Got an email from an aspiring artist who was asking for advice on how to get noticed , how to get attention for work that ISN’T essentially fanart. I guess the experience on their end is that when they do original pieces, the response is hardly a spark of what they get when they do something referential that people already know.
I figured I’d respond here since it would help more than just one person.
You can NOT get noticed now unless you draw referential stuff. Sorry, artist. The universe no longer allows for you to exist without climbing up onto a tower of tired references, eating as much of it as you can, gorging on the festering corpses of what came before or what’s popular now and then shitting it back out at the audience you hope to capture, hoping enough of them have their mouths open to ingest what’s been ingested ad infinitum into their “art-appreciation centers”.
That’s what you gotta do. Just get started already. You’re wasting your time if you’re not already drawing Legend of Zelda fan art (try cute female versions of Link!), or some Star Wars thing. My Little Pony is big right now, so stop trying to do anything new and do some Pony art already!
You might think I’m being sarcastic, but that’s only because you can’t see me wearing my Super Mario t-shirt while I’m drawing Sonic the Hedgehog wearing a Darth Vader helmet.
Good luck, and remember…NINJA TURTLES.