-->

Friday, February 2, 2018

Two Year Mighty Games Anniversary & Four Years of BurpBlogging - Reflecting on 2017 & Melbourne Global Game Jam 2018 // Curling into an Art Posting Ghost on Social Media 2018 [NOV&DEC2017+JAN2018]

Leonie's small blog island says hullo! (:

Finally back to blogging!
Bunched it all up! It's 2018 but I'm recapping the end of 2017 too :D 

Super long and rambly and personal so...go away ;)

Decided to make it every two months instead of monthly.
Super super long from now on.
I don't care how long it is now...plus it usually scares people off ;)
Most people don't want to read things. Especially not long ones.
Think of it as 2 chapters of my book of my life within a blog post!

I actually cut out some topics too for next time ;)

A lot of personal stuff below as I unwind and reflect about everything. 
Gosh! Avert your eyes!

And the Melbourne Global Game Jam of course!

    Let's go! Journal Time.

    The Yodeling Pickle Family
    Melbourne Global Game Jam Art Shenanigans :0

    CONTENTS for your READING QUEST:


    Year 4, Month 11 & 12 and + Year 5, Month 1 (November, December & January)

      Leonie Yue's Social Media Recap & Sketchbook 

      SuperListenMode: Self conscious with my arting

      I might look deadpan calm…

      and sometimes I am super zoned into my work and don’t realise someone is watching. 


      But when I can sense someone’s presence nearby…eep! 


      And I’m too shy [coughashamedcough] to let anyone see my messy work in progress :’)


      As much as we know that mistakes are part of the process, we don’t really want that as their art impression of us - the fear of being found out as a fraud and that we don’t know what we’re doing is real. :(

      Because it suddenly becomes a “performance” and judgement of your artistic ability [intentional or not] when someone is there :(

      Unless I am zoned into making art [and forget about everything else], I cannot relax when I know someone is there. I’m less tense now but it’s still I usually wait until they go away, work within a small window so I can easily hide it and use the big monitors for references and other things haha
      😊

      PS: I’m taking a vague break from SuperListenMode comics until the early half of next year.
      I have loads of ideas [another 50 or so actually] but I have yet the time to make them!
      Thanks so much for reading my 193 personal silly little comics about my feelings so far!

      Sometimes it has been scary to post them because they're personal things for me and I do have that fear of being silently judged, especially with how rushed some of them are [my artist pride oh no!!] In the end, I stuck with my gut feeling of staying honest and open about it all, doing what I can with what I have and I think it's how I pulled through this far. ^_^


      It’ll be back next year! Thank you for the few of you for reading ❤ 


      I hope I'll make specifically designed stickers for it too for MIGW18! But just hoping ^o^

        My original concept art for my Shooty Skies Bear form
        I made this for Ryan, is it weird I hated this at the time but now I'm happy with this piece? :<

        Me in Shooty Skies Bear form getting blasted
        Ouch! Ryan made the voxel art; thanks Ryan! :D

        Shooty through the Retro Arcade World
        I got to design lots of things, even the Boss so I picked this colourful terrain ;D
        Bear getting blasted for not being one of the cool characters or good at the game ;P Ouch! Thanks Shooty team for including little me! ^o^


         Shooty Leonie Bear BurpDoodle! 
        Just wanted to practice on my iPad with some Selfish Terrible Hibernating Bear! :<


        Shooty BurpDoodle: Mighty Team Update! 
        Felt terribly selfish to just draw myself so here's my gift to team ;D

        Featuring:
        Ryan [his character designs]: https://twitter.com/mulletdulla
        Charlie: https://twitter.com/charlietheGfish
        Ben: https://twitter.com/AussieBen
        Mighty Arcade machine 
        Lexa: https://twitter.com/lxfrancis
        Gerald: https://twitter.com/verbvirus
        Kath: https://twitter.com/Seakla
        Tim: https://twitter.com/timothycbest
        Rhiannon: https://twitter.com/mighty_rhiannon 

        Simple BurpDoodle: forgotten #Framed2 fanart from June
        Realised it’s not my cup of tea despite many attempts playing the 1st Framed.
        Dishonourable! :')


        I'm not a super Pusheen fan but I appreciate their silly cuteness!
        I guess I'm sort of a cat owner now ;) ❤️

        Gah its fur distorts the saturation in its pinks whenever I touch it D:


        This big boy is finally mine ^o^ ❤️
        I don't care if he's overrated or if I'm not into Pokemon that much anymore, 
        he's the coolest flying fire breathing dragon >:0

        I don't have the room to buy any more plushies as my old Pokemon Red buddy from my childhood wins ;D He's so big! I can flap his wings too!

        It was on sale so this huge buddy is usually out of the question!


        What is happening to me; I am not buying anymore plushies gosh haha


        Charming Runes: My Weirder Things Concept Art ❤️
        I based these off Season 1! Final in game art by cronobreak!
        Barby didn't really work for the art style. Still I made Stranger Things fanart ;D
        Play the game~!
        Stranger Things BurpDoodle: Eleven ❤️
        Season 1 fanart shenanigans ;D

        Stranger Things BurpDoodle: Dustin Henderson
        I am liking him more...he's trying his best (: 

        Stranger Things BurpDoodle: Bob Newby the Brain 
        Well you know why if you've seen Season 2 ;D 

        Stranger Things BurpDoodle: What about Barb? 
        I got timelapses over on my Youtube channel if you're interested in that
        BurpDoodle Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Pyra 
        1st time trying #ClipStudioPaint on the iPad & I love it!!
        Enjoying more than Procreate but monthly subscription is too high for me :'(

        I saved this out by making a screenshot ;P

        Anyhoodles, I'm watching Xenoblade Chronicles 2 gameplay as I work!
        Yes I don't like how her chest is designed so I changed it >_>

        Embracing the goofy awkward anime jrpg.

        MEHMEHMEH! ;D

        Afterword spoiler ramble:
        I am so disappointed and sad about this game after watching most of it to the end. WHY. Spoiler rant as follows:
        I had hoped storywise it would get better. Nope. It doesn't match with Xenoblade Chronicles (the first game) in my heart.

        Even the streamer I was watching gave up - I had to look elsewhere for the last two chapters. Yes 10 chapters of good game combat mechanics but outside of that is a lot of off putting boring JRPG things - 
        plus blade skill level UI tedium to unlock treasure/doors
        trying to change between blades & drivers is a pain, 
        the later boss battles are super hard etc
        Poppi's upgrade system is arguably a pain, 
        It's definitely a mixed bag.
        They could have cut out so many parts of the game and just get to the point. There is so much padding and fluff and unnecessary tedium.

        - it's so bad, dragged on [unlike the first game where most story beats felt meaningful to the story], 
        - side quests are mostly tedious with most goofs/cheesy moments badly executed
        - the story is terrible, badly paced cheesy anime writing & a lot of stating the obvious
        - so much fan service/pandering/icky/sexual/maid fetish themes, over the top body proportions and questionable costume design towards the shonen/male audience [the male gaze],
        - yes there is one sexualised male blades but the majority is "waifu" than "husbando" gashapon collecting [yes terrible trash anime terminology]
        - delayed & awkward acting/lines/reactions from characters 
        - the antagonists are boring/emo/predictable and laughable with their tragic backstories to vaguely justify why they want to kill everyone and destroy the world
        - Bana is annoying as obviously and gleefully evil he was 
        - the clashing art styles of different character artists made it clear who's evil and not evil compounded with lots of tropes with all the characters,  
        - the main protagonist is the typical bland boring selfless shonen guy [unlike Shulk who wanted revenge]
        - everyone is fascinated/drawn to him for some reason
        - Zeke is an awkward Team Rocket character with Pandoria - sort of cool and glad he stayed that way, along with the manly lady character  - design wise he looks like a rejected "cool" character that didn't work out ;P
        - overall UGH this game hurts me 

        And they ruined the character I warmed up to and I felt good about: Nia. 
        They ruined Nia for me! WHY!! 
        That was the last straw. I can't tolerate it anymore.
        I am still mad thinking about it. They forced something that wasn't there onto her character and it's disgusting on principle :( Aside from wearing a sexual/pandering costume in her flesh eating Blade form which is not characteristic of her spunky rude personality at all, she just *had* to confess her love for Rex which was out of the blue without much build up for me. She had nothing but a buddy relationship with Rex and suddenly they're forcing her to be Xenoblade Chronicle 1's Melia for some reason. NO. How dare you!! 
        I think they forced this on her so that in Rex's "test of character" at the end by the Architect, Nia has something negative to say and fight about with Rex - how he doesn't really care or love her as he does with Pyra/Mythra.
         UGHHH the ultimately most grossest thing! Nia is a lady warrior and friend of Rex. She does not love Rex that way. Why does everyone love/focus on Rex?? And she's only allowed to be Rex's blade as well...who would even use her as a blade when she's the best and usually only Healer of the party??? ARGH!!

        I don't care about anyone in this game and their motivations are ridiculous. Even though they are caring and supportive of each other...I am not given serious reasons to care about them. It's like they don't know how to make good characters [storywise] anymore :( Makes me apprehensive about future additions to this franchise. 

        The ending is as expected...sort of?? :S Of course elf pope dude is evil. It's so obvious and nothing was happening for so long because the story dragged on. And then finally he's doing something evil when you're beyond the point of caring. Ugh.

        There are Xenoblade Chronicles first game references towards the end though and pulled everything and the series together but the whole journey to get there through XC2 is arguably not worth it. It's SO cool to hear Shulk's voice again. Parallel universes and how Zanza and this Architect are 2 halves of a whole - that's pretty cool! Pyra and Mythra's sacrifice didn't amount to much as they came back again. I didn't care for how Rex has two girlfriends as the ending...just I wanted to know more about what happened to the other characters?? But didn't get that. 


        XC2 doesn't not hold up to at all to the first game in terms of story - and that's important for a long JRPG :( When people are just fan servicey over telling a cohesive, incredible story with fully developed and diverse cast of characters...I feel hurt inside. The first game got my hopes high and now I don't want to care anymore. I'm going to hum my Xenoblade Chronicles music now :')




        BurpDoodle: here comes the 13th Doctor 
        Finally finished this sketch I did way back! More casual & goofy! ^o^
        Who is excited? :0

        I had my timelapse video [see my Youtube] and the twitter post got BBC America's Doctor Who twitter retweeting it ;____; <3 
        And a couple of Procreate developers! :0!!
        I never had so much likes in my little LIFE! D:

        Well back to being invisible again haha




        GCAP17 Let’s get serious: the Wonderful World of #CharacterDesign Talk is finally out for all!!

        Oh no. Nuuuu!! I refuse to watch my train-wreck & I want to hide in a hole!! Aah!! >.<;
        Kind helpful feedback appreciated! :') 
        And everyone is welcome to join into the @CharDesignClub Challenge (:
        Very excited to finally see and catch up with all the cooler talks I missed! ^o^


        BurpDoodle | Rose Tico of The Last Jedi
        Not even a Star Wars fan but after watching, it was important for me to draw her. I was apprehensive about her role beforehand but now seeing how she's such a kickbutt, earnest, influential, loyal & heroic character against adversity I'm happily encouraged (:


        Love & Kindness | Fun Progress Grit <3
        New reminder sign for my desk ^o^

        Feeling genuinely exhausted from social media for the past several months.
        Now is the right time to take a break from posting things!
        Fading away & curling into a sad ball, don't mind me :< 
        I need creative self care time.  
        I'm usually blocked but I'll be around in small sessions to catch up!

