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It's About Having Fun~ by Lopoddity It's About Having Fun~ by Lopoddity
I dunno if you guessed it, but I like drawing cute little ponies....fanart of a children's cartoon. And every so often, someone feels the need to tell me that my personal interest is stupid, childish, cancerous....."cringe-y". Boy howdy, do I hear that word tossed around a lot. Cringe, cringe, cringe. We're all afraid of making something cringe-worthy. Something that could end up in those lovely "Bad OC" cringe compilations. I see other artists, especially young creators, getting policed and attacked for creating something that could-gasp!- be interpreted as the dreaded Mary Sue. So artists stifle themselves. Can't make your OC too colorful. Don't you dare make them related to a canon character! Better watch that backstory, lest somebody decry your character as an edgelord. You can have a nerdy interest, but you better not be too fucking passionate about it. Watch yourself. Don't be too different. Don't be cringe-y.

So here's my question to ye gatekeepers of content, ye knowers of all things cringe-worthy, ye adamant enforcers of creative conformity...........Who cares?

Really. Why. Why is "cringe" an issue? So what if someone makes an edgy black-and-red OC, or a sparkly mary sue alicorn princess? So what if somebody makes up an over-powered self-insert and ships them with a canon character? So what if somebody dares to be unironically passionate about a fandom or interest considered less-than-cool? Who cares if people have imperfect, cliche-riddled characters they love?

Cringe culture is mean-spirited. It demands creators conform. It's perpetuated by people who, quite oddly, get really bent out of shape at the sight of people unironically enjoying harmless things.

I say forget it. Trample it. Let people have fun. Especially don't be cruel to young creators- nobody learns to be a skilled artist or writer overnight. And this is by no means a statement against criticism, even harsh criticism.....but there's a big, big difference between giving constructive criticism, vs choosing to crap on somebody for having a "cringe-y" interest. Clicking on someone's work to tell them that it's cringe, or cancer, or that they should kill themselves.....that's not criticism. It's cruelty. The only point of it is to discourage and shame creators, often young, vulnerable ones. There is nothing heroic or helpful about this behavior. This is what I am standing against. To make things clear, I am not anti-criticism. I am anti-bullying.

Idk. I'm a teacher with an Art Education degree, and I believe one of the most important things is to encourage people's interest in the arts, not push them away (out of a mean-spirited attempt to seem cooler by proxy). My favorite Mister Rogers quote (applies to artists of all ages):

"Do you like to draw with crayons? I'm not very good at it. But it doesn't matter. It's the fun of doing it that's important. Now, I wouldn't have made that if I just thought about it. No matter how anybody says it is....It feels good to have made something."

edit: adding in a relevant C.S. Lewis quote as well, on enjoying "childish things"

“Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

Join my Cringe Challenge here! Cringey Pony OC Challengefigured my last status would work better as a journal SO
I've got a little challenge for all my artists that love making MLP OCs~
if you want to, i'd sure appreciate if ya'll would design the "cringiest", most "mary-sue/gary stu" pony your brain can concoct, and submit your design to this journal in a comment. I'd like to do a piece about how cringe culture restricts our freedom as makers and consumers of content, so I'll be picking one of your "cringe" designs and drawing it! I'd like to make clear that this is not meant to be mean-spirited, your mock OC will be drawn respectfully, and hopefully be used to get those haters of "cringe-y OCs" to question why they feel the need to mock other people's harmless interests.
You can go however nuts you want. Break every OC-designing rule, design however you goddamn want. Wanna show me a rainbow-haired alicorn with jewel eyes and two sets of wings? Go for it! Make a black and red overpowered dark lord that cries ink black tears.
This OC was designed by :iconincomingtrouble:, their original (much better, lol) drawing is here: Edgy by incomingtrouble

edit: comments disabled because it's late and i'm tired, and some of ya'll are getting real huffy about a drawing of a rainbow horse with a flowery anti-bullying message. will probably turn comments back on later. For now i think i'm good on being told to kill myself. Great job convincing me cringe culture is totes necessary tho!
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MauEvig Featured By Owner 4 minutes ago  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG YES! I applaud you for this. I got all kinds of bs when I was younger when creating OCs. Personally I never had a problem with "sparkles" although to be fair, they seem out of place in certain fandoms, but fine for others. But I say people do what they want.
She's lovely by the way. 
Mickeymonster Featured By Owner 1 hour ago
You're a teacher? O_O
PastAilen Featured By Owner 19 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
She is beauty and grace :3
OCEC Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
The mane looks like a rainbow lava lamp. 
IsabelBrightlight Featured By Owner 1 day ago
In one of Russian social networks there's an actual group who call people with OC's connected to canon characters and/or alicorns - "faeries". They say they are "great critics" but they just trash people, "trying to cure" them. And what's more disgusting, that the admin of this group steals characters and sells them. Also most of the subs of this group are agressive as hell
I hate this group so freaking much
Not that I disagree with the overall message, but...

