If no one IRL supports your work, you need to be tough

48Tentacles

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This is a thread that I decided to create with the sole purpose of encouraging every artist, every developer, every person working to be stronger themselves. And this thread is created from the perspective as someone who works better alone and in silence, just to clear that up.


I'm sure you are working hard to make your life better, and if you are visibly becoming better or if you show what you did to others, you will gain enemies. Don't get me wrong, if you are popular enough you will get enemies and haters in Internet, but these are easier to block. I'm talking about the people in your life, your friends, co-workers, members of your family. These are harder to deal with.

There was a time where, years before coming to this site, I went to a IRL meeting with some friends and a family member of mine. We gathered around and long story short we talked about our hobbies at some point. The moment I showed some of my drawings suddenly my family member goes in an attempt to shame me "Look at 48Tentacles and these ridiculous drawings, he's gonna be so much rich". I don't remember the whole quote, but he did emphasis in the "be rich" part because he genuinely believed that all artists are poor, and obviously that part was sarcasm on his part in case nobody was able to tell.

From that point, I started to receive more comments from several of the friends in that group, encouraged by that family member, that started to make similar comments. Such as "Why do you wake up at 3 AM to draw for nothing?", or "Can you name an artist who became rich in the process?", or my favorite one "Can you please be normal?".

All these comments came from a set of negative emotions under one specific and same direction: to demoralize me. Moved by hate, resentment and above all jealousy. These are the people who have miserable lives and if they see a potential artist but without power and money to do anything (yet) they will attempt to control and manipulate because it's bothering to them to know that there is someone better than them, with a better lifestyle than them, with better skills than them... If they see someone better than them, their immediate mission is to build a campaign of demoralization against that someone. Because if they manage to do so they won't feel that kind of insecurity again.

In other words, if a person with a life so normal yet so miserable encounters you while you make your art, your game, your whole work, they will attempt to bring you down to their level without second thoughts. Friends and teammates don't do that.

And funny enough, it's just like that event from last year where there was a poll of non essential jobs and artists ranked number Juan. This created so much controversial that a comedian from Singapore said "If you believe that artists are not essential, delete your netflix, your HBO, stop watching youtube, stop listening to music..." and he's right on that. If you encounter who don't appreciate artists, then you know what to respond to these miserable people. And again, I'm saying this from an artistic perspective, this strategy is valid for everyone.

So if you encounter these people that don't see your work/art in a positive light and you can't avoid them -specially if they are your family members- then you need to be tough, mentally and physically if possible. Don't say more words than you need, never say anything about your work with these people, train yourself to be more resilient (which is the ability to be able to mentally defend yourself from disappointments, negativity, and failures). I'm not saying that you should be openly declaring yourself as rebellious or insulting to them as if it was a cold war, I'm saying stop talking about your work with these people -you can still talk with them if you need to.

There is an advice that Jordan Peterson gives on how to deal with people not listening to you and not understanding your views following Matthew 7:6 in the New Testament. If they don't listen to you, stop talking to them.


Surround yourself with like-minded people.
Feed yourself with positive energy from like-minded people.
And even if you have disagreements both of you are working towards a common goal. In which case any disagreement won't be compromising.
But most importantly, become strong, mentally and physically. Because that way you'll inspire more like-minded people to be brave and strong in the face of negativity.
 

PixeLockeT

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"These are harder to deal with."

Vehemently disagree. The online ones are much harder to deal with if you have a persistent hate mob, but maybe we're speaking about different things, whereas mine is a more serious case where authorities have had to get involved (and it was like pulling teeth because no matter how serious, they barely take it that way, but we've finally established a pattern over YEARS and some of them are being locked up~). XD'

i just tell the irl ones to stfu and slam the door on them. Easy peasy. The online stalkers are a super threat. The anonymity seems to make it that way. You don't know who to watch out for.

The rest of your sentiments I mostly in agreement with though.
 

