i have to explain why i haven't been here. i feel rested because of the holiday season giving me some time off from work. so finally i gathered just barely enough motivation to write and post this journal. great, wow. by the way, this journal is super long and also depressing and probably hard to fully understand. you have been warned.
just some quick points to start off:
1. there was supposed to be a part 2 to "september updates part 1" but i never did it because i lost motivation to come here. and there were supposed to be features, but now it seems kinda silly to post features from months ago, so, sorry. >__<U
2. i took advantage of the buy-one-get-one core memberships. if you want to do it too, hurry up because there's not much time left. btw, i honestly didn't even want to be core anymore. i am anti-core. i hate the fact that they increased the price for no reason. but being core lets you get access to extra statistics for your account, and i'm the type of person that LOVES looking at statistics. so i had to be core. i would be frustrated without those statistics. that is honestly the one reason i actually bought a core membership again. if not for that, i wouldn't have.
3. if you're wondering why i haven't responded to your message, just know that i haven't been active on this site and even when i was more active i still left many messages unanswered
(because i had too many). so, you are not alone. i have been ignoring EVERYBODY. i have not been here. the number of people who never got a response from me is high. it's not like i singled you out.
4. i'm going to become more active on twitter
, but twitter first. i will be releasing wip's there from time to time and will also be talking about art-related things and tv shows too! i don't even feel like tumblr-ing right now but i have to get back into it. i can't abandon tumblr, that would be bad.
5. part of me doesn't want to be here right now. i'm not happy to be back. i'm only coming back because, well, i have to come back eventually so it might as well be now. but i'm not excited about it.
6. i mentioned "work" but didn't say what that was. in december i started my new (full-time) job as a day care worker. i help teach three-year-olds. it's an unexpected career choice for me but hey, i needed a full-time job and this is where i ended up. i love being around young children, so i'd be okay with having this job for a few years. but i hope that's all the time it takes until i become an artist. i like childcare for now but i need to leave eventually.
7. my goal is to be a pro manga creator but weeks ago i secretly made a surprising decision: i will not try to do any manga any time soon. i have ideas but don't know when i'll do them. right now i want to focus on illustrations only and not worry about manga! i have cancelled my manga collabs with people. what a bad idea, to try to collab with others. collabbing is a bad idea for me. i didn't realize that i'd be wasting people's time and dragging them into my mess of lack of time management and motivation. i wanted so badly to do manga collabs. i still want that.
so now i should talk about why i haven't been here (or tumblr or twitter). it took a loooooong time for me to even have the motivation to write and post this journal. i was very slow with writing it, even after
i figured out what to write. though at first i didn't know, and i had to figure out what has been wrong this whole time. it took me FOREVER AND EVER to do that. i eventually realized there were multiple things. i had to break everything down and examine each piece of why i had lost motivation. i lost motivation not only to come to these websites, but to draw. i have been doing nothing but sketching for months, and even then, it was just occasional sketches. not a lot of activity. i really slowed down. i was in a slump. i was distracted by the whole looking-for-a-new-job thing but also, there were other problems. some of this, i've said before. but some i have not:
1. TAKING TOO LONG
it's a problem i've had since 2013 or maybe even 2012, idk. i'm slow with completing drawings. i've said it before but in case you missed it, i do have a slowness problem with drawing and sadly it's a MAJOR destroyer of my motivation. i've battled artblock several times because of this problem. it affects me greatly because it takes away my confidence in myself!! the slowness makes me want to draw less, and drawing less makes me finish works even more slowly. why does this make me draw less? because i absolutely can't stand the feeling of drawing, drawing, drawing, on and on, then looking at the picture and not much has changed. that's a terrible thing for me to experience. i'm definitely not the nice, neat "perfectionist" type or the "excessive details" type. that's what's so weird. i'm pretty messy as you can see, and i have some detail but it's not lots and lots of detail. so why does it take me so long? one reason i can think of is that i like to use several different tools while coloring, and i don't have much of a routine as to what order i use the tools. (i don't want to have a routine). using mixed media is fun!! but what about sketching? i guess i just erase a lot. but, if i didn't do that then my work would have more mistakes, duh. though... i've heard some people say that with a higher skill level, you can go faster. i even asked sakimichan (the master of doing great artwork super quickly) and she basically told me "just keep practicing." www.patreon.com/posts/2198155
i don't have time to practice for long periods of time, except weekends and holidays. so my slowness problem won't be going away any time soon.
