Cave painting-Hands

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I ran across a sad post on tumblr today bemoaning how much harder it is to be a fanfic writer than a fanartist, because fanfic writers get so much less feedback and respect - everyone reblogs fanart, hardly anyone reblogs fic ...

/cries because I am OLD

Speaking of being old, it's absolutely fascinating to me to be drawing enough lately to become aware how much my drawing skills have atrophied over the last few years. It's not that I can't draw at all, it's just that it's a lot harder than it ought to be. There's a much bigger gulf between what I see in my head and what comes out of the pencil. Anatomy is hard in particular; the graceful drawings in my head, with their sense of chunkiness and mass, come out stilted, awkward and flat. I think that the drawing I did the other day of the Avengers characters + sunbeam is the closest that I've come in ages to getting my head-picture to match up with what my hands were capable of, and even there, the perspective is off ...

But I guess it makes sense when I think about how much I used to draw. From my teenage years up to late 20s, I was always drawing. I filled up sketchbooks while I was in college; I drew on scraps of paper, post-it notes at work, the edges of envelopes. I copied other people's art, drew my own characters, did fanart, basically just drew and drew and drew.

I don't remember when that obsessive level of drawing stopped, or why. I think it had something to do with moving back to Alaska in 2004 and not really being around other (comic) artists much -- not in the way I had been, where I was going to conventions regularly and sketching with other people on a semi-regular basis. I think that was also about the time I started writing A LOT, and while I've always done both, it seems that activating my prose-brain to that extent went partway toward shutting off my drawing-brain.

.... anyway, it's been probably 7 or 8 years since I've drawn a lot, and probably 4 or 5 years since I've drawn more than every once in a while. For a long time, I really didn't WANT to draw. Being back into comics seems to have gotten me drawing on a more regular basis, and I'm trying to keep a sketchbook -- I've never really done sketchbooks since college (and mostly then, it was only because I had to for a lot of my art classes, so I got in the habit and/or ended up with class sketchbooks that were half full, so I needed to fill them). I am DROWNING in sketchbooks because of people either giving them to me, or buying them and putting 3 drawings in them and then not filling it. (Is this something that other people do? Do most artists have dozens of blank or partly-used sketchbooks hanging around on their shelves?)

I want to try to start drawing every day again, even if it's only something small. It feels like reconnecting with a part of myself that I've been out of touch with for a while. I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to really enjoy making art for its own sake, not just as a means to an end.

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Re: fanfic writers vs fanartists, I think it might be Tumblr vs LJ fandom. Tumblr is all about art and pics and visuals, while LJ is text-oriented. And I always feel weird running on fanfics - or, even more, reblogged fanfics - on Tumblr.
(And that's why I hope very much that fandom will never completely migrate from LJ to Tumblr... :-D)

Well, I think it's not just LJ vs. DW, it's the fact that a large chunk of Tumblr fandom seem to think of Tumblr as ALL OF FANDOM, and its fannish norms as the ones that fandom lives by. Which is, admittedly, not limited to Tumblr; LJ fandom does the same thing in slightly different ways (which is frustrating to me, sometimes, because I came into fandom by way of anime fandom, which is different yet again!).

But yeah, I know what you mean about not really wanting to do that with fanfics. It feels more invasive, somehow ... or something. I'm not as comfortable with it.
I've heard people say that, too, but I never quite got into tumblr, so personally, I'm still in the mindset where fics get more attention than fanart (which is more the lj culture). But I can sort of understand why that would be different on tumblr -- you can see the piece of fanart with one look and then just like and/or reblog it. I don't quite know how that works with fics -- don't you mainly just post links on tumblr to AO3 instead of posting the whole fic itself? So if you get redirected to a different site, it makes sense that you then kudos the fic on AO3 instead of reblogging the tumblr post. (Although personally, I really can't get behind the whole "reblog thing" anyway. The like button is basically the same as kudos, but why do people even reblog things? If you search for the tag, the same thing then turns up again and again and again because different people reblogged it.)

