[PERSONAL | RAMBLES] Mistakes and Wins

Hey everyone! It’s almost been a week since I posted an update to you guys about what’s going on. I think a public update is in order. (A private one, for Patrons over at Patreon is also available and is a bit more in detail of my projects; go read that one if you are a Patron!)

The title summaries these past few days pretty well: mistakes and wins. I actually feel like I’ve made more mistakes, but I might have made more wins. The brain likes to focus on the mess ups more than the wins. At least my brain does. For now. And that’s really not a good thing and I’ll tell you why in a bit.

So, since the last public update:

  • Hurricane has been telling me I have been working hard and should take a break, despite I have the opposite feelings
  • Hurricane & I hung out at Daniel’s and I felt anxious because I wanted to work on the chibi artwork, which was just about done
  • after two days of Hurricane telling me I have been working hard and I can take a break, plus some sleeping to catch up with what I missed, I got back to work!
  • I finished all the chibi artwork pieces for the convention!!
  • I printed out the glass pebble charms/magnets sheet of characters
  • I started the bookmarks and printed out two sets for testing.
  • I set up the craft table to prepare me for the production of the magnets, charms, and bookmarks
  • I started to print out the rest of the bookmarks; it wasn’t until Hurricane flipped through them that I noticed some of them were crooked…
  • I tried to draw more artwork for the convention, for the prints in particular, but managed to only draw another one with my merman on it…
  • I’ve been binge watching Grimm season 4 while working on artwork; it’s great, but it’s gotten too intense for right now…oops

I’m first going to talk about my mistakes and the bad feelings I am having. The bad feelings that have been building up slowly (although have lowered through just simply working on stuff) and it seemed that last night, when I was printing the bookmarks and hoping to work on artwork, lead into the feelings I really don’t like: self-sabotage.

I can feel myself on the verge of self-sabotaging once again. My printer giving me trouble, jamming paper and needing me to re-feed the paper I had just put in gave me a nice hit. The kind of hit that would makes me want to self-sabotage.

When Hurricane flipped through the bookmarks and I noticed that several of them were crooked, self-sabotage leaned over my shoulder, smirking that all that printing I’ve done so far had gone to waste. It loved it.

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Self-sabotage also loves the conflict of wanting to do something, but strongly not feeling like doing it. There’s a lingering nervousness in myself that I won’t be able to draw any satisfying pictures for the convention, other than the few I have actually drawn. It’s a doubt that I’m going to be able to draw anything else. It’s reiterated with the feeling of not feeling like drawing. I want to draw, but I don’t feel like doing it.

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Despite the feelings of self-sabotage and self-doubt, there are several good things. I can hear my ego trying to argue with me right now, trying to tell me that there are no good things, but I know it’s just fooling itself. It’s trying to fool me, but I am not fooled.

The first good thing is that I am actually stopping myself before I go into self-sabotage mode. If I go into self-sabotage mode, then I REALLY won’t be able to complete the stuff for the convention. Self-sabotage is such a dangerous mode to be in; I get really unproductive and don’t really do anything and fall into depression. It’s really not fun, not fun at all. However, recognizing it is coming and forcing myself to pull over is a GOOD thing.

It’s a bit strange pulling myself over to stop the self-sabotage. I have honestly never done that before. Normally, I follow through on the self-sabotage because that seems to be the flow. However, I want to get everything done for this dang convention I am excited for and it’s not going to if self-sabotage is followed through with!

The next question is: how do I sooth over the feelings of self-sabotage in a quick enough manner to maximize my time? Do I relax and take a break, like my beautiful honey bee has suggested all along? Or do I switch to another task I wish I had been doing all year long, but got sidetracked by “life” things? If I do relax and take a break, then what do I do?

I guess I’ll have to think about it.

I know one of the factors to my self-sabotage is definitely the bookmarks printing out crooked. I should have picked up on that a lot earlier, when the upper parts of the paper ended up getting dog-earred. I thought that was strange, but didn’t think much of it. It definitely brought me down to realize all that hard work was ruined!

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On the plus side, out of the 17 pictures I printed with full or semi-success (meaning both sides printed out without missing any parts), 5 of them need to be reprinted. That means 12 of them are perfectly fine and are ready to be cut out!!

TWELVE OF THEM ARE FINE! THEY ARE PERFECTLY FINE!

That makes me very happy.

