Yeah, that’s right, the guy who blogs daily about how excellent Wacom products are doesn’t want to be sponsored by Wacom.
I sound crazy, it seems like I’m contradicting my self.
Why not be sponsored? Wouldn’t it make sense?
Well, hear me out, I have a really good reason!
Simply put, it doesn’t coincide with the goals I set for this blog.
So what are the goals I set for my blog?
Since the beginning, my goal was to build an audience by being honest, making good content & being as helpful as I can.
A couple of years ago, when my following jumped up to a few thousand followers, I noticed something unusual was happening.
When I would post my art, I would include the materials I used in the photo or caption. To my surprise, people were going out & buying the same products I used.
At the time, I thought it was a coincidence. But eventually, I got enough feedback to realize I was influencing the buying decisions of a lot of my followers.
One of the biggest brands I used was Muji, I had all their pens, notebooks, mechanical pencils, eraser, etc.
Now they make some beautiful stationary goods. Seriously their mechanical pencils are sooo good-looking!
They’re not exactly the best quality,! Although I never told anyone they were durable because people respected & liked the art I made, they assumed the materials were professional level art supplies.
Naturally, I felt terrible, I had inadvertently influenced people to buy a product that was mediocre in quality compared to the alternatives at Blick’s.
Now, this wasn’t my intention, but soon I realized the power of influence.
Literally, every week, people were hopping in my DMs showing me their Muji sketch pads, pens, & pencils as if supporting Muji meant supporting me.
It was flattering, people associated this brand with my work. & off the strength of that, they were going out & buying from this company.
So when I decided to start this blog, I made the decision not to be as naive as I once was. If I’m going to create content that influences people, I’m going to be responsible with that content.
So how is this relevant to a Wacom sponsorship?
I think any influencer reviewing products from a company that sponsors them is biased. & I don’t want to be that.
If you’re being paid by a company, you have a financial incentive to keep them happy.
Sure some reviewers will do their best to maintain a balanced opinion by occasionally sharing small criticisms of their sponsor. But they’re still operating within a range of acceptable terms.
& no matter how much you try to balance your reviews they’re still biased reviews. If you say something, your sponsors don’t like they can void your contract. Meaning they have leverage over you.
I feel like those terms don’t allow reviewers to speak freely without fear of financial consequences. I value my ability to speak honestly, & I don’t want to extinguish that ability to a corporation– even if they’re a company I love, like Wacom!
Sometimes the only way to win the game is not to play. Avoiding sponsorship means I can review products honestly without worrying about corporations using leverage to influence my reviews.
Before starting this blog, I did a lot of research.
& there are a lot of reviewers who are sponsored reviewing products I’ve used.
I’ve noticed those specific reviewers leave out crucial information, whether it’s intentional or not. They leave out the kind of information that would contradict the message of the review.
I don’t want to be like them, period.
Now there are exceptions. There are a couple of rare examples of people brutally criticizing products from a company that sponsors them.
That’s right, there are a couple of times reviewers went full Gene Scallop in their reviews! (See Clip Below of Gene Scallop)
What are those exceptions?
The few times I noticed reviewers being brutally critical towards their sponsor are…
when they’re leaving their former sponsor for a new sponsor. “”COINCIDENTALLY“ that new sponsor just so happens to be the #1 competitor to that reviewer’s former sponsor.
& The same day they decided to switch their sponsor, their former sponsor is now “OVER CHARGING” & “NOT WORTH THE MONEY.”
So am I better than these people because I can’t be bought?
NO, of course not! Not taking sponsorships for products I review doesn’t make me some sort of civil rights leader.
I’m just an artist trying to be transparent. Because in the long term, it’s the only sustainable way to create content. People are smart, & if you put money before honesty, they’ll pick up on it sooner or later!
So yeah I’m not perfect. I’m sure at some point a couple of you are going to have some fair criticisms of me.
I know not to lie, & I won’t let money come between me & that value.
I’m sure most sponsored reviewers are decent guys with good content who don’t want to hurt anyone. I just think they’re a little dishonest with their viewers & possibly themselves.
But in the meantime, let me know what you think about sponsorships or any other art/drawing tablet related topic in the comments below.
Feel free to follow me on Instagram to see what I’m working on currently.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to be nosey & check out my other articles. For example, I have a dope post about The Best Drawing Tablets Under $100, you should definitely check out