        Enjoy the rest of your year & new year 2018!
        Do take care of yourself!
        Thank you if you're still sticking around. ^_^

        Bad rough BurpDoodle fanart for Pixar Coco
        Still on social media hiatus but I had to draw this.
        Had cautiously neutral expectations [as usual],
        saw this movie today & got teary eyed emotional [being torn between art, family & loss].

        SPOILER: I don't personally relate to everything of course but having to choose between family and art whilst dealing and learning about loss is something that is real to me. The movie reaches a middle ground...why should there a need to choose between music/art and family? Ultimately remembering & appreciating family is most important plus being there with understanding, love and support for each other's passions is the theme here - not everyone has that. I don't really have that aside from my best friend brother. The pain and hurt of having someone forget who you are - I've been there too. Gosh that Remember Me song. :') 

        Sure it has the few gags but it never felt too much at all. The storytelling beats are incredible - meaningful and well paced. Full of beautiful colour, music, art, design, songs, mexican culture, Land of the Dead wonder and I am so glad I watched it.  

        Please see this lovely wholesome movie :') ❤


        #SuperListenMode Super long breaks feels wonderful
        Woo I'm back! Well as an Art Posting Ghost that is.

        I'm unblocking myself loosely for ~10/15 minutes or so once a week or just briefly spread out during work breaks, checking your kind responses at least. Depends if I remember to catch my allowed time window! 
        Using social media at a minimal level with these boundaries. [Finding that I go into timesinks so easily whoops!!]

        Otherwise, I'm not around and likely ignorant on what's happening with your posts!
        Sorry friends whom I used to always keep tabs on at social media! Keen to occasionally catch up over lunch, get some quality time and you can fill me in about your life there better <3
        PLEASE EMAIL me, especially if you want to say something urgent or to invite me to something urgent - I'm genuinely blocked with software from social media for the most part.

        I'll reflect properly in my upcoming blog post but it's generally been a good mixed year of struggle and growth for me. Hesitantly on instagram posting art & running away as @leonieyueart too. 


        It's 2018! I just want to make & share art,
        - meet, practice, experience & bond with people I care about in person better,
        - keep reading through my library shelf of unread books and ebooks,
        - listen to audiobooks/podcasts/people,
        - learn about art much much more,
        - play sweet games
        - keep on exercising and feeling great about it, 
        - learn/try other hobbies,
        - take care of myself & knowing what suits me personally
        - and focus on life! <3 

        I hope you've all been well rested and happier over the break and start of the year!
        Thanks for sticking by - I'm still here but on "few/several times in a month" basis. I strive to keep growing with Love & Kindness in mind as I work on my little morsel of self confidence, art, friendship & social skills! :')


        And some old figure drawing I'll just put over here



        I made lots of art but didn't post much during December/January so...deal with it ;P








        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


        Four years of regular blogging & 2 years at Mighty: Let's look back on 2017!

        Technically I started blogging at 2011. But 2013 was when I finally embraced blogging as my personal & art learning journey ramble online home...in a world where it's actually more efficient and effective to just post art and keep making art instead :P Just to clear that up for anyone new.

        So let's do a rundown over the posts:
        • Feb
          • finally playing Breath of the Wild
          • Melbourne Global Game Jam with a dancing goddess
          • Art & blog & 1st Mighty Anniversary existential crisis
          • Striving to learn Vector art
          • Art for Jennifer Scheurle's Advocacy GDC Microtalk**
        • Mar
          • Vector Art learning
          • worked on Disney Crossy Road's Beauty and the Beast
          • worked on Shooty Skies Charming Keep comic
          • on taking social media breaks & my struggle with it
          • my doctor lecturing me about being an artist
        • Apr
          • On having the Courage and Patience to learn, create, love and do good anyway - fears, friendships & life
          • Charming Runes Launch comic
          • worked on Disney Crossy Road's Lilo & Stitch
          • Wavelength Art Exhibition 2017 in New Zealand**
          • I traveled to Sydney the first time to watch MCVPacific Women in Games Awards happen! + BurpDoodles + Video Blog there**
        • May
          • Answers to questions on Changing Careers, my background, learning, advice...long essay!
          • Starting to connect & have my first work buddy to chat to (: 
          • Reflecting on the Top 5 Regrets of Dying
        • June
          • Finally Framed 2 is out & my Concept art for the Polaroid Collectable art & Stickers**
          • work on Charming Runes & Shooty Skies Doodles & Marketing Art
          • Accepting Singledom...learning to without shame
          • Social Media Struggles again
          • Cool Productivity tidbits 
          • some Birthday happened ;P
        • July
          • People telling me move out :(
          • Discussion on the Games Industry & making Still Life art
          • Making silly Mighty art & Shooty Skies UI
          • Passport photos! Finding out I'm invited to do a NZGDC talk**
          • somehow featured in the Guardian**
          • Social Media Struggles part XXXX
        • Aug
          • Character Design Training & Prep for my talk
          • worked on Questy Quest illustration + [origins of Stabby Dog], Charming Runes Illustrations + Marketing Art & Charming Keep Concept art
          • Social Media Hiatus due to training
          • Why I don't stay out at night...as a regular thing
        • Sept
          • Recap on my NZGDC17 Character Design talk & New Zealand videos [and feeling poopy because I'm afraid of what cool NZ devs think of my opinions :< ]
          • NZGDC17 BurpDoodles
          • worked on Shooty Skies [Love is love] & Crossy Road Space Update concept art
          • Zelda concert & Nintendo Direct
          • On one sided conversations
          • Saying no to projects during this time with GCAP17 talk prep
          • Keep struggling with Social Media usage
          • On belonging and not belonging
        • Oct
          • Melbourne International Games Week 2017 = GCAP17, BurpDoodles, PAXAus, Women/NonBinary in Games Lunch
          • Nanojam & Parallels17
          • My Character Design talk at GCAP17**
          • Letter to those struggling to find your way into a stable art career
          • Gratitude & Exhaustion & What Happen?!
        And Nov, Dec & Jan [this post] I'll get into it in the last section ;)


        So looking at this list so far, a lot definitely happened!
        **I did so many things I never planned for...I just said yes to the opportunity and ended up doing them! I didn't expect anything and then kind people happened and believed in me. 
        Thank you so much <3

        I also said no to a handful of other opportunities. Especially if I'm not available to give my 100% to it. I don't want to waste anybody's or my time.  

        I am super happy with my progress in the past year so far! And lots of struggles too. I am going to forget about all of this if it wasn't for my blog documenting it all! Hey I focus on the present and look forward most of the time haha

        I'm not expecting anything this year. Just like I did for 2017. Truly. 
        I have a feeling that I won't get any freelance work this year because I'm so withdrawn as a social media presence now. Aw well I'll come and go anyway. I really want to grow and learn this year with my art where possible - it's what makes my heart grow with hope and excitement! (: Trying things out!

        I do what I want ;)
        Who really cares if I'm ghosting from social media. Come on.




        There's a common theme in these posts featuring me struggling with mixed feelings on social media 
        and it's mostly due to the fact with positives, comes negative effects. Super thanks to a kind person who linked to this article which clarified and reminded me why I feel so exhausted, unhappy, isolated, disconnected after using social media consistently on/off during last year. Or several years. 

        I don't like how at times I fall into the trap of seeking social validation through short quick posts...I do better whenever I keep some distance between myself and my work before I check on things. And not checking on it at all for ages really keeps things in perspective.

        I don't want to feel obligated to be present and online all the time anymore. And I don't think I've posted too many things with the intention to only gain sympathy or "please like me"/approval and attention...when it does happen when I realise and look back, I learn and remind myself to not do it again. 

        I post my art because it's encouraging and I had fun doing the art already! Plus I've gotten both tumbleweeds and kind responses before so I've grown over these years to make sure I don't take things too much to heart...if I can help it. :') Yes it hurts sometimes. But hey. I want to just learn from the experience. Now I need to get better at real life rejection :0

        Definitely at times there are minority groups I belong to that felt welcoming. But most of the time I'm a lurker. I don't feel like I have an effect or influence on anything. It feels empty. I'm not really friends with all of these amazing people but I respect and am inspired by what they do.

        Don't let the number of twitter followers I have fool you. The grass always seem greener elsewhere. You'd just keep looking at people with more followers than you...it never ends. The "not being enough" feeling doesn't end if you decide to focus on that. And I'm okay with not focusing on that as much as I can help it. I don't mind too much whenever I don't have much influence over the actual number of people looking at my tweets. Conservative guess: 2% so probably 15-28 people actually read my tweets? I get a nice reality check that I'm just a little artist in the void.

        Gosh a lot of things on social media adds to the noise. I have increased how selective I am with who I follow and I keep culling my list as things change! Noticing how my interests wane in recent years. Since ghosting, I'm finding I'm more ignorant about much more drama and news that I have no control over anyway and I don't feel as emotionally drained from it. I do get some of it through colleagues and people I know but it's more limited now (:

        The dangerous thing about Social Media is forgetting that it's not a replacement for genuine connection with others alone. There's a lot of responsibility that comes with social media in a public space too from debates, harassment, drama, privacy, notifications, setting an example - beyond my experiences and scope of my blog. Social media/text lacks nuance that comes with body language and tone and being in someone else's physical presence. Let's say I'm disillusioned and I feel like backing off many times.

        Regardless, many people see the good & happy bits of people's lives. Or the drama. Mostly the good and/or mundane though. Many curate their posts. Because why would anyone want more negativity and the burdens of others on their feed? 

        Even I strive to keep and/or end things positive...while expressing other feelings too...I won't lie if I'm not feeling great. I mean I'm not feeling happy about myself now but I'm at peace with it and being self aware of my personal problems and insecurities. I'm feeling much better about myself. (: Yes social media is incredibly great at feeding into your insecurities if you're not that confident yet [hey me].

        I've even considered instagram countless times thanks to many artists I admire doing it but I can't stick to it consistently. I hate it. It's inconvenient for me to post art. I don't take much photos of my personal life either. I guess I'm a grump now. Recently I've found a way to get art from my phone and post it there. Let's see how long this attempt lasts! I think it's okay for now...it's post and run away! I don't check my feeds much either.

        As you know I feel this blog is my online home because I get to ramble to my heart's content and I do not have any expectations for anyone to read at all. I still believe this to this day that not many people read this. To be transparent with you it ranges from 80 to 600 "views" a blog post. It's sounds a lot but that's not really much for a 6 year old blog. I don't know how many actually reads these as "views" could mean anything.

        Yes I ramble to clarify my feelings and then I move on. And then I might talk about it again if I'm still tackling it. For those new to this blog: who even reads long rambly repetitive posts anymore when there's so much fast sweet content elsewhere?? I don't care. If I did, I wouldn't still be blogging ;P

        When I'm super active on social media whenever I post BurpDoodles and things, it gets hard to set down boundaries back down each time whenever existential pain comes in. Whenever we're all unpredictable human beings. Gosh I am learning! I've figured that I should just post things and distance myself until I feel ready to as a habit. 

