Even if you don’t do art, gifsets, edit videos and photos, write fanfics, you are important and fandom wouldn’t exist without you.
That also doesn’t mean that you’re not an artistic type of person.
There are two types of artistic personality:
a creator, who writes, paints, draw, do videos etc.
and a consumer.
The person, who sees art, for whom it’s made. Without them it wouldn’t matter, because there would be nobody to see the creation. It’s one of the most important roles, but many people do it badly.
How to be a good recipient?
First of all, you need to give feedback. Every time you take time to see/read something. And it can’t be any feedback. It must be good.
Doesn’t matter if it’s a fanart, fic, video, poem or something else. Give kudos. Comment it. Even if you didn’t like it. Especially, if you didn’t like it. It takes only 30 seconds to write something and it shows the author that you saw their work and took time to think about it. It really motivates them.
What you should write?
Well, anything you want. “Great job, keep going!”, “I love the way you did it!”, “Wow, amazing work, I’d love to see more!” is enough. Really.
Of course, if you decide to say something more it’s great! Authors love to read your thoughts about their work. Tell them about the colours they used, how they match the scene and character, how they build the atmosphere with words, how you love the character development, the typhography they made. Tell them about everything that made you “wow, this is amazing”, about the piece that made you smile or cry or laugh or any reaction you had.
Tell them that you are waiting for sequel for this fic. That you can’t wait for the next fanart of this pairing. That you love seeing their work.
Thank them for it. I know that you know that they do it as a hobby, but thank them for spending their time anyway.
Reading this makes their day. And they’ll tell you that.
Okay, but what if you didn’t like it?
Then you have to write a comment anyway. Criticism is the most important for artist. Without it they can’t make progress.
Writing critique is harder than writing a positive feedback. You have to be precise here. The most important rule is:
DO NOT WRITE “I DON’T LIKE IT”
if you want to write something like that, then better don’t write anything.
You must add what you didn’t like, why, and how they can change that. Constructive criticism is the only one which matters. Otherwise you’ll make them not want to create anymore.
So how good criticism looks like?
“The colours you used don’t fit together. If you used warmer shade of red it would look better!”
“The main character of the story is too perfect, you should add them some flaws to make them more real. Perhaps something with their looks - too thin mouth or some scar? Their personality is also too mary sue. Try to give them some bad traits, maybe they can be blunt or a bit ignorant and listen to nobody’s advice?”
“The person you drew has anatomically incorrect legs - it looks like they don’t have knees. Try to work on it looking at some photos.”
The problem with criticism is that inexperienced artists often take it too personally, like an attack. Good solution is to tell them something nice.
“The scenere is beautiful, but…”
“I love how you write descriptions, but there’s something you need to work on…”
When you write comments it’s also important NOT TO DEMAND ANOTHER PIECE OF ART/CHAPTER/SEQUEL/WHATEVER
It makes them not wanting to contiune their work. So, yeah, encourage them, but not demand. “Is there any chance you’ll do it?”, “I can’t wait for more!”, “Please, continue this, I really want to know what happens next!”
What else you can do as a recipient?
Reblog. Not only like, but also reblog, so more people can see it. Don’t repost and if you have to ALWAYS GIVE CREDITS. And no, “source: tumblr” is not a credit (I feel like I should do another post about it)
Buy. I know all of us are broke, but many artists are really cheap (and that makes me sad). Just ask them to do something customized for you, like keychains or something like that. And pay them for it. Or just donate.
EVEN IF YOU DON’T CREATE YOU ARE IMPORTANT IN FANDOM AND IT WOULDN’T BE THERE WITHOUT YOU
YOU ARE IMPORTANT
(feel free to add some things that I forgot and tell me all mistakes I made, it’s late and my brain is tired so I could use some wrong words but I tried)