i’m gonna paste this thing i wrote a few weeks ago from my instagram. it might seem melodramatic or like it’s coming from out of the blue, but i’m getting really tired of being shat on by people who don’t understand the motivation behind my actions.
I’ve been struggling (pretty obviously) with how to deal with this subject for a few years, but recently it’s gotten way out of hand.
I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to find my own artistic voice. Every little aspect of what I draw and the way that I draw it, (however unimpressive or mundane) stems from years of struggling, experimenting and taking little fragments of the world around me and internalizing them. Things that I love, things that I hate, things that mean a lot to me for my own personal reasons. So when someone appropriates my style, not only are they doing themselves a huge injustice by skipping the steps it took to get there and the chance to develop their own style and voice, they’re bastardizing my own. They’re telling me that they want what I have, and don’t care how they get it, or how long it took for me to create it for myself, or how uncomfortable it makes me to see it twisted and abused.
It isn’t a sign of admiration, and it’s not at all flattering. It just feels greedy.
I’ve made efforts in the past to ignore it, or to let it go, have tried very hard not to step on anyone’s toes.
But pretending that I don’t care seems to only make things worse. The more passive I am and the more I quietly reassure everyone that things are fine and that I’m not angry or upset with them when they steal from me, too afraid of hurting someone to firmly speak out, the more I get taken advantage of, and the more I let myself be hurt.
I don’t want to attack people, and I don’t want to have to police people. I don’t want to make my friends or followers feel like they have to defend me, but I have to make it abundantly clear: I am NOT okay with mimicry. I am not okay with people latching onto my work and my style, building a name for themselves around it, profiting from it, and never letting it go.
Don’t send me apologies if you don’t mean them, and don’t promise me you’ll change if you have no plans to change anything. I’m done trying to empathize and pat people on the back for doing something that’s hurting me.