        I felt so tired. I *am* tired. Ever since MIGW last year in particular.
        Sharing and giving and posting frequently left me emotionally empty and unhappy that I've trapped myself into this hamster wheel of addictive & fast social validation. I assure you that most people don't care...it's fleeting and many want to just talk about their opinions on things. I was especially tired since doing my first two conference talks...I don't feel like I've got anything to give that can top that. I can retreat back to doing art now. I lost the belief that anyone is doing the challenge...but turns out 2 people have submitted! I'll get to that on the dedicated twitter and tumblr.

        I digress. I enjoy just responding in my own time as usual because I don't want to be the Leonie that worries too much on whether she should respond or speak up online. I want to relax and have fun with social media again.

        Plus as much as I ramble a lot with my own thoughts and am open about my struggles here, I don't want to share *every* single detail about my life. Contrary to what you think, I don't share everything because I have boundaries. Yes I do express my gratitude by crediting people! But there's a line where I keep things vague & anonymous for the privacy of others and I just talk about things within my own control. Respecting others and myself is important to me.

        I think not posting regularly so far is helping me refocus again. It's hard because I feel like I've ruined a good art "habit". I need to figure this again.

        I've even considered during mid Dec whether I should just post short little art posts and not even bother with all the other things I do anymore. I got tired of video blogging. Hey I am glad I did my best with it and had mostly my fun with it! I am already trying instagram again but don't want to contribute to more fast, skimmable, attention seeking and packaged noise & content...it's another timesink for me. I don't need that much social attention. 

        I'm becoming more closed off and grumpy from trying new things. I want to change this. I feel like social media and the internet is trying to get me to give away more of my soul and time *everywhere*, spreading myself thin on a web of imaginary social influence and I'm trying to protect it right now :( Why do I even care about 1.4k followers?! Who cares how many followers I have when 10 to 20 of them actually check? I notice that more and more people just want to take from you only for their own personal gain and/or have some perceived expectations/demands about you and it feels suffocating, negative and overwhelming at times. I do notice that people trying to just selfishly take from people in my circles and from me fall away to the wayside. So I'm not too worried. All the same, I do things to the beat of my own drum ;)

        I don't think I can stop blogging though. I can ramble all I like here. :') Well I've done some rambling on Facebook too to see if I can get some interaction there but I know that a lot of people I know don't even care about what I do on social media. Others lurk. They got real lives ;P And only a very small percentage engage with you. I deeply appreciate them and hope to engage with them whenever I'm ghosting on social media again (:

        I think keeping my usage restricted to <20 minute sessions a week really helps! Still working it out! I don't check when I'm out and about or too much when I'm at home. Blocking myself removed the temptations of social media for me! And I think it's allowed me more time to relax, be lazy or make art, read, learn, exercise, chores, hobbies, do life things! To be present and learn to not worry about what people think and whatever else I cannot control. I've been trying to get used to using social media less. 

        Taking back some personal space and privacy. I love it.

        Sometimes a pang of desire to belong kicks in when people are hanging out without me. I usually ride that out. Now I have no idea! I don't want to worry if I miss out on things that people who live near the city are enjoying. And there's the danger of checking social media too much at work but at times I need to be present whenever I post something for work too :S


        I tried a lot of things in 2017,
        • had many hiatuses,
        • tried doing the Friday night only thing but it felt overwhelming catching up with *everything* after a week,
        • then had lots of activity when games week happened and ended up burning myself out from social media as my comfort zone & boundaries got pushed too far.
        • I felt I had to be online/present a lot and got carried away. I cared too much. I drained my own introverted energy hoping for connection. I lost my sense of self, leaving me feeling empty and negative on my own.

        Turns out my boundaries differ from those who love the spotlight and interaction. 

        I enjoy interaction but in small amounts! It came with pressure, facing my insecurities, finding myself addicted to notifications again, feeling isolated, disconnected and upset with myself and a lot of negativity and noise. It became a burden and I wanted to be free of it. I don't want to be tied down to social media when I want to do other productive, creative and healthier things!

        Being on a break from social media without any email notifications at all for the first time was incredible. Wow. I feel so much lighter from another time consuming thing to worry about. There's not as much to check upon on social media and email! Still I am learning to let go of many other things in my feeds [even some let's plays gosh] too. I enjoy it so much...to the point that I want to protect my time away from social media and consciously ignore my fear of missing out & feeling isolated each time it arises. 

        My time and emotional investment are valuable to me.







        My thoughts on Social Media since watching Michelle's GCAP talk on Social Media Influencers [skip this if you're tired of this topic]
        Do watch her talk as she has her authentic and amazing approach with connecting with people through social media. She is an incredible people person. We talked about it over twitter as I was getting my head around it and we agreed that everyone has their own authentic way to use social media and that's what makes it engaging. I personally don't have tips [apparently she says that I do?!] but I do have my personal philosophy on how I use social media as of 2017/8. 

        Here goes my ramble on "influencing", sometimes a byproduct of what you like posting about:
        • I am super picky with what I post especially when attention is scarce. I'm not trying to influence people. I'm just posting art and things I like/enjoy! What people do...that's out of my control. People do what they want anyway.
        • I don't particularly want to go out of my way to reach out to somebody I don't know without anything to offer...it has to come from a genuine place where I'm enjoying the process and reaching out foremost. Not expecting anything. Like my BurpDoodles. I do them and that's enough for me! I want to have fun and not expect anything in return before I'm willing to reach out to anyone. Whether I provide value to anybody or not...that's a subjective matter I don't want to worry about it where possible if I can help it. 
        • I refrain from doing things simply expecting and indirectly wanting something in return [shares/likes/recognition] because I feel icky if I do. I've deleted some posts or just quickly move on from my mistakes because of this. When I realise I'm posting for the wrong needy reasons, I need to learn, live with it and move on.
        • There are times where I've followed people I don't know well and...they're not really interacting or anything with me at all or they're not really using twitter! Some are following too many people to notice anyway ;D And I've unfollowed many also because I'm honestly not interested, comfortable, secure or feel connected to what they tweet. A mix of reasons. In these cases, it's better to stay "connected" via facebook instead if I've met someone comfortably well in person. (: Twitter is a place of interaction & keeping tabs on a small 100 or so people [especially if they're not facebook friends already] for me. I think I need to clean it more but I don't want to push it! Keeping tabs on people who inspire me. More manageable that way.
        • I'm just happy to respond to most people - whoever they are. But I need to do it less if I'm just thanking people and I'm limiting my time. 
        • I don't easily retweet, share or tweet about something unless I truly support something - without expecting anything in return - it has to come from a genuine place or I'll realise at some point and I'll delete it! Whether the relevant person even cares or not, I don't want to care too much about it and just roll with their apathy or response.
        • I also delete posts if I don't feel it fits or works anymore - I embrace my mistakes! I try things out and don't know what I'm doing!
        • I refuse to check on actual analytics on what I post on social media/youtube/tumblr because I tend to value/judge/obsess over that instead of just enjoying my process. I'm not striving to see people as numbers too much as it really clouds my perception of my self worth through social currency and statistics thanks to my insecurities :< Hey, at least I'm self aware! So I'm just blocking off the temptations.
          • I did check once for work reasons and I was surprised...a huge majority percentage of my followers and organic audience are male. It shows how large a gap there is in game developer diversity? I don't know.
        • I dislike and struggle with Instagram because I'm usually private when it comes to selfie photos, there isn't much to share when I don't travel much and the posting process is phone centric. I might post art sometimes there but I give up quickly because it's really inconvenient for me :S I don't enjoy using instagram but a lot of the the artist community have moved there .___. I'm not cool I guess. Trying it again though :')
        • There are times I've had to mute people or other times where I met Twitter people in real life ...it varies (: Social media is ultimately about going with the flow and not let it control you in a negative way in terms of self worth and emotional well-being. Striving to get better at that.
        • Facebook - last year I've made rambly long friends only essay posts about the things I watch or play! ;D It feels great because it's limited to people I am usually comfortably acquainted with and trust ^o^ I'll keep doing it if I feel like it...but now I'm lazy now. I learned that I don't want to spend time discussing things online when I can do more productive things :P
        • YouTube & Twitch - you have to make videos and stream because you enjoy it. Genuinely. No matter how much time and resources you put into them. I don't plan to make much video blogs anymore but happy to just stick with art timelapses. I'm not an entertaining streamer personality but I might stream again so I don't have to edit videos haha ;P
        • I don't use LinkedIn as I don't find it valuable for me as an artist...I finally visited a bit but it really emphasises on making more and more connections I don't really want to care for :S
        • Been striving to keep *urgent* private messages limited to emails and still a lot of people don't know despite how I remind people :( So I use a mix of twitter/facebook private messages if I must but it's not everyday nor a reliable way to contact me asap
        • I am very very very giving when it comes to likes because I want to support and acknowledge people <3 I gave a total of 30,500+ likes on twitter GOSH how did I do that D: 
        • I don't see myself as an influencer because that's weird. I know I don't really...at least not intentionally or aware about it. People do what they want ;D There are many times when I post things and people didn't care, help or respond. It's a reality check that I'm not special :')
        • Consequently it took me several years to organically get this many followers and even then, the number of followers isn't valuable -  engagement is much more valuable   
        • And even trying to maintain engagement beyond my comfort zone feels like a burden and insincere to me
        • this is different for everyone and generally I use social media to share my art, ramble sometimes and interact with people who are still engaged with my stuff :') <3
        Clearly social media is a big part of my life.
        But I'm trying to not care too much about getting fast, easy validation/notifications :( It's too easy to feel "better" in the short term with social media but it's all imaginary and prevents me from being present and do something more meaningful with my life. Plus I don't want to be trapped by social media. 

        I keep culling things and even Youtube channels I've used to watch for their silly [trashy] content because I'm no longer interested for the past few years. It's a refreshing realisation. I've had this nagging feeling that I'm wasting time on things that aren't helping me learn or making my life better and I'm getting better at figuring out what's not for me anymore. I used to be disciplined at this when I was studying and removing distractions but hey. I don't feel ashamed about this. Been looking into watching better quality stuff I can learn from hence my "asking for recommendations" posts on Netflix, book websites and whatnot.

        Digress! I'm trying to protect who I am, manage the effects of social media on my life and not get influenced thanks to getting validation from others. I'm not talking about my looks [haha what looks, I'm getting older and lonelier ;P ] but the dangers of just putting too much of my self worth on my art ability alone. I'm so tired and don't want to feel like this anymore. I am striving protect the fun and joy I get from creating. [Protect your joy and fun too. (: ]

        And embrace both my pain and compassion for myself. Sometimes trying to "feel better" isn't the solution and I've been getting better at sitting with my hurt, pain, frustration and just being present with it. Ramble and seek other perspectives. Don't run to social media to distract myself and feel better. I usually end up feeling worse in the long run. Minimise the terrible self comparison to the best versions of others :') I know I shouldn't do it but thanks insecurities! :P I usually stop myself and back away each time I realise it's happening. I'm getting better at it.

        I'm mostly good at not allowing my emotions to take control to react to things without considering consequences...because I usually hide my feelings in person. I hide them from most people and sit with the pain. I write or type the feelings out if I need to...been doing Morning Pages again.

