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Friday, June 3, 2016

What are you so afraid of? Managing insecurities [MAY2016]

Leonie's small blog island says hullo! (:

It's June already! :0 Hello Winter! 


And gosh, my blog posts are deep in there lately!

Especially now that I'm not a hermit (as much) anymore and am around people more skilled than me! 
Striving to grow into a better person...even at a turtle-like pace!

Thanks for bearing with me! :0

    Let's go crazy! Journal Time.

    Went for something relatively simple this time (:


    CONTENTS for your READING QUEST:
    What are you so afraid of?

      SuperListenMode: Leonie Learns Socialising 101 

       SuperListenMode 10
      Time to recover some energy & get lost in thought
      #SuperListenMode 11
      A series of thoughts.
       SuperListenMode Comic 12
      I’m exploring this blind as much as you are :0
      Social practice with guinea pigs haha
      And too self conscious
      SuperListenMode Comic 13
      Either I mumble like the soft spoken person I am or I ramble :0
      .
      Yes I keep forgetting to embrace the awkward & not pressure myself to say something for the sake of it! I dub this the #LeonieLearnsSocialisingComicSeries
        #SuperListenMode 14
        Soft Spoken
        It happens to a lot of us, right? Different conversational styles yo.
        SuperListenMode 15
        Ouch :( Well old glasses will have to do


        Leonie Yue's Sketchbook: as always, Randomness 

        I confess; been watching weird & wonderful gameplay of
        Freshly Picked Tingle's Rosy RupeeLand

        Gosh everyone just wants your rupees in this game;
        the greed & brainwashing D:
        Ghostbusting: they looked fun to draw; Goggles lady is my fav :D


        I don't really know with this upcoming movie because I don't remember the original movies too well (I do remember that I wasn't interested in watching the rerun when I stumbled upon it when I was a teen). 
        The US trailer is under so much fire because of the corny/cringe jokes(?). The UK trailer is MUCH better (thanks to the internet showing me the way)

        I really don't know; I thought this series was all about entertaining, silly & fun problem solving, teamwork, ghost-busting and proving themselves among society? I'm with an open mind when I see this eventually :0
        htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary (Hotaru no Nikki)
        So I've been watching this sad story of a game about abandonment & gathering memories in the post apocalypse
        (Difficult controls and bad mechanics though! The full story will be missed if you're not good at the difficult platforming and the mechanics backfiring on you.)
        Give some kindness and hugs today! 
        Creepy & weird Dropsy may be, I am charmed by this point & click adventure; embrace your weird & wonderful self & seek to understand and help others ^_^ Dropsy damp warm hugs!
        And there's Ghostbusters, Tetra, Nathan Drake & Elena, etc...

        you get the idea of what gameplay videos I watch while I work :0
        Assortment of chaos





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        What are you so afraid of? Managing insecurities


        The Not Being Good Enough One
        Like most people, I have insecurities that can be played and manipulated upon (ie I focus on things I have yet to learn). The feeling that I am not good enough at things, struggling with friendship 101, being okay with looking like I'm stupid/ignorant and searching for a sense of belonging - it all eats away at me every now and then. 

        Perhaps you struggle with this too sometimes.

        Sometimes I get irrationally and fiercely unhappy and inadequate with myself whenever I see people much better than me in one way or another. The silly "oh no they're now doing this amazing cool stuff with great people while I'm just a terrible newbie artist and hermit". "They're so great and they're more approachable, enthusiastic and popular than I am, while I'm much more reserved, calm and invisible...what value can I give?" :0

        It's silly because I rationally I know I am focusing on what I don't have rather than what I do have whenever these bouts of self doubt and harsh self criticism happens. I know it's a matter of matching the art with its context/project and whether I've improved overall, not just about comparing artists against each other.

        Indeed professional competition is a thing in the industry so for me it's self improvement and learning to so-called "lose/win" gracefully without letting it rule your life. And not constantly chasing someone else's shadow. 

        Artists are as good as their latest art so it's a constant cycle of learning, frustration/joy and indifference. 
        You need to make art towards your goals to improve!


        So I acknowledge and allow the negative feelings to pass, see how other people are doing extremely well with their admirable hard work and revert back to focusing on my own thing. Because I'm lucky and grateful to be surrounded by and working with smarter and greater people than I am :D 

        ...not that I know everyone well, but that's another can of worms for little homebody "learning how to socialise" little me haha. 