2. COMMENT PROBLEMS
it's tricky to say this without offending... you all, the people who give me comments. you might feel offended if i don't like your comments. but well, sometimes i just don't like them. it reached a point where i asked myself "WHY exactly am i even sharing my work in public? why am i voluntarily doing this? i could just stop it and then i wouldn't get comments." true, but then i wouldn't exactly reach my goal of becoming a pro. so i have to show you all my work and attempt to build a fanbase. it's just that this whole thing about connecting to a community of artists stopped being fun. even when i wrote a journal several months ago about how i will no longer take negative comments seriously unless they come from someone i trust, i had that "i don't care" feeling very briefly and then went right back to caring about it. (but i didn't delete the journal.) i lost motivation to upload things to this site. why bother uploading when i am afraid to read the comments? i guess i could just disable comments, and i do that sometimes, but i don't want to do it ALL the time or else what's the point of even uploading anything, if everyone is silenced? (even the positive comments are silenced!) so i don't want to disable, but when i leave comments open it's still scary for me. me disliking your comment comes in a few different types:
-you pointed out a mistake that i didn't notice before but i did notice after you pointed it out.
this is... fine. as long as it's not stated in a rude or condescending way, it's fine. although if it happens lots of times then i become sad. -__-
-you pointed out something you think is a mistake but i look at the same thing and cannot see the mistake.
this one makes me feel like i'm crazy... lol. i start doubting myself. i will doubt you too. i will go back and forth wondering whether i'm crazy or you're just annoying. this type of comment is hard to deal with!! who's right?-you didn't say anything positive in your comment. it was only negative.
you might be thinking 'i don't have to point out the good things about this drawing, she already knows them.' no. the fact is, if you don't say anything positive in your comment then i will think that you didn't like anything about my drawing. i can't read your mind. if you don't tell me that you like a certain part of my work, how will i know that you like it? i won't know. if you fave-and-run it's one thing. you liked my work but didn't have time to comment. but if you take the time to comment and you only say negative things, then it looks to me like you didn't like anything. and nothing makes me feel good like knowing that you couldn't think of one thing you liked about the drawing i took a frustratingly long time to make (see problem #1).
-you're just a troll who is deliberately trying to say something mean.
actually this isn't even that bad. it's easy not to take a comment like this seriously. (though it's still a little irritating)
-you used my improvement meme to tell me about all the ways you do not think i improved.
if you're going to tell me that i didn't improve, at least do it on a pic that wasn't created for the sole purpose of showing my improvement. that makes sense, right? i'm the type of person who is very open and honest about my emotions, so let me tell everyone right now, when you go to an improvement meme and say this and that about how i didn't improve that much, it's even worse than a negative comment on any other drawing. i want everyone to know how crappy that made me feel. now you know. even if you're thinking 'if that happened to me, i wouldn't feel that bad about it' i don't care how you would feel. i'm telling you that i had a hard time with it and it was a big hit to my motivation. i still believed i have improved a lot. i have said that consistently. i don't believe the people who say i didn't improve. there was never a time i believed that. still, i hoped that others would have a happy moment with me when they see my improvement (or else why would i even post the improvement meme in public?). and some do! but some do not, and they think it's a good idea to actually tell me that. quite simply, it's not.
there was someone a while back who, in a note, said something to me that hurt my feelings. she wasn't trying to be mean. but i told her how hurt i was. i will never hide the way i feel. i don't do that. when you say something about someone's art, you affect them more than you know. they won't always tell you how bad you made them feel. i will, but others may not. be careful what you say, because you might just be that one special person who puts an artist into artblock who was already trying to fight off motivation problems BEFORE you decided to talk to them.