        Striving for happiness isn't really a substantial goal for me. I want to live a life that makes me feel like I've given meaningful value to others through friendship, connection & the art I enjoy creating - with the people I work with. I'm so glad I've managed to keep creating from a place of enjoyment, passion and growing pains. It's not always fun but I strive to keep it interesting and push through. 

        Feelings are just feelings, just let them be especially when it's the difference between reacting/doing something because it feels good and makes you feel better versus what's right for yourself and others. We cannot avoid or hide from pain and suffering. Be mindful with what you allow yourself to tolerate. Observe the pain awhile. Allow the rain to pour, watch it and release it. And then do something productive :')

        I want to keep it limited to posting art shenanigans and maybe about the hobbies I like. And yes and keep doing this personal art and life blog. (:

        Oh social media & the internet. I like/hate you.
        To follow anybody is committing some degree of emotional and intellectual labour and it takes its toll on me when there's too many voices demanding my attention. So much time and energy spread thin across all of these platforms as you follow all of these different people and sources...and most of it is just things you don't have to know about. Yes I know it's great to socialise online but it overwhelms me if I allow it to. 

        On the other side, when you post things yourself, you know it's going to be public so you find yourself performing as the online best version of yourself. Your Online persona. That is also exhausting after a long while. It's never going to be enough or perfect. You can't make everyone happy. You'll keep feeling disappointed. You're not important as you think. People will misunderstand, or have the wrong impression of you, judge you or refuse to give you chances. Some people don't want to give you the benefit of the doubt. People are just too busy with their own struggles. You are not entitled to anything. You can't change them either. Just like you don't expect people to change you. 


        I find that I care too much. I'm still very much working on my insecurities and self confidence. I want to care less about who's responding or who isn't. It doesn't and shouldn't matter.

        I want to grow to be indifferent about you social media. And have fun with it if I can. I'm not completely there yet as it's such a dynamic social place. 

        I want to become someone who can openly learn & express herself through her art, work, hobbies, adventures & life. From a genuine place of abundance and kindness for myself and others. I'd rather make important, fun and creative things instead.

        Usually I would be dismissive, disheartened and cynical. 
        But I actually believe this is possible in due time. 
        It will be a wonderful and frustrating journey. <3






        Also skimmed & read through Focus by Leo Babauta
        It's SO cool how a lot of what I already do aligns with this book! And how there's a huge range of extremes and approaches you can try! Wow! I don't think I can completely cut myself off from social media but it feels awesome cutting off a lot of things. 

        It also expresses a lot of my concerns about Social Media - switching too much between consuming and creating content. How addicting it is. On the "need to respond" & "need to stay updated" habit and stress I had too. 121 pages of things to think about - a lot of valuable insights for workplace culture, if you're a parent, if you're nomadic, if you're sorting your goals, philosophy and so on. 

        And knowing that people don't care what happens to us or what we've done at all. There's always people who will never know who you are. No one really cares about your mistakes as much as you do. Don't worry about people who you don't know or like...cherish the ones who you do. 

        Personally I want to keep posting things as if people don't actually care. They don't. Sometimes a handful actually do and I'm super grateful. And then they move on...while you deal with things on your own - that's how it usually is. But I don't expect anything...I am posting from a place of sharing what I'm doing or enjoying at the moment really. Online interaction often feels far removed from my real life day to day happenings and struggles. 

        So yes, I don't like how I habitually check social media in the past. It's not great! So easy to fall back into too.

        It further strengthens how I desperately want to protect my creative time SO much this year. The time for rest and beautiful solitude to create things and do things - away from all the noise. I actually turned off email notifications completely from facebook and blocked myself from tumblr for the first time during December and it feels scary awesome! I've restricted who I subscribe on Youtube and email newsletters too...slowly taking things out. I have friends lists whom I keep tabs on but I'm keeping them out of sight until the allocated times. I got bookmarks to social media out of the way now and harder to access. And I've blocked out email to certain times only! 

        I realise how addicted I was to checking emails :<

        I know I can't keep tabs on everything. 

        Letting things go feels like freedom. Sweet freedom.

        Am better being out of the loop and missing out...yes a bit of hurt is there. But I'm learning to embrace it better and let the feelings run, not act upon them, not let it affect me negatively too much and move on. Gosh it's hard. But I'm getting better at just feeling genuinely happy for people. It's refreshing! I don't care that much anymore. I'm focusing on my own adventures! Figuring that out this year!

        In the book, there's a lot of approaches, rituals, routines, separate times designated for things, uncluttering the work environment, slowing down, simplifying your life, on not focusing on goals, about habits and meditative techniques - up to you to find what works for you! I skimmed through the book once over as a lot of things don't apply to me, felt overwhelming to do all at once or didn't suit me. Note I was looking for things that further support what I was already doing to minimise and simplify my social media and lifestyle habits (:

        It's also frustrating when people forget/don't know and still contact you through social media...social media becomes an expected kind of commitment and I want to break free of that. I am lucky I can let go of that a bit since I'm not a struggling freelancer at the moment. So please judge for yourself on whether it's helpful to your circumstances or not.

        Boundaries are cool and takes time adjusting and adapting. 

        Don't be hard on yourself.


        I'm okay and getting better with:
        • focusing [but can be better], 
        • not rushing through things, 
        • being okay if things aren't done asap when it comes to self imposed deadlines, 
        • exercise! :D
        • letting go of things and people who are out of my control
        • siting there, do nothing, living in the present and just zoning out if my body and mind needs it - mindfulness meditation, 
        • going with the flow, 
        • allow the pain to run its course and sit with you like a friend
        • learning to practice gratitude, love and kindness all the time from a genuine place with myself and others
        • not respond to every comment I get - learning to let go and just a like/reaction suffices (: 
        • cut out on tumblr too as I'm not really getting anywhere with it. It's become a huge distraction and timesink for me instead. :(
        • try new things and own up to your mistakes
        • allow myself to feel sad, angry, confused, hurt
        • not make goals and focus on growing and learning with purpose instead
        • keep focusing on lifting people up from a genuine place of love & kindness
        • feeling humbled that people think of me at all; thank you! ;__;
        • and just keep doing what I enjoy

        Gosh it feels encouraging when I'm already doing a lot of things from this book! Definitely a book to go back to for different stages of your life. I recommend you to google it [there's a free short version] as thanks for reading my essays ;)

        Anyhoo I am striving to do even better! I'm not great at it all the time either. I want to enjoy and take into stride the wonders and chaos that is life and learning, not rush it. Figuring it out so it works for me. 

        Perhaps you can reevaluate what is working for you and at least be self aware of your habits. (:

        Right now I'm just keen to go back and stick to boundaries and limit my social media time much, much more. I've done it before and I can do it again.

        Insecure moments happen but it feels wonderful so far when you're completely out of the social media loop <3 I want to focus on self care and love properly this year.









        2 year Mighty Anniversary Reflection ramble [& Friendships in general]
        Sometimes I've been sillier, talking and laughing more at work during 2017. At times I'm having less inhibitions at work as I warm up to people. Other times I keep quiet whenever I don't think I can join in.

        Still learning to not care if I belong and just do my best to support the projects I'm part of. I'm expressing myself more sometimes! It doesn't last but occasionally I'm warming up to people in general even when I'm quiet! Trying to push my comfort zone. And conserving energy for work if I can. There's been a lot of moving about with projects, colleagues and with my workspace too.

        Since I help out with random things for different projects, I'm never really part of just one project at a time so in that respect, I'm happy I helped out as an art grunt for Mighty? There were things I made that won't see the time of day but that's okay, I felt sad at the time *but* it's normal. I got to make something anyhow! I've been on Hipster Whale projects but I can't say much about it as usual

        One day I'll get to do something with my art style but probably in several or ten years' time. I got much growing to do. (: Hey I'm still learning a lot of things like a newbie. I do hope to learn more things this year...I've neglected learning vector art for a long while and am slowly getting back to it. Or at least I want to learn to do something this year at Mighty...I just don't know what opportunities or projects I'll get to do. It's always changing! I really want to do better marketing illustrations this year too!

        With Mighty peeps during 2017, I am grateful to have a few kind work buddies to talk to sometimes! Plus a few other kind peeps saying hello to me if I'm lucky! I don't need to tell you who - or about everything and everybody, remember? ;) 

        Anyhoo, thank you so much, especially those who made me feel comfortable enough, tolerated/didn't mind with my rambling and actually *listened* to me [and not looking like you want to run away]! I'm not used to having periods of being comfortable and be talkative at work so I often feel self conscious about it afterwards [I just hide it]. 

        In general, yes I'm not actually quiet with the people I like and want to talk to! ;P Sometimes it's not mutual so I go back being cold, reserved and maybe we'd say hello if eye contact happens or me/someone initiates. Most of the time, I'm self conscious, tired, don't have much to say, feel that people aren't interested in what I ramble about and/or I am Listen Mode so I keep to myself :S

        I'll keep it vague as don't want to establish expectations with the people in my life - things keep changing and people go close or distant again. :0 

        Oh I'm getting better at warming up to colleagues but also being okay with keeping to my default reserved self since we're here to work for our projects, not to become actual friends or even more as a "family" ;P Friendship to some degree would be wonderful but I don't want to force it. I really value professional working relationships so I strive to not let personal feelings get in the way when work needs to be done. It's tricky when you're a solitary soul so I don't claim to be good at it .___.

        I am grateful that I do have some friendly colleague level friends at Mighty. Maybe. I'm not sure but I know I can't *expect* colleagues to be my friends! But I'm glad I can call a few of them my buddies even if it's just for the sake of feeling warm fuzzies and connection in those moments :')



        Friendships/People in general: 
        I mean I do what I'm comfortable with and sometimes I reach out/initiate. Afterwards I don't want to push it so I tend to give people lots of space and back off when I'm not sure/confident. Especially when the vibe I get is apathy/lack of interest/energy...I want to talk to someone who's interested in me too :< At worst I just distance myself awhile if I find myself caring too much - focusing on "awkward regrettable" things I did that only *I* am dwelling on. It feels rude to pay little attention and ignore them but I know they're not even aware of it or care and I need some distance to get better perspective on the fact that it's not mutual! Thanks, my limited social experiences! :') 

        At times we end up having nothing we want to say and end up standing around in silence or someone just leaves to do something else. Sometimes I think I put the most effort in keeping the conversation going as I'm the only one asking questions or I'm too stumped on what to ask next. Perhaps I give too much or too little space and I give the wrong impression. I don't know. It happens. I'm learning. I'll just be back to my reserved, professional self around them unless there's work to be done between us.

        Oh silly overthinking feelings.

        I've also excluded myself out of habit last year when it comes to impromptu lunch/social group things. Can't really break out of it unless I'm directly invited. I usually have my own "lunch" too but I do get sick of the same thing. I guess I'm tired of navigating how I can fit in/belong - to my detriment. For me I just realise if there's not much in common with peeps, I end up listening and observing. And that's okay and I just let it go...arguably I should be used to it. :0 Gosh more silly sad feelings. Learning to be better to do my own thing. 