        My personality clashes with how I think I "should be"
        Thanks to lurking in some threads, I've learned a bit more about myself.

        As I mentioned in my last post, I am very protective of time - time is valuable to everybody. I realise that if a friendship is taking more from my life than adding, I will lose interest. I do detach emotionally if we're not matching in terms of emotional effort, long term friendship goals and not mutually helping each other to grow as people. 

        But note! You could be mutual acquaintances, or mutual friends, or mutual close friends, it's okay! You don't have to be best friends with everyone! It's determined by whether everyone's expectations are on the same page.

        One-sided connections - I try to avoid themThere are exceptions of course for times when you're expecting only a brief connection within that moment before you become strangers again. And I realise that this happens often so I'm learning to embrace this. 

        A difficult dance of mutual push and pull so to speak! 


        And hello current and future possible friends: I value being comfortable & happy in each other's company, being accepting of each other, having similar values, mutual support & respect, pushing each other to grow, and the willingness to give each other space. (:


        And now with the insecurities...
        Do I want to be known as a selfish, insecure person? 
        No. Who does? But we are selfish and insecure at times. 


        I know it's delusional and unrealistic of me to believe that I'm a boundlessly generous and perfect person. Insecurity comes and goes when uncertainty is involved and it's up to the individual's attitude to face and manage their darkest aspects of self. Sometimes simply keeping a distance from all the noise helps too.


        I digress, self care is in order and needs to be frequent! 
        Relax them tense muscles!

        Ask yourself what ARE you so afraid of?
        What is your underlying fear? Why is that?

        Even my GP reinforced and lectured me how fear is irrelevant, to not be afraid to look like a fool, we're all human, we all judge each other, we all get anxious, extend the comfort zone and kick the inferiority complex out of your life!

        Don't be like other people, be who *you* are.
        How can you bring this to the table and benefit yourself and others?


        For instance my insecurity lies in not being able to provide value to others. Which means I do not have a place in the creative world (irrational feeling of unworthiness and not belonging; it's really just the fear of looking stupid and standing out). That others have the aura of the limelight and influence and consequently I get easily overlooked and unseen. So this is the perceived clash between myself and what I believe I "should be" to belong.

        Yes I do keep insisting that I'm invisible by default because my inner harsh self critic will not allow me to rest on my laurels; I always look at people far ahead than me. Do note that I truly appreciate the small handful of encouragement and support I do get because it really kicks that critic to the side :0

        I do not want to pretend I am other people however; I am quiet by nature and I strive to work out things for myself before I ask for help. I take responsibility for my passive inaction because that is a decisive action in itself. 

        And reminding myself that there's countless more people who are overlooked and unseen too. It would be silly of me to believe that I'm "the one" (haha that's an old joke) when there are many more artists chasing the same dream. It really does make you feel insignificant; though there's only one of you (whatever that really means, it's up to you to explore)!

        One of the things that helps me kick this insecurity away sometimes is when I'm able to do art projects with happy & cool people! It is a joy when you find like-minded people and then I get to see the results from our team effort! :D

        Or most of the time, I turn my sad insecurities into fuel so I refocus back on working haha


        Anyhoo, who I am doesn't matter. To me, my small accomplishments alone don't mean as much as what I am doing next. I'm a nobody in the end! (: What I label myself doesn't matter as much as what I do for others and whether I believe in it. 


        Plus! You have no reason to listen to me! I could be a terrible person for all you know! I'm no role model of any kind :0 As stubborn and consistent I seem to be, I'm always evolving as a person (as you are)! I'm just very, very, very slow like a turtle sometimes which is why I keep reflecting and repetitively ramble with the things I struggle with because I gain some clarity each time (:

        Note: Just know that whenever I'm repetitive, it means it really matters to me. (: This is my personal rambling space (without the fear of being dismissed/ignored) after all! 

        At least I am humbled to know that I have a long way to go and that I'll always see myself at the bottom rung of this imaginary and infinite ladder in my growth as a person and artist. 


        Enough about me!

        Just hang in there! Face and acknowledge your insecurities :0
        Don't let this fear/doubt divert you from what's really important to you!
        Forget what people think, what kind of person do you strive to be?
        Focus on this version of you! I'm figuring this out too!
        Get close friends or professional help to support you too!

