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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Popularity in the fandom

  1. #11
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    I've accepted the fact that it's ludicrously hard to have any sort of popularity without putting in the effort. Even then, it requires an immense amount of luck; so-called "overrated" big-time artists didn't get there without those two things, which is something a lot of the insufferable hipsters seem to forget. At this point I'd be happy expanding on my drawing skills more to the goal of being self-sufficient than popular.
    Meanwhile, in #CoE...

    [20:12:26] <+Dark> "He's dead, Jim."
    [20:14:11] <Nate|phone> My name's not Jim
    [20:14:20] <Nate|phone> And Starr's not a guy
    [20:15:18] <Nate|phone> ...
    [20:17:20] <+Cerberus> And Shadow's not a callgirl.
    [20:17:52] <+Dark> LOL

  2.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #12
    Crabby Admin Term's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark View Post
    I've accepted the fact that it's ludicrously hard to have any sort of popularity without putting in the effort. Even then, it requires an immense amount of luck; so-called "overrated" big-time artists didn't get there without those two things, which is something a lot of the insufferable hipsters seem to forget. At this point I'd be happy expanding on my drawing skills more to the goal of being self-sufficient than popular.
    At the end of the day, that mentality of wanting to improve yourself, be it with art or even yourself as a person overall is something that will always be much more commendable to me than the person looking to hold some level of popularity, whether that be as an artist, commissioner, suiter, or general personality.

    The goal of being self-sufficient does not have to go along with popularity, which people tend to forget or not realize. The furry fandom, or whatever fandom it is someone happens to belong to, should not be seen as a cash cow to be exploited. Improving oneself as an artist specifically requires practice and branching out to other subject matter. One will find it very difficult to be self-sufficient if the only thing they can draw is cartoon animals, and certainly won't have a very presentable portfolio if the mass of their content is nothing but those animals engaging in sexual activities because "that's what's popular" in the fandom.

    Not to begrudge those who do choose to draw porn, but personally when I look at artists that I want to watch, I look at variety, people who aren't afraid to experiment, and aren't merely satisfied with drawing the same genre of images over and over because that's what gets them pageviews.

    Of course there's also some give-and-take, because the community viewing those images I think also need to be supportive and constructive without having that mindset of "I want to watch/be friendly with this artist because I may get something out of it." I can certainly understand if some artists feel pressure to do something because their "fans" demand that they draw a certain genre of images which offers the artist in some cases a chance to make a quick buck. Ideally, I'd like Weasyl to be the kind of place where artists, regardless of fandom affiliation or status, can be recognized in their own way. But of course that requires a collaborative effort not just from us on the staff but those individuals interested in joining a constructive community to not only expose your work to the public, but also help to improve yourself and others.

    I suppose if you wanted a tl:dr version of all that I'd say I personally would value "community" over "popularity" anyday.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Term View Post
    At the end of the day, that mentality of wanting to improve yourself, be it with art or even yourself as a person overall is something that will always be much more commendable to me than the person looking to hold some level of popularity, whether that be as an artist, commissioner, suiter, or general personality.

    The goal of being self-sufficient does not have to go along with popularity, which people tend to forget or not realize. The furry fandom, or whatever fandom it is someone happens to belong to, should not be seen as a cash cow to be exploited. Improving oneself as an artist specifically requires practice and branching out to other subject matter. One will find it very difficult to be self-sufficient if the only thing they can draw is cartoon animals, and certainly won't have a very presentable portfolio if the mass of their content is nothing but those animals engaging in sexual activities because "that's what's popular" in the fandom.

    Not to begrudge those who do choose to draw porn, but personally when I look at artists that I want to watch, I look at variety, people who aren't afraid to experiment, and aren't merely satisfied with drawing the same genre of images over and over because that's what gets them pageviews.

    Of course there's also some give-and-take, because the community viewing those images I think also need to be supportive and constructive without having that mindset of "I want to watch/be friendly with this artist because I may get something out of it." I can certainly understand if some artists feel pressure to do something because their "fans" demand that they draw a certain genre of images which offers the artist in some cases a chance to make a quick buck. Ideally, I'd like Weasyl to be the kind of place where artists, regardless of fandom affiliation or status, can be recognized in their own way. But of course that requires a collaborative effort not just from us on the staff but those individuals interested in joining a constructive community to not only expose your work to the public, but also help to improve yourself and others.

    I suppose if you wanted a tl:dr version of all that I'd say I personally would value "community" over "popularity" anyday.
    Couldn't have put it better myself -- thank you very very much for pointing all this out. Solid words anyone, no matter their popularity (perceived or otherwise), can take wisdom from.