        Slowly randomly including myself sometimes and walk about when I feel ready to. Just go along anyway! Get to know people better! I do want to do better and get more social practice with peeps who are happy to include me :') I'm more okay being the quiet one while everyone talks at lunch and I'm happy and grateful that they're still including me sometimes - especially when I usually say "no" out of habit and nervousness for so long. Social Practice and making mistakes! 

        One thing I noticed about myself is that I get curious and ask questions about a lot of things, ponder about it afterwards but I'm not interested in following up or go further with it. I have that deadpan listening face too! Hmm :0

        And I'm simple; just happy & content when a few people actually acknowledge me and say hello first or back in return...it's encouraging :') I don't care if I go higher pitched when I respond with friendliness, it brightens my day a bit at that moment and that's how it comes out. ;P But most people don't because I'm not really someone they'd come to talk to...we're not really friends but probably acquaintances. Aye.

        Usually the "most people are not your friends" line comes into play...I need to accept/remind myself that since 2016 (if you remember) - neediness is not a good foundation for friendship...especially when I used to be a struggling freelancing hermit of few friends :( When people are too busy all/most of the time, or they seem lukewarm keen and then they're suddenly not...they're just polite and they're not really interested. I figured this year that I'll need to expand my social circles more, beyond people at work and even the industry so I can emotionally invest into new people...taking slow steps! (:

        Admittedly I got hopeful at times when people actually show kindness in return and whenever I got to know people more & I feel comfortable enough to ramble more they intentionally ignore/distance away from me. Hey that happens when it's not mutual. It hurts a lot but I ride it out, lose some trust and respect for them, give myself time and distance to heal, take comfort that I tried and strive to focus on people who do care about me instead. At least there's myself if there's no one available! :')

        I digress. I'm growing more at peace with just doing my best regardless of the outcome. Sometimes I reach out because I want to express, do something and appreciate someone without expecting anything and I'm checking if people are doing okay (: Other times I just quietly withdraw and let myself and/or others have some space. Let others have their bonding time. 

        Overall it gets tiring when it's just you who's making the effort in a conversation and/or you don't know how to keep it going. I've been trying with mixed feelings and now I just feel tired. A real mutual friendship shouldn't make me feel miserable, neglected, drained and rejected. Thanks for this painful struggle. I'm figuring out my evolving standards for myself...I'm learning at least. 

        Yes making mutual friends is hard in general especially as an introverted quiet ignorant isolated butt who's figuring things out and learning. I've probably made lots of mistakes as I try things & let things happen organically too but I'll learn from them.

        Whenever there is the delight of meeting, trusting and bonding with somebody we grow to care about...there is the sorrow, longing and loss from separation, abandonment, things not working out or letting go. It happens. 

        It highlights how you should not have somebody's presence, attitude, friendship, acknowledgement, approval and/or love be your measure of self worth, happiness and purpose. 

        Don't take things too personally.
        Knowing, learning, reminding and understanding this in my heart puts me more at ease. 


        How special is the word "friend" nowadays? Or are they just kindred spirits? Or people I know? Or just vague acquaintances? Or just someone who flatters you? Whether someone [or myself] is a true friend or not...I'd rather not worry about it. It's not completely in my control anyway...but I'll do and help what I can on my side, within my boundaries. (: 

        Digressing again. 

        Just gotta stop saying "I hate myself" this year whenever I dwell on my mistakes! I need to work on my self confidence more. Go with the flow. Make more awkward cringe-worthy mistakes. Feel the hurt if it doesn't work out. And over think less. I know in my gut that I need to find peace and positivity within myself - by loving myself more...and I've been stumbling and figuring that out all this time. I don't claim to be good at this but at least I'm self aware! (:

        Maybe that contributed to giving up on wanting to belong in recent years. What's the point? I'll be who I am. If possible, I'm saying no to things when I don't feel like I'll enjoy it. To not take people [who are out of my control] or projects too much to heart once you've done your best. I'm tired of caring too much - when I do, I need to grow and let go :< Oh silly brain and feelings.




        Reflecting on Mighty again
        But hey Mighty peeps are all friendly, intelligent, amazing, knowledgeable, skilled, inspiring & kind than I! Great at puns and wonderful to work with. I admire a lot of them. They're all so cooler than me ;) There's a lot of things I've learned from them in my time spent working and snippets of bonding [cough eavesdropping while working cough] with them and I'm super lucky and grateful! 

        And I'm not just saying that because they pay me. It's true...which is why I don't know how I belong at times...but they intimidate me and I can't keep up with group discussions haha

        What I'm struggling with is personal and me with people in general...I'm not unhappy at Mighty. It's really my personal struggle and focus on self confidence and self love right now. Figuring out how I fit in and stand among them as my own person. And working at Mighty has allowed me the privilege to afford to look within, learn and sort myself out. How I still have my tall poppy syndrome and my tendencies to make myself small and invisible. [They won't read this as they don't care or know shh ;P ]

        I'm just trying to work on bettering myself from a genuine place. As I said last year, I just don't know them all well as friends and people - beyond pleasantries, "how's things" and work topics if I'm lucky. I've established myself as one of the quiet people.  

        Special moments for me happen when you bond briefly sometimes - I appreciate it lots when it happens and it makes me feel valued and respected (: Sometimes I ask more about them though...gasp small talk! But hey everyone is super focused into work mode! I'm not great at group conversations [invisible listener] and I'm much more the support class who helps out when directed - I am no outspoken, sociable, decisive manager, leader or rockstar of people ;< I am not the person people turn to for advice either. 

        Sometimes I remove myself from private Slack conversations so I don't take up space on Slack - perhaps it's the "I'm not worthy" inferiority complex in part? Or I'm expecting people to remove me anyway because I'm taking up their Slack space and don't work with some of them? I'm figuring it out. Oh insecurities. :')

        Currently unsure and neutral. I hope it slowly keeps getting better; I feel & am learning to be more comfortable at work at my turtle pace (: But also being okay at just staying focused and working. Group discussions, still very much a quiet listener to process things and I'm at peace with that. While I look cold and distant on the outside [all the action is going on in my head]. If people actually wanted my input, they know how to reach me effectively by now...right? ;P

        I'll just keep doing my best as part of the team and do my own things as well.
        Live, embrace learning, quietly listen and laugh in the moment more.
        Strive to become a better person and artist. Keep my inferiority complex aka "halp I'm a fraud and I don't know how to make video games" at bay.
        The usual ;)

        I'm just super super grateful that I get to work with Mighty peeps. <3 
        Thank you to them all for bearing with my ignorance, awkwardness, rambles and quietness...in that case I probably don't affect them anyway because I'm quiet! I get told I need to speak up more but I need to come from a place of knowledge not ignorance before I feel confident in saying anything...Mighty peeps are all smarter than me! Eep! :P

        Staying positive [or at least neutral] for the year to come! ^o^ 


            




        "My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness"? Personal Thoughts...I finally read it [Note: R18 comic]
        Contrary what I hear from others' experiences, I didn't feel sad, touched or emotionally intense at all upon reading it. I had to read it again to figure out my feelings and thoughts. I do like it though!
        Thanks so much Lauren for lending it to me <3

        If you want to read this, please stop reading this section now. I do recommend this book if you want a unique and personal insight on the artist/author's struggle with sexuality and depression. I'm going to go into spoiler territory from here. A lot of sensitive and mature subjects so this is your trigger warning too.

        It is a wonderful read; I definitely recommend it!!
        Apparently there'll be another book too! Sweet!!

        Okay here comes my personal life stuff, so if you don't like that either, skip this.
        I'm too spooked to share this on facebook oddly enough...probably because I don't think much people I know would read these blog posts?? I don't care if it's public though because as much as I feel embarrassed and vulnerable sharing this, I don't feel shame anymore and I'm happy to be open about this.

        Again skip this if you're reading the comic or if you really don't care for my personal life. That's okay. I am not writing for you or anyone's sympathy. ;P




        *** PERSONAL RAMBLE SPOILER ESSAY INCOMING ***

        Why didn't I feel sad or deeply affected within my very core?
        It is a terribly vulnerable, raw and personal story. Many people embraced it.
        I did feel some feelings of empathy too. I was so confused.


        Perhaps one reason is the fact that I don't *fully* relate to her and that's completely fine. It's definitely insightful and brave. 
        With sexuality I did not feel the same; as an artist I definitely do have the most fun illustrating the feminine form but in terms of feelings and attraction, it's not in a sexual way as she was. I questioned and learned from my all-girls school experiences that at best I feel platonic love for women. I guess I'm an ally for the LGBTTQQIAAP community? Regardless, it is wonderful how openly honest she is about being a lesbian. 

        I did not have to manage depression, over/under eating nor self harm as she did. Not that I actually got professional help to know.

        No stranger told me to "fight" and do art like somebody has for the artist/writer. But there was an English/Drama teacher who knelt and jokingly begged me to keep doing art. But I laughed along and felt empty. I knew I was committed in giving up art back then. 

        How I'm not moving out like she has. Yes I do feel shame at times that I'm hindering myself by not doing it. To an extent, I have an emotionally abusive environment and it rubs off on me at times. I'm not opposed to moving out in the distant future! :D Right now my sense of familial & cultural connection is still very strong, I don't have a huge need to move at this stage and I'm comfortable right now. I'm just financially glad I can save up more money and focus on studying, learning and doing what I want to do in spite of it. Essentially my dad is my terrible landlord and I am paying household expenses alongside my brother. ;P

        I am not brave enough like the author/artist to call up an escort but I feel very happy for her excitement and openness to learn and explore her sexuality towards the end. It gave me hope that I can learn too eventually...however late I am :')


