I have a casual relationship with Deviant Art at best. I usually login every few weeks or so and drool over the the pile of new art on my deviant watch lists, hang my head in shame, and do that again in a few weeks. Once in a while I'll upload a new drawing and then I'll check obsessively for the next few days to see if anybody liked it. Usually one or two people leave a nice comment and that's enough to give me a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.
So you can imagine my surprise when I logged on this week and saw a number that read 1180 on my notification list. My first thought was that everybody on my deviant watch lists had been incredibly prolific recently. It took a while for it to sink in that the notifications were from people that commented on or added images from my gallery to their favourites. Apparently my drawing was selected as a daily deviation which lead to the massive spike in traffic to my page. I'm sure this sort of stuff happens all the time to other artists and maybe some of them are jaded and numb to the adulation but for me this was completely new.
I suppose this leads me to the point of this journal post (my first!). Lately I've been thinking a lot about my career as an artist. I had a bit of a later start than most of my peers and didn't finish animation school until I was nearly 30. I've since been in the industry for about 5 or 6 years and have had the good fortune to work on some fun projects with some great people. However, working on any sort of project usually requires you to suppress some part of yourself as an artist so you can meet the needs of the client. If you do that for long enough I think you will begin to lose your "voice" which is exactly what's been been happening to me for the last few years. I suspect this is a natural stage for any artist. The voices in your head can get pretty crowded as you grow, meet new people, see new art, acquire new skills and shed old habits. Sometimes in your pursuit of something great, you end up losing the sincerity that you started with.
I'm actually not too sure what I'm trying to say here. I suppose maybe its something as simple as expressing gratitude to everybody that took the time to leave a nice comment or who simply just enjoyed looking at some of the stuff I did and gave me the motivation to keep working hard and trying to get better.