(and for me it wasn't one particular person, it was more than one. but still! be careful what you say because you could be that one straw that breaks the camel's back, or in this case the artist's back.)
this was long so i'll summarize in a main point: there are some artists who (1) get a high number of comments on every work and (2) almost all of that high number comments are positive. there are several artists like that. it's not like it's unheard of. it does happen. i've seen it a lot. if other artists can be like this, why can't i? so that is one of my goals. but i never reach it.
3. DISLIKING DRAWINGS AFTER POSTING
sometimes i dislike a drawing while i'm still working on it. (i can still remember "a very makoharu christmas" which you can see in my gallery. that's my worst memory of a pic that as i kept working on it, disliked more and more. i completed it not because i liked it but just because i didn't want to waste the time i'd already put into it. hey, it's like college.) yep that happens sometimes and it's an annoying feeling. but, usually i'm pretty confident in a drawing while i'm working on it. then i finish it and i lose a bit of confidence. 'did i do well enough?' then i post it to the internet and i lose a lot of confidence within the next couple of days. i notice mistakes i didn't notice before. in the past it took me a few months to notice mistakes after posting. then one month, now it's just like 1-3 days. good, right? i'm getting smarter so i should be happy, right? no. i would like to not make major mistakes, so there'd be hardly anything to notice in the first place.
it's SUCH a difficult feeling to handle, when you know you tried so hard on that drawing and you were super careful about doing things right and not making mistakes. you were so, so, so careful and smart the entire time you were drawing. you were paying attention. you even held your work up to a mirror and corrected things. you did this and that. you're so smart and then you upload the pic and see mistakes and suddenly you feel dumb. "why didn't i catch that before??????"
i've become afraid to upload, for this reason and for the reason in problem 2.
4. WHEN WILL I MAKE MONEY? WHEN I BECOME POPULAR AND #1 IS SOLVED
i mentioned that i liked working in childcare yet wanted to leave eventually. what i want to do is go from full-time to part-time, then go from part-time to none at all. the first step is going part-time, so what i need to do is begin making money with art using the time i have on nights, weekends, and holidays. when i am consistently making money (it can be a small amount of money but it needs to be consistent) i can say "if i had more free time, i could make more money with art." right now, i can't say that because i'm not making ANY money yet. i need to get to a point where i can say that. then i can become a part-time childcare worker and use nights, weekends, holidays, plus extra hours that i would now have that are no longer being spent at daycare. then eventually i would get to a point where i can stop childcare altogether and become a full-time artist. but i can't even go part-time yet because i'm not making money.
you might be wondering: how will i make consistent money and justify making the switch to part-time? i'm not going to be doing manga just yet but sometime later i'll have to do a one-shot and sell it. and i might create additional products to sell. but the main thing will be commissions. i want to do a bunch of commissions. so yeah it'll be a combination of things to sell + doing commissions. and then much later i wll be doing fewer commissions and more manga, and merchandise. but, about commissions... i can't start doing commissions now. i can't because i have some other illustrations i have to do first. and that's fine, because i want to do those. i'm not yet very popular, but that's also fine because i can try various strategies to get my name out there and once i become more well-known i'll have more people available to buy my commissions. so what's the problem? the problem is what i said in #1: how long it takes me to do drawings. the higher-priced commissions are those with multiple characters and/or a background. but those pics take longer to do. i could instead do quick headshots, but i would not make as much money. i can't do anything but quick and simple commissions unless i solve this "takes too long" issue. asking people to pay me and then taking forever and ever to give them what they paid for is unacceptable. i've messed up with not answering messages, not doing kiriban prizes, not doing other things... but at least i've never taken forever to do something after someone's paid me money (because, i've never been paid money for art in the first place). i would like for people to start giving me money, but i can only ask for this if i can deliver something in a timely manner. when i have some other illustrations on my to-do list done, i will start doing simple commissions and gradually work up to more complicated commissions-- if i can do them on time.