And if you think you're old then what am I? You at least have a tumblr account and use it. I'm one of those people who don't understand how to use that site at all and I feel like an old woman who doesn't get how technology works nowadays. For example: I saw a post that I thought was interesting and then I wanted to know what other people replied to that. But I had to scroll through thousands of "user x reblogged this, user y liked this" to get to someone who actually wrote a comment -- and then that person had quoted someone else and everything was just so chaotic ... So honest (and quite probably stupid) question: Is there a way to only access the comments without scrolling through the likes and reblogs?

I think that was also about the time I started writing A LOT, and while I've always done both, it seems that activating my prose-brain to that extent went partway toward shutting off my drawing-brain.
I can totally relate to that. I had a phase during which I used to write 20-40 pages a day (back then I counted in pages unfortunately, so I have no idea how many words I wrote on average) and now more often than not I can't get up the energy to sit down and write. But on the other hand, back then I hardly used to vid and nowadays most of my free time goes into vidding.

Oh, and btw, I hope that you'll still post any fanart that you do on here, not just tumblr, because I would hate to miss out on anything, but on the other hand, lj is just the site that I check daily, whereas I hardly ever stop by tumblr.
I never really got into tumblr until getting into a fandom that's largely based there. I'm surprised how little I mind it, honestly - I thought the adjustment would be much harder, but actually I am settling into it easily enough. The only times when I feel a little out of step are the times when I want to have conversations with people, beyond light cocktail-party chatter; LJ/DW is still FAR better for that, and sometimes it's hard. On the other hand, I am absolutely fascinated at the ever-so-slightly different social norms and the way people work with/around/between the limitations of the medium in ways I haven't seen before. For example, there is a lot of de facto collaborative fanfic/fanart on Tumblr, with each successive person adding to the whole, round robin style. And nearly everybody puts their fannish tumblr address on their AO3 fic, which is something people in my previous social circles never really did with their LJ/DW address -- because most people were coming to AO3 from LJ, I think, and nearly everybody either used the same name or assumed that most people had come to AO3 by way of their journal. But now you have a fairly large AO3-only readership, and a lot of people whose AO3 name is different from their tumblr name, and so it seems to be a growing social convention to add an author's note inviting people to come over to your fannish tumblr. It's so interesting to me!

And yeah, I hear you on the time/inclination to participate in different creative channels. I regret that I've nearly given up vidding - there are still so many vids I'd like to make, but I just don't really feel the urge anymore (or, at least, I begrudge the time). I'd like to do a couple for Avengers fandom once the Cap2 DVDs are out, though ...

And don't worry, I will definitely crosspost things here. :) Actually, that reminds me I do have a few fanart pieces I should do that with. Mostly unfinished stuff ... I've been kind of waiting 'til I have enough to do a sketch dump.
You know I was trying to figure out the same thing -- how to only see 'notes' which are actual notes, not 'likes this' or 'reblogged this' which are irrelevant. But it seems that's what tumblr cares about, the count of people who have touched something rather than a meaninful interaction because I haven't found a filter for that yet. There might be one with a browser addon out there but to my knowledge tumblr by default doesn't provide the ability to filter down to "meaninful" notes.
I wonder if it's because of immediacy. The fan art is right there, right now - you see it, like it and move on. While the fanfic you have to stop and take the time to read, and sometimes you're not in the mood for that, but then the story gets lost in the depths of the dashboard and you forget about it. And I wonder if for most people Tumblr is all about the immediate, and if they want fanfic they go to a fanfic site or LJ.

My poor drawing skills have been collecting dust as well, and I dread to find out how much they've rusted.I blame it on writing and my renewed interest in sculpting. Sculpting is a lot more involved and incredibly messy but thus far I seem to be enjoying it a smidgen more than drawing.