The best you can really hope for is that real people are interested in your work. That, in itself, is marvelous enough. You have to respect that your fans are people, just like you; they are people with their own ideas, thoughts, feelings and opinions. You don't want to project your ideals and beliefs onto them; you don't want to burden your relationship with expectations.
It is hard to accept kindness, whether it comes in the form of adoration and praise or money or anything else really. It is hard to be gracious and unassuming. It is hard afterwards to quell your appetite, bow your head and resume working. The relationship between creator and supporter is nebulous; it can be ephemeral or longstanding, and I know first hand how very much like life-support it can seem, but neither side must presume to rule the other.
My life as an artist has humbled me, but not made me humble. I don't know where I would be without the people who have shown me kindness and support. It's something you learn to take in stride, but you never get used to it, and you mustn't take advantage of it.
I might just be feeling sentimental.
I'm Not Talented Please, don't say that I'm talented; I know that you mean well, but after these past couple of years I'd just rather not hear it. Don't get me wrong - it's not that I don't believe in talent, I just don't exemplify it.
For clarity's sake: I am a self-taught artist, but my abilities did not gush forth from some divine wellspring; as a matter of fact you would be demonstrably wrong to say that I was ever a natural. I am the farthest thing from a gifted artist.
My learning curve may seem tremendous to outsiders looking in, but my strategies for improvement involve isolation, caffeine-addiction, insomnia and wrist-injury. It's taken me two years of sleep-deprivation and black coffee to produce even one painting I'd consider portfolio worthy.
So please don't take my work for granted with cavalier terms like talent and inspiration; I don't have the luxury of waiting around for inspiration and have often
The Unseen Hey guys, there's just a little thing I'd like to mention. A lot of you have asked me how long I've been drawing for, or how often I draw. The answer is pretty much non-stop for the past three and a half years. By saying that I'm always drawing, I mean that I'm drawing twelve-or-more hours every day.
Most of what I draw just sits on my desk collecting dust. Occasionally I'll pick out something and upload it, but mostly I prefer to keep drawing. To put this into perspective, for every upload I probably fill out ten pages worth of sketches and hammer out a half dozen throwaway paintings, all of which remain unseen.
The unseen work is important. It keeps me from feeling like I'm tap dancing a stage performance. It means there are always a lot of rough ideas to draw inspiration from whenever I'm feeling dry. Create enough 'unseen' work and inevitably you'll want to show some of it off.
DeviantArt.comPeople have asked me "why DeviantArt?"
Let's just take a minute to acknowledge a website that's fostered an art-driven community tens of millions strong. DeviantArt eclipses it's nearest neighbors by an order of magnitude. It has been and remains as probably the best online portal for sharing and discovering artwork; DeviantArt is thriving.
DeviantArt is uniquely approachable, you don't have to be a professional; you don't have to be anything. We are the most inclusive art community that has ever existed, and while users may quibble with one another, DeviantArt itself remains admirably impartial.
Despite its enormous popularity, DeviantArt is constantly being lambasted by professional artists as inconsequential, juvenile and fetishistic. Our notoriety inspires undue hesitation in artist that might be searching for a home on the web.
Artists who have no problem painting gruesomely macabre imag