        And to myself, stop being a butt, get over yourself, 
        acknowledge and kick your insecurities and embrace being the support NPC! >:0







        BurpAvatar Test Shenanigans: Okay style testing ends :0
        BurpAvatar test: Warm Violets
        Yet another self portrait; looking mightily determined
        BurpAvatar Test: Something Special
        BurpAvatar Test & Art Study: Hah
        I wasn't sure with this one but I was encouraged by the feedback (:
        BurpAvatar Test: last one for now
        no one saw this one because I am embarrassed D:
        BurpAvatar: Ink n' Watercolour-esque Style
        A style I figured wasn't feasible for me to do. Honestly this is due to how time consuming it is (I need to get better) versus what I believe people would actually pay for a digital portrait. And yet closer to the date, someone seemed to wanted this style so I included this in. 

        Ah well it's not part of the project in the end. (:
        BurpAvatar: Brush Me Away Style
        The style I offered. I could keep playing honestly and I have much to improve but I drew the line with I wanted in terms of quality with these two styles. I can keep working at it as I go along anyhoo!
        Because I steal people's reference photos for BurpAvatars,
        for fairness I did this mega #ArtvsArtist meme with my horrible awkward "How do people take selfies" frowny face :'(
        Not inclined to take selfies but I did this because I'm interested to see how they look next to each other...
        so featuring some of the horrendous self portraits across the past few years :0


        Official BurpAvatar Shenanigans Start next month!
        I'll be releasing them this month (next week actually!) as I work through them; it's a small special project with a small bunch of kind people! 

        I'll be ready to do a blog post on the first Friday of July where I'll go into super reflection mode and break down what I've been doing for BurpAvatars. (: 








        The past month: I can WALK huzzah!
        For every up there is a down
        For every square there is a round
        For every high there is a low
        For every to there is a fro
        To and fro
        Stop and go 
        That's what makes the world go round  
        -- Lyrics from That's what makes the world go round 
        in "Sword in the Stone"
        That's how I'm feeling sometimes as I get educated by life :0
        All the shades of grey and doing the best I can with the high and lows.


        Health
        Finally ignored someone who was dissuading me from going to the doctor. 
        So the stubbed toe from March: xray-ing it is pointless and it needs time to heal in 3-4 months. 
        So maybe I'll get better by the end of June? :S

        And the GP/Doctor told me off; I don't need a crutch no more! :O

        As mentioned on social media: 
        I upgraded from “Crutch Hobbler” to “Limping Waddling Penguin”!! :0
        I'm not as cautious about scary stairs! Hooray!
        And yes, very much Déjà vu from last year’s feet swelling in ER during July haha

        So lately I have been testing how much walking I can do in a day! If you see me slowing down and limping again, you know what’s up D: Thanks for everyone's kind patience so far and in advance!

        In the meantime, I've been taking stretch breaks again. Slowly hoping the tendon and trapezius/shoulder strains will slowly heal! I need to change my lazy resting habit now that I'm not using a crutch! Walking about is needed!

        And I need to adjust my schedule slowly so I sleep earlier; I got sleepy-esque pills too. It's giving me fatigue and I end up falling asleep at work (unless I get caffeine! Oh noooo)



        Finally. Or not.
        Turns out my "arthritis" is not even confirmed! :S
        I finally got the appointment happening and apparently I'm healthy?
        I got a scary impromptu blood test (I'm a baby with sharp stabby objects) and I'll have a final visit & blood test again in August...

        I guess the strange swelling/pain in July 2015 cannot be explained right now? 

        I am definitely confused. 
        But I'll be optimistic about it if I'm really "fine".

        Come what may if the pain and swelling start acting up I guess. D:



        So I work at a factory...?
        Fun fact: my dad legitimately thinks I work at a factory where everyone works on their computers...

        *sigh* 
        I guess he's technically not wrong...? :S
        I'm a little cog that helps make video games?? 

        And I have no desire to explain things to him because I suspect that he'll tell me to quit. Since I don't want more negativity in my life, I'm playing along with this "factory" illusion haha

        Anyhoo, with this "factory" I've been in "super tunnel vision" mode into work and neglecting getting to know & bonding with people. .__. 

