[SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2022]




cw: racism/antiblackness mentions but its just about some annoying people i faced while on the bird app LOL

ALSO THIS IS LIKE 1400 WORDS so feel free to click this to read the too long; didn't read version

I'm a hobbyist artist on the interwebs. I've been drawing digitally 10 years, but only now getting an 'audience' the past 4 years or so. I post my art on just about every social media site there is, at varying amounts, except Tiktok. I'll never be on Tiktok.

But the worst place of it all has been Twitter, and I'll most likely never go back. Here's why lol.

Sometime in March '22, the art side Twitter had chosen their Main Character of The Day. Someone was ranting that they had a lot of followers and likes on their art, but little retweets on their art. They were basically saying that likes meant nothing and you need to be RTing their art to really support them.

The post and surrounding discourse left the impression that for some people, it'll never be enough. Next, it'll be, 'don't just RT, commenting is how you support an artist'! Then, 'commenting isn't enough, you have to follow any artists art you like'! And it goes on and on and on. Why?

Because Twitter is addictive. It's most literally engineered to be that way.

I would know! The everchanging algorithm and high one gets from getting 5k likes one day then 500 the next has terribly damaged my relationship with art. No matter how self-aware I was, after a while my brain would still remake the connection that lots of likes = my arts good. So, what did it mean when I didn't get a lot of likes?

What would I do to get those likes again?


For anyone who doesn't know me personally, I've been into Undertale since it dropped in 2015. In 2019, I made human designs of the two skeleton brothers for my own enjoyment. I didn't know it at the time, but I love character design! I sat on the Undertale wiki for hours and hours making sure I got every piece of lore or easter eggs I could into my designs.

I even gave them the highest honor a black artist can bestow: making them black as well. Undertale was the first fandom where I saw diverse humanizations and no one batted an eye, so I wasn't too worried about making them black. But I was worried about making them 'too black'.

As a black person, no matter how accepting a community is, there is always a line you gotta stay behind if you don't want to alienate yourself. Giving my Papyrus locs, and long ones at that, might have pushed him over that 'too black' line, even though that was exactly how I'd imagined him. I stayed behind that line and gave him a frohawk instead.

I didn't have many followers on any site, so I got maybe 200 notes on Tumblr, but the support I did get fueled me. I kept excitedly making more art then thought, 'hey! why don't I put this on twitter, too?'


My art got triple the amount of attention than on Tumblr. Twitter's engagement was fast, fleeting, and reactive, the entire opposite to Tumblr. My art peaked in 12 hours, but boy was it way more interaction than I was used to! As my follower count spontaneously grew and I learned the site more, I subconsciously figured out what 'worked', when to post, and what happens when I don't post.

(I subconsciously stopped making art that 'wouldn't work' or couldn't be posted 'on time', and I'd always be making posts no matter what it was.)

I'd never had people like my work so much before! I even felt more comfortable now to design Papyrus the way I initially wanted, with long locs. My followers accepted it. I was ecstatic! There was a space for me to be myself, though not wholly yet, with other people with a thing I liked.

Soon, I got cemented as an Undertale Artist™. I started to be known. People loved my stuff!

Then I had to deal with racist comments and harassment every single time I ever posted my designs on Twitter.

I won't say 90% of the feedback I got on Twitter was negative because it wasn't. I just realized anytime my work got passed 1k likes, I'd have to block 10 people minimum. Twitter loves to put your work on the timelines of the worst people possible, because apparently any engagement is good engagement! I had to deal with the same unfunny jokes (especially about Papyrus hair! Surprise!), same slurs, same annoying anime pfps.

I kept at it because despite it all, I was having fun.

But two years in, all of it was starting to take a toll. I also felt extremely stifled creatively. I just wanted to try something different, where I could have free reign to do as I please and not really have to 'answer' to anyone.

So, I got into making original work.

Remember when I said I was cemented as the Undertale Artist™ in people's minds? When I tried to draw anything outside of that, it 'flopped'. It didn't 'do well', no matter what I did. In the span of a week, I made a full illustration of an OC with a background, a sketch page of an OC, even a mini OC comic. I knew those types of drawings didn't 'flop'..

..with my fanart.

But I essentially cultivated a fanbase that was only here for one thing.

It was easy when I was doing something I liked and easily getting rewarded for it. Now to do something I love and get dust? My 'clout', my 10 thousand whole followers, meant nothing in that moment.

Then, the art discourse of March '22 comes around and I realize...

Where does any of this end?

If I stayed, I probably still woulda been ripping my hair out trying to refigure out what works and how to 'go viral', and I'd be creating art I don't really wanna create to get back to those likes I crave.

But why? What does a few thousand likes even DO for me? It doesn't pay my bills! All of my commissions come from Tumblr despite me having TWICE the amount of followers and 'engagement' on Twitter! And that is NOT uncommon. I don't know a single artist in my artist circle that pays their bills through twitter. Likes and followers do not = $$$. If your favorite popular artist isn't a furry and/or porn artist (and even then, most times their commissions come from furaffinity), they are just as broke as you and I.

And as for fandom as a whole.. I'm fairly done with that too. I feel so caged in a box with the very young fanbase I've cultivated and the art I'm 'supposed' to making. Undertale is still extremely near and dear to me, so I'll be finishing the comic I've wanted to make all these years for it. But after that? I'm done. I still haven't figured out if I'll remake and change my art alias to completely break ties, or just remake my accounts, sans (lol) Twitter.

All in all, I just wanna be me! And sites like Twitter don't seem to adapt well to people being people. I just wanna be a silly billy on the internet with my friends and talk in depth about what I like. Change like the leaves if I want to. That's what this neocities is for. For me, by me. As much as I love and appreciate the people who have supported my art all these years, I don't wanna play the algorithm game anymore and haven't been for months. Whoever wants to opt in can opt in! Get with it or get lost!

*I've completely stopped posting to my main twitter since April... but I do still have two side twitters. One's for my close twitter mutuals so I can keep up with them, and the other is for nsfw art, since no other website allows it. After making a discord server, I've sorta killed two birds with one stone, but not completely.

TL;DR: twitter virality is fleeting. I got my audience on twitter through my undertale art, but with it came racial harassment. After wanting a break and to express myself wholly through my original work, I've realized that all I've built on Twitter doesn't mean much, and all there's left to do is continue to run after virality and follower milestones. I'm not interested in any of that anymore, so ive quit.. but I'm still on twitter vaguely because ive made many friends there that wont move fr. Ill be quitting 'fandom' soon too and just focusing on myself, my original work and moving towards being authentically me!