Four years after releasing his first album, Frank Ocean finally released his new album Blonde. During the wait, however, some fans became upset with the delays in the album’s release and claimed they had been disappointed by him. But disappointed how? While fans do support artists, artists don’t owe fans anything.
All art is, or at least should be, a form of self-expression. Not many people choose to live out their lives dependent on others being interested in this self-expression, but we shouldn’t expect that just because they do art for money that we are their boss or are owed this small part of them.
Another case of this happened last Sunday. Though it is slightly different in genre and what the fans were demanding. In this case, Lauren Zuke, a storyboard artist on the Cartoon Network show Steven Universe, quit Twitter because fans attacked her after she posted drawings supporting a certain character relationship. Like with Frank Ocean, fans became upset when an artist didn’t do exactly as the fans wanted them to. Of course the reaction to Lauren Zuke was a bit stronger, but the same kind of entitled behavior can be found in both fanbases.
Of course, not all fans act this way, but those that do tend to be the most vocal out of the group. In the best case, an artist reacts like Ocean and ignores their petty complaints and continues to do their work on their own schedule. In cases like Zuke’s though, artists can sever the connection with their fanbase, or worse, quit altogether.
It can be frustrating when a new CD is delayed or a show takes a different path than you want. What I am saying is that it’s important to keep in mind that artists are people and you aren’t their boss. Do you support their work? Yes. But you wouldn’t go into your favorite restaurant and start demanding things just because you buy their food a lot. Treat artists like people, take a moment to remember that they don’t have to give you anything and have a nice day.