        I also need to fix my sleeping patterns (aforementioned sleeping pills are so strong with the fatigue afterwards!) I have to keep finding ways to stay awake and energised in the meantime and relax when it's time to sleep. Turns out I'm too tense and putting too much self pressure! D:




        So cold; hullo winter! 
        Winter is here for Melbourne! I can see why people hate winter because they enjoy going out with people and yet there's germs, flu and sickness? It's too cold to do outdoor activities?

        I enjoy winter because I'm used to being warm and cosy indoors and it's no different to my old hermit ways. 
        I feel like a hiberating bear. (: 
        And I feel like a marshmallow when I'm out an about all geared up with warm clothes haha...all that laundry though! The precious warm food and drinks too!
        As I think about it, I enjoy all the seasons except super hot summer weather.

        I hate summer only because I melt, feel icky with no AC and become lazy & unproductive for work. The evil mosquitoes too. Summer is good in that you get to do outdoor fun, relaxing things & have a better time with laundry I guess ;)



        Q: Halp, how do I start & go forward with art (as a career)?
        I got a random question from a lost and confused artist and it was a pretty vague question because I don't know about their situation. They found my short version answer sufficient for them to try ideas out(?) 

        I figured I should share my honest thoughts (longer version) here:


        Hey perhaps there are scholarships in your area, art galleries, universities, groups, etc but this is too vague a question because I don't know you or your situation and we all struggle with this. This is not an easy journey.


        Hopefully you have local/online artists and meetups you can reach out to? 

        Find a buddy to partner up with so you can push each other and support each other. Or even a mentor you respect!

        Many also go through the day job route and make art/create things during their spare time because survival is important. There's maybe the exception but for the rest of us, you can't do great art and creative things when you're constantly worried about food and shelter and living out of fear and survival. Bad decisions tend to get made and you end up losing the reason why you're doing art in the first place. 

        Juggling with all these things is an incredible feat!

        Apologies it's hard to answer because there is no "right" way. 

        People find their own way because they keep trying things, seek different perspectives, 
        engage with like-minded people and keep making art. 

        Once someone succeeds and finds their own way and that becomes known to others, that way becomes difficult to replicate for yourself because you're not the only one chasing your dreams. And you are not them because their upbringing, family, support network, friendships, experiences, knowledge and skills will differ from yours.



        It all comes down to why would people work with you and not someone else?


        Who does similar artwork to you? Observe what they've done with their art.

        What else do you need to learn?

        Who specifically do you really want to work for? What do they do?
        How are you great to work with and fit in? 
        How does your art meet and exceeds their expectations? 
        What have you done already that fits their needs and projects?

        What do you enjoy creating?

        Does this overlap with what they need?


        These questions are tough to answer without being self depreciating (or maybe that's just me) and you may not be ready with portfolio pieces. That's okay. You have a vague direction now by answering these questions. And then ask some more questions of your own and refine your focus.


        Studying and shadowing others can definitely help, just know that eventually you'd need to find your own two feet and pave your own way there.


        And yes you feel alone and the uncertainty is definitely frightening.


        And you will hit a lot of dead ends. 
        You find out what a role *really* entails.

        I've got my Hermit Burpcast from last year and all the past blog posts that document my struggles with this. You feel like you're struggling to keep your head above water, slowly drowning and you feel unworthy.


        These feelings are normal as long as they don't control and consume you and your life in a negative way. 

        You need to be your own best friend. 

        Be kind to yourself too!

        Believe in yourself and your ability to art.



        I don't claim to be right as I am only one perspective; I'm figuring out my little art career too. Just go for it and keep investigating to push forward your current situation. What kind of creative do you want to be?

        Just don't give up on your art! 

        Even if it's just a side hobby or job for now! :0

        All the best. Gooo!




        Oh the Burptalk twitter 
        It's now my new place for extra tweets on games, animation and entertainment. Keeping my primary twitter for personal & art shenanigans. (:






        Thanks! Keep adventuuuring you!

        Gosh you made it! Hopefully not too many typos and grammar mistakes; 
        I didn't have time to proofread loads of times D:


        Need to continue working on my ultimate weakness of socialising! 
        Or rather warming up to people and friendship; developed organically of course! 
        Low expectations but aim reasonably high or something like that. :0

        See you next month or around! :D

        Leonie