I am afraid of my printer jamming again, but I think if I print out two bookmarks a day or so, I will be fine. There’s 14 days left in this month right? I think I have about half the stack printed. I will be okay. I will be fine! This is all going to work out.

In terms of artwork, I did draw a picture I do like a lot of my merman. He has three pieces so far. I plan on only doing one of them for the convention. I let my friends pick and choose them. I figure if they’re going to like certain ones repeatedly, there’s a good chance others will as well.

I do feel kind of bad just focusing on one character over and over just to get a good piece, especially when I want to do the other characters too! I suppose though I am thinking of limiting my characters to drawing three pieces for them, if needed, to help pick out a good piece.

I do really like this piece I drew of the merman this time around:

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I do need to soften his facial expression, but for the most part….I really like it. The pose is nice. I like the squid. I’m not sure if anyone will agree with me. What do you guys think?

What to do?

There are 14 days left in the month. The convention is in about 21 days. I am on the verge of self-sabotaging myself, but have fortunately stopped just before I hit that point. I acknowledge I have some commissions to work on, in addition to convention artwork that I’m sure will take me more than three hours each to do because of the colouring style. However, if I try to work on any of that right now, I risk sabotaging myself..which is exactly what I don’t want to do.

So, what should I do? What should I do to help myself so I can get back to work?

When I ask myself, I feel like I need to stay away from creative projects or any projects that are really involved. This means no Kelly’s Journey (as much as I want to), no story writing, no drawing, no website stuff…none of that. Japanese seems okay, as long as I keep it to what I’m doing now: taking notes on kanji. Anything more than that will be too intensive.

Reading seems to be the primary relaxer here. I can feel a lean towards non-fiction. Fiction will be okay, but…not as healing, I guess you can say.

I wonder as well…could I…perhaps…clean/organize? Will that help too? In between the reading, of course, since that’s an intensive project…but still! This apartment still needs to be organized. Can I do it? It might be a good physical activity to speed up my healing! I like that idea!

I’ll see what my body tells me to do. I am excited!

For the remainder of today, all of tomorrow, and all of Friday, I shall be taking a break.

So, honey bee, it seems I’m finally taking your advice: take a break because I have been working hard.

Working Hard

Every time Hurricane told me I should take a break because I was “working hard”, I insisted I have not been. Once I protested that I hadn’t been working hard, I couldn’t help but ask myself what exactly does “working hard” even mean? What is my definition of working hard and what is Hurricane’s definition?

I really don’t feel like I have been working hard. I doubt it’s out of some simple enjoyment for what I was doing because I wasn’t enjoying parts of it. Perhaps it’s my own personal expectations for myself. I genuinely feel like I should be further along than I am.

Since Thanksgiving (in the USA), I have:

  • fully coloured 13 images related to my business; 2 in my Painted Dreams style, 11 cel-shaded
  • completed two commissions, including one with seven characters on it
  • created 34 sheets of bookmarks
  • practiced with resin so I could get decent-looking charms and have a waterproof backing to my magnets
  • 7 graphics to help advertise my business; 5 of them were created to be posted on Twitter
  • 3 different versions of a basic poster to advertise my holiday commissions
  • a new page on my website for holiday commissions; the page was later edited to include a large graphic advertising my anime-selfies
  • Patreon posting, including the two zip files for the month ($10+ perk of sketches; $15+ perk of line art), which involved going through the images meant for those two files and applying a watermark & a gradient over them (and there were quite a few images)
  • 4 blog entries, including one for Patreon
  • drew thumbnail sketches for commissions

This list excludes anything not related to my business.

…I guess I can see why Hurricane would say I was working hard. I mean, okay…soooo, when he originally said that, 4 things weren’t actually done on that list…buuut…wow. Maybe I have? Putting it into perspective like that really does help.

I really wish I could have done more. Like, maybe have all the images drawn and picked out, ready for colouring for the artwork prints. Maybe have all the stickers done so I don’t have to worry about them. I don’t know…I suck.

Or, I don’t know. I’m just of like “I don’t know” right now because I suppose I am working hard, on a variety of things.

Maybe what I’m feeling isn’t working hard, but rather not doing enough. I know there never really is “enough”, but I find that there are milestones I like to reach that I personally haven’t reached yet.

I have quite a lot to do and I haven’t even hit the point I wanted to be at already.

So, despite working hard and getting a lot done, it is still not where I want to be.

That being said…I need to allow myself to relax, for I am near the grasp of self-sabotage. I can worry about what I would like to do after.

I’m out.

Talk to you guys later!