Art Trends and Challenges-Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes

So, before you get into the fray…have a second guess.
well, it’s the begging of the new decade. and perhaps, for those who wants to get
into the internet fray of online artists getting unto the trends and so-called challenges.
But, you have to consider if these are worth investing into.

I would recommend a different path to take.
Here is a few things to take into account.

You aren’t cut for it
in fact, the the said challenges that were made was meant for the original person.
You think Inktober was made for you? It was made for Jake Parker back in 2009(that’s like a decade ago)
and nowadays it’s became a signaling thing thanks to social media’s mechanisms.

At best, you will get a few sales due to it’s so-called value, or at worst, you get wasted ink, paper, energy and attention to things that didn’t really matter to you.

Who or What are you building this series of works for?
you should ask yourself a few key things. who is this challenge made for? Nowadays, the events are for those on the ‘net to see the spectacle, and it’s a show. Content is what are after, not the art. And the art challenge signature actually leverages the originator or the company that started it and are reaping off the community leverage they have built from the start, in other words you just did free work for a bunch of people that leveraged you.

So, to put it bluntly, you are building throwaway pieces of art. A big waste if you ask me.

Is it Actually important to you?
From my cases, I start to care less about inktober, I have very little community contacts nor the incentives to so-called socialize on the ‘social media platforms. It’s such a dumb game where you win worthless prizes. The detriment of these challenges like seen on ZHC’s attempt to get likes and many worthless vanity metrics is what will drive people to insanity and in some cases fatal things.

So, what does this mean?
Well…I rather offer a different path that is currently not as vogue.
In an age were trends and vanity metrics rule the globalized societies. We have to ask ourselves.
What are we doing this for? Following the herd and hope to get something valuable out of it? Or just simple so-called social recognition?
Play Stupid Games Win Stupid Prizes-your choice

Trends-You aren’t in the driver seat, and it’s going to be Bad Day

The problem with trends are that it places you in a rigged game. Thanks to Social Media, the currency or prizes comes in the form off non-tangible rewards like, likes and follows. So, what does this mean? Well, lets work on a few scenarios. The concept of “being nice” and “working together” is something akin to a thin veneer to what is actually going on. Even if the intent is good or positive, the nature of the mechanism and how people operate on it, everyone is playing a game that is Intrinsic to competitiveness actually.

You feel good looking at others on IG or Twitter with their Inktobers or ‘march of robots with a incalculable amounts of likes and followers? No, deep down you most likely feel like shit, because it’s the nature of the game you are playing, there are only false winners and losers in this game. Plus the so-called value of those likes and followers will be worthless thanks to social hyperinflation.

(a self-guessed theory where eventually you’ll get used to the likes and followers, thus diminishing their value, and thanks to mass-saturation of users on the platforms it’s adds to artificial value, and really creating a things that isn’t sustainable nor worth working/struggling for.)

Build Something that Radically places you in different situation-creatively.
Maybe it’s better to build your own projects, and the said projects will build a brand that will acrews to you. ‘See, this is a trick that isn’t really known out there. But the most powerful Brands, personal ones tends to their own thing, and after a set period of time, it’s becomes their signature. There is more to this trick, but to keep it simple, follow through.

They decided to do two key things. They have bought the beachfront property before it got hot early, ie investing and building on platforms or ‘sites that hasn’t gone mainstream yet.

Play your own game-Eventually everyone will want to play it too.

And They took a step or two that radically puts them in a different creative situation 2-3 years, or half a decade later, they decided to play their own game and everyone wants to play their game after all these years, but guess what, they can’t compete with the original or the pioneer since there is a quote of “the original was better”.

To give an example of types of artists that avoids these stupid trends that you may-well be too good for.

  • Kim Jun Gi-He cemented the concept of free-hand inking and rendering in real-time on large pieces of paper, creating a live show essentially. Even Jake Parker, Proko, and others want in on his so-called secret techniques.
  • BeepleCrap-Some say he is a troll, Others call him from the future, either way his animated works and stills show what it;s like to tinker with digital media technology while creating satire of today’s multiple climates
  • Ashley Wood-From Pop Art Oils, to Plastic Toys for AdultChildren, this Australian managed to create a solid toy empire of sort with his ideas and unique rendition, even better his merch is what generates the value for him.
  • Scott Robertson-He is quite personal to me, since, his interviews with designers like Darren Qach and his pen and paper based techniques really paved the way for some of the thought process for me, he is a good educator in general.
  • Simon Stalenhang-Sweden, Post Apocalypse, and Robots. His unique world building is what captured the imagination and intrigue of many globally. It’s a rather unique genre and the concept of what he made is synonymous to him.
  • Emerson Tung-He coined the term/project TankHead, and it was popular enough to start a deal of making a toy based off one of his designs, many are talking to him for developing from his works, and he seems to like the spot light.(by the time this post is done, maybe he already “made it”)
  • and many more too for the list


What’s common with all these creative people? Well, what they did years ago or when every their idea of “early days” is.

It was a simply a step or two that placed them in a radically different creative situation.

They thought working on things that is rather opposite of everyone is the best bet for themselves, authenticity was their trump card creatively.

Placing bets on a series of works that is a far-cry of the trends of the time they started, and followed through for years or a decade.

By working hard, they have build a genre or a challenge that is synonymous with their names. The very thing that placed them in a radically different game. And now days, people out there wants to play their game. Learn to play your own game and eventually others will want to play your game. It’s the only positive outcome from a status game that is intrinsically not so beneficial in the modern world. You want to be on the winning side in this situation.

The good artists are creating a genre of themselves as Gary Vee would state with the Draw with Jazza interview back in 2015-16.

So, in a way, you want to not only place small bets on upcoming platforms or “digital real-estate” before the mainstream comes in (because it’s inevitable). But, Start creating a piece of work at a low-enough cost that will build up your brand eventually.(learn to build and sell, those skills are key to a good starting point)

Or as one of my former friend would tell me, Cut Your Own Path.


  • Doing your own thing-escape competition through authenticity
  • Playing a Bigger Game-You are a step away from a radically different situation
  • Long Term Vs Short Term-pick something you can commit and sustain
  • Make something synonymous with your Brand-Unique, Fresh or Brand New
  • Get the Beach Front Property at bargain price-Before the mainstream gets to it
  • Play your own game-Eventually everyone else wants to play it too


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