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Hi Guys, sorry about lack of streams this week as I’m physically a bit ill (migraines and the like).  First off, I wanted to thank everyone for their feedback regarding the last journal, which If you haven’t read, can be found here: Selective Support (open discussion)

This journal serves as a continuation to that journal by addressing the other (and more important) side of the coin: Why artists should be supportive if their own supporters.  Having been on deviantArt for 6 years and having accounts on other websites, I can’t tell you how important it is to be supportive, encouraging, and involved with your followers!  I have seen countless times when an artist has taken their follower base for granted or outright exploited them for personal gain, which is very wrong.  This journal will explain why its so important to be a supportive artist to those who support your endeavors and what you can do to get more involved with the very people who follow your work every day.

:bulletgreen: First off, Why is it Important to be so Supportive of your Followers?

Simple really, while most artists draw for their own motivations, without your supporters, your work has no traction. Period.  Let’s face it, without your supporters, no one would have known about nor discovered your work in the first place.  These people, whether it be a handful or thousands of people, are EVERYTHING.  However it is incredibly important to not view all these people as a number.  Just like you (the artist), every single username has a person behind it with their own reasons for being on deviantArt (or twitter or tumblr or whatever) and their own personal reason for liking your work.  Everyone has a story to tell.  This often gets glossed over with many people who do view their followers simply as a watcher number or pageview.  Not only do these people have their own stories, but if you get to know them, you truly learn of some amazing individuals out there.

Based on this, there are a few things that I’m going to throw out there which, if you’re just an aspiring artist or managing a fanbase exceeding 10,000 people, should be something you acknowledge.  As with the first journal, these viewpoints are subjective to my personal stances (which you can take with a grain of salt), but understand that they also come from experiences in which I have grown, learned, and am still learning.


    1.)    Watchers Do Not Owe You ANYTHING.

Biggest thing I can state.  Watchers owe you nothing, nada, zip!  They do not owe you art, favorites, nor comments, and acting like it’s an entitlement is bad.  While this might seem contradictory to what was stated in the previous journal, let me clarify:  While it is nice and supportive for someone to leave a comment and favorite your work, it is ultimately up to the person to decide to do so, and just because they are a follower of yours does not mean it should be a given.  This goes 1000x more for art.  As an artist, you are NEVER entitled to receiving art of any kind.  Art takes hours to create and simply expecting to get it because of who you are is incredibly egotistical.  When someone does create you art (however), it is because this artist admires something you do enough to make you something.  That should be appreciated like none other.

    2.)    Respect is Earned, not Owed.

While showing respect is common curtesy, having someone’s entire respect (which is very different from being shown respect) is earned.  You have to give people a reason to respect you, mostly by treating them properly and showing respect to them as well.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen artists demand respect because of their reputation.  Remember the golden rule?  Still applies!  Respect your watchers MORE than you expect to receive.  However, there are cases in which another person might upset you, in which case be professional and try as best you can to maintain respect.  Admittedly I have failed in the past to be respectful to everyone most of the time, however I have gone out of my way to privately message these people and apologize, and ended up learning a ton about the person afterward.  However, not everyone is going to be respectful, as the internet is a hotbed for anonymity causing people to act out.  Remember, you have a block list for a reason.  Use it when needed.

    3.)    Never Use Your Position as an Artist as Leverage Against Someone Else!

You heard that right.  There are artists out there who use their status to leverage something they want from someone else, whether it be attention, art, or something else.  Never use your reputation to do this, EVER.  Firstly, it’s incredibly obvious when an artist does this, so don’t try to.  Secondly, you are actively taking advantage of someone who looks up to you to get something you want at their expense.  Does that sound like a nice thing to do to those who support you?  NO!

    4.)    Never use your Fanbase to Attack Someone Else!

