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I know nobody reads these journals any more (thanks eclipse) but I literally have no other place to vent to, plus this is art related so I'm sure a lot of you will understand where my frustration is coming from and even relate.
A regular troll who has been making my life online miserable relentlessly for the last 7 years has made a sockpuppet account and 'called me out' for..... using a reference. Over these years I've blocked all of her socials, learned to ignore the lies she writes about me but she keeps making new accounts to interact with me. Earlier this month she crossed a line when she created a new account specifically to reblog and call me out for using a reference. Yes, I drew a complicated pose, how dare I use a reference for a hand holding a dagger in an awkward way.
I've been on my art journey for over 11 years at this point, and for most of it I refused to use references, out of the fear something like this may happen. I was scared I would be labelled as unoriginal and uncreative because I couldn't draw every single thing from memory. As you can see in my gallery, this irrational fear has kept me away from learning proper anatomy and improving for years, and to this day I have a lot to catch up on due to my early mistakes. After reading countless of artists' interviews who encouraged reference use, I slowly began to change my mindset, and it took many years to finally break through.
I cannot express how much of a relief it was to finally not feel guilty to use references. From complex historical dress, to dynamic poses, hands and head tilts, I, like many artists out there, combine inspirations from multiple points to try to draw something that's close to my vision. I have never traced, or pasted someone else's work into mine. I never relied too heavily on one particular influence, out of that fear at the back of my mind. That person knew my struggle with references, she knew exactly what to say to make me consider stopping drawing for good.
What makes this especially interesting is the fact that this person is a fucking hypocrite is that while saying that a hand looks like a certain artist's drawing of a hand, she herself is publishing a comic (which glorifies r*pe, s*x trafficking, hurtful racial stereotypes and slavery -but that's a story for another day) in which she continually uses other people's copyrighted photos without crediting them as backgrounds and is making a profit from it.