My depression has exploded in full on horse shit. le-sigh.
I am not sure what to do with myself regarding my art. I've hit a few negative things which have me seconding guessing a lot, and being depressed doesn't help.
First is people assuming everything regarding my art and selling is something that comes easy or was handed to me. This is not the case. It has been a life long struggle of people telling me to quit and me trying to continue. People telling me my art was bad and not worth it. Over coming social anxieties to show my stuff online an eventually in public with no one supporting me or encouraging me to do so. It was so hard, and since I lived mostly in debt due to bad luck and situations, the up front costs were very hard to save up for. But I did it.
Even now, my art doesn't support me. Although I did have to get a business license to sell in my state, so I am technically a professional and business owner, it doesn't mean I am able to support myself with it. Hell I work a full time job on top of my art. So whatever free time I have goes to my business, which I barely break even on.
This brings me to the second thing that has me questioning everything, I was asked if it was worth it. If conventions, selling at them, knowing it's stressful, a financial burden, and often emotionally as well as physically exhausting--worth it?
I honestly don't know. I do it to try to make a career by my art. I do it for exposure. I do it to show off my art and hope people will find me and enjoy what I do. But it doesn't really work that way.
I mostly only sell fanart. My originals are overlooked. Very few people seek me out, and after visiting my table and taking a card only a hand full have ever followed me online or talked to me again. Some like what I do, but is some enough to justify the stress and anxiety it causes?
This also falls back into riding on fanart. This is where DA comes into the picture.
People are only interested in my fanart. My Jack doujin. My AGA get's almost no love, and yes it does start out slow, it is not meant to be a fast pace piece. It's suppose to explore self discovering, consequences of actions and decisions. But maybe no one cares about that. I just feel as if I didn't draw fanart I wouldn't be recognized. No one would care about my art.
No one buys my book at cons, which was one of the reasons I started was to show off my comics. People rarely buy my Doujin. People just read it online for free. Many don't even read my AGA which volume 1 is available online for free. Some say they want to but nothing is stopping them.
Why is this about money? Because I have 4 hours a day where I'm not working/sleeping/or running errands. I can use that to spend time with my family, clean, or draw. The money is an incentive to keep drawing. It allows me to upgrade my dying software, or buy new supplies. If one is supported enough, I could leave my job and supply the world with comics and art and all that jazz.
Sadly it's not like that. People don't support me. No. A few do. Financially. Which isn't even enough to pay for a DA subscription which will run out in a few days because I can't afford it. Between regular bills, 25,000 in medical bills, and student loans, I am broke. Mostly. I have very little in savings, which is used for my cons, which is just a perpetual ebb and flow of money. Whatever is spent for the cons, the same about is returned for next year. Any surplus is used for new conventions. Always trying to get my name out there. Never really.
So is it worth it? I dont know. I'm not really asking, and probably most of this is a depressed fueled rant, but it's weighing on me. All month.
So where do I go from here?
Part of me is debating on making this my last year of conventions. It is not a decision I want to make while depressed, so it's a thought I'm entertaining.
Since Jack doujin is over I will finish posting that, but the updates may be weirdly sporadic. I was using my DA membership to let it auto update incase I forgot or was too busy, but now that it's gone I'll try to remember myself.
AGA... what to do with AGA. I have half of the next chapter drawn waiting for lettering/typesetting so I can start posting but I feel no one cares. so why waste the time and effort on it? It doesn't make me happy drawing something no one wants. It's crushing, actually. I don't know if I want to hiatus it longer, or just drop it together. I've the majority of the story planned out, it would go on for 4 or 5 more volumes (approx 600-1000 pages), but... So it's sitting on a back burner, along with an AGA artbook I was in the middle of working on. Full of all the pictures I've draw from AGA, sketches, and even some WIP articles. But if no one wants it... why bother?
Finally there is a new project I started at the end of May. It was a revamp of my youtube channel. It was speed art and reviewing manga I own. I thought it too would be a way to get recognized or have attention brought to my art. It just launched a week ago, so its still fresh-faced. Sadly I can't make money off of Youtube unless I get 10,000 views, which I don't have. Or anywhere close. I've 36. 36. I use to have dozens of videos up there. I would post them all over the place. But it is so discouraging to know people don't care.
I don't know what I'm doing wrong. With my art. How to get noticed. How to get support. I'm not even talking monetary support but just people wanting to view my art. I've struggled with this for years. I've been on DA forever. This is my 3rd account, and my previous stuff, which was more original, received almost no views so I went to try fanart. I got more people visiting, but still almost nothing.
I don't want to quit art. I just don't know what to do anymore. It is such a struggle, I'm so full of doubt and self hate. I'm honestly not happy. Granted I am depressed, but it's been harder to become depressed, it was all the pile of shit that did it. Not a sudden, but a slowly building mess.
Ugh, I just don't know.
TLDR; I may quit art, I feel there is no value to what I do.