This one is a HUGE biggie!  While it doesn’t happen as often as it used to, I have seen larger artists use their fanbases to go after art thieves, people with similar characters, other artists in a dispute, you name it!  This is probably the biggest form of abusing a fanbase I can think of, as the fanbase believes they are respecting you because of their supposed ‘white knighting’.  It’s incredibly unprofessional and it can also drive the person on the receiving end into an emotional tizzy, going as far as them quitting art entirely or worse.  When dealing with another person who might want you to use your fanbase against them, instead talk to them privately, or take the necessary steps in the respective website’s Terms of Service to work with it accordingly.  Example:  Artist on Instagram steals art >> go to them privately and tell them to take it down >> if that fails, file a DMCA takedown notice to the person through the website and inform the person that such a takedown notice has been filed.  (This works rather well).  If not, use blocking.  However if it is a more trivial issue which doesn’t breech website TOS, then it might require you as an artist to evaluate whether or not you’re simply handling something poorly.  Why waste your energy on something silly?

    5.)    Stop Reaching for Compliments/Attempting to Throw Pity Parties!

While there’s nothing wrong with telling your watchers that something is going wrong in your personal life, there’s a level where it goes from being informative to inviting ass-pats.  We’ve all seen it when artists attempt to reach for compliments or want to create a pity storm around them (repeated journals about leaving, tons of negativity, etc) and I used to have a rather large problem with doing this myself.  Firstly, your supporters will react far better to positivity than a constant barrage of negative.  Both emotions are contagious and if people constantly feel down around you, then they are way more likely to go follow and support an artist that helps them feel better.  Also, if someone compliments you, wouldn’t you much rather have a genuine compliment than one you fished from someone?  You WILL get genuine compliments, and true compliments are something to be very proud of!

    6.)    Realize that Pageviews and Watcher Counts are Just Numbers, and Do Not Define You or Your Quality as an Artist!

Now this has less relevance than it may have a few years ago, but I do see newer artists starting out have an obsession with watcher numbers and pageviews.  These numbers exist purely to drive analytics for deviantArt similar to youtube and put a TON of pressure on artists to perform when in reality, these numbers should not mean a thing!  Pageviews mean very little as all it does is track the number of people who view your front page (not your art) and this number can actually be manipulated by bots, drama, etc to artificially inflate the number.  Watchers are a bit more in line with the size of your watcherbase but have very little correlation to the number of active supporters you have (my watcher base has an activity of about 2%).  Try not to let these numbers get you down, as that’s all they are: NUMBERS! Instead focus on the qualitative interactions you have, not the quantitative ones!


Basically, don’t take your watchers for granted, don’t abuse them, don’t use them as armies, and try not to be too concerned of how many you have.  Instead, there are a few things you can do to be more interactive with your watchers, showing them more respect, and possibly having better conversations overall with your followers.  Overall, these things might lead you to a better deviantart/social media experience and have a better standing with your followers, helping you make some new friends in the process!

BTW, Don't feel bad if you don't do these things, these are just ideas and suggestions and not doing these by no means makes you an unsupportive artist!  Everyone's approach is different! Everyone has their own special ways of making people feel appreciated.


:bulletgreen:  Worried about Pageviews?  Disable Them!

Yep!  You can disable your ability to view pageviews entirely!  If you’re too stressed about them or you don’t want to see them anywhere (even on other people’s pages) you can disable them in your settings.  I’ve had mine off for 4 years, and It’s done nothing but improve my experience, as I no longer see artists evaluated by their pageview count and instead by their interactions and actual art.  Unfortunately, this does not disable the watcher count (which I wish it did), but maybe that will come in future dA updates.


:bulletgreen: Respond to Comments!

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean respond to every comment, but watchers LOVE to feel like they matter (which they do).  Replying to their thoughtful comments helps them understand that what they say has importance and increases the interactivity you have with them throughout dA and many other websites!  So don’t be shy, talk it up! You’d be surprised how often someone wants to talk to you!


:bulletgreen: Get Involved in Your Watchers' Art!

Followbacks aren’t required, but it’s very fun and beneficial to get an insight into your followers own art/creations! By keeping up to date, and even supporting their own endeavors, your supporters will love seeing that someone they support has genuine interest in their work!  Most people are unaware of all the great artists following them, so go see what they’re up to, and maybe leave a comment! 


:bulletgreen: Get an Art Streaming Channel!

