I don't know if I should call it an 'open letter' or not, but this is something that has been annoying me for some time, and I feel this needs to be said. Probably more than once.
One of the easiest ways to get me angry (and I mean really angry, not just annoyed or aggravated) is whenever I catch someone say someone else is 'wasting their talent' because they do something the person(s) saying this do not like.
Let's make a few points clear. I like to draw. I am not what I'd consider a very talented artist. Yes, I do draw better than other people but there's lots more that draw better than me in one regard or another. I don't live my life crying a river over the fact I cannot draw like x or z artist. For starters because I am my own person and even if I am inspired and influenced by other artists, my style will always remain my style. I am constantly learning, constantly evolving and improving even if it's not as fast as others. I go at my own pace and it makes me happy. Keyword being 'makes me
What talent or skill I have are mine, achieved by my own means, by my own reasons, through my own motivation. I am self taught from beginning to end. I did not go to art school and thus anything I know I have learned through observation, practice and a love for what I do. I know where I have deficiencies and I am working into correcting them, not because someone is telling me to, but because I want to. I am my worst critic, I don't think myself the most awesome thing since sliced bread, but I know I am not a bad artist myself, I just need to work in my own improvement.
But precisely because I am the one that has done this and has honed what skills and talents I have right now it is my right and choice alone to decide what I will invest my time, my love for drawing and my talent/skill on. That is, if I want to draw slash, I will draw slash. If I want to draw het. I will draw het. If I want to draw gore of Donald Duck beheading Mickey Mouse in a most gruesome way I will draw it.
I know what I draw will not be liked by everyone. If you go into the art-world expecting that every single being in the world will love your works, then you are naive to a fault and in for a very rude awakening. This can apply to the any creative works of plastic and literary works. Yes, I know a few people out there that are so very quick to criticize the works of others, but Primus forbid they ball falls on their court because then if someone doesn't understand the depth and beauty of our works, they are the bad guys and we're victims of oppreshun.
What I draw is drawn for me, or in the case of friends, for my friends. I owe my skills or talents to no one, and thus however I wish to use them is my decision and my right. Furthermore, people that go 'It's a waste of talent when you draw/write *insert thing person doesn't like here* instead of the things I do like.'
Seriously, get over yourself people that do this. Did you magically injected me with the little glass vial of artistic talent? No? Thought so. Did you buy my markers or paper or tools of the trade? Nope? The people that have gifted art supplies for me are the people that do not expect me to stop drawing what I enjoy, but rather encourage me and enable me to keep doing what I like.
I owe you nothing. Nothing at all. I don't crave for views and comments even if they are nice, make me feel good about my artwork and are very appreciated and loved. But at the end of the day I don't draw for recognition or ego rubs. I draw because it keeps me sane, because it's something I love to do. I need no happy pills to fix the wrongs of my life because I have my artwork to keep me going.
What right do you random person have to tell me I am wasting my talent simply because I don't cater to what you enjoy? Think about it. Would you like someone telling you you are wasting your talent because you draw and like something they don't like? Would you like people telling you that you should draw something else as if you owed them something?
I remember a friend of mine commented once about how someone was complaining in 4chan about kkhal, a very talented artist, because 90% of what she draws is Skyfire/Starscream and person wished (or rather sounded more like a complaint than just wishful thinking) kkhal would draw something else. Now, let's get a few things clear here.
I draw when I have the time, that time is mine to use as I see fit. I do other things that aren't necessarily as enjoyable during he day, but my time to draw is mine, my free time to use as I see fit. I would like to think the same thing goes for Kkhal. Why would she devote her free time to draw something she might not be into or enjoy simply because a someone in the Internet wished she would draw something else?
If you enjoyed to make chocolate cookies but some random stranger passed by and told you you should make pecan cookies instead, would you do it even though you don't like pecans? If you were told to do something you don't like, you would want to do it just because? More than likely you'd demand a compensation for the free time you're taking off from what you enjoy to do something you do not like. Right?
Then think about that every time you think about saying how a person is 'wasting' their talents in something you disapprove or do not like. Think if you would like to be told the same thing. Think if you'd like people wishing they could wean things you do not like out of you simply because they want to see more of x or z thing and like your work but don't like your subject matter.
Let's put it this way. Let's say you don't like slash, but are crazy over, say... Optimus Prime and Blackarachnia from TFA. Would you like to read about people saying people that share your taste and draw Optimus x Blackarachnia are wasting their talents and complain about why they can't make pics of Optimus changing Sentinel's oil instead.
Would you like to be in that position? No? Well, you know what how the saying goes. "Don't do onto others what you don't wish others to do to you."
You are free to dislike a subject as much as you like. You are free to avoid the artwork if subject matter bothers you so much. You can even whine privately wishing there was more of x instead of z. If you're that hard pressed for certain kinds of artwork from certain artists, save up your money and offer to commission the artist. What you should not do ever
is saying someone is wasting their talent because they are indulging in something you don't like but that they obviously enjoy. You don't own the artist. You did not give them their talents. They owe you nothing, just like you don't owe anything to them.
To put it short. I'll draw what I like whenever the frag I want, however I want and about whatever I want. You have two options. Cry a river, build a bridge and jump from it with your toys in arms, or respect that I like something you don't and will continue to draw it because it makes me happy. You don't have to like it. You just have to respect it.
The more you try to force someone to draw what they don't like but you do, the least likely it is you'll see that people drawing what you'd like to see. Please people, grow up and do the mature thing, draw what you like or pay someone else to do it, and stop whinning about what other people enjoy.
Watch these awesome Deviants I say! More people to be added soon.
Prowl x Jazz and Datsun Brothers Fan =w= v
"In a blueberry world, in a blueberry dream, in a blueberry sky until I die."
"Are your eyes showing off for mine? Your face in my hands is everything good I need."