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Confronting My Personal Art

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So dear readers, I have some good news. I think after yesterday, I might finally be ready to express myself through personal art once again. As I mentioned in my previous post, I started going to therapy. It’s been a huge help with allowing me to work through some trauma and I hope it will continue to do so for days to come. But yesterday was an especially good session for me.

Now I don’t want to get too detailed, but basically my therapist confronted me at the beginning of our session. I had been telling her about my fears of posting online for some time and how that coupled with a lack of time had lead me to a dry spell in personal art. She told me I needed to start doing stuff for myself again and not to hold back anymore. She also asked me what was it that made it so hard.

I feel like it’s time I go a little more into some of my past trauma. See, a few years back I was hopelessly in love with the movie Frozen and the characters Anna and Elsa. Even though I try to never let it on, I do tend to hyperfixate on things a lot, and this time it was Frozen. I spent massive amounts of time and effort into drawing my two favorite characters. I drew them day in and day out and it was amazing. I was so very much in love with the creativity I felt surrounding my art. I was improving on my human art, getting better at anatomy, and learning some new techniques along the way. It was all going great until I caught wind of my friend’s personal blog.

See, I used to be very close friends with a fellow artist in the furry abdl community. I wont name them, but just know we were close friends at the time. I assumed I had nothing to fear, that they were just a good friend and nothing more. That was until I noticed their tumblr posts. It was really weird but, they seemed to be talking about my art. At first I thought it was a coincidence. They were really just tearing it apart, saying it was stupid, how annoying I was for always drawing it. But surely they weren’t talking about me? Well, that’s what I thought until I came across a post they made about how “Frozen was the dumbest movie ever and anyone who liked it was an idiot and had no taste.” Not only that, but they had specifically name dropped my newest piece that involved my two OCs as centaurs It was then that I realized all those posts about being annoying and terrible were about me.

Ooold Frozen art.

I was heart broken. Someone I thought was a good friend of mine was openly mocking me on tumblr. Not only that, but their partner and friends were joining in on the mocking. I felt so wounded at the time that I didn’t even reach out to them. But then things only got worse. I ended up joining a chat with my local friends, all of whom were fellow furries. At first I thought it would be a nice escape, but then my other friend started picking on me. “All you ever do is draw Frozen anymore. Can you like, draw something else for once?” I was already hurt but this really felt like a kick to the gut. These were my closest friends at the time. All I wanted to do was draw what made me happy.

When I told them it was just what I was into right now, I was met with a “No duh. Sorry but it’s really annoying, I’m going to unfollow you if that’s all you’re going to draw now.” After they said that, a few of my other friends in the call agreed with them. Telling me that they weren’t the only ones getting annoyed. How “I used to draw so many other things.”

I know it sounds dumb, but it really freaking hurt my feelings. It made me so hyper aware of the things I was sharing and posting. My irl group of friends already really didn’t care about my art, but this just stung. I basically over night started distancing myself from Frozen. Every time I saw it, I just thought of how annoying I must be. I mean I loved Frozen. Everything I had at that point was Frozen related. It was like living in constant shame, being surrounded in all that Frozen merch. That plus I felt so alone. I thought no one would want to hear me talk about my interests so since then, I’ve struggled to talk to anyone about the things I like, even my own partner.

To make matters worse, just as I was getting over it and into a new fixation, Steven Universe, another close friend of mine began bashing me for my interests. She told me that it was getting on her nerves and I was annoying to be around because all I talked about and drew was Steven Universe. Even though I never talked to her about it, she was annoyed that my friends in chat were discussing it. On top of that, she told me my new friends sucked and were annoying as well. Going as far as to go into my chat and debate with people how the show was dumb and obnoxious. It was so embarrassing and once again just killed my interest in the show. It was horrible because SU was a huge means of escapism for me at the time. It was really helping me work through some personal hang ups and my own friend just shot me down.

This happening so close to my fallout with Frozen made me feel like I wasn’t allowed to like anything that wasn’t a color or a style. Anything else would be annoying. It really sucked because I love being that person. I love being wholly obsessed with something to the point of owning merch and drawing fanart. I loved painting eggs like the gems from SU. I loved researching gems to feel connected to the show. I adored making up little headcanons and imagining them when no one was around. It made me feel good to have something worth living for. That might sound dumb but being into fandoms and having hyperfixations really does make me happy. Yes I have friends and a partner, but it’s different. It’s my thing I can just obsess over. And it wasn’t bad obsession mind you, it didn’t harm me. It just kept me happy. It really, truly made me feel less depressed. But my friends stole that from me.

My therapist today told me something that I needed to hear. She told me it wasn’t about me. She said that they didn’t hate that I liked this thing. They hated that they didn’t like it. She also told me that they were probably jealous of me. Sure that kinda sounds vain to say, but it’s true. My old artist friend was probably resentful that I had something that I loved and made me happy. That I was improving as an artist, amassed a following for Frozen art and was having fun. At the time they were struggling and I’m sure they hated seeing me have fun when they couldn’t

As for my other friends, I’m sure they were just upset I wasn’t making hot furry art for them anymore. It was all “eww humans” and “why are you wasting your talent?” They wouldn’t have said a thing if it was just hot canine furries and porn. They only took offense the moment it stopped being what they liked. Sure it might have been a little annoying when half your inbox is one thing, but friends shouldn’t make you feel bad for liking something.

It sounds mean to say, but it’s true. Hearing my therapist say it really opened my eyes. She told me it reminded her of her youth and when she got an A+ on her test. How after the test, a boy in her class confronted her and said “You must think you’re so smart.” See, he failed the test and was upset. He didn’t care that SHE got an A+, he was upset that he failed the test and someone else passed.

In the end she told me I couldn’t keep avoiding working on art for myself. She said I needed to be myself, and if people don’t like that, then they can move on and stop looking. It really woke me up to the fact that I’m not happy right now with my art. I haven’t allowed myself to just obsessively love something and use it as my muse in ages. That needs to stop here. I don’t owe anyone anything and especially not my personal art. I’m finally ready to start being invested in things again. Sure you guys might not like it, but please don’t hate me fore it. All that should matter is that I love what I love and it helps make me happy.

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1 Comment

  • I feel you here, so bad. I hyperfixate on things to a point where some friends call it a ‘creepy obsession’. I’ll watch every episode in a series, every movie, play every game, look up fucktons of lore and background stuff, research everything I can. I draw fanart, write fanfiction, and just gogogogogo until something else catches my interest or I burn out, but its a constant cycle. When I latch onto something that way, I just can’t stop, and I LOVE everything I’m doing, but I get hell for it a lot, people talk shit–I’ve gotten to where I’ve made new accounts on websites just to post my work so people aren’t digging on me for it.

    But, anyway, your therapist is 100% right–if you love it, DO IT. It doesn’t matter if others don’t like it, as long as you like it and it makes YOU happy. If your friends/followers/whatever don’t like it, that’s on them, but you should never feel bad about your fixations and never stop creating what you want because people are being butts about it. You’re awesome, your work is awesome, and if you wanna go hard and draw hella Frozen or SU or whatever you’re into at the time art, go for it. Be you, love what you love, love what you do.

    (PS; Even if I’m not into whatever fandom you happen to be focused on, I appreciate everything you draw and post because of how much effort you put into everything you do, more so when you really love it. Keep on keepin’ on. Once again, you’re awesome Shadow, and you always will be.)

    -Love, a long time fan and person who rambles too much haha

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