        I did share and relate to a lot of other things... 
        • How I'm basically inexperienced in the world of relationships and relate to this a lot. Would love to experience it, explore and learn some day with someone who's right for me and me for them - to share a story together.  
          • I know it's impossible for one person to fulfill all of your needs - a lot needs to come from within anyway. It's not your partner's responsibility to make you happy. And that's why I'm just working on myself at my own pace all this time so I can become someone who can be independent [emotionally, spiritually, physically, life, etc] and also be a part of a team in life...and I'm not there yet. Whether I will ever be ready...I don't know! It makes me feel afraid I'll never date in my life at this rate! I'm still very much working on my career right now and working on my self confidence :')
          • I do feel that I can't live up to the "ideal partner" whatever that is for any given person. I don't expect someone to be like that for me...I need to be what I need for myself. To find someone emotionally, intellectually more or less equal...a best friend who keeps you feel loved and cared for, someone who gives you stability, mystery and adventure, someone to share the burdens of life and money with you, and someone you're happy to spend the rest of your time and life with...is a huge feat. How on earth do people do this and find someone compatible at all?? To be "everything" for someone else? You can't be everything. That is a lot of pressure and anxiety. Those kinds of expectations just lead to unhappy relationships. It's a matter of what kinds of issues in the relationship you're able to tolerate in the end. How each person expresses their love, how they give, how they communicate, how they work through problems, never keep score on who gives more and so on. What makes it worth it for you. Sometimes relationships come and go and you grow and ultimately you've had a chapter of your life together. I haven't had that experience yet though. I might be spouting nonsense here!
          • Gosh mutual respect and communication too! If you don't want to be with someone anymore, just let them know. Don't waste each others' time. (:
          • Perhaps the "special someone" for me...he exists or he doesn't. Who knows. One day I hope to find a best friend, companion, partner in love and life...where we embrace each other's strengths, weaknesses, personal space, personal issues and quirks. Genuine intimacy and making sure we're feeling okay too. Love each other as we are...possess the same values, interests, attraction etc Ensure we have our own separate circles of friends, hobbies, lives and personal space too! (:
          • All the same I'll keep doing what I do...keep learning and get better at friends and social things. I want to focus on friendship, trust, other hobbies and learning how to love. 
          • Of course no one is perfect or fully ready for a new relationship, I hope to go by the flow and relax. I will come to learn it when it does happen; excited!! (:
          • Not that I'll actually share relationship stuff here - it's private! ;P I'm only mentioning singledom once again as a response to this book. 
        • How I'm still working on my confidence and what it means to be an independent adult. How I want to focus on that first. How it feels like it's too late for me. People I knew as a teen have families, homes and financial stability by now...and I'm still trying to figure out my own self worth. 
          • I don't want to be needy for someone to solve my personal problems & insecurities - that person doesn't exist :P I don't want kids of my own...I just want a partner in life who feels the same with me in growing together through life's adventures! I want to travel, create and learn! (: 
          • I need to figure out in my own time on what hobbies I can do; inspired by many other people in my life...taking small steps at the moment
        • How I used to desire my parents' approval to the point of attempting a teaching career to prove to them I'm not an unemployed worthless human being...that I'm worthy to live in society and in the household.
          • And then quitting and bearing with the "I'm not worthy/I'm doomed/Why should I keep living anymore/Why try?" resistance as I struggled to do what I want. 
          • Here I learned that I've never been the kind of person to say "I'll prove you wrong family!! ARGH!" Things like that don't motivate me. I needed something deeper than that. I don't have anger as a driving force...I felt helpless instead.
          • I don't think I've gotten approval actually even now. But that's ok. I really don't need it. I just keep shutting it down whenever criticism happens (:
        • I was in pain and full of insecurity because I attached my ability to draw and create to my own self-worth. Many artists feel this. The spiral of comparing myself to those I admired harshly didn't help either. I felt worthless. And I still am not fully happy with my abilities if I were to be honest. There's always more to learn. 
          • Sometimes these dark feelings resurface but I manage it better now. I did believe that if I wasn’t good enough to get hired, I was going to become a burden to society forever. Why did I keep trying? Well I had nothing else to "fall back on" and I refuse to give up hope...as small that hope may be. I didn't have much friends I can rely on either.
          • Now it’s more about learning and doing my best. As much as I want to do everything, I am more at peace with not being able to do all the different kinds of art and painting well...I have my whole lifetime to learn after all! (:
        • How I freeze up in paralysis and self doubt when people are kind and/or flirting with me [are they?! Nah!! I assume friendliness and that they're taken ;P]. And even when I do have feelings...I panic and run/hide away as my reflex reaction at times! I'm afraid of creeping people out! It's new and scary! I get anxious! I've never dated either so that comes with a lot of fears :') 
          • Perhaps they're friendly/flirting with other people too - I don't know! I should give them space! Assume they're better together and reject myself first...because my fear of rejection kicks in :0
          • I don't want to worry about impressing somebody :<
          • Also I read somewhere that if it's not an "absolutely yes!" then it's probably a subtle no. :( I've had so many of these vague moments that I overthink and/or I don't want to assume anything. Sometimes I realise too late. Sometimes I assume they're not at all interested from the onset. 
          • Other times I don't care anymore...learning that it's better to feel neutral, have fun, just give up or let it go. There's no point to caring too much for someone who doesn't know or acknowledge your existence or interested in what you're doing. Especially if they disrespect you, stuff that! :P
          • For me it's better to just know & trust people as friends first in general anyway...the slow burn of getting to know people ;) The good stuff.
        • How I embrace that I'm just bad at conversations at times but hey communication is what makes a wonderful connection <3
        • Learning to take myself seriously with my life, allow myself to be goofy and expressive and believe in myself :S Self acceptance!
        • How I desperately want to be held, loved and comforted by someone else and then have the privilege to do the same for this special someone. 
          • "Happy to see you" hugs too! Just some physical hugs and love regularly...to feel cared, loved and special like anyone else :( Quality time together.
        • How I feel that I'm the most ignorant person in the world at everything. And consequently I fear I'm a burden. 
          • Irrational but that's my feelings right now.
        • How I assume people aren't interested in someone like me. 
          • Second guessing. And then people lose interest if they were at all.
          • You are worthy of love, Leonie. STAHP!! Is what I need to say when negative self talk rears its head.
          • "I am enough" - Marisa Peer
        • How I feel shame with my appearance. :< But I'm much more okay and just mildly nervous with photos and selfies now :D
        • How arting gives me a reason to live, belong, connect with others through it and create <3 
        • How I used to struggle so much with unemployment and feeling worthless in the eyes of society - your time has no value and you get treated like dirt :( 
        • How speaking & picking up the phone makes me anxious at times - thanks creepy survey man from [redacted] university for asking about sexual things after I told him I was 14 >.>
        • How I'm learning to be better at friendships.
        • How I take ages or even years to warm up to people genuinely.
        • How I feel like I have little in common to connect with others. 
          • How people seem to have so many hobbies and travelling adventures while I feel content learning, playing and arting? Hope to expand this.
          • Even though I have human struggles like anybody else, I feel like I am a lonely alien so much. I am probably an alien :P
          • Travelling is incredibly fun and I would like to do more when I afford to! Gosh I had a taste of that last year with brief trips to Sydney and New Zealand ^o^ I want to go to New Zealand again one day...but properly explore it!
        • How I'm back to regular morning exercise and taking care of myself again. 
        • How I'm learning to feel the pain, rejection and hurt and acknowledge it's there without reacting to it. Mindfulness! Trying to desensitise myself, reframe my mindset and just express myself better in the moment. Learning! 
        • How it's ingrained in me that I assume I did something wrong sometimes! Or I go the other way, resist and get so stubborn!
        • How I super appreciate people appreciating my art :') I don't care how repetitive I am. I get to make art and do my best! And when people recognise it...it makes me feel all warm, valued and fuzzy <3 
        • How I sense people who don't care about your work OR yourself. Or just one of them. Some actually care about both! Others only engage or care if you signal boost them. A weird Venn Diagram. 
          • Hey just observing! Actions speak louder to me than words. People have their own exciting lives and struggles to worry about too as do I. (: 
          • Being able to art is important to me plus friends and love make life much better <3
        • How I'm okay with just crying and letting it out every now and then. Yes I've cried in recent months because I wasn't feeling great sorting out all of this and isolated with things. ;P 
          • Sure at times I wish I can turn off my feelings. I care too much. I'm too sensitive at times. Trying to shed off some emotional labour here. But it's more complex than that and I have to live with it. I need to get out of my head more...perhaps I'm alone with my thoughts too much [exhibit A: this blog]
          • How it's okay to feel longing or hurt or rejection or intense feelings of loneliness, keep things left unsaid [there's no point] and then move on with it. Life happens beyond your own feelings. So learning to feel it, observe it and learn from it. Staying open minded so I can do better.
        • Love and Kindness...this sentiment I've set for myself alone makes me feel encouraged...along with Fun Progress and Grit <3
        • How I'm used to being more friendlier than I actually feel in order to feel better...? I might seem super friendly at times but that's just me trying to feel positive too. Honestly I'm neutral by default ;)
        • How I'm enjoying getting lost in doing art, reading, playing games, watching things with people or by myself.
        • How I longed for unconditional love and acceptance too but now I realise it has to come from within. I used to feel like I was at 60 to 90% rejection levels towards feeling like I was a complete rejected useless human being and waste of space whom nobody would love and/or care for back when I was struggling for some semblance of a career. Now it's hovering around at 30 to 50% because I am not entitled to anything. I'm just super grateful I'm able to art as my job, stay professional and do my best at it <3
        • How I'm also figuring out my own feelings and learning about myself. As much as I am super thoughtful about things, acting upon them is another matter. Trying to understand how I feel versus what's reality. Doing what feels good versus what is right are not the same. That's why I keep feelings inside and I release it here and in my art/comics/posts. :')
        • How I used to just long for parents' approval...but my mother isn't here anymore and all I get from my dad is silence, verbal abuse and blame for every little thing or mistake I make instead. My tolerance is gone sometimes. 
        • Being able to let go if things aren't working out with people. Got no time to worry about that! Logically I know this but emotionally...it's a learning pain. I get angry at myself for not letting go sometimes. But time will heal things...I hope.
        • How I felt helpless at home, as much as I was grateful that I'm not living on the streets when I was struggling for a career/job. 
          • I finally snapped, broke down and felt like I had nothing to lose. Stuff trying to please the most frustrating person on earth [to me]. I'll *never* get approval and I've lost almost all respect at this point. How I don't care too much about not being accepted by others...slowly I just kept working at it with a lot of failures along the way [this blog documents most of that]
        • How I do want to become a "shining adult" that enjoys her life and her work too <3 I finally believe it's possible! I don't have to live a miserable life after all. Learning to love myself. Learning to accept myself.
        • How I'm just happy to be at home to work on art back when I freelanced - even when I felt the pressure of being useless to the family. 
          • Don't want to live up to my perceived expectations of my parents and other people. I don't want to please and revolve around people who haven't earned my respect and trust too. 
        • How I'm learning to take care of myself [still not great at it]! And wearing better clothes? I don't know too much about fashion but I'm just wearing what I'm comfortable with and hopefully it looks good? Learning!! I feel more confident this way! Dressing better feels great! (: 
          • Lipstick was cool to try; not sure when is appropriate to wear it again...but whenever I feel like it? :D
        • How I enjoyed clinging to my mother but not in a sexual way. But because she was the closest loved one I could actually hug for a long time. 
          • I couldn't really hug my brother properly without being awkward haha! At least we are here for each other :')
          • I want to be held, comforted, feel safe, relax under another's embrace and feel loved as do many people :< 
        • I did teaching because my mother wanted me to do accounting and I picked the next doable thing for her to "accept me" in my silly sad heart :<
        • How I have the fear of being unemployable since my career change and I didn't work at anywhere else beyond being an incompetent teacher and a stressed out sushi store assistant - it really set the tone for me wanting to do the best I can with something I am interested in doing :<
        • I'm embracing how hugs are important to me with people I feel comfortable with <3
        • How I'm learning to be comfortable to be myself and figuring out what it means to be my version of "pretty" with clothes...if I deserve to be pretty or not. I got shamed for trying to be "vain" when I was a teen learning about clothes and it affected me a lot. It made me feel ugly and invisible for many, many years. I still struggle with it.
        • How I keep crushing on people who are incompatible and don't even know that well - I just really admire who they are as people and in their actions in general. Probably some fantasy projection is happening. Aspects, values, directions to them that I lack/need more of in my own life. Things like humour, wit, intelligence, selective generosity [staying kind to themselves too], helpfulness, patience, coolness, social circles, attitude, respect, independence, love of life, being outspoken, fitness, fun and adventure. But usually they don't care for me or are even rude, disrespectful or unaware of me. It just means I need more fulfillment in my own life :P
          • Aside from the hurt, heartbreak, confusion, anger and sadness, it makes me grateful because at least I know they're not interested...it just takes ages to genuinely let go, realise, actually not care anymore, get over it and the what ifs, heal and move on. Stop hanging onto silly fantasies. I need distance...and sometimes feelings don't want to let go and switch off. I hate my feelings sometimes. :(
          • Sometimes I actually initiate and talk to get to know them as people and see them as they are...rather than what I imagine them to be. Arguably as I look back, it helps me gain some confidence in talking to people I'm intimidated by, it gets me closer to them as people and see how well or terrible they treat me. I don't know if it's really helping me as it tends to get me hurt more in the end when it's clearer to me that it's not mutual at all.
          • I need better standards and boundaries! It goes to show that I am not ready for a relationship. Don't think I even want it right now. Because it's coming from a place of lack and feeling ashamed and embarrassed that I'm not on mutual, equal ground. That is not how I'd like my relationships with anyone to be. 
          • I want to feel comfortable and happy to talk and be around you...not feel like trash, disrespected, doubtful and tensed up. It calls for some distance and to be around people who do want me as company <3 Or some solitary self reflection as I am now.
          • I never intended to be creepy! But I know that deep down I understood that it's not going to work out. There's some flags I didn't really consciously notice at the time. It's one sided. This is why I've never confessed my feelings in my life. Mutual connection was/has never been established as the foundation so why would I feel comfortable confessing silly feelings? I need that best friend/mutual connection first before I can trust someone with my feelings - with friends or people I like. It's just a struggle to kick myself out of a crush.
          • Gosh when the crush seems to be interested and then gets cold/mixed/confusing - that hurts even more. Gosh it's frustrating when mixed signals of friendliness and being rude/distancing themselves happens!! Out of respect I have to distance myself even more. I don't want to be treated that way. I don't want to deal with it anymore so I go cold too. And then I get confused when they're kind again after a long while. But it happens...maybe that's manipulative?? Sometimes it goes too far, testing and playing with feelings...hot/cold tiresome mind games. Time to walk away! I just need to feel less terrible about "being rude" whenever I need space from people I don't feel comfortable to be around because I'm always second guessing :<
          • I'm not truly angry towards others...it's more frustration at myself. How I keep falling into this pattern and I need to be more self conscious and have some more self respect about it.
          • I'm not going to blame myself for feelings if I can help it and I'm glad that I've still got some Dignity and self control by staying neutral and calm :P Eventually after a long time, I do move on. I hate having crushes...I'm so silly with my feelings! :')
        • How I'm learning to be at peace with not striving to belong whenever I feel disconnect [especially with social media] and how I'm keeping shallow friendships to a minimum. Bad and stumbling at small talk. The worst at group conversations. 
          • Downside of all this is that I am reserved, aloof and too quiet for people gah!! :<
        Finally how relationships-wise, I feel so so so alone. So alone.
        In general, we all do at times when we live within our own heads too much.
        As I tend to do.

