Design: KAZI AKIB BIN ASAD
Design: KAZI AKIB BIN ASAD
Last year I opened a professional art page on Instagram after many friends and family members told me that my art was good enough to be sold and admired. However, after each download, the dread of dropping numbers became a stormy feeling every time I looked at the little activity bar on my profile.
Despite the fact that I sold a few paintings, my page is now a ghost town full of expired ambition and stale delights. Continuing your art, whether music or illustration, after successfully monetizing it, seems like a turning point for many people.
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Since my scale of success is relatively small, I reached out to people who have turned their favorite hobbies into successful business ventures to really understand how this journey is unfolding.
Noushin Nuri is a business student and content creator, making fun and informative videos for her 41,000 online followers. Noushin began filming himself talking about a variety of social issues with no aim to market the videos. However, once his videos started gaining popularity, his monetized content creation ship had set sail. The growing popularity brought with it a new, unforeseen element that changed her outlook on her work.
When asked how the tangible scale of success affected her, Noushin shared, “The number affected me more than it should have. I’ve always been used to having a small group of people. friends. So suddenly having thousands of people watching me online overwhelmed me. I started guessing before posting each video just because of the number of people. The number of followers really had a negative impact on my content creation.
Regarding creating videos, Noushin added, “I decided to take a break due to the pressure. The break is still not over.”
This turning point in the middle of a success story does not seem to be an isolated incident. Afrida Mehzabin, artist, filmmaker and illustrator, summed up this same problem and said, “When my very first animated film won the top prize on an international platform, at that moment I had the felt that my work was a success. However, it put a lot of pressure on me. After my second film, I entered this huge block of artists for a year. But now I’m slowly trying to get out of it. go out.
An artist’s block, or any form of creative block, is something that one faces in one’s life at some point. But this form of blockage can most likely be traced to a feeling of wry expectation, either from within ourselves or from the expectations that others might impose on us. Any level of success puts your work in the spotlight, putting it in the control of all your viewers.
Photo: CHAKMA ORCHID
Photo: CHAKMA ORCHID
With so many eyes on your work, it’s natural to overthink and second guess yourself before presenting something new to the public. It’s easy to fall prey to the angst of having to recreate success at every turn. The need to constantly present good work, combined with the constant pressure to surpass ourselves, creates a cycle of inflated expectations that truly robs us of the joy our hobbies initially gave us.
The inspiration that launched our hobbies, whether for our own satisfaction or for a greater cause, is buried in the tangled complexity of exaggerated expectations and judgments. Juggling between our own motivations to work and the view of others on our work becomes a challenge, bringing the two to juxtapose.
Afrida said, “I feel like people are expecting more from me now and I will never be able to meet their expectations. I try to keep the pressure on by remembering that I’m making art for myself, not to meet people’s expectations.
Also, as an artist, setting aside what we want to work on in order to meet the demands of commissioned work could cause us to lose sight of what drew us to our interests in the first place.
Whether turning each of our interests into turmoil is the right thing for us is an entirely different conversation. Ultimately, whether we choose to monetize our hobbies or not, we have to face the consequences of that decision. Like most things in life, it’s a double-edged sword. Affirmation of a measurable level of achievement, along with the benefits of commercialization, can help solidify our relationship with our interests. Moreover, it can even give us new perspectives that we would not have reached otherwise.
“Creating content helped me better understand our society since my content was centered around social topics. I also mastered some skills like script writing, video editing and thumbnail editing. I also learned things about the algorithm. None of those would have happened without content creation,” Noushin shared.
Nevertheless, we have to give ourselves some slack when we are finally overwhelmed. Afrida gave some advice she wishes she could give to herself younger: “I would probably say never be hard on yourself and do what your heart wants. Also, ask for money in advance .”
Blocking an artist is not something to be feared, just like marketing a hobby is not something to be feared. Prioritizing our mental well-being while not losing sight of our original motivations, as well as juggling the ups and downs of our creative endeavors are some of the main factors in achieving success without compromising our true selves.
It may be difficult, but achieving this balance can allow us to continue doing what we love without putting ourselves at risk in the long run.
Nushba rages unnecessarily against the patriarchy and cries because her cat doesn’t like her. Please send help to [email protected]