The Stranger

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@PixeLockeT I agree. Online haters can be a hell of a lot worse than those of the flesh and bone variety. You see, when two people are face to face, they tend not to act like complete C U Next Tuesdays. They know full well that what they say to you can and will likely have immediate consequences. The anonymity of the internet is both a blessing and a curse. It emboldens the dickish behaviour so many seem to have, encourages them to act inhuman to one another, abandoning all sense of common decency.

This can be difficult to deal with, especially if you're the type of person who, for whatever reason, can't just ignore these things.
 

PixeLockeT

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@The Stranger
Yeah, our team has been absolutely terrorized over years by one specific group of people, although they do escalate it from online to irl sometimes, but the anonymity with elusive (pretends to be interested persons or friends just to make an elaborate plan to start drama and abusive stuff from the inside) and erratic (can never tell when or where threats will be enacted) behavior makes it hard to ignore. Thankfully a few of them recently got just desserts. It's still not stopped though. It's a constant relentless war no matter how much we try to escape or ignore it.
 

Beckx

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Can you name an artist who became rich in the process
Picasso, Dalí, Warhol, Monet .....
i hate that poor artist trope with all my heart, really. I mean I adore van gogh, but he was just one guy out of many...

I also agree with your post, it's hard when you're getting comments like, "wow you must have so much free time" when actually, no, I don't, this is work i do and i sacrifice my free time to do this work. ugh.
this forum and community is a nice change to that though!
 

Finnuval

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To throw in my two cents ... I think Both groups can be extremely difficult to deal with dependant on the exact shape it takes.
In both cases they can be relentless leaning into criminally so and both are pretty hard to deal with if you arent though as nails.

That said, those groups that are not that extreme can be dealt with similarly... IRL slam the door, online block their ass xD

Some ppl tho Will Go to extreme lengths to make your life miserable... Best response is to ignore them and live your own life.
 

Milennin

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I've never really met anyone who was strongly against my creative hobbies, except my parents lightly mocking it sometimes. But if I did, I'd just keep my work to myself. There's already many things I've made for just myself, not even showing it to friends or posting it on the internet. I make stuff because I like making it, what others might think of it comes secondary to me (though of course it is more important for the work I do actively post.)
 

Sigony

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Inspiring post, but I'd like to be devil's advocate for a second.

Of course it is important to maintain your morale and motivation, and you do what you need to do to accomplish that.

But, as far as not listening to the naysayers, I would think that there is some benefit in listening to what they have to say - without necessarily agreeing with it.

You can possibly learn many important things from criticism, either about the project or the situation at hand. Even if someone is all-out attacking you with insult or putting you down, you might happen to learn something about THEM. You gain an opportunity to practice said resilience. At least you know that you're doing something worth having haters for, that someone is made insecure by the level you might get to, or possibly that they are misguided in trying to look out for you because they just don't see the vision.

TL;DR: I think that it is important to not throw the baby out with the bathwater; to be clear about knowing what is helpful and what is malevolent within what someone is saying to us, and then not allowing the malevolent aspects to impact us.

Selectively focus on that which is helpful to you. You just get one life.
 
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Celestrium

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There will always be people that disagree with what you do, and be loud about it. It's not only about art. I doubt the people who criticized you about getting rich were rich themselves, and even then, working and doing something you are passionate about and sustaining yourself with it can be so much more important than being rich or having lots of money. That's my opinion.

I now work in a therapists office. When most people say things to you, it's about them or a reflection of their values at least. About what they want for you, what they want for themselves, their expectations. We all need validation, but you will find people who can appreciate your efforts and support you. Don't ask someone who hates fish about your culinary seafood masterpiece and expect a good response, and I know, the person who hates fish will still have something to say.

I mean honestly this response to your post is likely subconsciously about my own indignation...about the same things occurring to me, and I get it.

Anyway, thanks for posting and send me some of your art sometime! Don't let toxic people have the opportunity to get you down.
 

Jrrkein

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Internet is not a pretty place to be, here are some haters and stealers out there. It's really hard to avoid them.
 

TheGentlemanLoser

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so having skimmed overall I agree with the gist of your thesis (some...interesting...typos and I'm guessing Google translate artifacts in there) and think it's a good sentiment to put out there...but I have to say you can't just casually drop a Jordan ****ing Peterson video like he wasn't the transphobic cartoon sexist Nazi adjacent creepazoid he plainly is.

