There's been something on my mind to do for the past few weeks or so, ever since the beginning of the year, to be honest--- and its to display a sense of gratitude to my audience that lies here on DA. You've always been fair to me, but I feel that this year there's been a few very special people that have stumbled upon my page and have taken the time to genuinely say what they see and feel when they read my journals and analyze my art. They've made my entire day at times when they describe the emotions they get when they read something, or if it was significant to their day, and perhaps even if it was really what they needed to see or read.
If you ever wonder what its like to host an audience of your own, I'll tell you that it sometimes takes more out of you then you get back. You see you have nearly a thousand people watching what you post-- and it feels pretty darn lonely when they don't really let you know they're there. I get so excited when someone goes beyond complimenting on the normal elements of art--- and not only sees the message in between the lines, but states it and displays the manner that they've found it in; be it in the coloring, the expression, or even just the little poem at the bottom--- I clap like a little girl and get the biggest smile on my face... because these are the people that I hope to give my artistic storytelling to, these are the people that probably have stories of their own.
I do indeed create art with little intention of gaining popularity (though that's not to say I wouldn't enjoy it)-- but I strive to create honest expressions of what my life sometimes feels like, or else-- what I wish it would feel like; I wish I was caught in the loving embrace of a dear, dear friend; and I have depicted bloody battles that mirror my own. I write stories of both redemption and confusion, recurring themes in life, descriptions of love and pain, and the repentance of the pains that are real to all of us. The stages of grief and hope are so very real to us--- and I believe that when it comes to art, its not just about pleasing aesthetics or using popular characters and pretty colors; sometimes all you need is black and white, sometimes you need to use all the shades of red you've got. Sometimes the silhouette of a woman can speak more then a gloriously realistic portrait. Art is such a never-ending thing because there are so many people with so many different-colored eyes and different ways that they depict things. Its a magic thing.
I understand that when you don't cater to a popular fandom, or use the anime-esque style that thousands of people adore, your art tends to fail in popularity--- but in what I've seen, pictures with those sort of disconnected concepts aren't really appealing to me. Sometimes I think that saying what you want in art is the hardest thing to phonetically say. The message or appeal doesn't always have to be direct, and it doesn't always have to be emotional-- it can simply be the mastery of color certain artists have; it can be epic textures or their mastery of the eye they have for realism, the ability to express raw, genuine creativity with no real shape or form. For a lot of us--- art, music, performances, writing, and other mediums are how our fingers and bodies say what our tongues have failed to project and express.
Every good artist and beloved character is seethed with scars, so before you think that failure is present because you're not good enough--- try the perspective of Purpose. Purpose in having so many hours alone to yourself, purpose in the friends that have left, and the friends that have stayed. Purpose in the music that you are attracted to, and the magnificent storytellings of those that are just a bit further down the path then us. God could have kept me away from the pain, he could have bent my eyes away from seeing death and a slowly decaying family. I could have never encountered the characters that I have, and I could have never started a story of my own. He could have given me friends in every direction and kept me away from shattering myself to see what really exists in my skin. The weight of people's eyes and the sensitivity I have towards body language and expressions could be nonexistent. He could have left us unscathed and happy with reading simply the titles of our stories.--- but this is the grand scheme of things, and as a dear man to me said: "God gave us a story, and a space to fill."
In point, I've felt the appreciation and the confirmation in the fact that what I've tried to project in my artwork and writings has been a precursor to success. The state that I find myself in when someone notices the cringe of fingers that I took an awful lot of care in forming, when they say that they've connected to this or that it even almost made them cry. These people are sensitive and artistic, they notice body language and the significance of the style and what colors mean. They say that certain pieces have left them thinking with a new perspective, that a journal that I debated to post had given them the courage to wait out another night... and I have yet to delete these comments from my message center because they are gifts to me. They let me know that I'm not just shouting into the vacuum of the internet. They let me know that there are living, breathing, lovingly hurt lives that exist out there. And that they've found me.