  4. #14
    Senior Dark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Term View Post
    The goal of being self-sufficient does not have to go along with popularity, which people tend to forget or not realize.
    I've always seen being popular for what you do as a side effect of being reasonably self-sufficient to the point where you can do what you do to a certain standard. People shouldn't force themselves to draw XYZ just to be popular as that's not how you enjoy being a big part of any given community.

    Of course, there's another thing I find sort of iffy: sometimes people with similar styles can get accused of copying one another verbatim, which is completely stupid. While I can understand that similarity can be deceiving, not many new artists learn without first employing some form of imitation; it's a basic part of how learning works.
    Meanwhile, in #CoE...

    [20:12:26] <+Dark> "He's dead, Jim."
    [20:14:11] <Nate|phone> My name's not Jim
    [20:14:20] <Nate|phone> And Starr's not a guy
    [20:15:18] <Nate|phone> ...
    [20:17:20] <+Cerberus> And Shadow's not a callgirl.
    [20:17:52] <+Dark> LOL

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Term View Post
    The goal of being self-sufficient does not have to go along with popularity, which people tend to forget or not realize. The furry fandom, or whatever fandom it is someone happens to belong to, should not be seen as a cash cow to be exploited. Improving oneself as an artist specifically requires practice and branching out to other subject matter. One will find it very difficult to be self-sufficient if the only thing they can draw is cartoon animals, and certainly won't have a very presentable portfolio if the mass of their content is nothing but those animals engaging in sexual activities because "that's what's popular" in the fandom.
    I don't understand how you can be so unabashedly detached from reality

    Popularity is 100% linked with financial success in art. People need to know who you are before they can know to and want to commission you for art. The people who can live off their art are the people who have a large following. Ask any artist this (you are good friends with Fay as I recall) and they will tell you there is an absolute correlation between how "popular" you are and how much money you can make off your craft

    When people make money doing what they love, they are not "exploiting" the fandom. Art in the furry community is so fucking cheap compared to professional prices it's incredible. Artists who make money off of their work (with rare exceptions, like Rarakie) are just scraping by when they could be working professionally. They're providing this service because they want to draw animal people, as opposed to working on logo design or w/e. Very few people see the fandom as a "cash cow to be exploited" because very few people make more than minimum wage on their art.

    Jesus christ the attitudes in this thread are so shitty but this post takes the fucking cake

  6.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #16
    Crabby Admin Term's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybby View Post
    Popularity is 100% linked with financial success in art.
    Not really.

    As with most professions which deal with creative works, certainly if you're freelancing for a living then popularity may help keep a consistent audience, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be able to provide for yourself. I am good friends with Fay and while I don't mean to speak for her, I believe she feels the same that her doing art for furrys isn't what's likely going to keep her financially stable enough to pay her bills.

    Financial success in art can be achieved any number of ways, popularity not being a requirement for all of them. Staff artists like those who work for production houses in my industry as well as the gaming industry don't get jobs based on their online following or how many private clients paid them for commissions. They're more interested in seeing your portfolio and any experience you have doing work for their respective industry. Graphic designers are in a similar boat.

    Certainly my own video content may acquire a following, but that doesn't necessarily mean I can turnover that following into a substantial income. Now while there are those success stories of people who are now living somewhat comfortably because of the popularity of their content (ie Epic Meal Time, Rooster Teeth) those certainly had their share of luck in getting to where they are today. That's mostly because popularity is fickle, and in the case of the internet, what's popular one day becomes easily forgotten the next and doesn't necessarily mean that you'll have staying power with a wide audience, or at least one wide enough that you could be reasonably expected to be self-sufficient.

    When people make money doing what they love, they are not "exploiting" the fandom. Art in the furry community is so fucking cheap compared to professional prices it's incredible.
    I never begrudged those individuals who decide to offer commissions, which it seems like you're assuming here. I never said "you shouldn't ever offer commissions." I said that looking at the chance to gain popularity as a means of making money or superficial notoriety is not a desirable commodity I find in an artist, certainly not one that decides to start drawing one particular type of genre they believe they'll better their chances at getting a customer in a given fandom. I've seen several artists who've made the decision to draw porn, not because they had any real interest in it themselves, but because they figured that they'd get more commissioners if they drew nothing but sexually explicit content because "that's what's popular."