While this might seem intimidating for some, one of the best things you can do to get involved with your own community of supporters (or build it further) is to stream your art! Not only does it show your followers that you’re not a supercomputer just creating art from magic (showing them your process), they can *gasp* talk to you and ask you questions while you do it! Turns out I have made some amazing friends through streaming (my peepos ;_; ) and it helps build great conversation when you need to work on something.  If you’re hesitant, I’d highly suggest it!  There are many websites in which to stream, but here are my recommendations and their pros-cons:


Probably the most common, Livestream + procaster allows for very easy streaming of your work with an easy to use (but very memory intensive) application to a larger community.  While it isn’t specifically dedicated to art, it’s a good starting point.


What most artists here use, Picarto is a website entirely dedicated to artists, with specific plugins to allow for many different uses.  Currently this is what I use.  Picarto works with OBS and XSplit broadcasters and allows for tons of use, and signup for your watchers is easy and even has a guest chat.  However, its paid premium service (15$/mo) offers multistreams, where you and your friends can all broadcast together, raffle support, commission widgets, etc.  Keep in mind that the large bulk of Picarto is dedicated to NSFW content, but does separate the two.  Just mind that in the event you see something that might bother you.


The most prominent streaming service, Twitch allows for streaming of any kind, including creative work.  Twitch gets the most traffic but it might be harder to maintain it depending on what you’re drawing, and their copyright system might mute your music in the Video on Demand playback.  However, it does allow for multistreaming without a paid subscription AND you can configure a donation system, allowing your followers to tip you as you work. 


:bulletgreen: Write Thoughtful Journals that Ask Your watchers Questions that Matter

To clarify, when I say questions, I don’t necessarily mean “how do you like me” or something along those lines, while there isn’t necessarily a problem with that.  Journals that provoke discussion of something deeper are awesome, as it allows your supporters to provide actual insight to a topic, helping them get their voices heard!  It can even strike conversation between many different people.  It’s kinda why I really enjoy making journals such as this, where I ask you all for your input at the end.


:bulletgreen: Give Back to Your Watchers through Raffles, Giveaways, and Kiribans

Sometimes it’s awesome to really give back to your own watcherbases.  Holding raffles and giveaways allows you the opportunity to give art to a supporter which might not be able to afford your commissions or get your art otherwise.  These serve as huge ‘thank you’ moments where you can also state how thankful you are for their support!  Kiribans are similar in the sense (although they might have slight conflicts of interest) that watchers can visit your page and if they take a screenshot of your page when it hits a certain milestone (example: 100,000 pageviews), then they get free art.  However, this becomes pretty irrelevant if you turn off pageviews, which is why I haven’t held one in years.  There are so many ways to do giveaways, so get creative and use it as a way to say thank you to those who make it all happen.


:bulletgreen: Try to be Positive, it's Contagious!

Your emotions are contagious, even on social media!  If you carry a positive air about you, then your supporters will pick up on that and thrive!  On the flip side, if you do nothing but post negative thoughts, then that will also rub off on your watchers.  Be careful, because your followers might catch a big case of the bummers if you do nothing but overload them with negative emotions.  However, don't see this as a reason to not reach out for help when you need it!  Stay positive, and be encouraging, because your followers will thank you!

:bulletgreen: Say Thank You and Appreciate Your Followers.

When it boils down to it, a genuine thank you, either individually or through a large scale journal goes a very long way.  Remind your followers why they’re important, how they’ve helped you get through tough moments in life, and really take some steps to remind them that you appreciate that they’re there for you.  You can say thank you in so many ways, from large scale appreciation posts, to going to someone’s page and thanking them for favoriting your work.  Saying thank you matters!

There are so many ways to really get involved with your followerbases, that there’s no real correct way to do it.  Get creative, and show them they matter!

Discussion Time!  How do you get involved with your followers?

    ·         What ways do you get involved with your watchers? How do you make them feel important?

    ·         What ways would you recommend other artists try to show more appreciation?

    ·         Have you ever shown appreciation toward someone where it made a huge difference?


Again, thank you all for reading these. I know the arting is a bit slow, but these should give you something to chew on until my next pieces are done.  Keep the discussion respectful in the comments please.


