Don't wait for an audience. by jonas

To my fellow artists: don't wait for an audience. Just go ahead and keep posting stuff. No, seriously.

Yes, I know there seems to be no point in posting if you don't get any business or favorites or comments or views. To be completely honest (and this is just my not-so-humble opinion), social media has trained us to anticipate and relish that thumbs-up 'like' signal, like a kind of Pavlovian conditioning. I've experienced this plenty of times, and I know all about the cripplingly hollow feeling that comes with uploading something you worked hard on and not getting any comments on it, or opening commission slots and not getting any nibbles. I know ALL about that.

Please, please do not predicate your self-esteem on your success and/or popularity in the fandom. Do not judge your art based on how much attention or business it gets you. Engaging in these common but forgivable mistakes will only make it tougher for you to even approach the drawing board in the first place, because of the seeming responsibility every single brushstroke takes on. If nobody commissions you here, then use whatever other avenues you can, like Tumblr or Twitter. Revise your marketing strategy, adjust things based on trends and audience demographics if you must, but DO NOT judge your success -- or a site's success -- by an external scoreboard like comments or favorites. Do not abandon a place solely because you're getting more kudos somewhere else. The rewards are nowhere near as obvious or instantaneous, but they are rewards nonetheless -- and in the long run they WILL pay off.

Whenever Furaffinity comes back, it's going to get a little bit quieter around here again, and people will have to decide how they want to proceed. Nobody can guarantee whether or not Weasyl will succeed in the long run. However, it is very possible to guarantee Weasyl's failure. If no one uploads, then eventually Weasyl will join Yerf, Artspots, Nabyn, and ArtVark in the wastebasket. If you want this site to have a chance to succeed, then forget about rewards and just keep posting.

Don't wait for an audience.

jonas

13 December 2013 at 23:58:12 MST

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    And no one can guarantee Furaffinity's long term success. Or the long term success of any art website. So why place all your eggs in the one basket? Cross post on different websites! Then you will always have an audience.

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      Yes! Yes! Yes!

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        Indeed! Indeed! Indeed!

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    This. I had no idea The Beach Bears would take off, but I kept at it because I loved doing it.

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    yesyesyesyesyes

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    Wonderful journal! I'm favouriting this because it's something that very much needs to be read later and remembered.

    It's easy to feel discouraged when people don't pay attention to the work that one really puts their heart into, but the only thing one can do is just keep trying, and keep putting out work because they want to, not because it's what other people want to see, or on a website that gets the most faves and comments. Of course it's nice to get comments and such, but it shouldn't be the "raison d'être" for creating and sharing. :3

    While I know that FA is gonna come back online at some point, and the activity on Weasyl's gonna slow down a tad, this whole outage debacle has just reminded me how much more I enjoy Weasyl's structure, and that I should post more here too to help contribute~

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    Y'know, I agree.

    I fully intend for Weasyl to be here tomorrow, and for us to keep making it better today. I'm going to keep at it whether or not the site takes off, but I'd rather other people be around to appreciate it.

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    Brilliantly put, Jonas. Simple as that. Thank you.

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    eventually Weasyl will join Yerf, Artspots, Nabyn, and ArtVark...

    ...and Inkbunny, SoFurry, VCL, etc etc. Most people only have time to maintain an involved presence on one site- either FA or Weasyl/IB/SF. Furaffinity is arguably the centric hub of furry art because it has the power of popularity- People go there because it's popular, and it's popular because people go there. The only way to break that cycle is if it shuts down permanently.

    Unfortunately, that means that quite a lot of people will abandon Weasyl solely because they're used to getting more kudos on FA. If i'm honest, I'm uploading a token smattering of my art here but as soon as FA comes back online i'll probably head back on there and forget about Weasyl. *shrugs*

    Which is sad, because Weasyl is a much better designed site.

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    Weasyl is still tin beta. Personally I think they are on the right track. I'm sticking around.

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    Even if FA comes back up again I'm sticking around with Weasyl because I've grown to really like it. It's better designed, it's more appealing to the eye, it cares about its users and constantly tries to improve. The recent days have shown what a mess FA really is and I don't think that will change in the near future. So here's hoping it will get more busy around here someday.

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    I whole-heatedly agree and encourage people to do as mentioned and implore everyone to not give up on Weasyl.

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    I'm sticking around here. I get about the same amount of interest in my projects here as I do at FA. Of course, I do a lot of random programming projects, but still. I'll be posting a journal encouraging people to join Weasyl once FA is back.

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    THANK YOU!

    I'm getting tired of all these journals (I'm watching a ton of people), stating how they get no attention, and how this site is dead, or how they feel like weasyl isn't the place for them because they have all these followers already on FA. Now that FA is down, everyone flocks to weasyl, or other places, and want to announce that they are here now. what happened to making art for art's sake? what happened to just drawing for the passion of being an artist!?

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      In an ideal world, every artist would be able to draw only for the sake of love/passion, but there isn't an ideal world. Many artists do art for a living and need people to buy their art. It's totally understandable that they prefer to make a populous site their main gallery, because the more people, the more chances to find a customer.

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        yes, that's very true.. but it doesn't explain why half the people who are complaining about not getting enough attention are not artists themselves, but people who commission art. your art seems to deserve much attention. I hope you get it on weasyl.

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    Well said. Social inertia is difficult to break, but it's worth an effort to do so.

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    Sir, You're freaking right! Where we are, there is the "business"

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    I was going to comment on how I wish I could thumbs up/fav this journal....but I just realized that I can o~o

    I usually feel disheartened when I tell aspiring artists this, specially when they are asking the question of "when should I take commissions" (my answer being: when people start asking you for commissions).

    However your wording is much nicer, will definitively direct them to this journal in the future!

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      Yup.

      It's one of the thing I like in Weasyl, as stupid as it sound. Those "I wish I could fav a journal" post I would see(or make myself!) on other sites?

      Here you can :)

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    I surely get very few views and rarely a comment on my pictures here on Weasyl, but this site is so nice to use, I still do it.

    My hopes are still high, that Weasyl will become bigger and in the future be comparable to FA (which maybe can take a while)

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    I now only wish I had seen this journal sooner.

    I wish I could fav this a dozen times.

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    You forgot FurryArtPile in your list of sadly closed furry art boards. =/

    But in a couple months, imgFur will go Beta and I suspect that may also change the game as far as how people find and browse furry art in general. One single furry art aggregator for all sites with the most powerful (and intuitive) search and tagging system to date.

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    Well-said! Building an audience takes time. The best way to do it is to just keep making art and sharing it with the world. :)

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    This is exactly what I keep trying to get across to people, but many are just too impatient, and it's a bit disappointing. Do they not remember when they started their FA account, and no one took notice of it? It's where everyone starts, and it's no different here! Keep up the good fight, Jonas, we will get this site on its feet if it kills me.

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    I am agreeable to this.

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    Hell yes! This is the first journal I've faved on this site, and it's well-deserved.

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    I like how we can fave journals here. So I did just now. I agree on everything. Good post!

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    I really needed to hear (read) those first two paragraphs right now XD