So I'm testing that crazy idea of artistic freedom. I usually take commissions from IMVU to supplement my nonexistent income, but as of late it's been bringing me down. I just can't feel the enthusiasm that I used to have about it, and I think that's down to my ability to express myself freely and not be burdened by the business side of it all. When trying to sell anything you have to sort of know your audience and where you can more easily market yourself, and how. From my personal experience in the IMVU art community (which is to say this isn't 100% correct, but it's merely my observations mixed with opinions) I've noticed the following things:
Note: None of these things are negative, or am I stating them in a bad way. They're purely observational.
* IMVU is a large community and in such a large community it is important to make yourself known, and put yourself out there making a connection with customers to encourage repeat business and recommendation. It's often that it isn't the most talented artists who get more business, but those with the most prominent presence. Networking is key.
* Themes like kawaii, scene, glamour, hipster, and alternative usually sell better than most themes, but overall there is a focus on beauty defined in the commercial sense with a gravitation towards typical Caucasian features (i.e. straight hair, slim noses, blue/green eyes).
* With art theft being a major problem among the community people aren't as eager to pay for art they aren't familiar with, or can't see proof of. As an add on to this, there is a sort of paranoia over art theft that causes people to be overly cautious of anything they may see as theft, being stolen, and etc.
Now when I make art for IMVU things like this are ravaging through my head and it makes it very hard for me to create something nice that I enjoy. To combat this I completely tossed off the chain, and said I'm going to be selfish and spend time making things I find pretty or I find interesting and I started with a piece called bird.
With bird I wanted to establish I was free (thus the name) and decided to try out some new techniques from a YouTube video I'd been looking at for portrait help since that's mostly what I draw. One of the things I'd learned was that the focus shouldn't be on detailing, but it should be on accuracy. I focus a lot on minute details, but never on overall accuracy so I wanted to make a change with that and started with trying this one out. The facial ref I used was a picture of Allison Harvard (creepy Chan <3 she was so robbed of a victory) and kept progressing from there.