        I believe I didn't feel sad after reading the book because a lot of these things...
        I've thought and felt about many of the struggles too many times before.
        I've thought over about these topics before.


        It's not surprising to me. 
        Why should I be sad? 
        I don't feel emotionally intense about this book. 
        I didn't really learn anything new beyond knowing that I'm not alone struggling with loneliness and how she's admirably taking action. Still it feels great to be acknowledged.

        I'm just happy she did this and is accepting herself. 
        Just like I'm getting better at it too. It's very interesting as I note the above parallels of my life to hers. I guess I'm past the point of sadness, helplessness, shame and I'm feeling a bit more encouraged and self aware about loneliness and my lack of sexual & life experience in general.

        At the least, the book allowed me to reflect about my own struggles. (:
        I can do something about it, slowly!

        Happy there are a few people out there who appreciate me as I am - thank you! <3 Maybe I will find a special partner in life one day. Or not! I should stop fantasing things that won't happen. Perhaps being single is cool enough for me right now and indefinitely. I'm learning to accept that as much as I long for a best friend and partner in life, being single is best for me right now.

        None of your business anyway! Private! ;) But I'm happy to just keep learning. Just focus on accepting myself rather than desire the acceptance from others. I have a lot of slow personal growing to do. Always.

        There's hope for me. :')

        Because I am worthy of love. 

        Especially love towards myself...as I need to consciously be kinder and be more loyal to myself and boundaries. Allow myself space and time to heal. Diminish my own harsh self criticism.
        Know I need to embrace everything about myself, including my resentment, brokenness, fears, failures, mistakes, anger, guilt, skepticism, confusion...and being able to sympathise the same way for others with gentle, humble Love and Kindness. And forgiveness too...I have no right to judge someone else and no one is perfect. 

        We all have pain, suffering and desperation in our lives...it's not always about being in "the right" but to see that we're all figuring things out and forgiveness, generosity, patience towards others is Love too. Other people are growing at their own pace to be their better selves too.

        Going beyond romantic love. Be around people where it feels mutual. My focus is on being loving in everything I do from a place of genuine place, outlined in that linked book of life post. 
        Oh growing pains as I focus on healing.




        And you know what? SO WHAT?
        After all of this rambling, reading, listening, learning and the morning pages...something is slowly clicking in my mind. Logically and rationally I knew but on an emotional level...I'm finally at the crossing line. My heart is slowly starting to listen.
        So what I am single and have always been. So what!

        I have always believed that my future partner/relationship has to be worth sacrificing my singledom for! At the moment no one comes to mind. But I've been struggling with this, longing for the non existent "unconditional" love and the loneliness I feel - it just means I'm still in fear and coming from a place of lack. I've been rambling a lot about it as I search for clarity through the confusion of my feelings, mistakes, hurt and rejection. I need to focus on having self love and respect and not tolerate people who won't care to meet my standards and respect my boundaries as I would for them.

        I don't want to come from a place of lack anymore.
        I'll just make the most with what I have in spite of my terrible relationship with my dad :D Nothing is perfect and I will keep working at the things I choose to and can control. I have no time for blame, resentment or anger...if I do I will release it in healthy ways. Taking responsibility for my life better.

        Do more meaningful stuff for me and learn things! <3

        I just want to be happy and enjoy what I do and I'm getting to that place of just embracing the present and the journey. I'd like to take control of my life and adventures my way thank you very much!

        As a new favourite lady comedian says: "No one is interested in me so of course I have to be interested in myself ;D " Just refocus the intense feelings onto myself instead and just be interested and loving with myself. Learning to be better at this.


        Slowly I'm genuinely starting to feel at peace.
        The weight and hurt and tension in my heart and gut for several years is not there as much anymore. Sure it comes back sometimes. But starting to believe that I *can* do this alone without longing for a partner. It's time to accept that this is as good as it gets and I'm going to enjoy the freedom that comes with it. I am so glad I read this book...got me rambling and searching deeper within myself during my self imposed break. 

        I have my brother and some few friends. I hope to make more friends!
        With kindness and love: create, learn, grow, listen, explore, play, read and live! :D Been having lunch/dinner dates with myself when I can afford to too in the past several months haha; mm food!! I got options!


        I am enough. I don't *need* anyone to feel worthy.
        I hope to get better at listening to my emotional needs and caring for them.
        This journey of self healing and discovery continues by rambling to myself here :') 

        Digressing. Self love.
        I need to own it this year <3





        On embracing Loneliness, Solitude & Accepting Yourself as you are evolving Part 2: learning to get better at Self Love & Respect 
        I think 2018 is a year where consciously I minimise the feelings of loneliness and embrace being alone even more than I have. Not a new topic of course! I'm learning here. I'm used to being alone but these feelings of lack come up every now and then. 

        Sure sit with the feelings of rejection, abandonment, insecurity, hurt, longing, needing others to feel at home, sadness, pain, desire for people to like you and disappointment. But not too long - I get pretty tired of it. And tired of being frustrated at myself for having these feelings at all. But I know I can't rush this. I'm getting to the point where I'm learning to care less now. Slowly. 

        Learning that if I'm feeling all these things sometimes...I still don't really like being alone with myself all the time. Lonely Leonie is a thing in my mind for ages now. Yes I do feel disconnected like an alien from the world and others...not that I strive to belong to any group anyway ;) The feelings of not being enough come up at times. My self confidence and self compassion still needs work. I hate myself sometimes for having these feelings.

        It hurts. It hurts so much when you hope and obsess over the little things and then when you get let down - it hurts too much because of my limited social circles. Seeing things for what they are helps. Facing my fears and rejection is a challenge but I want to grow stronger from it. And not run away. Just sit with my fears, frustration and rejection - and see them as friends. The outcome shouldn't be the focus, but the journey. 

        I want to refocus back to the moment and enjoy what I have right now. Stop thinking about the past or potential future worst/best case scenarios. I want to become better at this. Mindfulness! I want to stay calm, relaxed and not be reactive to things. I want to be more self aware that: "hey, this might hurt because you're initiating, putting yourself out there & being yourself. At least you took the risk and tried!" I *know* they don't care - we're all caring about ourselves firstmost!

        I want to be myself and shed all that care about what others think away. Or at least be okay with it and have the persistence to do things respectfully anyway.

        Learning that I need to accept myself completely and the moment :')
        Embracing that having these feelings is okay. Loneliness shouldn't feel like a bad thing...we all feel this sometimes. Self awareness helps - I'm just frustrated with myself. Learning to embrace the pain, release that pressure, allow myself to feel the feelings, let go of the past, not actively try to distract myself to run away from it and I will grow from this.

        Broaden my activities and meet more people too when I feel ready! Excited! I'm going to try things but I won't mention it here. I'm still figuring it out. I'll wait until I make it more of a habit and I'm more confident about it. Or maybe I'll keep to myself. Who knows. Plus people around me are inspiring as well - they seem to have their lives juggled and well rounded. 

        Hey I might be taking a lot of influences from everyone around me who inspire me - I'm just on my own self discovery path on learning how to do better at life. And focus on having a good relationship with myself first. 

        To actually believe that "I am enough". I've stuck little notes around to remind, relax and encourage myself. My brother was actually concerned for me and I don't know what people at work think haha. Desperate call for help? 
        But I don't care. I feel slightly better as it usually stops the negative talk in its tracks a bit. (:

        All my life I've been conditioned that I'm not enough and it's at the point that I have to remind myself that I am, every time I feel negative feelings coming into my headspace. Sure I want to take action, rush, get on with this personal lesson I need to learn...but perhaps I'm standing in front of a dead end right now because of my home environment. Home is both my place of shame and safe solitude...I do hope to own my own place with my own little studio for traditional art on the side one day. I'll keep saving money. The long game. <3


        And then there's social parties, how I want deeper genuine connections but most parties are just focused on light hearted, fun activities and pretending we're normal/cool to be around with strangers and acquaintances. 

        That's completely fine. I need silly fun sometimes! Just that lately I've retreated to solitude [this break] and turned things down because I wasn't feeling it. I need some alone time to heal with things I enjoy. I needed the personal space for self care...as much time I needed.

        Hey I am lucky and privileged that I'm just struggling with social conditioning, some emotional abuse and all the things I talk about in the above essays ;) I'm so grateful that my family is mostly healthy. I will get on with it and trust in the process. Nothing worthwhile is easy.

