I went into the arts. I put myself out there. I’ve reaped some of the rewards of this. I’ve met others, I’ve become more confident, I’ve grown on a personal level, I’ve pushed my own limitations, I’ve learned more about people and how to deal with them. Still, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in social media. At the risk of sounding like a certain person who uses his TV show to blast everything modern and fun, I’ll tell you more.
I joined a few popular sites for selling my artwork. It seems to me that people will comment on your work or promote it, only for self-promotion. (Not that everyone does it for the wrong motive.) I find that disturbing. If I genuinely ‘like’ something, I’ll ‘like’ it in the social networking, art-promoting sense. If I honestly want to follow someone’s blog, I’ll follow. I used to follow back, out of a sense of obligation and even guilt. I can’t do that if I want to be true to myself.
Our lawn mower wasn’t working this past week and my husband asked the neighbor if he could borrow his. The neighbor said he would. We went somewhere, came home, and our grass was done. We’ve since had our lawn mower fixed and my husband says he’ll return the favor, it’s ‘the gentleman’s law’.
Does selling art work the same way? How about just being friends? It would seem so on social networks and art-selling sites, not that returning favors is a bad thing. I just don’t want people to ‘like’ my art, to follow me on this or any other site, my art out of a sense of obligation. I also don’t want people, especially other artists, to send me friend requests just to promote their business. I don’t need the fakery and the fuckery, to be blunt.
I need money. I have medical needs that aren’t covered by insurance. I have lots of things in my personal life that need attended to, can’t be taken care of without cash. Still, I won’t play these games and sell my soul in order to sell art. That’s not who I am, not who I want to be.