Sometimes it's ok to be a follower

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Reality Of It All

Last week I was reading a post by one of my favorite bloggers. She was having a particularly rough day and was questioning why she blogged. The collection of posts on her blog are about her life, her family, her artwork, and her beliefs. At times people disagree with her decision to post family photos and discuss her christian beliefs.

I read through her entire post feeling tears coming on. It truly bothered me that people feel they can harass others just because they have the security of hiding behind a computer screen. It's just bad behavior.

I found this woman's blog one day when I was particularly bummed out and going through a tough time. Her blog was the first that I had ever seen or read. Until that point I didn't even understand what a blog was. The words that she published were very touching and made me feel better. So reading that  she sometimes wondered why she blogged because she felt that there wasn't enough enjoyment to replace the negativity that she received, made me feel badly for her. I have met so many wonderful people blogging and I would hate to feel that I needed to give up something that I enjoyed.

I have never met this blogger; can't imagine that I ever would for any reason, never talked to her, or sent her an email, I do not know her and I do not know what makes her blog, but I do know one thing about what she writes. It's that her words have the power to help people. She has an amazing ability to help and encourage complete strangers. And this day I decided that maybe someone needed to tell her that, maybe she didn't know. I wrote her a very long email telling her how grateful I was, how she had wrote words that I needed to hear, and how in the end she had made me feel better. I let her know that she had helped me.

The next morning she returned my email. She told me of how my email made her cry because she really needed someone to tell her that. She was a complete sweetheart and thanked me repeatedly.
I spent the rest of the day thinking, wow sometimes it really does feel that when we have something to be joyful about, forces outside of our control come to try and steal our joy. It's a shame really.

I really didn't understand where this poor woman was coming from. I had never had anyone be mean to me over blogging...
That is until today. This morning I received my first piece of harassing email or hate mail; I'm not really sure what to call it.

This person contacted me through my store and was pushing for a response from me, so please see below:

I draw and craft as a hobby. It is something that I enjoy doing. I am sorry if somehow I have offended  you by sharing my art. The truth is I have no idea who you are, so that was not my intention. I can draw in many different styles: fantasy, manga, etc... but I enjoy big eyed cutesy art the most. This is why I tend to draw big eyed art. It is a style that is defined by the slightly over sized adorable eyes. This is how I draw and it is how thousands of people world wide draw also. I'm sorry if it offends you that people other than yourself draw this way. I am not familiar with your art so I am not inspired by it nor you, sorry. I truly do not understand the pictures that you attached. Our lines do not match up, our pupils are different shapes, and our light flashes are in different places. The noses, mouths, and chins are also different. Your face shapes are pointed and mine are round. They are different, I see no reason for you to feel threatened by my work. I know that you complained about several of my other images too, but you did not send me any pictures about those so I really do not know what your concern is. You indicated that you had an issue with my hair styles. My hair is long and I have experimented with many different styles my entire life. This is where I get my inspiration for hairstyles. When I find one I like I put it in my art. Let me assure you that my work is my own.

I enjoy drawing and sharing. I give most of my illustrations out for free, and all anybody has to do is ask if they want one. This is something I do for me, not as a job to make money. I am not trying to steal your style or your customers. 

You stated in your email that you would be hiring a lawyer if I did not obey you wishes. That is your choice, I have no issues hiring an attorney myself. I have saved all my work from the beginning rough sketch ideas all the way to the completed product. It is quite easy so see how many times I erased each image until I got it just the way that I wanted it. I would not waste my time tracing your work, I enjoy creating it myself. 

  • I will not be removing illustrations  
  • I will not be closing my store
  • I will not discontinue posting  
  • I will continue to share my love of drawing with others
I stand by my work and I'm not going to let you or any other stranger take something I enjoy doing away. I do not appreciate you sending me threatening emails. I feel that artists should be supportive of one another, not stretching to find ways for others not to be able to express themselves in their love of art too. It is unfortunate that this is the way you choose for us to meet, it truly saddens me. I wish you all the success in the world in your creative endeavors.

Hope everyone out there is having a wonderful day.



  1. Oh, Anna, I could make this sooooo long....but I'll keep it short:
    Your art is inspirational....I, and many others, love it!
    You always have something "readable" to it!
    You are generous to a it!
    You answered this person's accusations and negativity with patience and it!
    Get the picture?

  2. Anna, this is a thoughtful well-written response. You are a fantastic artist, and I'm sorry that anyone is questioning your values. Love the cuties! Xoxo

  3. I am so glad you wrote this for all to see. I also need to hear this, this type of thing happens to me in my daily life and it helps me to keep doing what I do when others or trying to knock me down. Thank you for the wonderful words of inspiration.

  4. I have read your post with absolute amazement that anyone could question your artistic ability like that. I love your wee girls, they are so delightful. I have great admiration for your reply to this person, and hope that will be the end of it.

  5. sucks people are like that! I love your art. and you explain where you get inspiration that Halloween image with the weapon from WOW...some people! just keep rocking out the images. I know I love them!

  6. WTH! I hate it when people hide behind computers because they are cowards. I love your images and really appreciate the freebies. Please don't let this one hateful person discourage you from doing what you love. Again thanks for your generosity.

