I sort of failed to do much over the tail end of last month and the long extended holiday weekend at the start of this month. And now it's already halfway through July and WTF, where did the time go?? This is leaving me somewhere between flailing in a corner and determined to pick myself up and dig myself out of the hole. I'm very much going to try to do the digging instead of the flailing.
I need to be consistent on the Patreon and the social media. This is not going to be another "did okay for a month or two and then bombed out" scenario, dammit. The poll on my patreon to find out what people want to see helps. I want a posting schedule to adhere to, and then a several day later posting schedule to tumblr and instagram to back it up. I want this to succeed, dammit. It doesn't have to be my primary income with the thousands that some people make on their. I just want it to sustain and in the process inspire me to be a better artist.
Speaking of better art, I have a goal. DeviantArt has always been a bit of a hinky fit for me - on the one hand, ego aside, I do know I'm on the high end for fanart. Not the best, but up there, and I've actually done illustration as a day job. It makes it hard, sometimes, because there's no real space for me in fandom communities to go for critique or help or anyone who will push me to go further and do more. And DeviantArt is very split - it's either the fandom side or the pro side, with the pro side largely made up of Marvel and DC artists. Either way, I've just never really fit in or connected with people there, and much like any other social media it's become a place where if you don't post regularly then you're utterly forgotten and my several year hiatus means I might as well just delete my account and start from scratch because I basically don't exist there any more. No eyes, no interactions, and my middle-high grade of art still doesn't really fit in anywhere.
So... big fish in a small pond with no peer to peer connection? Or suck it up, brace myself, and go play with the big kids? Because the big kids are not DeviantArt. Not any more. The big kids are Behance if you do mobile game art, or Conceptart if you're more focused on classical art training, or Artstation if you're doing game/movie concept art and design.
I can't navigate Behance's un-intuitive (for me) site for love or money, not to mention mobile vector game art isn't really my style. I tried Conceptart back in the day and.... well, that made me want to cry and burn my sketchbooks. They don't pull their punches, fanart/anime-style/comics are Frowned Upon, and honestly the classical realism stuff just isn't my gig, and it wasn't a good fit for me. (I don't mind the no punches pulled thing so much, but having it be because of a basic differential in style just highlights that *I* was not a good fit for *THEM*.)
Artstation, though... Artstation is 90% for Big Kids. There is a steady trickle of beginner level stuff, but it is by far outnumbered by the pros. Concept artists for movie and game studios, matte painters for movies, 3D artists for games, character designers, etc. The stream feed of "new" on their site is gorgeous and diverse in a way DA's feed has never been. Also, Artstation does regular contests - not for cash or prizes the way DA sometimes does, but just to give people the experience of working to a deadline, some ego kudos and notoriety on the site for placing in the top three, and maybe a bit of swag like a t-shirt. That's it. But the contests are things like "you have four weeks - here's a theme, design ten characters, broken into two distinct groups of five, that fit with this theme, and we want to see everything from thumbnail sketches to finished art". (that's the character design part of the challenge, which I'd love to do. they also have similar things on the same theme for the matte painters and concept artists and storyboarders and 3D modelers.)
There's a lot less wank in the comments - say something good, or something helpful, or stfu, seems to be the general rule. Artists aren't all defensive about their stuff. Everyone there is either already a pro, or is actively trying to become one. They're not just artist galleries, they're portolio sites and Artstation provides space for your professional resume. It is obvious that companies looking to hire are actively browsing the user base looking for good matches. When it appears you can never quite be sure if fanart is just fanart, or if it's something the person was hired to do for the media franchise in question.
I don't have a single piece that I'd be willing to post up there. Nothing I have is good enough. Not a single damned thing, unless I maybe dip into the book covers I've done, but those are photo manips and not really what I want to be known for.
But... my goal is to have something good enough to start creating a portfolio on there. Not necessarily to look for a job, but to establish a presence. To drive myself to be good enough to go swim with the big kids. I want to have posted something to Artstation before the end of the year.