    As Dark mentioned, I believe that the quality of the work will speak for itself as opposed to a lesser degree of "selling out" in order to make money off of the fandom. If I was going to commission an artist for whatever reason, I'd personally be more interested in the quality of their work and their relationship with their client as opposed to how many followers they have or how many "likes/favorites" they received for a pic of Krystal from Star Fox getting buggered.

    So basically it comes down to this: if all you're looking for is pocket money, then I suppose popularity would be your best bet. But if you're looking to build a career off of doing artistic, creative work, then the thing that will more likely grant you some level of financial security would be a good rapport with clients as well as a varied body of work which will lead you on to bigger, better opportunities. Because I'll be the first to tell anyone here that if you're looking to try and get a secure job as a staff artist or a regular gig with a professional client, they're not going to give one diddly about how many pageviews, favorites, or fans you have on Weasyl or any other art site.

    Which leads me back to my point which you seemed to have missed: if you truly care about being self-sufficient as an artist, don't care so much about popularity. Care more about bettering yourself and honing your craft. If it becomes popular, way to go. If not, that doesn't mean your work has less value or isn't as marketable to a legitimate client.
    Last edited by Term; 06-24-2013 at 04:29 AM.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybby View Post
    Very few people see the fandom as a "cash cow to be exploited" because very few people make more than minimum wage on their art.
    And that's before taking into account that the American minimum wage is dismal compared to other countries with similar living standards.

    I'd make more in 3 hours stacking shelves at Coles in Australia, than working 16 hours colouring a piece for an American, simply because of what people expect to pay for furry art. Though, it's sort of a self-fulfilling cycle... artists charge low prices to compete with other artists to get paid to draw or otherwise work on art in the first place.

    Particularly so since it's a universal economy at work here... $20 for 4 hours work is terrible to an Australian, but a fairly good amount to artists in Southern Asian, South American, and African countries.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by term
    Financial success in art can be achieved any number of ways, popularity not being a requirement for all of them. Staff artists like those who work for production houses in my industry as well as the gaming industry don't get jobs based on their online following or how many private clients paid them for commissions. They're more interested in seeing your portfolio and any experience you have doing work for their respective industry. Graphic designers are in a similar boat.
    I sure wish all these people you are listing were relevant in a "popufurs are awful" circle-jerk thread

    Like of course professional artists' success isn't based on their FA following. My point was that Furry artists thrive on popularity and shouldn't be begrudged for it. To argue "well people off of FA make money off of art in other ways" is so obtuse it's almost endearing

    Quote Originally Posted by term
    I said that looking at the chance to gain popularity as a means of making money or superficial notoriety is not a desirable commodity I find in an artist, certainly not one that decides to start drawing one particular type of genre they believe they'll better their chances at getting a customer in a given fandom. I've seen several artists who've made the decision to draw porn, not because they had any real interest in it themselves, but because they figured that they'd get more commissioners if they drew nothing but sexually explicit content because "that's what's popular."
    yeah whenever an artist tells me "I need to eat sometimes" I like to remove them from my watch list too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Term
    Which leads me back to my point which you seemed to have missed: if you truly care about being self-sufficient as an artist, don't care so much about popularity. Care more about bettering yourself and honing your craft. If it becomes popular, way to go. If not, that doesn't mean your work has less value or isn't as marketable to a legitimate client.
    Like you keep basing your arguments around the idea that you can get commissions when literally no one knows who you are and it's absolutely mind boggling

    A friendly reminder that this whole thread is a wankfest over how awful popufurs are for "letting it get to their head"
    Last edited by Tybby; 06-24-2013 at 05:55 AM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flygon View Post
    And that's before taking into account that the American minimum wage is dismal compared to other countries with similar living standards.

    Particularly so since it's a universal economy at work here... $20 for 4 hours work is terrible to an Australian, but a fairly good amount to artists in Southern Asian, South American, and African countries.
    $20 is a little less than two hours' work at minimum wage here in Ontario, and I think we have one of the lower minimums in Canada. Minimum non-student wage is somewhere around $10.75 an hour, give or take a dollar. You want to make money? Go live in Alberta.

    Also Tybby, stop being obtuse yourself. I'm not sure where you got the idea that Term was railing on popular artists because I'm not seeing it.
    Meanwhile, in #CoE...

    [20:12:26] <+Dark> "He's dead, Jim."
    [20:14:11] <Nate|phone> My name's not Jim
    [20:14:20] <Nate|phone> And Starr's not a guy
    [20:15:18] <Nate|phone> ...
    [20:17:20] <+Cerberus> And Shadow's not a callgirl.
    [20:17:52] <+Dark> LOL

  10.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #20
    Crabby Admin Term's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybby View Post
    I sure wish all these people you are listing were relevant in a "popufurs are awful" circle-jerk thread
    Well considering you made a broad statement how all financial success in art is tied 100% to popularity, it bore the need to be mentioned since you appear to have a gross misunderstanding of how people can make a living in art and hold how people offer private commissions on sites like Weasyl as the model for how all business in art is done.

