Finding my own happy place

People create fanart for a lot of different reasons. To entertain others, to practise making art, to take part in their fan community, or to build a following. For me, the most important part is relaxing. I can come home after a crappy day at work, and then stare at someone or something I like for hours while making tiny relaxing movements. (Not that kind.) 
But lately, I have had trouble creating fanart that I like, or any fanart at all. And it took me finding new fandoms to find out why...


Haven . my new haven for creating fanart :)

I used to have a problem looking at fanart that was better executed / better thought out / more realistic than mine. This was useless jealousy, and I knew as much, even if I sometimes couldn't help it. I've tried to overcome that, and I can now look at other fanart without thinking about my own at all, which makes it much easier to enjoy it. (Out of pure self-interest, I also actively want more fanartists in fandoms I love. More things to talk about, and more people to share things with, is a good thing :).)

I have, however, reached a standstill when it comes to coming up with fanart of my own. I've grown accustomed to other people's style, and when I think of something I might be interested in doing, I can immediately imagine how the other artists might do that in their own style. It is demotivating to think about that, especially when you're like me and not too sure about your own style. If you can see something in your head the way someone else would do it, but don't know how you would, that's a problem. 

Normally when I don't like artwork of mine, I stash it away in a dark corner and try not to look at it again until I've overcome the disappointment. However, fanart was my happy place. I couldn't just stash away my happy place, and continue! (Well, I tried, but let me tell you, it didn't work out well.)

Right around the time when I didn't know what or who to art, or even why, I fell into another obsession - as you do. And a short while later, I discovered Haven, which has slowly but steadily been growing on me, leading to new obsession #2. Obsession #1doesn't come with a fandom because it's just me fangirling over someone not all that famous. And for obsession #2, Haven, I avoided looking for the fandom because for the first few seasons I was scared of a love triangle. And we all know what shipping wars can do, so if there were some, I didn't want to know. 

This led me to the unique position of having two "fandoms" where I didn't know any other artist. Any other art style. Where I couldn't imagine someone else's art instead of my own. And with that came my own ideas, and a deep wish to create things for myself to enjoy. 
And it is not the fact of less "competition", because I don't think I am competitive in art. It is not about following, or satisfying fandoms, because I haven't joined any. (I might go snooping around the Haven fandom at some point, but for now I am content with watching it on my own.) But having nothing to like more than I like my own things gives me the freedom to see how I could improve. How I could be more creative. How I could come up with new ideas. It gives me the freedom to eventually start enjoying my own art again. It gives me the freedom to relax. 
So, thanks to Haven and obsession #1, I have a happy art place again. Life looks much better that way :).

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