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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Art Community on Tiktok

(Freepik): With the emergence of “jelly artists,” the tiktok art community has become a space where creativity is shot down if it doesn’t look “cute” enough.

Throughout my nine years of being an artist on the internet, the art community on TikTok seems to be the worst in terms of creativity and overall open-mindedness.

I was raised by artists on free drawing apps like Drawcast, where people were encouraging and non-judgemental. A lot of people on this app were younger teens who were experimenting and learning what kind of art they liked. It was fun, and I was never shamed for being a horrible artist because I was young and just wanted to have fun. 

I even found friends who shared the same interests as me and made me want to create even more art. This specific age is the perfect time for children to stimulate their creativity and create, and Drawcast was a perfect place for that. 

However, young artists no longer have popular apps like this. A huge app that’s used to share art right now is TikTok, due to its large audience and ability to reach all kinds of people.
Although all large communities have their faults, the TikTok art community includes many unoriginal artists who overshadow newer artists and those with unconventional art styles.

A specific art style that has gained traction is the “jelly art style”. This art style is characterized by its soft rendering (the process of shading and layering to give a drawing more dimension), glossy highlights, and usually cutesy East Asian characters. 

Although there is nothing wrong with the art style itself, the commentary and culture around the art style have ruined it. 

One of the most popular “jelly” artists on TikTok is Puririka with 308,000 followers. This creator went under backlash due to a video of them bashing another artist for following their drawing tutorial. This video became an inside joke on TikTok due to the absurdity of calling a new artist a “tracer” for simply following a tutorial. 

This event sparked a whole debate and critique of jelly artists in general, as the art style itself is very popular and does not go beyond its safe zones very often. Those with more unconventional art styles believe that people like Puririka are creating soulless art that is drawn with no real creativity or feeling behind it. 

The art style usually excludes darker skin tones, different facial shapes, and different body types, making it a very inflexible style. 

TikTok does not positively influence younger children to explore art and explore what type of art portrays their emotions the best. 

There are several other problems with this circle that I haven’t mentioned, like the bullying problem and also need to pump out content constantly. If a child posts an amateur art piece, instead of receiving kind tips, they become art lore and are ruthlessly bullied on the internet. 

“Relatable” art Tiktoks are often traced as well, so certain creators can make more content and get more likes without putting in any effort. 

This is not a safe environment that fosters imagination, it only fosters negative feelings with art and makes children not want to continue practicing and improving. 

Art should be fun, it should be experimental, it should be messy. It shouldn’t be put in a box of what’s good and what’s bad, it should be a blend of so many different kinds of things.  Hopefully, as time progresses, this bullying behavior on TIktok subsides and artists can have fun online once again.

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