  7. Oh man she sux...I also love your images and appreciate what you share and give away. I am a full time carer for my 100 yr old dad in our own home. Through this I have lost all my friends, well if you can call them friends. They are the losers like this person as you have many followers and lovers of what you were gifted with....that is your compassion to share your well designed art....It takes one in every walk of life to be a loner in life and my version is....she is jealous of your artistic ways....luv ya...aussie annie

  8. Of all the millions of artists in the world, why wouldn't there be MANY artists who have similar styles? Take a look at the Masters, how many have similar styles from even centuries ago? We all think we are so unique and have our own unique styles and habits, but realistically, there are millions of people in the world! How can we be so naive to that? Your email was diplomatic and cordial. I am proud of the way you handled the situation. We can only hope the recipient is as mature and understanding as you are. Express yourself, as you have done all along... Hugs from FL... ;)

  9. Hi Anna

    I just wanted to say as a new subscriber to your blog that I think your art is lovely and it is awful that someone can be so horrid, I feel that it is perhaps jealousy and I am a big believer in what goes around comes around, so you just go on being your nice self and try and forget about this nasty person.
    Many Hugs from Vanessa x

  10. I am so sorry that this had to happen to you. I love the fact that you have your style and draw what you wish. This is America... unfortunately, there are some self centered adults in this world. These are the adults that become parents and harass teachers too. Just be positive and you will be rewarded. Have a wonderful week and thank you for all your work that you share with everyone. Hugs

  11. Hi Anna,
    I was brought to your site by going to SCS, so this is my first time here. : ) I love your digistamps so cute. I read your response to the meanie blogger, and I cannot believe someone would do that. I do not have a blog and was thinking of making one but knowing that there are people out there that are so rude makes me a little apprehensive. I too think you handled the situation with finesse. I like your blog and will be back. : ) Thank you.

  12. Hi Anna,

    I too love your work, keep it up and well done in your graceful response to this person.
    Enjoy your art, we do !!
    Love Sue

  13. Hi Anna,

    I love your art - it is well drawn and fun to colour. Well done sticking up for yourself! There are troublemakers everywhere, but you were very sweet in response. This reveals great character!

    Thanks, Esther T

  14. This is my first visit to your blog, and I just LOVE your designs! People who act out like this are undoubtedly jealous and insecure...and thus become aggressive bullies, making vicious, unwarranted threats. It's disgraceful behavior for an adult...even for a child! I love that you clearly stated that you will NOT be condescending and give in to her threats. Very assertive, as opposed to her aggressive behavior.

    There are all kinds out there. I believe it is our responsibility to protect ourselves from harm, and refusing to respond to further threats would probably be the best approach to handling this.

    I remember a while back, a website/store included megakits for free, and one woman went all out on an attack that a flower (realistic, photo)was HER flower and outright accused this woman (who was one of the volunteers who contributed monthly to the megakit like the other members, with no "reimbursement" except the joy of creating and contributing/sharing her talent/designs.I remember this because the "attack" was so downright vicious, it was astonishing. You know how it is, these types are miserable, and misery LOVES company!

    Just continue, as you plan, doing what makes you happy. You owe this "nutcase" no explanation or defense.

    Your talent and generosity are very don't owe her the time of day, especially after the interaction she CHOSE to initiate with you.

    And thank you for sharing your experience...even this kind of experience is helpful to readers and followers.


  15. I love your work and enjoy seeing your wonderful creations well done for being so honest upfron and most of all true to yourself. some people in life are sad sorry individuals who are insecure and feel threatened It saddens me that they feel thsi need to take this out on others.You have made it very clear you are not doing anything wrong other than sharing your passion with us who happily follow and benfir from your wonderful creations with no cost to myself thank you and keep up the wonderful work, from an admirer x

  16. Hi Anna, I absolutely love your work. You are so amazing. There will always be someone in the world to dampen peoples spirits and complain. We all love you and your work. Do not change anything. You are an inspiration to so many people.
    I know I am so late with my 2 bobs worth but really I hate this sort of thing.
    Keep on keeping on.
    Hugs, Lynne from OZ

  17. I just today found your blog and I absolutely love it! I'd love to be that creative. I jokingly tell people that the only thing I can draw is flies! I want to encourage you. I have 5 absolutely gorgeous and loving and talented granddaughters and a grandson and 3 great grandchildren. The girls ages ar 9, 10, 12, 14 and 24. They all love to draw and especially color and scrapbook. I have printed out some of the blank ones for them to color the next time they are at my house! They are going to have so much fun picking out the one they think looks like them! I can almost hear their excitement now. Thank you for the stand you took on the ugly note. And thank you for using your talent and sharing it with others. I don't believe God gives us gifts and talents to hide them. Keep up the good work.

  18. P.S. My third grandaughters name is Anna! Anna Grace!

  19. ditto to all above..... I have a favourite saying that is especially apt for occasions like this. It relates to negative people just like this person. Several times in my life I have had this printed in big letters on my office wall. If need be, only you need to know what it means LOL

    It's SW,SW,SW.
    It stands for "Some will" nice; like you; etc etc
    "Some won"t".............................ditto
    So What!................don't let the bad guys win!

    cheers Sheila