I have a friend who's been putting strain on our group of art friends lately. We're all online but we met on an art blog years ago now and had pretty close ties since. We chat in our little discord group. He chased away one of our friends (S) who was upset with him talking about his OCs way too much, and trying to "out badass" one of her characters, which was never meant to be a "badass". He wrote a graphic novel on wattpad which had garnered quite some traction which hey, good for him. However the gloating started becoming overbearing. Anything we were talking about at the time, he'd give a one sentence lip service to and then immediately change topic into his book and OCs. "My book has gained this ranking now! OMG my OC is such a psychopath because he thought that the dead body in the car was funny, haha!"
I get it, you're excited. But this is too much. And then it started happening with our venting channel. It's as if he would wait for someone to bring up something they wanted to vent about and then he'd change topic immediately into a sob story about his life. We're pretty much done at this point because on the surface you'd think he does have a very hard life. Until you realize he's putting zero effort into doing anything about it. He's trans, he's living in a country run currently by highly religious anti-LGBTQ types and lives with his christian parents. Who are honestly the tamest trans-haters I've ever heard of. All they seem to be complaining about is him not doing chores or getting a job. I mean fuck, my parents kicked me out when I was 16 for not wanting the career path they set out for me. These types don't wait around for you to mooch off of them for years before deciding to throw you to the streets if they are really set in their ways.
Last year he had asked me if there were a way for him to come to Canada because his country was not listed under refugee protection. I did some digging and found that he'd easily classify under a special considerations for persecution of race, gender, sexuality" etc. I gave him a game plan and an estimated budget of how much he'd need to save to successfully immigrate, I even knew the immigration lawyer I'd be sending him to. He talked about how he needed to leave and/ or save for surgery. Well he's amassed what is every artist's dream, a small but dedicated fan base that frequently commissions him at 2.1 times his minimum wage thanks to his book. (Parents are upset that he's not finding a career path to support this hobby so he can move out.) He'd rather blow all this money on art supplies, and then run to us about how his horrible parents are closer to kicking him out.
I'm done. I have no sympathy at this point. Every single time we've tried to help him he's thrown it back in our face with an attitude. I can even just casually mention something professional artists do like request clients contact them for quotes in conversation, and he throws a fit about how it's shady practice or something, and how being a hobbyist is not the same as being a professional. Yet you see no effort on his part to actually get a career if he's apparently not taking it that seriously. He's perfectly happy mooching off of mum and dad, telling the rest of us how easy we have it. This guy has the most incredible victim complex I've ever seen.
And there was more. The tracing. The tracing also upset S a lot and was part of what made her leave. She's an incredible artist and her strength really is anatomy from all the hard work she's put in to studying. So I can understand how when she discovered that he was tracing, it was incredibly insulting to her. Especially when he'd critique not just her, but all of us with incredibly weird and wonky red lines. The artwork he does without any reference (which is very minimal because he seems like he feels the need to cling to photos and 3D models) is so incredibly amateur compared to the traced stuff it's insane. He's actually regressing in skill now. He even admitted to us that he had been tracing, showing the 3D models and photos he takes from and then lied to S about it later. As if he believes that we'd all forgot about it or something. He shows the source material to his FB group claiming it's a reference", but when his posts his art everywhere else he makes no mention of it.
Our group was founded on a hardcore drive to improve. We critique without compliments, there's no fluff. We get right to the point. No hurt feelings. This has been our biggest stress, because it's undermining the fundamental core we are all passionate about. Nothing we say to him about any of this gets through. He takes everything as personal attacks and adds it to his list of "woe is me". I mean fuck, I've outright told someone else in the group (M) that I was annoyed at some of her critiques. We talked about it and worked it out like adults. This guy is just a 23 year old 5 year old.