Edit: tbc my issue isn't that I think people like him have absolutely no place on this site, although I do think that, it's more that I hope you are not being taken in by his BS as he is absolutely a big part of the alt right pipeline...and the Nazis know it, and benefit from it.
 

BK-tdm

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I had this problem when i was on school and was still doing stick figures and fat worm dragons, bullying kids are some of the worst, that my parents never approved of my hobby didnt help either, but i never really cared and kept going, i did what i wanted to to amd was happy with it, though i never showed anything to anyone until i actually started to "git gud".

17 years later im here working as a sprite maker and drawing anime "curves" as a living, the journey was and is still worth it, i still have much to learn and to get better at and the fact that those who mocked me now realize i was right all along is the cherry on top.

For online haters, i care even less, block? Ignore? I dont get offended at online harassment to be honest but if you do simply pay no attention, since the attention you're getting is what they are jealous of, dont like my art? Style or theme? You do yours and ill do mine, if you dont like it, tough luck, theres people who do and i will keep my art for those not for you mr hater.
 

Rugman

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Good on you for listening to Peterson. Probably one of the most important thinkers of our time.
 

Quexp

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With very few exceptions, harsh comments just reveal the speaker/commenter's ugly personality. We all know the source of such criticism should be taken with a grain of salt but it's still hurtful and can be hard to deal with. Thanks for the post and wanting to encourage everyone!

For anyone dealing with nasty opinions, stay strong and follow your passions!

Edit: I've found this forum to be quite supportive though and I'm truly thankful for that. You guys/gals are amazing! :kaoluv:
 
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48Tentacles

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Alright, I didn't expect lots of replies! Before I answer I must let you know that I can't reply to everyone because it'd take me all day (last night I slept 40 minutes). What I'm gonna do is reply some common (and valid!) points and later I'm gonna reply some individual messages.

On the subject of Internet harassment:
I'm one of the tentacles that think "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me". I can take one or two insults even as jokes. However, that doesn't mean that I can take a tornado of insults and bad behavior. I used to receive comments of my works with tornadoes of insults under the disguise of criticism. Learning the hard way (and after so much time trying to dialogue with them) I realized that comments like these are just a waste of time and don't deserve any read. It's better to read "Hey, your shading should be like this this and that" than to read [7_ILLEGIBLE_PARAGRAPHS]. I can delete the comment with one button if I find something like this. A true fan doesn't insult their idol.

Despite that, I still think that harmful comments can ruin someone's day. For that reason, if they play hard, you must play hard too:
1. Never leave a comment or retweet their interactions with you;
2. Mute them;
3. Block them;
4. Report them for targeted harassment.
You will never have to deal with them again, specially if they get banned for targeted harassment.

Think about that for a second. It makes sense. If you stop a bad actor that way, they will do their best to create new twitter accounts and insist. But there's a problem:
-They need a phone to get verified.
-They already used their previous phone number for their banned account.
-They need money.
-They decide to buy another phone to get verified.
-They try to harass you once more.
-You mute, block and report them.
-They repeat step one.

The same thing happens with Internet sites with comments section like forums and blogs:
-They need an IP address to be verified.
-They cannot use their previous IP address anymore.
-They need money.
-They decide to buy VPN services to get verified.
-They try to harass you once more.
-You ban them and their IP address.
-They repeat step one.

The most important step for them is having money. If you have lots of money you can do whatever you want. But sooner or later they will run out of money or juice, and then they wonder "omgosh how could this happen?".

Never interrupt your enemy if they're making a mistake.


Thank you kindly for your messages. I will reply more later.
Take care!
 

CleanWater

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48tentacles, it's been some years I don't meet my family members because of that (besides my mother). I feel much better this way. Imagine the male version of Cinderella, this resumes my relationship with my cousins and uncles. :guffaw:

Coincidentaly, I have posted an article similar to this on my blog this week (chapter X of my life as an indie dev, but in pt-BR only). It's fun how the experiences were similar. You are completely right about not letting others depreciate your work!
 

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