Hey this is gonna be a little rant post! It’s just something I need to get off my chest!
I know a lot of people here on tumblr make fun of “sjb” and how “omgz ur tryin to change da worl on the internet ur a dum hahaha” lemme give you a little story
before i was on tumblr i was your average cookie cutter wannabe pro artist and knew nothing about nothing, the whole “social justice” (i hate calling it that because its really just basic morals) thing. I know some of you might remember my mlp superheroine series let me say that this is probably the thing that I have drawn that I am most ashamed of ever.
While on deviantART the reception of this was great, on tumblr it wasn’t so much and at first it made me angry that people didn’t like it. I never replied it but I thought things like “don’t like it don’t look at it” or “fuq u i draw what i want draw ur own then lol” but the message these people were trying to get across to me never really GOT across to me until months later.
Yes there is a lot of things wrong with that series, I stripped my favorite characters off of their very own personalities to make them into your cookie cutter white able bodied “”babe”“” comic book females. And what terrifies me now is that at the moment it felt so natural, I drew them almost unthinkingly, just one after the other, the way my brain was used to drawing girls, because as an artist, by comic books I was taught “this is what girls look like in comic books”. I never once thought of making them POC or chubbier, or not able bodied, or trans*, or just making them be REAL girls for christ sake. The thought never crossed my mind at all and it really turns my stomach how brainwashed I was because I am a poc myself, yet I neglected making any of them a poc. It was almost automatic to me that when the idea came to me to make them superheroes was cookie cutter girls.
I was even posted on eschergirls, and at first when I read the post I felt angry and attacked, especially at the comments, but then I realized they were right. They were right to feel hurt and tired of the same old thing. And for that I apologize deeply from the bottom of my heart.
So to all those people that tell other “sjb” that they’re not gonna change anything let me tell you that I for one have to disagree, because it’s changed me, and while I am the same artist that drew those humanizations, I promise you I am not the same person. And to all the artists who feel victimized or attacked by a critique, try to look past the anger (if critique is worded angrily), and try to read what the person was really trying to say. Sure it’s true that people should be considerate to artists, but I also think as artists we’ve got to know how powerful art is and how it affects the people that see it.
Lastly, no it’s not wrong to draw “”“babes”“” but think of the societal standards of a babe and what constitutes it. Are you really drawing what you think a beautiful woman looks like or what you were taught a beautiful woman looks like?
Again sorry for the rant, I really felt the need to clarify this, and sincerely sorry if my art has ever made anyone feel bad in any way.
Wow. I just kinda stumbled upon this. o_o As I recall, I didn’t post it as an official EG thing (it’s fan art), but because somebody talked about it, and it was on some news site, I just commented at how generic they ended up looking when made into superheroines, and just as an example of how when people think “superheroine” they think a very narrow look (and skin tone). I actually really liked your art style. :) I don’t think you should be ashamed of it. It’s well drawn. And it’s part of your learning and growing process as an artist. Don’t be ashamed. :)
And you’re really right on how we can internalize messages about how things should look. I’m East Asian, but when I create heroes, I still default them to white a lot. Because almost every superheroine we see in fiction looks a certain way, when we think “superheroine” we think that look.
But, wow. I really admire the way you viewed criticism, and more to the point, how you managed to separate your emotions from seeing the criticism (which is very understandable), from what was being said. I’m sure some complaints you felt were off-base or just ad-hominems, but that you didn’t just dismiss everything and you evaluated them, is really cool. :) I’m not just saying that because I agree with what you said, but that I really do think it’s important to be able to consider criticism, be able to set it aside if you don’t agree, or learn from it if you do, but not just lash out and then forget about the whole thing, which is a really automatic thing to want to do.
Also, love what you said at the end. :)
Given that I have some responsibility for drawing attention to your art, I also want to draw attention to this. :) (Also, because what you said is awesome.)