I was really on and off about writing you, but after reading your article about the EDM musician that is pressured by criticism, I though why not give it a shot. Another point of view never hurt anybody, right?
Before I joined the fandom I never really pursued any creative art form. I have written occasionally, but that’s all there ever was. Just a little bit before I joined. I started playing bass in a band, and music became one of the biggest factors in my personal life (so to speak; I do not pursue a professional career with it).
After I joined the fandom I started working big time on a lot of art forms. I started building fursuits, more music and to lesser extent Writing and lately Drawing a little.
Now what exactly is my problem now?
After this year’s Eurofurence, I have fallen into a pit of self-doubt, anger, and, I admit, a good portion of depression. (Just to say up front, I am on the way of getting better).
Caused has this been by a few incidents at the EF that I don’t want to delve in further, but mostly by one thing: Nobody gives a ****.
Excuse my language, but that’s just the best way to describe it.
Whenever I put in a good chunk of work into a song so that I am halfway satisfied with the results (I am never fully happy, but that’s the thing with practice :P) and I post it hoping in vain for some feedback, all I see is a blank page saying: No New Messages.
I can deal with negative feedback and criticism. Fine. Hell, I would love to have that kind of feedback, even!
What really hurts is that my work is either so mediocre, so bad or so flavorless that people don’t even bother with it.
I see that people are listening, viewing etc. but there is no: "Sounds good" or “part x:xx is weird/good"; not even a "You suck!" Nothing! And that by far concerns me way more.
I tried spreading my work through more than just one kind of social media, even ones dedicated to musicians—to no avail.
To see something that you care for, love, and, yes, I would call me passionate about it, getting absolutely no reaction, is just.... well, it hurts.
Again I am on the way of getting back on my feet, and I am nowhere near done with what I do so...
Thanks in advance and kind greetings,
PS: Just to have some relation to how long I have been doing things: I work on and with music for about 5 years, so a pretty decent amount of time. Fursuit building I do for a little over 2 years now, not as much but as you can read I mostly refer to my music.
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This is an interesting complement to my earlier response to the EDM composer. In his case, he was hurt by negative criticism; in your case, it’s the lack of any response at all. So, which is worse? Being criticized and told you suck or being completely ignored? In your opinion, anyway, being ignored is worse, and I would tend to agree. At least with negative criticism, you might learn something from audience reaction that improves your work. Without that, you are just in limbo.
As you and I both know, getting noticed and becoming famous doesn’t mean your art is good. It just means it is getting attention. Some examples of crappy songs that got people famous include “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus, “Macarena” by Los del Rio, and, more recently, “Gangnam Style” by PSY. These songs prove that you don’t have to be talented, just catchy and simplistic and a lot of people will eat it up (hope I don’t get hate mail for this, but it is one bear’s opinion.) Meanwhile, really cutting edge stuff that is friggin awesome often gets little recognition. Why? Because it doesn’t have mass appeal. Another thing to note is that the large majority of people enjoy things that are familiar. So, if they enjoy Coheed and Cambria’s “The Suffering” (people seem to think it is Emo, but sounds like Metal to me; love the hook on it) they will try and find music similar to that.
So, two possible strategies there are: 1) be imitative (at least at first), or 2) be simplistic, cater to the bottom tier (“Awesome! It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it!”).
Other ideas (some more crazy than others):
It’s not enough to be an artist in this world. Even if you’re talented, you just can’t sit back and hope people will find your stuff and react to it. You have to market yourself. If you do it right, quite frankly even if you really DO suck, you can become famous.
9/21/2013 01:24:31 pm
Excellent advice. I would add something else, as well.
9/22/2013 02:36:10 am
I agree that you should do your art because you love it, not because you want to be famous. But, that wasn't the writer's question. His question was how to get noticed, so that's how I responded. I kind of have to disagree to that last point of yours, that people are attracted by love. I know artists who are passionate about what they do, yet they go completely unnoticed.
9/22/2013 04:55:26 pm
The advice is really helpfull, thank you much for that.
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