"So what if somebody makes up an over-powered self-insert and ships them with a canon character"

Frankly, I think _that_ one is more likely to draw the wrath of people "
unironically passionate about the fandom". :) (Smile) 
luna150 Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
But why? Why does that affect you? Why do you personally need to police them?
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner 16 hours ago
I don't police them, Ms. AssumesBadThingsAboutOtherPeople. I don't even downvote them. I dislike making other people feel bad. I just really don't want to read them, and understand why other people get pissy about them. 
luna150 Featured By Owner 12 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"Frankly, I think _that_ one is more likely to draw the wrath of people 'unironically passionate about the fandom"

Gee, I wonder why I assumed! Completely out of a left field! My bad!
MissShirisaido Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooh so beautiful :D I love the way the hair is like all kinda goopy at the ends? You know?
Kerfluffle15 Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Student General Artist
holy crap the way you drew that is adorable!
Lishadra Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Student Traditional Artist
I love this positivity!
Ashaton Featured By Owner 3 days ago   Digital Artist
I think it's a beautiful idea.

Thank you for reminding me to not fear to draw, I was under the impression everyone would judge me, and with your intervention I can remember design is mostly fun and imagination. Thank you <3
While I was never bullied for my art skill (or lack thereof), I did encounter someone who managed to hurt just as much.

It's true that bullying is the major issue, and that creative criticism is welcome, it's also important to note to young artists that your art doesn't have to be PERFECT. I appreciate art programs and teachers who can make art fun for a child, but I also absolutely detest the people who try to go the other way and get TOO involved.

I had an art teacher that expected every student to turn in art that was practically professional grade. I am not a good artist, never have been and never will be, and yet I constantly got singled out by this teacher to "do better". What made it infinitely worse was that she GRADED the artwork.

This one teacher single-handedly nearly completely destroyed my interest and willingness to participate in art. The only saving grace was that the very next year, I had a new art teacher who actually conveyed the fun and carefree side of art, and the class wasn't crucial to our overall grade.

My point being, do what you love, and don't let anyone ruin it for you, whether by being too critical OR too "helpful".
BellaExclamationMark Featured By Owner 3 days ago
Thank you so much for taking this stance, cringe culture harmed me mentally so much and I don't want anyone to suffer with it ever again, it's kind of one of the reasons that in the future I hope I can make a website for kid artists!! A safer place for minors to be as creative as they'd like without someone demanding that their art meets their stupid standards!! I still need to finish college and stuff though ehehehe but someday hopefully!!! 
DracoScurra Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
daaang. I'm 20 and STILL terrified of being put in cringe compilations. I have to fight to post a LOT of things due, or to not delete drawings because of that simple fear... I truly hope one day it gets easier TTuTT
KareIchi Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm just sick of these animation meme cringe compilations that gets circled around youtube these past couple of year. Like, half if not basically all of them are made by children and then gets their video absolutely railed by a grown adult infront of their thousands of viewers. I mean shiiit if I found my art in a "artstyles I hate" or "Bad art" videos when I was 13 I'd stop posting my stuff completely.

Tldr Leave childrens art out of your shitty cringe videos

Also nice art
MJKalasky Featured By Owner Edited 3 days ago
Do the people saying such horrible things know it's children they're saying it about when it IS children posting it?  Either way, it's not right, but if they DID know they where saying it about children...
Vruia Featured By Owner 4 days ago
This comment section is a dumpster fire so I might as well whip out some definitions to clear the waters a bit:

Criticism comes from a place of support. It's helpful advice for artists who's art has the potential to improve
in quality if said advice is followed. Of course not all criticism is good criticism and artists aren't forced to follow each and every
piece of it they get. But if it comes from someone with experience, who's judgment is to be trusted, who seems genuine, who truly, truly wants to HELP you to improve and who
makes you as an artist go: "You know what? You're right. I should change that and that in the future. Thank you!"
then that from of criticism is to be cherished.

