Got a piece of fanmail today from someone on tumblr, which happens periodically. It used to occur with much more frequency back when I was a more prolific artist (the past year has been a story of deterioration in many ways, my ability to create sometimes feeling like one of the victims), but once in a while I still wake up with a couple kind words left for me in my inbox.
"I just wanted to pop by and say that I have been a follower of your art (dA and other) for about 5 years and you're a HUGE inspiration to me and you're probably 85% of the reason I draw as good as I do now. You're amazing and one of my art heroes. And I don't know where I'd be without you. My life is crumbling before my eyes right now and I've gone in such a deep hole but then I think about you and the stuff I've seen you go through and I push through bc I want to make you proud. Whenever I see your work I light up and wish I had your talent. Even though I'm only a fan, you've always seemed to be there for me and I've spoken to you maybe twice and you've always been extremely friendly and inviting. You're always wonderful. And I'm gonna stop here before I go on too long but I really just wanted to say thank you and remind you that you're loved so very much. You have amazing skill and I hope some day I can shake you hand and thank you in person. You're my hero <3 "
I teared up a little bit at that, and I'm kind of at a loss as to how to respond, apart from a thank you. When it's not just "I like your art!" and the person tells me that I've helped them in some way with their struggles...I dunno. Especially now, when I feel like there's a lot of things in my life that I feel like I can't deal with--knowing that there are people out there who've found inspiration in the fact that I haven't given up /yet/ means something to me.
Wish I knew what to say to this person. But man. What a sweet thing to find.