Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Why I use social media now

One of the first questions I am asked as to why I have a website, my first answer is "Who doesn't?"
But, this is not true. I have a more personal reason for having a site, heck, for having two blogs!

For a period of years, I expected my art to draw crowds..I just assumed this was a part of being an artist, that having an audience was part of the territory.
However, this circumstance became an odd side effect: people began to look over my shoulder, wanting to flip through my sketchbooks. At first, I felt proud, and especially the more positive statements. I could even handle some of the criticism - ACTUAL constructive criticism, not the snarky, envied-laden speech.

Then things changed.

I began getting fearful. I don't know when these feelings started. I began to explore different themes in my drawing. I wanted to stretch my abilities. But I no longer felt comfortable with sharing with artists and later, non-artists.

I realized this when a friend and I attended a comic convention. I knew more of the personalities than she. We met Ben Dunn of "Ninja High School" fame and his adorable wife.
Both artist and spouse were amiable, and Mrs. Dunn was a schoolteacher, a job and industry I had lived with and participated in much of my young adult life.
Finally, Mrs. Dunn flipped through my sketchbook, and I suddenly felt a panic attack. I quickly, but respectfully, took back my sketchbook.

Now, before you blast me, I didn't think anything as immature as my ideas being taken. In my art, I was exploring, I wanted to test my own waters, and psychologically, was facing my shadows.
My sketchbook had no longer become just a bragging rights to other artists, but cathartic, and therefore, not under any simple term of 'private', but as if I had let someone into my deepest thoughts.
If I was going to continue to attend conventions and other places to showcase my art, I needed a safe place, a safe 'venue' to allow others to access my art but in a way, comfortable for me. I began to look for a webhost. The rest was history.

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