Add a Comment:
Fundz64 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016  Professional General Artist
I only JUST got around to read this.
I figured treating your watchers good was just common sense but sometimes I suppose people let their 'populairity' get to the best of them.

Tl;dr I'm glad you didn't end up like most of the mlp "horse famous" artists I befriended a long time ago. :)
DracoPhobos Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2016  Student Filmographer
I totally agree with this, especially that your watchers need to feel valued. I've heard this from some of mine that they appreciate that I reply to their comments, and to be honest, this shouldn't be a luxury. I understand that some artists literally cannot respond to their fans comments, but being appreciated is always nice~
Fullmetal0Thunder Featured By Owner Edited Sep 22, 2016  Professional Filmographer
We are telling artists not to use their fanbase to attack somebody? Why don't we tell that to Keemstar? That disgusting streamer used his fanbase to accuse an innocent old man of pedophilia and made him cry on stream before logging off to take a break. He hates his own fans, all of them, including the children who knnow no better because he manipulates them into thinking he's a good person, but he smashed a young boy's Xbox and shoved ice cream in his face and made him cry too. I'll take attacks from an artist's fanbase over Keemstar's fanbase any day. And I don't much care for harassment. And honestly I know a few artists who did use their entire fanbases to attack me and give me a bad reputation. If only if mentioning them in comments was not against the rules so I can expose them, but one of them hates monsters and robots and used that against me. I can handle that better than Keemstar and that almost drove me to suicide before my husband saved my life. Keemstar would eat you up and spit you out if you even glanced at him from afar. He'd overkill you.
And honestly I feel like I'd have gone off topic just now. But I just cannot even explain how many times I've seen or been in a situation where people use their fanbase to hurt people. By what I hear, one person was a victim of Keemstar's and he actually did kill himself.
GriffinPhillis Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've actually liked these journals of yours, here!, although it took a while for me to read 'em all the way through. ;P
Love the advice, Syron. ;D

Welp, when I'm active (which I'm trying to be once again), I try and keep my watchers up-to-date on the things I'm doing and my plans for the future. I'll be sure to try n' involve these tips, as well! :la:
Have been thinking of doing some art-streaming in the future, at the very least. :meow:~
TheCrescentFox Featured By Owner Edited Sep 11, 2016  Professional Writer
Another great read.  I always try to approach with a community-driven mindset.  From my fledgling days here, back on or in a small gaming forum, I always wanted to see everyone happy, to have fun and enjoy what we are here for.  Sure, I don't have a crazy amount of supporters or anything, but those that do are all the more special to me.  So many bonds, friendships, and acquaintances that I won't forget.

As for your questions:

-I try to respond to every one that I see.  I always show my appreciation for their thoughts and support.  If it wasn't for them, I probably wouldn't have gotten to the point where I am now when it comes to my writing.  Sometimes (though not nearly as often as I should), I try to arrange things like game nights to just have some fun.  I also work to try and keep everyone in the loop as to what is happening.  Yes, I haven't posted much here lately as I focus on my professional material, but I still want everyone to be aware of what's happening, to know that I haven't forgotten about them.

-Just simply acknowledge your supporters.  From a stranger to a close friend, one cannot forget these individuals.  It is because of them that you are getting to where you are.  Something as simple as a comment or maybe even an attempt to catch up with them is always appreciated.

-I've had a few friends tell me that I have helped make a huge difference in their lives, but I just see myself as a guy that does what he can to help his friends through any situation, be it good or bad.  In the end, I want everyone to succeed at what they do and to enjoy life.
solarplxs Featured By Owner Edited Sep 11, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
my man you have spoken the ultimate truth of the internet. huge respect

as for those questions:

- i have only been here for a week, so that would be hard to answer but i've established basic communication with everyone that's supported me minimally so far, thanking them, checking out their art, and so on.
- there's no good way to show appreciation, as long as you are showing it, in my opinion. just don't ignore someone that's doing the complete opposite of showing appreciation ahahah
- a LOT of people in my life so far have made a difference, and without them i really don't know where i would be today (probably not here). most of the time those people were very close friends whom i wholeheartedly trusted for years (since i've known them), and there's not a single moment during which i haven't made them feel important to me, to others, to themselves, just as much as i felt important to them. i believe appreciating what you already have and not seeking to appreciate what you don't have is a crucial part in building strong friendships and self-confidence, whether it be yours or your friends'.
sakpalamey Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
All my watchers are dormant. They are like gone and disappeared. Left dA. They don't give shit about me.
LunarMew Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I like this journal. :3 I want to add a couple of things, though:

Turquoise Bullet - F2U! The best thing you can do is be a good person. Whatever your watchers will interpret out of this, that's always going to be out of your control.