STRAIGHT UP FUCKIN BULLYING is the exact opposite. It doesn't help artists improve. It makes them feel ashamed of what they've drawn and what they like
to draw. It comes from a place of malice, from a internal superiority complex or just a plan ol' desire to fuck someone's day up just because YOU personally feel like they deserve it. It's not constructive or intelligent. It's just plain mean.
zody5 Featured By Owner 1 day ago
I'm sorry but that's simply not a correct definition of criticism you're whipping out. In no dictionary, be it Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Collins or Cambridge, does the intent with which a criticism is delivered have any bearing on it being definable as criticism. It does not need to "come from a place of support" in the slightest. As I've stated in another comment criticism and "straight up fuckin bullying" can absolutely be the same thing and I think that attempting to misdefine that bullying as not being criticism is less helpful than encouraging people to accept that some criticism just isn't ok.
MJKalasky Featured By Owner 3 days ago
The same thing could be said about how Halo fans have been known to treat the people at 343 Industires, or Star Wars fans with George Lucas for the prequals, etc (although eventually we get to a point where the creators in question are practically ASKING for it, after YEARS of either constructive criticism OR bullying have been going on, in cases like those).
masonicon Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Student General Artist
Cringe Culture ruins my Mega-crossover project
Starburst333 Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Thank you so much, this is so important! Art is meant to bring joy, and yours always makes me happy. 
Drawer450 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Student General Artist
I guess you can say that it is a... May Sue?
Grendelkin Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
IraeCoal Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Professional General Artist

This was something I needed to see, I know I've stated this before but hopefully repeating it could be bared. I'm an older artist, nearing 30, who has had the opportunity to work in the video game industry for four years, due to mass layoffs I had to settle for finding other jobs to help support my fiance and myself. I've always had a complication with putting myself out there to avoid being labeled “cringy” or “underdeveloped” for doing things I love rather than dedicating all my energy trying to create perfect ideas as quickly as possible to gain enough solid work worthy of being in a portfolio.

This fear is toxic for artists of all stages, especially young ones who are still very new to this. However, its a toxic mentality for those older artists with their own anxieties and fears that have caused them to forget what's most important about the trade they long to make a career: the enjoyment of it!

Art in the end is suppose to be fun, you should have a passion for creating something and showing it to the world. This allows the opportunity for you to work more often, get more valuable advice on how to improve and working out your kinks for when/if you wish to make something to take with you on job searches. Draw things because they make you happy, it will give you the strength to push forward in either a future art career or just to add more to a world that's in desperate need for varied types of voices and visions of creativity!

EarlAnnex Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
honestly the only issue i have with some of those "cringe" (heavy quotation marks) stuff is some choices from color schemes. and not even from a "canon" standpoint - more from a "there's a percentage of rarity within me" standpoint; aka the "oh god this clashes so horribly" snooty fashionista reaction...

...ignore me.
lexatea Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
This is, honestly, soooooo inspiring. I actually stayed away from my little pony because of being judged for "being too childish" and having "cringe" work. But I actually recently saw the mlp movie and I LOVED IT so much. Now I'm like obsessed with constant sketches. Even though, other people like my bf find It "childish", I completely love it and people shouldnt judged for doing things they love. It's your artwork and you draw what you want, no matter what people say! Keep up amazing work! I love your art :)
MLPArtist933 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  New Deviant Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is so true. I never tell anyone about my interest in MLP because of my fear of ridicule. But now, I am open about it. Thank you for this fantastic, inspiring post.
boylov Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
And what's so "cringe" about your work? You're one of the greatest MLP artists I've ever seen! Hell, I prefer your stories over the original show!
dizzypopcandy Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OMG!!! That is so pretty! As well, I think the same thing, on my profile I have somewhat something similar talking about the cringe problem, but it's mostly for animations and the young kids who do it.
MadMother88 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I imagine this group where, like, AA, we all go around in this circle and say what we draw. Then we all get some encouragement and then eat cookies... XD

I'm madmother88 and I... Draw pokemon comics!
DrillBoysGirl Featured By Owner 5 days ago
I love your points and I love the comment you made.

