Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Road To Popularity

...is littered with things you don't really care about, and didn't put your soul into, just because people like them.

Anybody who has spent a decent amount of time on deviantArt knows about stamps. Stamps are bling. They're bumper stickers for your profile and your galleries. They can be remarkably quick to make, quick to get a lot of hits, but require little or no talent. You don't even need to be original. Probably seventy-five percent of the stamps on deviantArt say the same as the other twenty-five, except maybe in a different color.

Last week, my ten most popular pieces of art included eight stamps, a tutorial, and a short story. Today, you have to go down to slot 22 to hit something that isn't a stamp, and you don't hit anything artistic until slot 27. How did this happen?

New this year, deviantArt admitted a groups feature, which allows people to submit art to people who are fans of the same things. Clubs, if you will. There are anime clubs, sci-fi clubs, and, of course, stamp clubs. Sometime between last week and today, I went and joined about a dozen new stamp groups, and sent in a dozen or so stamps each. Now, whole new groups of people have been exposed to my collection of creations. Few of them will look beyond my stamp collection, which is disappointing to say the least, because I don't make stamps as an end, but as a means: a means to draw people to look at something that I've actually put time and heart and soul into creating.

I do his because deviantArt is a bad place for writers, and there really is no good community for writers. There a lot of places that try, but they just don't have the audience that deviantArt has access to. And in deviantArt, there are too many terrible writers, not enough good ones, and almost no readers. Visual art is more appreciated because all you do is look at it, you don't have to invest any actual time in it.

Literature needs an investment of time, with few exceptions, and the internet generation just doesn't have the concentration or the patience to bother.

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