Consider this as a follow up of my last journal about getting pageviews.
While the majority of the people reacted very positively towards the tips & tricks I shared, there were also some very hostile reactions that ideas like that would encourage you to be something you're not.
I'd like to elaborate on that.
First of all, these tips are basically science.
I didn't just randomly think them up. Most of the points are things that have been proven through marketing- and usability research. This whole marketing thing, however, is a field many artists are for some reason unfamiliar with, so people don't take it into account when wondering why they don't get the exposure they think they deserve. They often undeserving think it's their art that sucks, and that's a shame.
The reason I post this stuff, is mainly because I want people to know.
What you do with it, is up to you own. Apply it as you like. Don't apply it if you don't like it. But even if you choose not to use it, you now know why things are as they are.
As you might've noticed by reading the journal, I don't strictly follow all the tips and tricks either. I don't do fanart. I don't do overly sexy characters either. Why? Because it simply doesn't make me happy to do so. I do like social interaction a lot, though, so that's the path I decided to take.
In an ideal situation, an artist would use art as a form of self-expression and that would fulfill him throughout. The reality is often different because we're only human beings. We have needs, and deep down inside we all want to be liked.
Being an artist often comes down to balancing on a fine line between self-expression and getting appreciation from others. We want to express our-self to the fullest by making art that we love making, but at the same time we want other people to appreciate what we make as well. Taking away either one of them can be highly frustrating and result into an art block. Over the years I've seen many people getting artblocked over either the fact that they couldn't make what they liked anymore, or they didn't get any feedback at all and felt stuck in their process. Pageviews on itself might not be important in that matter, but feedback is, and those two often come hand in hand. If people don't see your art, they won't comment on it either. It's as simple as that.
I don't know where people got the idea that I encouraged them to be something they're not, because I didn't.
Art is the ultimate form of self-expression. It's something that's unique for you, because you're born the way you are.
But being who you are, doesn't keep you from learning new things, and changing your approach accordingly. I'm sure you've learned how to become better over the last few years, in whatever type of art you're doing. But I guess it didn't make you an entirely different person. Changing your approach towards things doesn't mean you have to change everything. It means you can find the way that works for you!
It means that you can try being a bit more social and interactive, when you hate getting no feedback at all. Because nobody ever got hurt by trying to be a bit more social. It means that you can make a bit more fanart, if you already liked doing it in the first place.
It doesn't mean that you need to change entirely and become someone you're not, because that's when you lose your passion -- and that could never be the intention.
I realize that not everybody wants a lot of pageviews or attention.
I do however hear a lot of people complaining about the fact that they don't receive any feedback at all. Or that they simply feel under-appreciated because they don't receive the attention they think they should.
No matter if you want to become a public person or prefer working alone; do whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
Pretending will only get you so far.
Feeling comfortable in your own skin and being unafraid to express who you actually are, is what will bring you far beyond that point. It's what makes you able to unlock your real potential. The potential of you being the skilled artist that you are, because you're no longer hold back by fear. Or the potential to be a public person, as you feel comfortable enough to speak up and reach out to a public.
As an artist, you were bestowed with the unique gift to express yourself. Use that gift.
Be yourself. Believe in yourself. Because you're awesome!