Joining social media, while helping me meet new people and artists who inspire me and uplift me, also has caused a lot of toxic insecurities.
My definition of success for the past several years has been: "Gets retweets, gets noticed, becomes a voice for the field."
This view of success is shattered by the crushing reality that, well, sometimes it takes a while for your work to get noticed!
Even if you think your work is good, there may be someone who gets more retweets and it can make you feel like you're not worth anything as an artist.
But that's not the reason I started drawing at all. The reason I wanted to be an artist was so I could tell stories about the things I was interested in. And really, if you think about it, there are always people interested in the same things as you are, who might want to enjoy your art. Even if it's only a few and they don't use social media!
What I can control: How I can respond artistically and take inspiration from things I like. I can choose projects that are fun for me to work on and also allow me to develop my skills. I can enjoy creating my art on my own terms.
What I can't control: I can't control people's individual tastes. I certainly can't control trends in design or illustration. I can't control for how much longer and harder other people have worked than I have! NO matter how hard I work there will be someone ahead of me in their artistic journey. And that's okay! It's not a race.
So my new definition of success is to be able to make the kind of work I want to read more of, that I want to see in the world.