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This sketch of Vellahok marks the completion of my very first sketchbook. I've also done a comparison to my Vellahok sketch on the first page, dated 3/1/17. I've improved tremendously in this time.
Yet, I've also developed a great contradiction. While my skills have improved and I'm proud of it, I've grown more cynical of my work and more doubtful of myself than I've ever been before.
In the two months since I started my first sketch in this book, I tried to track my growth on Instagram. With every upload I made meticulous attempts to maximize my exposure.
Despite all my efforts, I find myself defeated. At times I even question why I bother with my art. My following has plateaued into an inescapable limbo of bots and follow-for-follow spammers. Most of the followers I have that "like" my work are people I've met in person trying to support me out of the kindness of their hearts.
My work continues to fall short on traction, and I can't help but feel humiliated when I see half-assed, unfinished, or downright mediocre art far outpace my own.
All of this, and many other things, has made me acknowledge the harrowing possibility that, perhaps, I've been the fool all along - that maybe I'm just not a good artist after all.
I will never quit what I do. My art is everything to me. But I need time away from this nagging, burdensome obsession to be recognized and the lingering disappointment that comes when I'm reminded, again and again, that nobody really gives a damn.
The completion of my first true sketchbook is a momentous achievement of which I'm extremely proud. But its a bittersweet one: I will be taking a short hiatus from Instagram.
I want to remember what it's like to draw something without constantly checking my phone for the fear that my drawing won't get enough likes because it's not interesting enough, or because I picked a bad time or day to upload. I to need to shrug off this crushing dissatisfaction - to remember what it's like to do artwork for my own sake and my own approval. Before I can go on with Instagram, I need to find my resolve.
I appreciate all of you who've given me your support so far. I'll be back, and I've got a long way to go.