Before I came to deviantART, I would have guessed that the art world consisted of a community of sensitive and kind-hearted creatives. But if anything, deviantART has taught me that it's a toxic environment filled with mean-spirited trolls. Obviously, most of you are wonderful and supportive human beings, but it only takes a few bad apples to spoil a party.
I don't expect everyone to like or appreciate the images I create. I understand that it's an acquired taste. But is it too much to ask to expect people to have the common decency not to tell me an image I've produced is "shit" (not even as constructive criticism, which I welcome, but just to be cruel) because they don't like it?
Furthermore, not every image I produce is motivated purely by artistic value. There are more reasons that art is worth producing than technical proficiency - social value, political value, documentary value, and sometimes just for fun, because what's wrong with that? That having been said, I am very serious about producing quality art, and I don't appreciate being lumped in with unskilled amateurs (if you can't distinguish my work from the dregs the internet has to offer, that only demonstrates your ignorance and lack of distinction, which is something I would expect a visual artist to pride himself on) just because I believe in the value of showing humanity and fallibility through my art - i.e., I don't expect every image I produce to be a masterpiece, because I think it helps to ground me, and to inspire other artists to show the process, and that I am just as human as anyone else. To help people see that rather than a snobbish community of haves and have-nots, filled with untouchable geniuses who effortlessly produce flawless masterpieces (an illusion, I assure you), you too can become a better artist tomorrow than you are today, if you work at it.
I think this all amounts to a virtuous and kind-hearted approach. Perhaps you disagree. But I will never tell you that anything you've produced is "shit" in a mean-spirited way, even if I don't like it, or because it doesn't reflect the fantasy world in my head that I want to live in. What does that even accomplish? Because I have the maturity to look the other way, and let everyone live their own lives (so long as they're not trying to force me to live mine like theirs). I don't own "art". And neither does anyone else. So if you want to be a part of this world, I welcome you with open arms.
And you know, maybe I'm not the greatest artist in the world. But it's a meaningful and fulfilling activity for me. Should I refrain from engaging in it because I'm not "good enough" by some arbitrary standard? Should art be restricted to the upper classes that can afford expensive equipment (because "true" artists know that talent is inconsequential next to owning the latest camera model)? We all have to start somewhere. I want to get better. But telling me my work is shit isn't going to make that happen. We all have assholes. It doesn't mean we have to be assholes.
And if you don't like who I am or what I stand for, that's too bad. Because I'm not going to change. So you just better get used to it. Or continue suffering. It's your choice.