Y1W10 On my Upbringing, Pride, Self forgiveness and Growth

Leonie’s small blog island says hullo! (:

In this post: A wordy blog filled with reflection, preparing for opportunities and learning. And to think that it happened because of the ACMI and Dreamworks Workshop opportunity due today (at the time this gets posted).

This post is pretty personal (to another level compared to past posts) but I’m not afraid anymore.

Let’s go deep! Journal Time.

Something simple for a preview image as this post is more on the wordy reflective side.
Look at my little smug egg!

Year 1, Week 10 (19th to 25th Jan)


  • ACMI and Dreamworks Dreams Studio Application: I was growing to not like my first round of “to camera” video so I redid it from scratch.

This time around I didn’t overthink or plan everything to the utmost detail. It was only difficult because my eyes kept leaking off camera during the preparation. (Nope I wasn’t crying, what are you talking about; there was stuff in my eyeballs that need cleansing…yes, that’s right! Alright frankly, I was but it felt good letting all all the mixed feelings of hurt, regret and despair out.) I had no idea that I had so much water bottled up inside my eyeballs. Have finally submitted this application!

Originally, I planned to submit the “to camera” video through vimeo for the competition and not show it to anyone, ever. But I have made up my mind that my friends and acquaintances should also see this (if they want to), so here’s the unlisted discreet Youtube video. I don’t mind it if you want to share the video if it helps someone who relates to it but I’m not convinced that this personal video of me rambling to a camera is something share-able. My situation isn’t…viral haha
I’ve even put in my personal captions in there in case you can’t tell what I’m saying. That’s how tight it was.Ah…am no good at video blogs (if this counts as one)…!
Careful of too much exposure to Derp face. I’m sure some people are surprised that I’m even on camera at all (as I avoid cameras where I can) but this video has a purpose so goodbye personal hurdle.

Watch it in Youtube:

Context for my video (or what people call video blog) The very question, “who are you,” really forced me to look into the depths of my upbringing.

I’m terrified to put this video out at all. This was difficult for me to make as water kept bubbling and leaking from my eyeballs throughout the preparation and 1 minute was very tight.

So I had to edit out parts where I had to get the words out and sped up some sections.

Risky gamble here for my application video! Am I too ambitious here?

I’ve been keeping these details of my past to mostly myself for so, so…so long. So painfully long, bottled up inside; these 14 years (six of which spent on another career).

Why? My fault of course. Bottled it up because of my stubborn pride. I didn’t want special treatment, consideration nor sympathy from anyone so I didn’t talk about it at all. I didn’t want people to see me vulnerable, weak or vying for attention. This horrible pride and self delusion I had.

Life goes on either way, I tell myself, so why depress and bring down someone else? I even say I have “parents” sometimes to give people the illusion that I’m fine. The logical part of me says; “there are countless much, much, much worse off people than I am in the world; you don’t really matter in the end. Why bother others with your problems? Everyone has their own problems to bear and there are many who have had many failures, dead ends and more career changes than you have. There’s always good with the bad with life; so deal with it kiddo. Don’t make mountains out of molehills”, I reasoned, “soldier on! Get up and keep going.”

All this rationalisation and harsh truths has pulled me through the worst of times. But the very fact that I hide about it became a growing thorn at my side, hence I’ve formed an emotional fortress around myself over the years by blocking it out. I realised that because of it, I haven’t truly moved on. Only in recent years that I’ve begun to hint about it to a couple of people and I forget about it sometimes but the thorn is still there. I still shy away from talking about it.

Taking the step in making this video and by answering the simple question of my very identity has allowed me to be open and frank about my past and upbringing however brief it may be.

I’m forgiving myself of my past choices, regretting them no more, letting go of the strong, mixed feelings of disappointing my mother and the decisions that she had already made for me, escaping the conservative pigeon hole that has been inbuilt and conditioned in my mind throughout my upbringing, have experienced the incredible world of teaching and learning, learning to stop beating myself up mentally as I constantly judge myself harshly (how tight with money I am, how I look, how I socialise and essentially how I act in life), am growing to be open about myself to others as I do this blog and am valuing my time on this world much, much more since witnessing the torment and hardship my family and I have been through.

I strive to find my own two feet on my own terms as a character designer, visual development artist and concept artist no matter how difficult it is.

All of this is still sensitive to me because of the unavoidable hurtful negativity I still get from my father (hey, no family is perfect and I’m lucky and grateful to have my basic needs met) and how this journey is still ongoing but now I feel like a lot of weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I don’t mind talking about it now as I’m going to keep it positive this time.
I’m focused in encouraging others instead.

That being said, don’t treat me with kid gloves.
Definitely not my intention of this video.

I am fine; I’ve been a tough nut thus far.
I’m still Leonie the Derp! She will keep on learning! (:
It’s just that this thorn is no more.

She just hopes that this video inspires you to bring out your thorns of the past and/or keep pushing through towards what you believe in, whatever your stage in life may be.

Also, best wishes to the winners of the ACMI & Dreamworks program, whoever they may be!

* Words of thanks *

This video has now extended beyond the competition and I am more at peace with myself. So I’m making this “sort of” public; why am I revealing so much about myself to a competition but still hide away from those who know me? Those who matter?

As much as I shy away from attention, I guess I won’t here.

