I don’t know if I will have the time to write any more letters because I might be too busy trying to participate. So if this does end up being the last letter, I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school, and you helped me. Even if you didn’t know what I was talking about or know someone who’s gone through it, you made me not feel alone. Because I know there are people who say all these things don’t happen. And there are people who forget what it’s like to be 16 when they turn 17. I know these will all be stories someday. And our pictures will become old photographs. We’ll all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.
i remember during my 2008-2011 deviantart stint i had a follower who was a few years younger than me (11-13, somewhere in that range) who i was also following. they drew ocs and fanart, usually traditionally with pencil and pencil crayon.
once during this time, i was searching for a certain fandom’s fanart through google images (just clicking through to save images i liked for Truly Terrible Windows Movie Maker Slideshows, you know the type), and i came across a “bad fanart” blog for that fandom in the image results. morbidly curious (and looking to selfishly boost my own ego, like an asshole), i clicked it, and scrolled through.
eventually, i found a piece of that follower’s fanart on that blog, and i… immediately started crying. i felt sick, and my hands were shaking as if it was my art on there and not just art from someone i kind-of knew, because i couldn’t stop imagining how they would feel if they stumbled across this blog and found that the art that they had just worked on for fun and were probably pretty happy with at the time had been put up there for people to laugh at. for people like me to look at to feel better about themselves for a short period of time.
i messaged them on anonymous (because i was scared, again selfishly, of them finding and posting my art on there too, though my previous tumblr and my old deviantart username were different at that time iirc) to take it down, and they did, but i was still so incredibly, horribly upset.
because sure, they took that follower of mine’s art down at “a friend’s request” (as i described it in the message), but i couldn’t stop thinking about all the other artwork on that blog. i couldn’t stop thinking about all the other friends and acquaintances of artists who jarringly found the art of someone they knew on a blog specifically designed to ridicule its contents, and more than anything else, i couldn’t stop thinking about the artists of the pieces themselves who might have been unlucky enough to have been linked or maybe just found the repost of their own work by chance.
i cannot emphasize enough how ugly and mean-spirited those “bad art” blogs (for often young, non-professional, hobbyist artists) truly are. i hope that if you run one of those blogs, or even if you simply follow them for entertainment, you seriously reconsider doing so, and remember that there’s an artist out there who had to find out that something they were proud or and had fun doing is out there being mocked somewhere else.