Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vanya said on the topic of One-Hit Writers/Artists

I suggest reading this only after going through the previous post about popularity. Enjoy! XD

I can't define a reason for why many authors end up with only one-hit in their lives, simply because there are a lot of justifications behind it. Like you said, many don't know how their hits became hits in first place, and that's why they struggle in making a second-hit until they give up at some point (or not give up at all! *cough*Kawaguchi Tarou*cough*). My guess for their inevitable failure? The shift from spontaneous writing to calculated writing which destroys the magic these spontaneous artists has. I'm not saying being a calculated person affects the work negatively (I can only be a calculated artist myself haha), but the shift between the 2 styles does. Calculations in art is like anywhere else, it needs a lot of effort. Someone who's used to do what first comes to mind and go away with it will end up having fatigues and fail at what he/she does if he/she ever tried to calculate his/her acts. Nothing will make much sense to him/her anymore. Even if they are told about what makes their work appeal to the public, that will end affecting them badly. They'll start thinking about it until they lose the "magical" spontaneity they have. Certainly not the case for all, but it's the general case here XP

Why do spontaneous hits appeal to us? Choosing only one general reason, I would say because they allow us to peek into the creator's mind without fully understanding his/her intentions at all.

Now comes the calculating variants. Do they have the same problem? I don't think so. They might have a similar problem though if the reason that made their hit a hit was outside the realm of their calculations, meaning that people loved the hidden spontaneity they have. They might or might not figure out the reason but that won't make much difference since they don't have "control" over it at all. Actually, I'm imagining that they might even despise the reason if they found it making the matter worse lol. Still, that is not the main problem here. Like what was said before, calculation needs a lot of effort. It also consumes much more time. You hear "Time & Effort" and it feels like heavy duty already! Some might need years working on their pieces, and others might push themselves to their limits. They get it done, it became a hit! After that, countless problems need to be overcome so I'll give random examples here. If some need time (five years?) they might be pushed to do more (in one year?) since money is involved. If hellish effort is needed then slacking off and easy way out becomes the enemy. I believe the scariest problem of all is the simple questions that can't be answered "Will it become a hit again? Can I do better than what I already did? I already reached my goal so is the risk worth it?" so they end up avoiding a direct challenge with themselves in any possible way they have.

Why do calculated hits appeal to us? Again, forcing one answer, I would say the flawlessness is doing the magic here. You don't care who made it but it looks perfect it amazes you nonstop.

For me both types are geniuses at what they do and I don't know if I can prefer one over the other. Other type of genius is the hybrid of the two but I'll run from further mentions of them haha. Now a hit means it's popular. We agreed that popularity doesn't equal quality so why did I focus on the quality of hits before? Because one-hits are 1st hits, and pure quality in the 1st hit (or the hit at 1st! XP) is a crucial ingredient to the "magical recipe of popularity" we seek here.

I agree, there is no "ultimate recipe" we can reach, we have different tastes after all. Like cooks have different tastes in their food, arts have different tastes in their art. They keep inventing recipes until they reach the taste they're after, and whether people love it or hate it determines its popularity. You can't force someone who doesn't like mecha to write about it because he won't test its taste before the people do, and we know experimenting on people first in food & art is always a bad idea (funny logic but whatever lol). I'm not saying some genres can't be popular but they need special spices to get anyone interested in them, things that let you say "Even if you hate sci-fi you are gonna LOVE this one!". This is an obvious point but even if your art is excellent but you don't show it then popularity is missed, and the opposite is also true! If you have an average piece of work that is heavily advertised and competition is neglected then popularity is certain (*cough*Avatar*cough!*). What I'm trying to say is that there are countless effective popularity recipes already reached, some are hard to cook and others are easier. And in the end, (like any cook XP) any artist wants to reach the ultimate recipe of his own and continuously upgrade it (and continue producing hits with it!).

Having said that, it doesn't mean recipes cannot be stolen (adapted is a softer word here X3). Not just the recipes, tough ingredients to find like 1st hit quality can also be stolen. For example, all the average mecha shows gained partial popularity due to the quality of past hit mecha shows (again this is an example, no mecha lover to be targeted XP). The same can be said for other popular genres like moe and such. While these shows of stolen recipes may become popular, the makers shouldn't be (and I think aren't) treated us geniuses or artists. And also, unless luck strikes hard, one show of stolen recipe won't reach the explosive popularity of the original one (popularity will be divided on all the shows using that recipe XP). Wait, so how come the the more recent shows can obviously be more popular than the older quality ones even though recipes appear to be stolen? No, recipes are not stolen. Ingredients are "adopted" and recipes are upgraded and improved (or even produced!).

So as you can see, food and art are linked in more ways than we can ever imagine. Or I should say that food itself is art, the most popular and easiest to taste kind of art. That would explain my logic then lol.

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