Why do you submit artwork to the internet?
Do you do it for attention/notoriety/fame? To arouse or offend? To entertain?
Is it just a needs to an end - are your reasons purely financial or is it just a business exercise?
Do you feel the need to stamp your identity upon the internet - is it purely an exercise in exhibitionism?
Do you want to be the best - like no one ever was?
I personally believe people submit artwork to the internet for all of these reasons - and I think all of those reasons are valid in their own right. Not everybody shares that opinion though.
I frequent internet forums less than I used to - but I'm still haunted by much of the commentary I have experienced. Paraphrasing: "I only post artwork to the internet for the purposes of critique; Why else would I post artwork to the internet?"
It's a statement that has stuck in my head because in all honestly it's very rarely been a reason that I've submitted artwork to the internet. Of course I appreciate constructive critique, but I generally consider myself to be the most qualified (and scathing) critic of my own artwork.
Truthfully other people's critique and opinions can be as misleading as they are helpful - and generally no two people will be able to agree about what is 'right' and/or 'wrong' about an art piece or style. Honestly I've more often found the discord of other people's commentary to be less of a help and more of a destructive influence upon my work - nowadays I'm generally less observant of any feedback I get because of that - not to say that I don't appreciate any comments my artwork pieces recieve.
As an artist only you yourself can know with any certainty what direction you want to take your artwork in. In the end it's up to you to be decisive and resolute about your creative and stylistic choices - and to stick by those weapons of choice when you come under unfair scrutiny.
I've known people to dismiss an artist's gallery completely out of hand because their gallery contains 'too much' fan art or because they appear to create adult work almost exclusively - saying to themselves: "This person is obviously only out to draw attention to themselves - why else would they only draw this kind of artwork?"
I'm disappointed when people come to conclusions like that. Such remarks are revealing of an underdeveloped, judgemental and (honestly) immature mindset. Fan art or adult artwork is just as time-consuming, skilful and relevant as non-fan art and non-adult pieces. Sure, content-wise it's definitely not to everybody's individual taste - but that's no reason to dismiss it - or the artists that generate it - completely out of hand.
So what am I seeking when I post my artwork to the internet?
To prove my existence to the world?
To stand in defiance of those who would dismiss my artwork/creativity?
To gain recognition for my abilities?
To build a reputation/lay a foundation for a career in a creative discipline?
Sometimes - perhaps - it's all of these things - other times it's none of them.
Do any of us really need a reason to share our creations with other people? Are those reasons ever quantifiable?
Does the same person ever submit two separate pieces of work for the exact same reason?
If I don't agree with the content of an artist's work is that a reason to dismiss them completely out of hand?
For me the answers to all those questions are no - and I bear that in mind when I look at other people's galleries irregardless of the content. Everybody's artwork has a relevancy all its own. Everybody deserves recognition for their creative efforts - even if it's only for a moment.
Stay positive about your artwork.
Keep drawing the things you love to draw.