I can’t hide under my turtle shell forever if my ambition is to do something incredibly creative and meaningful in my career. Imagine that I’m actually saying and genuinely accepting that I have ambition now. I wouldn’t have said that if it was last year.

I am actually seeking the attention of those who know me just to say:

“Hey, hiding this part of my past for so long has been bothering me and I wanted to get this off my chest so that it no longer controls my life. You don’t need to respond or anything. Thank you for your company and being there for me, however brief it may be. Let’s keep rolling and experience life to the fullest.”

But since you’re here, you did read so thank you.

Shall keep working on myself as a person.
It’s going to be a turtle pace on my own but time will tell and I’m seeing a bit of progress.

  • People Drawing: what is the meaning of life. You make it! My doodles have a long way to go…


  • Derp’s Doodle of the Day (DDotD):  I’ve been sorting out a way to start posting a few more doodles outside the boundaries of this main blog at some arbitrary regular basis I have yet to settle on. I am drawing where I can on the sheets of my Copy Paper Tower at least. Let’s try it out for the coming month (once I’ve sorted something feasible out)! I’m going to post some art for a random day on my tumblr, twitter and facebook page (yes I’m reviving this a third time but I won’t talk about it outside of this blog as it’s just an automated sketch blog feed now) and then I’ll collate it as a collection for the week here. I’m probably too optimistic but doesn’t hurt to try!
  • Save My Tribe & Derp Timelapse: This character design project is becoming larger than I expected–it’s now a visual development project! I guess I’m never happy with just a character without any backstory. I’m going to work at it bit by bit and post it up where possible.

I’m not going to explain the story though; fill in your own meaning! Also doing it for the Designing Dreams Studio opportunity and as part of my portfolio work.

Been having fun with doing all this problem solving. I’m not basing all my characters on just a culture; I’ve been mixing things up so I’m not aiming to be accurate. There’s so many incredible distinct tribes around the globe based on my research to the point that I just want to experiment rather than base it upon one established real life tribe. I won’t get the whole project done for the application but I’ve started a new project at least!

Embarrassing somewhat, but I’ve started drawing pen studies of photos of myself to help me out. Might share a few doodles when DDotD is sorted. Personally, I’m past the point of caring how silly I look anymore as I’m just focused on improving by using myself as the last resort reference model. But aren’t you tired of awkward, not photogenic Derp face? Well…tough haha.

  • Position: Vacant: Well. As the…director…of the team (sounds very odd to me), I’ve been preparing to submit more festivals. Trying to see if I can find the funds for it though and the team is incredibly supportive in that regard. International postage is so costly!

Other Adventures: 

  • Games (watching): Prop Hunt Garry’s Mod, Garry’s Mod-Trouble in Terrorist Town, Pokemon Nuzlocke, Yakuza 4, Don’t Starve, Dark Souls II
  • Lucky to be able to be immunised though it was still ouch. And had a surprise wonderfully supportive discussion with my GP on my career choice and staying open minded versus the conservative Chinese traditional upbringing box, narrow mindset and not experiencing much of the world. Encouraging. (:
  • Cromatie High School: This is my brother’s fault. This anime so bad and silly. Why am I watching anime again?

Reflection for the Week

On Sleeping 
Been running low sleep so far due to the application…feeling very out of it.

Email Updates for my Blog! Hooray!
Hey if you’re into getting emails whenever my blog gets posted instead then feel free to fill in this form below.You can view the whole blog post in the email alone so it might be more convenient for you too. I’m trying MailChimp for the first time so let me know if something is not working. You’ll just get email versions of my blog posts whenever they happen. That’s all. I’m not using your emails for anything else.
You don’t have to fill in your real name or main email either but you can if you want to.

On Getting inspired

Whenever I see heaps of amazing and appealing character designs, wondrously painted concept art and visual development work from professionals or students studying in accomplished illustration and art courses at universities out of my reach, admittedly I feel like I’ve been taken all the way down to square one on my learning journey and feeling real behind. I feel like I don’t have the learning structure that they had.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this but I’m happy paving my own way.

Still as a result, I’m awed, inspired, humbled and just want to work harder. All part of the journey. I’ve got *so* much to juggle in terms of my learning journey and I have yet to test my loosely made flexible study plan (as things keep changing things up for me). Don’t plan on doing another expensive formal degree anyway.

Journey so Far 
Gosh so *much* growing and learning happening this year so far! And it’s just nearing the end of March!
Time is going so fast; I recall feeling uneasy and excited about starting 2014 too.

I look forward to more of the crazy rollercoaster ride, even the unpleasant moments.
One has to believe oneself and keep going anyway.
It’s really a battle of one’s mind.
Keep blocking out the negativity yet stay grounded and focused.
And hopefully no more eyeballs leaking from now on though.

Or am I talking crazy and taking icky cheesiness to another level now.
My cheesy rambling syndrome condition must be worsening.
You tell me, you’re the kind person reading this!

Is it wise for me to reflect about myself so honestly and openly here?
I’ve asked this of myself countless of times since the very beginning.
But as Dr Seuss says, those who matter won’t mind.

Obligatory thank you for taking the time to read my posts.
I know a couple but do not know who all of you are.
But you mysterious small handful of busy invisible ninjas are out there!
It’s okay, I’m an invisible ninja sometimes.

Anyhow, thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting Derp the Hermit. (:
Now I need to collapse somewhere and get some sleep.

Until next time,