Article by Curry Zawa Kaoru
The powerhouse of my creativity has left the chat
Your motivation for drawing can be anything
The very act of creating fan art can be quite puzzling to those who don't do it or look at it themselves. What and whom the heck is it for?
The original work is supposed to be the pinnacle of perfection. If nothing can surpass the original, why should someone bother to pay their homage so poorly? After all, no matter how well you write or draw, your fan art will never be better than the real thing. For some people, the act of creating fan art may sound as horrifying as someone who chooses to copy the content of a dirty book before using it, instead of just taking it as it is.
When asked why in the world they do fan art, I guess most people can't come up with an answer.
Many of you are probably familiar with those writings inciting sexual acts and pictograms of genitalia we can often find in public restrooms or riverbeds. Well, what do those things mean?
Is it some kind of wishful thinking where "if you draw it, you'll get it," just like the act of drawing a character in hopes you'll pull their ultra rare in the gacha?
Look, I don't think those misunderstood toilet artists are trying to summon a wang from a magic circle by drawing it on the wall, but just as some people like to take out their anger on things, some use the act of drawing to express their untamed feelings toward something, and I think that, in the same way, we also draw pictures as a provisional way of dealing with our strong feelings toward our favorite characters.
If you don't fit in the description above, you're probably confused by my use of the term "provisional." After all, drawing is just an impulse, so there's no particular meaning or reason behind it.
And because there's no particular reason behind it, your motivation for drawing can be anything. Drawing to please a certain someone is not wrong in itself, so you shouldn't feel guilty about it ー except if you end up grabbing ABC by the shoulders and screaming "I WAS DRAWING JUST FOR YOU! LOOK AT MY ART!" in their face.
The problem here is that by losing ABC, you also lost your motivation for drawing.
Either deal with it or get out
I think the issue comes from the fact that you have allowed a stranger, whom you have no control over, into your hobby ー which instead should be solitary, free, and secure.
Even gourmet food-lover Goro Inokashira would probably get the urge to curb his food order if a stranger was sitting in front of him. The fear of judgment would likely stop him from getting that extra serving of pork, thus limiting his freedom.
Imagine that your creative drive was a table with ABC sitting across from you. Hoping to make them happy, you'd probably lay out the dishes (works) that you thought they'd like best among those served at that restaurant (niche).
But alas, one day ABC gets so fed up with that restaurant that they decide to leave and never come back ー bye-bye! You're left alone and can no longer enjoy your meals there as you used to.
Part of the reason why you used to find dining (creating) at that restaurant (niche) so pleasant were the looks of delight on ABC's face, so now you feel like you won't be able to enjoy your special spot anymore without them.
Here you have two options: either you learn to deal with dining without ABC, or look for another restaurant (niche) where you can enjoy your meal alone.
Fan work, Mother Nature, and natural disasters
No matter how solitary, free, and secure, fan work remains a hobby that deals with something that is mostly beyond our control ー the original work. In this sense, it's not unlike sports that have you face the elements, like mountains or sea waves.
ABC left your niche because they were unable to deal with the natural disasters brought upon the fandom by a certain aspect of Mother Nature that goes by the name of "the original work." And unfortunately, you got swept up by the same disaster too.
Nothing good comes from going against Mother Nature and her calamities. Now is the time to wait until the "I don't feel like drawing" rain stops.
You may think that you'll never be able to enjoy drawing again, but I've seen my fair share of otaku who used to think the curtain of their creative activities had fallen only to find a new favorite niche as they approached their 40s. Some of them even made their doujin debut like that.
Just be patient, because no matter how much you beg for the rain to keep falling, the otaku downpours eventually stop. It's inevitable.
And instead of just waiting for the weather to clear up, why not find another solitary indoor hobby for the time being, like playing Nintendo Switch in the safety of your room? It'll be a good alternative to outdoor sports that leave you at the mercy of the elements, like fan work.