I try to act as human as possible instead of a salesman trying to lure in a bigger audience. Granted, building an audience is important but the best way for me to be appreciative with them is to have genuine conversations.

Turquoise Bullet - F2U! While pageviews, follower count, subscriber count, etc. are abstract numbers, it can be hard for a lot of people to keep that in mind. The same goes for comparing oneself to other artists, which you are advice not to do.

This is just my own personal experience but I had to rewire the way I analyze everything in order not to get discouraged anymore. Currently I love philosophy because it has helped me solve this problem and helped me get over some mental breakdowns I used to have. When you are trying to build an audience online it's really important to nail on your head the fact that nobody owes you anything. It's difficult to keep in mind but important anyway.

Turquoise Bullet - F2U! Not a lot of artists order their fanbase attack others, but a lot of famous celebrities do this.

It's interesting how most early internet artists experienced this phase. (either by doing it or watching others make that mistake) Yet a lot of celebrities that don't know how to use the internet yet like to use their fanbase as an army. This is common on twitter, youtube and instagram from what I found.
DuqFedora Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2016  Student Digital Artist
How do I get involved with my watchers? What are watchers? I got none of that hahaha!
Ultimation12 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
What are these things you call "active followers"?

While a lot of this may be good for people like you who actually make art, people like me who commission art from others seem to be left in the dust. The only art that I make myself is in writing format, and even then people don't seem to care as much about reading written prose than seeing visual art.
SecretBetweenTheWar Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2016   Artist
hmm going be honest think i might need to improve on this topic.

For starts one watcher (won't say the name) wants me to draw TF stuff but something i'm not into doing. I tend to burn out and perminately stop doing request for good. Which i've should've discuess that i don't do those kind of art.
Still i feel like i own this person but having a sense of doubt.

Right now i'd only have 2 art trade to do but i've been avoiding them. Either it because i'm on holiday and playing deadspace more or worrying about pleasing or keeping the promises drawings to myself and few of my watchers.
Lucain24 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
-What I did was those contests and free fun with the watchers, remember the small journals that blew up over time? Those!

-What I would recommend since I'm a poet with very little fanbase is to cherish the ones you have because they DO read your stuff even though they never show it. 

-Every chance I get when I'm not out to sea I get online and try my best to love my watchers, of course we all have lives, but I make the best of what I got!
Ryuu-Girl01 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2016
I don't have enough fingers and toes for artists that are well known be need this list for how bad they have gotten.
Scavenger-Art Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think I commented on the last journal... But I really like the points you've made! They've given me a lot to think about.
As for the questions asked...
1) I have a small but wonderful follower group, and I do my best to talk with them, comment on their art, and see how their doing if they seem upset. Granted, this isn't all the time, and it's typically with only a handful of my watchers (Typically the ones that... post art, or give status updates that aren't just links to videos.) 
2) Honestly, replying to comments, even if it's just a simple 'thank you' or a smiley face, always makes me feel warm fuzzy inside, since it lets me know that this person who I think has amazing art has noticed that I like their art, and knows that I exist. I realize you can't always do that, especially if you're getting multiple multiple comments for every piece of art you make, and you make art consistently. However, if you have a chance to, I'd definitely say to take it.
3) Sadly, I don't think that's happened yet for me. I like to think, though, that I make lots of little differences, instead of a few big ones.
Toughset Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2016
you're totes right about the staying positive bit. It's something I"m still struggling with, but already is showing results
LumeraLightstar Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this. Many artists do not realize that they are actually using their watchers when they fish for compliments by asking if they are a nice person, or through pity parties where they threaten to deactivate. It actually drives people away and frustrates others. 
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