My good friend Lizz is a talented comic artist. Her art is weird as hell, it's raw and unfiltered and incredibly honest, and it amazes me.
She doesn't draw for likes or attention, to build a brand, or to make money. She already has a great job and a fulfilling life outside of it. She simply makes comics because it feeds her soul.
When we go to parties and she tells people, "I make comics!" they always go, "Oh, how many followers do you have?" "What have you published?" "How much money are you making from it?"
When she says it's just a hobby, they either lose interest in her, or they try to push her to 'do something bigger' with it, even when she firmly states that she's not interested.
It's cool that we can turn art into side hustles, but now we're being pressured to make our entire lives into some 'greater purpose'. But for what? Someday we're all gonna die and everything we've created will turn to dust. None of any of this is gonna matter! So she might as well make herself happy and make her art for herself while she is here.
Like, no one goes up to a happily little song bird in the forest on a bright spring morning and asks "What's your follower count? What platforms are you on? What's your bigger aim with all this?"
They know that the song bird is simply singing its song, the song it was made to sing, for itself and the other song birds in the area. And that's enough for the songbird and enough for the listener, too.
PS: When people ask her these questions at parties, all I can think is that they're asking, "How much social status do you have, and can I bring up my status by knowing you?"
They're judging her based on external qualities instead of internal ones. I see this all over Austin and it really pisses me off.