Deducting Our Value

Image via Self

Image via Self

Raquel Gonzalez Lopez, Writer

A survey conducted of 2,022 Americans, found that 60% of the participants have felt unfulfilled with their work. While the pandemic has impacted most of our jobs, several have gained insight into what they would like to change and enroll in more fulfilling jobs. Making their passion into their day-to-day job; often calling themselves freelancers or small businesses. 

When managing your own business promotion and exposure can benefit you in the long run. Many are taking advantage of one of the most popular social platforms; TikTok. Tiktok is roughly made up of 13+-year-olds. Although 43% of total users are between the ages of 18-and 23 years old. Videos are constantly being uploaded allowing no end to the For You Page (FYP). While the algorithm does help for exposure purposes, it can take a turn for the worst. 

Experience with bad customers is expected when working in customer service. However, this doesn’t prevent artists from casting their art. Whether it be clay, makeup, digital art, etc. They put themselves out there in hopes that someone will be interested in their work. Instead, they are shut down, usually due to their prices or other “flaws”. The dispute of prices can be read simply from the comments of their video. Promoting your work is an obstacle to conscientiousness. Many of these unfortunate creators often make a video addressing the “problem” in hopes the viewers understand the reasoning and their situation. Another issue that occurred on the platform is the dislike of certain audio, “it takes me [expletive] hours.” It consists of creators stitching a video where another creator uses the audio while presenting their process on their work. They would then criticize the art and the amount of price the work.

While prices are one of the main problems in the artist community, the art style is a recurring problem. This dispute occurred when @croaket, a creator on TikTok, created a video of them rendering their artwork. This creator then got harassed, as several users made jokes about how far up their eyes are. While the situation can be controversial, after this incident and the widespread of this meme, art style became more criticized. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last user to get harassed, @koiio was another artist displaying their work on TikTok. Koiio has recently started a series where she would redesign black centaurs from Fantasia. Fantasia, a film created in 1940 and removed in 1969 by Disney due to racist depictions of African Americans. While this creator put meaningful effort into giving the African American community justice for the representation. Many attacked the creator for saying it simply wasn’t their place to redesign them and accused the creator of whitewashing the centaurs. While the creator did address that they were part of the community and were open to criticism, they couldn’t bear continuing the series as their comment section was filled with arguments. It’s also important to be mindful of inputting critique, as misinformation can be harmful, not only for the community but for the artist as well. 

Including out-of-the-norm body shapes and the inclusion of minorities can be difficult but with the right critique and willingness for improvement, we can create an environment from which artists can grow and learn. However, we conditioned the community into having high expectations for each piece and created an environment in which they cannot thrive. While viewers aren’t expected to cater to an artist’s growth, it’s always beneficial to not interact instead of participating in a damaging environment.