Monday, April 27, 2020

Facebooking and Creativity: Why do either?

I want to preface this to say that I'm not complaining about being creative or creating, but I AM complaining that creativity doesn't get the appreciation it should - at least not on Facebook.  I did a study on a week's worth of my Facebook posts and...well, read on:


Since I was a kid, creating was a need - I can't breathe without it, I can't live without it.  Jim Henson said, "I want to leave the world a little better by my having been in it."  To continue that legacy, tons of fans have created all sorts of things trying to bring joy and inspiration to others.  I need to do something that helps me be focused and calm and within myself.  Creating is zen, it's comfort.  It gets me into my own world and out of the real world long enough to find some joy, create some joy, and hopefully spread a little joy to the world.  I have said many times, "If I can make one person smile today, waking up has been worth it." 

I remember once hearing about the animators of the olden Looney Tunes saying they created the cartoons for themselves, and if others liked them great.  I do create for my fun; but, I really do want others to like them.

Creating requires a TON of work, and many hours of brain work and physical work goes into it.



So, I'll spend a while working on a comic strip idea, probably visiting the idea several times.  When drawing, I like to do things the old-fashioned way.  My process takes many, many hours.  I like to draw it all out in pencil (#2 hard lead yellow pencil) on layout bond or tracing paper first.  Then, I'll put Bristol board over that (all on a light table) and ink directly on the board.  This keeps me from erasing on the board which will lighten the inks.

Next, I scan the artwork into my computer and digitally clean it up, color it, and letter it (rarely is my hand steady enough to hand letter).

All said and done, I can spend up to 3 - 5 hours working on a single comic strip.  Comic stories/pages take even longer than strips.


Working on something with the puppets takes many, many more hours to complete.  For example, a 5 minute kids' message at church finds me spending up to 5 - 8 hours researching, writing, re-writing, and prepping.  If I do a video, there's the process of setting up for the shoot, filming, take and retake, transferring it to the computer, and editing, plus any art that has to be done for that.  So, add many more hours.


I'd like to get paid, but would definitely like hearing from folks that it's reaching them and they're getting something out of it (hopefully laughs and fun).  Perhaps it's because media, internet, and social media is so overwhelmed with opportunities for people to share things that people can't find what they want, or they can't focus due to so much stimuli.

Lots of people have said, "Give us more comics" or "more puppet videos."  And it seems that as long as it's free people are willing to take it.  But, when you create and offer products to sell and support the rest of what you do (not only the time invested in it, but the materials and supplies that go with it), nobody wants to become invested in it themselves.

I'm never NOT going to create, I'm going to just stick with the way I've been doing it:
IF there is time and I feel like doing something for fun, I'll do it, and I'll share it hoping others will gain joy from the creations, too.


This brings me to my thoughts about Facebook now.  I did a study on a week's worth of posts (April 19 - 25), and this does not include posts in which I was tagged or shared to my page not by me.

51 posts, 25 posts commented on.  Posts with no image attached: no activity.

12 Muley and personally-involved creative posts, only 2 garnered comments.  10 had no comments.  Of the 2 with comments: 1 discussing Covid-19 safety had 1 comment; 1 about Muley Reads had 1 comment.  The 2 comments were only made by the people who were directly involved in their respective posts.  Of 12 creative posts, there were 28 emotes, mostly by the very same people (roughly 2.33 emotes per post, although 2 of the posts had 0 comments and 0 posts, I think).

9 posts about bad Covid-19 news, sad stories, or political/Trump-related, 7 were commented on (one with 22 comments, the post about the Covid-19 Protester Medical Declination Card got 57 comments {mainly due to offense taken about guns and Trump}, Shelly Duvall’s sad story got 12 comments, Trump’s disinfectant comment got 17 comments.)

What I’ve learned:
If I post about something positive, joyful, joking, and especially creative with Muley or another project I’m involved with – hardly anything at all.
If I post something to get people riled up whether it’s negative about sickness or death, sadness, or political/Trump-related, especially guns and Trump, it gets a TON of hits.

Facebook does have algorithms set up which may or may not allow some posts to be seen.  New test will need to be what happens if the production (art, video) is posted directly to Facebook versus shared from the home website.