I have trouble with Mother. I love her very much, and I know she wants me to be happy, but she is very obsessed with my sister and I getting rid of our video games and stop watching cartoons. Because we need to do adult things.

What the fuck DO adults do? I see you watch four hours of crime shows, how's that different?
eddsworldbatboy1 Featured By Owner Edited 5 days ago  Hobbyist Artist
Personally. I wouldnt care about the "cringe" so long as it doesnt actually hurt my eyes or is too one dimensional, or if it doesnt make sense. If they do then i would just stay away, so long as it doesnt come back to affect me (such as it becoming the new standard everyone lives up to)

I still am concerned if someone doesnt improve these "one dimensional mary sue" kind of art. Especially in that of writing a story relating to it. A character that has no flaws is like the erosion of quality or standards in literature is what i am more concerned about. Altho, Literature and art itself is different.
megameh12 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Redatomisk Featured By Owner 5 days ago
I don't really care about rainbow ponies, but i will defend to the death your right to draw them (or anything else you want)!
Frosty4Chara Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Protecc other people's rainbow ponies?
Moonblossommanwise Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeeessss Queen! Trample that shit forever, I'm gonna make all the cringy, stupid ocs I want! It's more important to have fun and learn than to be stuck in a rut!
bonespecter Featured By Owner 6 days ago  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
great post op oh my god
Acat17 Featured By Owner 6 days ago
My ocs are probably overpowered and mary sues- But sure im fine with that. Nobody has really gotten mad over it. Yet. Well yeah i only draw them at school in fear of getting called cringe and it getting put in a cringe comp..
Sad dummy 
Sacred-Socey Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i remember i first joined DA on an old account because i had seen your art. i was a big fan of mlp and begged my mom to let me make an account. i loved your next-gens and the way you draw, i was so inspired! i luckily was never attacked for my 'cringy' ponies and art, hell, even use of bases. but i hear these stories and it's so saddening. especially with kids. they're still learning what makes a 'good oc', and while i do support nice and helpful critic, saying it's shit to some little kid who just wants to draw his 'edgy' horses is saddening. even now i fear making red and black combos, since it's automatically thought of an edgy, over-powered character. this challenge is something that i've needed to help come out of my shell.

even if i'm no longer apart of the mlp fandom, i want to join this. i absolutely agree with this message! you truly are amazing for speaking up about this. please never stop being so creative and inspiring! Heart 
MaxelAxel Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is so important. It really captures my whole problem with cringe culture and more people should see this!
Orchid-Phoenix Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
This is honestly a great message for anyone who understands and gets the point. I just recently started posting my old Sonic guardians, too.

Heck, the way people develop characters is different. Yellow, my Linkette, was developed through writing and a Roleplay. Now she's a Heroine with wings, a husband, three kids, and a Destiny she has to fulfill in order to save her world. She still has flaws, but she's been with me for over 5 years. All my drawings of her show her aging process.

Now she's just one character. Here's one that got backlash.

Pittia. Back in 2014, I enjoyed KIU, a Nintendo game (check it out if you want; ChuggaaConroy got me into it <3) and she, as well as another angel named Pitta, were created. Immediately after one day, she got backlash from a deviant before I could even get started on actual development. They accused a newly made character of just being a Dark Pit genderbend, me having no name creativity, and etc. 4 years later, Pittia is still around, I retain her original design, and really, her backstory is fully developed and still being made.

Creativity doesn't come immediately with character creation; people need to be given time to develop them how they want. Pittia's name? It's not bad. Plus, some people are really bad at names. You can't blame them.

Still, great message.
DocDoughnut Featured By Owner Edited 6 days ago  Student General Artist
i believe people like to use cringe culture as a excuse to make videos and blogs exploiting others content and seem like they are the "better person" because they are the "normal one" because they dislike something and them disliking something makes them "cool",hence time to make some peeps feel bad!!
Ghiraham-Sandwich Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
i agree honestly 
nyahkitteh Featured By Owner 6 days ago  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
it's not even cringy omg its beautiful and i love it i will participate in this challenge ;w;
meganhulan Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
If people do not like it then do not read it. Live and let live. I don't like My Little Pony and I'm not gay but I LOVE your work. Your characters, the stories, this entire world you have created is just entrancing. People need to live and let live.
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Submitted on
June 12
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