I've been watching my deviantart gallery lately, to see how my style has been changing (and by God it changed...), and realized something that kind of concerned me.
When I started publishing things here, they were my own things, and they only received the attention of either my friends, people I already knew, or a few DA fellows. Which it translated in 'Nobody gives a rat's butt about what you're doing'. Yes, I was starting, and my style wasn't that good yet (heck, I'm still trying to tame this new one I have). I kept going with my drawings, doing things i liked and enjoyed, and then fanart started leaking in. Specially with my character called 'Zilkenian' (wow, I'm original). I leaked fanart into drawings with him, and those got more attention, but not because of my character: the attention was there because of the fanart part.
Back in the days, my gallery was just that: upload a thing, get some views, some favs, get happy about it and move on. And then I discovered Gorillaz. Oh boy... that was the first step of my downfall.
I discovered them through fanart in YGallery, from a very skilled artist whose gallery was full of them. Back then I didn't notice, but now I realize her other drawings didn't get as much attention as her Gorillaz's fanart did. Then I discovered the amazing and talented Lora. That girl is amazing. When I discovered her was right in the middle of the Gorillaz boom: between Demon Days and a few months away from Plastic Beach. And I'm guilty of looking into her gallery for Gorillaz fanart only.
It wasn't until years later when I went into her gallery in search for her own original art, which is amazing and, for my eyes, much better than any Gorillaz she has ever made.
I started listening to Gorillaz music and hey! I liked the songs, I liked the style, and when Plastic Beach came out, I started doing fanart. At first none of them got a lot of attention, but by then I was used to that. For me, 100 views was a lot and 50 favs? Holy spoon man.
But then I created the one called 'Bond':
This thing is the one with more views in my gallery, I'm not kidding. And it was the first time I decided to go for a more simple approach in my Gorillaz fanart. This fanart was born from a day I was feeling down, and while listening to the song 'Twice' by Little Dragon, I just drew it, without thinking a lot about it. I felt the conection between Noodle and 2D was a strong one, and since both of them were wearing masks, and by that time, both of them were sepparated by third parties, I decided to put them together like this.
Everything happened way to fast: people started downloading it, linking it to other pages, submitting it into forums; it was crazy. I didn't even realized what was going on until someone came and posted something along the lines of 'Finally found the original artist!'. That made me look into the internet, and then I found how spread this simple drawing, born from a kind of depressing day, had become. People even copied it and called it theirs, other artists did their own version of it, and I was barely credited for it. The drawing went viral.
At the time I was really bothered when it was stolen, but right now I couldn't care less. I fought so much for my Gorillaz fanart, when Gorillaz isn't even mine. But that's not the point.
Finally getting some attention, I started doing more and more Gorillaz fanart with this style, and people liked it. I thought maybe, just maybe, that could make them give some attention to some of my own drawings and characters. I was wrong: people came for Gorillaz, and once they had it, they left.
After the Gorillaz thing, i started with Danny Phantom, and then My Little Pony. Nowadays I don't draw that much anymore because my time must be dedicated to other important things, and I know people forgot about me. I'm back in square one, drawing my own characters and barely getting views and favs for them and you know what? I couldn't be more happy about it.
Because it means I'm no longer that famous Gorillaz fanart artist, or Danny Phantom, or My Little Pony. I'm just an artist who's trying to help her characters to live amongst other amazing characters in this page and on the internet, characters that, like mine, don't get that much attention because of fanart.
So next time you get into someone's gallery because that person did an amazing fanart of your favourite game or show, make sure to check his or her own characters. You may discover something amazing that might make you stay a little longer, and even discover something new and exciting to follow.
After all, all stories have to start at some point. Mine is restarting now.
Thanks for reading, have a nice day.