    Not only that but I was responding to a specific comment Dark made about how he focuses more on improving his own work instead of where he stands in the popularity spectrum. I agreed with him and added my own thoughts on the matter. That's what's called a "flow of conversation." So please, check your attitude Tybby. There's really no reason why you need to get so aggressive here.

    Like of course professional artists' success isn't based on their FA following. My point was that Furry artists thrive on popularity and shouldn't be begrudged for it. To argue "well people off of FA make money off of art in other ways" is so obtuse it's almost endearing.
    Popularity, when it's meaningful, is usually a result of hard-work and dedication on your own to produce quality work. Other people in the furry fandom I've seen like to stake their popularity on being able to commission a bunch of work of their characters or hold some sort of behavior/have some sort of history with the fandom that makes them infamous. There's something to be said about a difference between "popularity" and a good rapport with clients and the community in general when dealing with customers. Having a reputation for quality work and customer service may lead to some level of popularity, but it's certainly more important than having a legion of fans.

    yeah whenever an artist tells me "I need to eat sometimes" I like to remove them from my watch list too.
    I'm sorry but any artist worth their salt will tell you that if you're looking at furry art commissions as a means to pay your rent/utilities/groceries/other essential life purchases, you should really reevaluate your job situation. It's EXTREMELY difficult to make it in life doing nothing but freelance art work for private clients, and no amount of popularity is going to help you when you're charging even $60 a pop for a commission. Offering art commissions in the fandom should really be a means of supplementary income, not your lifeblood. That's the reality of the situation. And you're only going to retard your earning potential if the only thing you're focused on is a fixation on whether or not you match up in popularity with this or that artist within a given fandom and not trying to look at making this a legitimate career for yourself. By all means we should be able to try and make some money doing something we love, but that doesn't mean that it's an easy or immediate path which won't require you to do other things to afford yourself the opportunity to do the thing you love. I love doing video work, but as I mentioned my own private clients don't keep me financially stable. So I work at a sports network and arena as well as go out and do work with other production companies for content I don't personally have any interest in, but it pays so I do it. And I'm able to do all that work, not because I have a legion of fans or I've become a popular guy, but because I have a reputation as being a hard worker who is dependable and will get the job done on time and with a high standard of quality. I find that those who work in the artistic community who do well for themselves tend to have those same qualities, and as a result some a rewarded with being popular. Popularity itself is not the goal, it's more of a bonus for being the best damn artist you can be.

    Like you keep basing your arguments around the idea that you can get commissions when literally no one knows who you are and it's absolutely mind boggling
    I don't know where you're getting any of this from. You're seriously going off on some sort of tangent where I'm thinking there's something else going on that you're suddenly taking this very aggressive tone. Just because an artist gets noticed for promoting themselves doesn't mean they're "popular" and neither does having a dependable group of serious commissioners means that you're popular. Maybe we both have some very different definitions on what makes someone popular that's causing such confusion here.

    In any case I believe artists can manage to promote themselves in a number of different ways to put their name out there. Certainly advertising helps and there's nothing wrong with someone plugging themselves either in a journal, here on the forums in the appropriate areas, or even paying for ad space on a gallery website. They can also try to become part of the community by helping to critique others work, ask for critiques of their own, and offer users the chance to view their streams and see how they work. My issue tends to come more from the idea of "I'm going to fundamentally change what I draw/draw and upload a specific kind of content for the sole purpose of getting pageviews/becoming popular." Popularity and quality don't necessarily go hand-in-hand, and neither does popularity and being able to pull down a respectable income from said popularity.

    A friendly reminder that this whole thread is a wankfest over how awful popufurs are for "letting it get to their head"
    I wonder if you missed the entire first post I made in this thread piggybacking off of a post Fay made regarding those individuals who tend to ride on the coattails of those individuals who are popular. I also helped to debunk the idea of the "letting it get to their head" notion regarding those individuals who are popular not always wanting to talk or act like best friends with random strangers who happen to like their work. I think you should go back and actually read the thread instead of reading a couple of posts and making some broad assumption as to the kind of conversation we're having. And do try to relax.
    Last edited by Term; 06-24-2013 at 09:16 PM.

 

 

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