April 19  - 6 activities. 
Shared a Dennis the Menace strip.  1 comment agreeing about ice cream, 3 emotes.
Asked if everyone had what they needed during closures.  1 comment also offering help, 5 emotes.
Shared link to church services. 0 comments, 4 emotes.
Shared article featuring a friend.  0 comments, 6 emotes.
Shared information from a nurse friend about Covid-19.  2 comments, 4 emotes.
Posted photo of dinner.  0 comments, 6 emotes.

April 20  - 3 activities.
Shared information about an organization I love.  0 comments, 6 emotes.
Posted about available jobs in Memphis and Mid-south.  0 comments. 0 emotes.
Posted video about Muley and friend discussing Covid-19 safety.  1 comment, 4 emotes.

April 21 – 9 activities.
Shared a friend’s video about quarantine.  0 comments, 2 emotes.
Shared article about Rally-goers at government building.  22 comments, 21 emotes, 28 shares.

Shared video about a video podcast featuring Muley.  0 comments, 0 emotes.
Shared images from Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum.  0 comments, 1 emote.
Shared that a friend is making face masks.  10 comments, 10 emotes, 1 share.
Shared video again about Muley and friend discussing Covid-19 safety.  0 comments, 11 emotes.
Posted video of my pets while working from home.  1 comment, 6 emotes.
Posted Covid-19 Protester Card to decline treatment.  57 comments, 17 emotes, 2 shares.
Shared art for sale by a friend.  1 comment, 1 emote.

April 22 – 5 activities
Posted Muley’s kids message about Earth Day.  0 comments, 4 emotes.
Posted info from City of Memphis regarding Mental Health Help during quarantine. 0 comments, 1 emote, 1 share.
Posted city information about not opening 5/1.  4 comments, 12 emotes.
Shared a post from our office’s facebook page.  0 comments, 0 emotes.
Posted video about Millennium Falcon Interior/break-away.  2 comments, 5 emotes.

April 23 – 6 activities
Posted joke about my chocolate bunny. 1 comment, 5 emotes.
Shared art for sale by a friend.  0 comments, 0 emotes.
Posted a “Muley Reads” link.  1 comment, 4 emotes.
Posted link to sad story about Shelley Duvall.  12 comments, 17 emotes, 2 shares.

Shared Cookie Monster cookie recipe.  0 comments, 4 emotes, 1 share.
Posted joke about Trump saying inject disinfectant.  17 comments, 12 emotes.

April 24 – 5 activities
Posted Covid-19 Recovery news. 2 comments, 5 emotes.

Posted that Agricenter Farmer Market reopening.  2 comments, 4 emotes.
Shared a restaurant menu for pick-up.  0 comments, 4 emotes.
Posted a cat picture.  1 comment, 16 emotes.
Posted Minnie Mouse painting I did as a barter.  0 comments, 24 emotes, 1 share.

April 25 – 7 activities
Posted a teaser image for a comic story I did.  0 comments, 1 emote.
Posted breakfast photo.  4 comments, 23 emotes.
Posted photo of licked batter bowl.  11 comments, 34 emotes.

Posted photo of dinner.  9 comments, 41 emotes.
Posted about phishing email.  0 comments, 0 emotes.  No image, btw.
Posted link about Trump not donating to cemeteries.  2 comments, 5 emotes.
Posted joke about me cutting my hair.  10 comments, 65 emotes.

April 26 – 10 activities
Posted about Muley’s Kids’ Message.  0 comments, 2 emotes.
Posted story about Nurse on the Covid-frontline.  0 comments, 3 emotes.
Shared Snoopy comic. 0 comments, 4 emotes.
Shared link about processing grief.  1 comment, 9 emotes, 2 shares.
Posted link about ‘loss of taste’ covid symptom. 0 comments, 14 emotes, 4 shares.

Posted link to church services.  2 comments, 4 emotes.
Posted link to music video.  0 comments, 4 emotes.
Shared art for sale by friend.  0 comments, 0 emotes.
Shared video of Muley prepping for interview.  0 comments, 3 emotes.
Shared link to video podcast by friends.  0 comments, 2 emotes.

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