matter how "good" you're doing. "Good" is subjective in the world of art, and your art is good if you've made it with intention and view it as such.

"Make Art Everyday"

Make art every day doesn't refer to literally taking out a sketchbook and sketching or drawing something everyday. Rather it's a phrase I use to convey the idea of incorporating creativity into your everyday life. This can be anything from drawing a picture to baking a pie. Work on a carpentry project, write a poem that's nothing but random words and numbers. If it's nothing hands on, take time to appreciate some artistic beauty that exists in your life, even a well-constructed cabinet. Art is everywhere, and incorporating creativity into your everyday life makes the world a brighter and much more fun place.

"Why We Make Art"

For this section, I decided to ask some friends of mine why they make art. Here's a collection of the answers I recieved:

CURTIS: I think I make art because I don't want to sit and wait for other people to make ideas I have, I'm very impatient so instead of hoping I can find people who wants to make content I want to see I make it myself. And NOW that I have any amount of artistic skill I enjoy drawing as a way to pass time or as a way to explore ideas, like before I even started transitioning I'd often times experiment with drawing myself with top scars or just with a flat chest and see how I felt seeing that as a representation of myself, it's so fun I think.

ARACHNE: I make art because I enjoy it. It makes me feel good to create, it's so satisfying to want to represent something visually that doesn't yet exist, and when you feel like you captured what you want to it's elating. There is so much beauty all around us and I see art in every aspect of the world, it inspires me to create my own art. I think I also make art to represent what I'm thinking/feeling/seeing. It's a way to communicate ideas that are too big to put into words. I can draw a picture with so many emotions tied to it that I couldn't give the same effect through words even if I tried.

MADDIE BLEU: I make art to express my feelings and what I am going through. I also do it to create story's and express myself through character design. I also like making art for my friends I have made some of my friends fursonas trying to capture their likeness in animal form. It also allows me to help myself through hard times. I also like the joy on my friends faces when I draw them.

AUGUST: I cook because it's how i express love in a way, when i cook for someone i do it because i love them and i can pour my heart into my food, and be so intricate and intentional with the flavors and the presentation. i couldn't ever see myself eating something or cooking something just because i have to eat to stay alive, it’s so much more than that, like something that keeps me alive can also be filled with so much love and look and taste so beautiful and it's beautiful that i made it with my own two hands and whatever i can find around me!

BASIL: I make art to to project myself bc as a disabled person w a bunch of demonized conditions who is also lgbt who is also mexican, there's just- no stories out there that reflect me, so I gotta do the work myself.

LEANNE: Ideas in head. Need out.

BRI: I make art cuz I like telling stories. I like entertaining people. I also just find it fun for myself. It's something I do for fun and to pass the time. But I also want to tell stories that haven't been told yet, comment on mankind and our ability to do great good and great harm through the means of spec fic. I also want to try to spur a little social change. Margaret Killjoy does that through her writing, and that's why she's my favorite writer. Also, as an outlet for my mental illnesses, it helps me examine myself through stories. I've been telling stories since I was 4/5ish, and writing since I was 6.

LIZ: Because I ❤ to have fun. I like to do it because it's fun and I like to draw different types of people.

MICAH: I think the best way to describe it is that its kind of become a love language to me? like I draw things from media that I love to show appreciation for it and i draw things for people to show them I love them, and then also I think it's the easiest way for me to conceptualize things going on in my head.

This presentation is made in dedication to all my lovely artist friends :) I hope this was inspiring for someone!