now i've explained the four points. you can see that they connect to each other. combined, these things created a GIGANTIC artblock. i didn't do much art, plus i didn't feel like coming on da and talking to people about art, and i didn't feel like looking at my watched artists and seeing all of them post their wonderful art that i did not draw. i let myself become distracted by other things in life. well at first there was the end of college. before that, i had tons and tons of homework and i had an internship. those things (mainly the homework) got in the way of me doing art. but then those things disappeared as may ended and june came. i was happy to be done with school and i thought 'yay, drawing time!!' but in late june i wondered why i wasn't motivated to do art. i thought i was "tired" or something. and then my family went on a trip for the fourth of july, to visit relatives. for a few days i enjoyed spending time with family, away from da. it makes sense that i would not be on da then. but then AFTER the family trip, i surprisingly found myself staying away from da more.
i paid attention to politics (i like to follow political news, that's my other hobby besides drawing) and job hunting, and i did get a part-time retail job. time passed and i did a little bit on da and with drawing, but hardly anything. i had to accept the fact that this wasn't a temporary "being tired" and the fact that i couldn't blame my distractions with jobs and politics. i had to figure out what was wrong. then i had to write about it and post this journal.
there's just one thing:
i never actually solved these problems.
that's why i wasn't very motivated to write this journal and i'm not happy to be here. nothing has changed. the problems haven't been solved. because it's the first day of january, it's tempting to say "new year, fresh start!" and "new year's resolution!!" no, screw new year's resolutions. forget it. i'm not going to suddenly pretend that a new number on the calendar actually changes anything. something has to genuinely change. but it hasn't. therefore i'm not eager to come back to this website. i felt, and still feel now, as if i am just stuck in a cycle. i do the same thing over and over. the same things happen. the same problems exist, unsolved. and i've had a finished illustration on my computer for a few weeks now, and did not upload it yet. (it's "emerald girl") that's unheard of for me. to have a finished pic that i don't wanna upload in public? no way! that's not me. until now. i'm not excited to upload things anymore, and uploading my art to the public is something i've for the most part been happy to do, for years. but what's the point? i upload, then look and see mistakes, then get comments i don't want to read, then when i gather enough courage to read comments, i never know when it's something i won't like that will throw off my sense of "i love sharing my work with others because connecting with other artists makes me happy," then i have to leave that flawed awkward picture up there for a looooong time without a newer picture to upload, because it will take me 100 years to finish the next thing, all while dreaming of "my future as a popular manga artist" or even "my near future where i do a commission and get paid for it" and even that "near" future won't happen in soon, ugh. and to make me feel even better i'll watch other artists in my watchlist posting spectacular art, and manga, and selling things, and getting tables at conventions, and other cool things that i am not doing.
...no wonder i feel this sad!!!
i disappeared from here and said nothing to you all. i wanted to solve everything myself. i thought 'asking for help from other people? no. i can't depend on others to make me feel better about myself. confidence must come from within and it's not something other people can give me.' but trying to figure it out myself is not working, so now i'm telling this to you all. i think my biggest issue with writing and posting this is that it includes the thing about the comments, and you all (the public, just... deviantart people in general) are the same people giving me comments (some of which i don't like.) i'm asking for help from the same people who hurt me...?? that's not exactly true because many of you haven't hurt me at all. but some have and you are seeing this too. i don't have another choice. after many weeks passed of me feeling unmotivated, i finally talked to my brother, and i also talked to Moon-Dreamer18
. but i needed to also put this out there in public, and not rely on only two people. now everyone knows what's been going on. you don't have to respond but i just needed to have this explanation out there.
PS: if anyone is wondering about LaceSong
, obviously it's not like i've been active with that either. my motivation problems affected that too. i took a pause with lace song. we did the contest and now i'm not sure what to do anymore with the group. so i did nothing. i have to talk about it with the people who are in it. we'll see what happens with that. but yeah lace song is in pause mode because of all these complicated things i've been feeling.
PPS: despite the sad journal, i actually will be uploading art soon.
PPPS: feel free to talk to me about any art-related problems YOU are facing. i probably won't know what to say other than Just Keep Practicing but it's nice to vent.