I know, everyone and their dog is making these journals, but I guess I feel it's needed simply because I feel like I"ve died out on here. Sure I still post every now and then, but it feels vastly different from what I was like when I first got on DA. I clung to art and creating because frankly, I suck at words, and anytime I made the effort, drawing got my point across 100X better. Though I was also super naive, and sometimes wish I still was. 2016 led to a lot of internal thinking, and while it often feels more depressing than hopeful, change requires you to at least identify what you wanna fix.
"So why not just draw like you Used to?"
A number of things probably. For one, when I got on DA, I was relatively new to the social aspect. I was an introvert, and kinda still am. Most people think being introverted is not wanting to socialize. Not true. Socializing with anyone and everyone is excessively exhausting to an introvert because they're more worried about fitting in and not disturbing the peace, looking for some opportunity to validate that they belong, and often failing to do so. As a result, some introverts are more satisfied with a small group of friends, that have many similar connections and interests, as well as strong ties. In those scenarios an introvert can truly relax and not have to constantly worry about what other people think of them.
I consider myself one of these kinds of introverts, but at the time I didn't even know that was a thing. I just always assumed that something was wrong with me, and that was more my fault than no one's. I remember at the time I got on DA I was huge into Sonic Adventure 2 for the gamecube. So I naturally fell into the sonic fanbase here. At first glance it looked alive and vibrant; tons of artists, unique characters and story interpretations, it felt like what I needed, and it was..... for a time.
I don't know if there's a word for this, but me and my mom simply called it "The Disease to Please." Basically what I mentioned about introverts earlier; trying to validate their existence of fitting in. And with comments, faves, and watchers being monitored through DA, it became really easy to measure myself and compare to others, setting a number as a straight value. And the thing is, it became REALLY easy to cling to those numbers. But as a result, I found myself straying from what I wanted to do for the sake of getting more of a following. On top of all that, with the discovery of "art trades and gifts" part of me was eager to do numerous gifts for bdays or surprises in hopes that they would be willing to return the favor......... yeah that didn't fly well at all. And the worst part about it was I kept doing it, because frankly, I didn't really have anything else for me. School and neighbors I couldn't relate to, none of my parents or family were artists, so I found myself clinging to those stats and fanbases like it was my lifeblood.
So TL-DR, why I don't draw like I used to was because DA was my first taste of popularity and self-worth, and now I"ve run myself dry realizing it's not what I needed. I only do commissions cuz they help me pay rent, but the passion I once had certainly isn't there.
"So what are you gonna do about it then?"
For starters, I"mma gonna talk with some of my instructors on the gamedev team and see about what I can do to get a job in the industry already. And if not, I"m gonna see if I can get a mentorship of some kind. As for personal art, I might be able to get more done sometime, but I kinda feel I've ruined the "Toughset" name. It's not a name that'll help me in the game industry, not anymore.
NOTE; I"m STILL gonna finish the Blobdog comics, don't sweat that.
Second, I gotta admit, I work off of impulse way too much. And it's not healthy. I"m gonna be trying to schedule what I do now a little more devoutly. This might effect how I do commissions and what not, but frankly I"m just trying to change things around until I find something that works.
"So why are you announcing all this?"
Because part of me still feels like I want to be involved, like I have a place in a larger community, and that I mean something. Though with all that's been said (and kudos to you if you read up to this point) it might be delusions of grandeur, and still struggling to accept that what I thought what I wanted isn't at all what I needed. And perhaps that's just something I"ll earn with time.
Either way, no better time than now to turn over a new leaf. Here's to 2017.