        I think I'm getting better at this process.
        Essentially I'm doing therapy with myself here ;P



        Ultimately: 
        Love, kindness, compassion and positivity to oneself too...not just for others (: Doing things with purpose and honesty. <3

        Again, I'm just brain dumping about my subjective feelings & topics.
        You've got your own evolving voice too! I'm just expressing mine over here.

        Gosh I ramble a lot as I reflect, learn, listen and read about these things.



        Finding Peace as I evolve
        And now looking at what I've read, listened to and rambled above...it's all I've ever known but I'm feeling much much at peace with my solitary life so far. I didn't believe it would ever happen because I've grown up believing that there's something wrong with me in terms of friendships and relationships. 

        I mean I was told [and I relate to] Beach Boys "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times."  Yes I do have a small handful of friends. But here is how I won't really find a place to truly belong - among close friends whom I can actually check on a weekly or even daily basis on a mutual deep level. I have to develop that level of bond and connection with myself instead and firstmost. I want to have a positive aura around me...even if I'm quiet <3

        Now I am accepting myself much much better...not fully 100% there! Perhaps not for a long time! But I am slightly smiling with genuine hope as I type this. Allow my heart as much time it needs to heal. The process is slowly evolving for me...and it will continue!

        I feel a little lighter now. :D I can just do and learn things that are meaningful and/or fun to me in the face of fears! I'm more excited about the year ahead! I feel more empowered and I'm so glad I took as much time as I needed to figure out myself. <3 Wow. I'm still unsure, sad, heavy and afraid at times but hey rolling with it. :')

        Life is mostly full of mundane, sad, unfortunate things and the happy moments come when you appreciate what you have, who you have in your life, what you are feeling, what you achieved and overcome - and you feel your heart shining with warmth and love.

        I enjoy writing to myself because I'm learning to be kinder to myself <3






        The past 3 months: Curling into a ball & starting on my Self Confidence "I am enough" plan!

        So the past several months!! I want to just learn and make art.
        Hiding away and just taking a break from regular art posts.

        I've rambled long enough about social media above - so if you skipped that and want to know why I'm curling up into a self care ball, read those sections ;P

        Maybe I'll ramble less the more I overcome things (:
        I am excited to focus my energy on other things! Doing morning pages again.
        Hoping to read all these untouched books on my two shelves! A lot of things I want to try and exploring options! Growing pains.

        Taking a "holiday" break from social media was a welcome change! Cut so much stuff out! I realise how much more I can cut out! Woo! I also realise how little most people care about my presence. Sure I can use it to keep tabs on people I know. But it really doesn't matter if I'm there or not. Even the people I thought cared...some of them really didn't have the time to in reality and that's fine. Talk to them in person if we're lucky instead. Social media should not be the only thing that connects you with closer friends.

        It feels SO good just not checking social media at all and do other things that makes me happy, feel meaningful and more fulfilled. (: Gosh let's see if I can stick to being absent from social media most of the time! It's hard when you get drawn in and addicted again. Also more aware on what media I consume too.

        But solitary breaks are wonderful <3

        It's so good that I'm thinking of just posting and not checking my feeds at all where possible. Just completely let go of the ability to see any form of validation or tumbleweeds. I've been doing that during most of Jan, end of Dec too and I might just get back on that after MelbGGJ shenanigans are done. There will be periods of time where I have to check in bits and pieces but I will strive to be detached from it since I can afford to. I'm not going to completely disappear...I need to talk about Mighty things!


        I want as much personal space from social media as much as possible. 
        And try not to fall into its addictive embrace again.




        Thoughts on my Love of Blogging
        Oh! Having someone actually say that this blog is the most honest thing they read on the internet is a heart warming thing to know. I mean it's essentially home to my feelings and thoughts about what I'm learning and reminding myself of at the moment :') Rambly and raw and scary for me too.

        I don't know, I guess it's just another heartfelt thank you to you for reading (:

        Honestly it's a lot of time, work and you could argue I should be using this time for art instead! Many other artists are rightfully focused on making art instead [and you're not wrong]! They are doing tremendously fine and well just by posting their art alone. You don't need a text heavy blog like I do at all. 

        I enjoy blogging so much! This is my side hobby. For those new to this blog, readership hasn't been that great either so it's definitely not for fame or fortune [hah artists don't do this for pure money or fame!!] This blog it's purely selfishly an online home for me to ramble. I've been doing this since 2011 for myself...I don't know who really reads this - definitely sure most of my friends and colleagues don't!

        ...well you do ;)


        Here's the news:
        I'm going to stop writing blog posts based on topics from now on as it feels like I'm writing short essays for everything now! It's really getting out of hand! So no more things like "Social Media!" "Creativity" "Singledom!" "Friendships"!

        But more things like what happened the past few months, reflect what I've learned without going into far into essay mode for each topic [if I can help it], things I've read/watched and compilation of art and shenanigans! Cutting things down.

        I was considering stopping these blog posts altogether since I already have Morning Pages as a place for me to ramble with more complete honesty with myself. Since I'm getting that mind dumping space elsewhere from this blog, there's nothing much here to keep me reflecting here. I put a lot of work in when I proofread it and make it understandable for someone else. Indeed, no one cares as much as I do. I'm doing all this work and I don't feel it's helping me occasionally. You don't get friends from this, that's for sure :P

        In fact, even though I have left many things private...I feel more exposed, vulnerable and I'm afraid that I'm too open about me as a person here. Are people afraid of me now? Are people finding me boring? Who knows. I don't care too much. I do wonder if people are finding any use to all this work I do.

        I feel like I'm putting my heart here out in the open for all to see for 7 years and now I'm panicking. I want to protect it and take it it back :')

        So ultimately I've decided to cut down the personal topical essays. I've done Loneliness, Friendships, Singledom as topics at least ;) I thought of going back to doing a podcast but then I remembered how time consuming that was. Also I am finding that I'm talking about the same topics anyway...I've just evolved a bit each time :P

        Regardless I'll keep doing what I do...just keep rambling on whatever I'm learning and thinking about and document them here :P Let's see how this works out for me and whether that makes it less demanding of my time. Maybe that'll mean less reading for your end too. I don't know what this looks like yet!

        Or maybe it'll back to the usual. Haha

        Anyhoo thank you so much if you actually take the time to read it all these years. ❤







        "Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond" Thoughts from December
        I've seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but not The Truman Show. I was a huge fan of The Mask. I haven't seen much of Jim's other movies. I was already fascinated with his lack of care with what the world thinks of him before watching this too.

        I digress. This was fascinating and thought provoking to watch and I am so glad I saw this on Netflix. I related to many things but to a relatively much much smaller world of experiences to his thoughts on identity, life and having a creative career. 
        Please watch this.

        My personal takeaways:
        • "compromising and still failing...it hurts. So you might as well do something you love." when talking about Jim's father
          • It definitely does hurt. It hurts me to this day when I think of my teaching career and my incompetence at it. I feel like a failure again each time I think about it, full of resentment, sadness and regret. Now I care too little about it - enough to let it go fast each time memories resurface again. 
          • it reminded me how we all have our own struggles, decisions, pain, suffering and experiences we carry that make us who we are
          • everyone has their story...and I don't know when one should inquire about it or respect people's privacy and personal space
        • how we all desire "to be free of concern" 
          • is this even possible? At times we live within our own heads so so much, you care too much about what others think and you can't escape it. How dare I have feelings and thoughts. :')
          • I am growing to not care too much and do things anyway. I wouldn't be doing personal comics or this blog otherwise.
          • I'm at peace at being known for my personal comics as much as I used to feel pigeon holed or judged for it. I don't want to attach myself to just one art style. I don't care about what I'm known for at this point because I know I will keep evolving and changing what I do  each time. Living in the present and growing.
          • the next step for me this year is letting go of social media and the idea that I have to respond to everything. And how there's still some people I keep tabs on I don't really follow anyway - and they don't either. I should probably let them go when I feel ready. 
          • I have started to share more about my opinions and other times I know I should hold back when I think I risk being negative 
        • on "how far do I go?" when you're so alone, pushing your own path and trying to not care when doing creative things - being ambitious
          • I am ambitious when it comes to trying to get better at art
          • but not to the point of losing myself as Jim does as he completely becomes Andy and Tony
          • who do you surround yourself with? People who support you completely or people who challenge you to grow? Possess different values and lifestyles from you? Are they even your friends? 
        • "who am I anymore" each time you pour your heart into your work and it's over...what do you do? You're alone and searching for the next creative thing you want to do
          • the danger of putting your self worth and heart into your creative ability is real
          • I often question myself what I'm doing and who I am - especially after I finish something
          • feeling lost, alone, sad and empty when you're just by yourself. Looking for yourself again. The greater need for self care, creative rest and loving yourself. Moments of solitude is a wonderful thing for this. As well as trusted friends you can share stories with :')
          • how I relate to feeling like an alien and disconnected with others and the concept of what a "normal adult life" should be. I think about this more as I get older and yet I still hold onto the silly fun childlike things that make me who I am
        • the need to feel special, understood and loved when you're young and are told who you are and what you do 
          • I used to feel this...the need for approval from parents and how I thought I had to do a teaching career
          • how my mother treated me as a vehicle to live out her own dreams to dance, play music and get good at school
          • I've long lost the belief that I was special since I quit art during high school. Today I still don't believe I'm special. There are always people better or worse off that me in ability, opportunity, background, social currency and adversity. I'm not alone in my struggles and I know I am lucky I have the privilege to even ponder about all this.
          • I don't care or want to care about being in the special limelight of recognition...it's fleeting and empty. As much as I am grateful for it and the opportunities it brings - insecurity and jealousy by self comparison and even expecting even more recognition is negative & unhelpful and I'm getting better at letting it go. Taking things in stride and being grateful with what I have.
          • I am not special. I'm just a soul. I exist. I want to give meaning to my life as I grow. And then leave some of it behind when I disappear from this world. To have shared it with people special to me. <3
          • I just want to focus on getting better at art and growing as a better person to people I care about
        • that we don't really have free will
          • I somewhat agree in that we make the best with what we have and are given as we come into the world. We adapt. There's also our nature, past experiences, heritage, genetics and upbringing into the mix. I know there's no right answer to this.
        • How we're so guarded and afraid that people will see the real us beyond polite pleasantries or aloof exterior
          • well I'm open about my fear of being a fraud [see below] ;P
          • but 
          • I find myself drawn to people who do what they feel like in person - I have much to learn myself.
          • a lot of the time, I know my feelings, opinions and expression is not welcomed or needed and would waste people's time so I keep to myself and "guard myself". I know I have little influence at times. It depends on how comfortable and mutual I feel our connection is. Whether I feel good, understood, valued, listened to and safe rambling about myself with you. Or if it's just one sided. 
          • Learning to take small steps to be okay with rejection, being invisible, ignored, dismissed or heartbroken...apparently I will be heartbroken if I get too devoted to people in 2018 if I am superstitious :<
          • Sometimes I don't care and take chances and other times I keep to myself and conserve my introverted energy [breaks from social things!] I dance around because I don't know what I'm doing and I'm taking things slow.
          • I need to remind myself to be just grateful that anyone would give me the time of day (: I am grateful & lucky! If I'm invisible again, well I'll deal with it. It's not about me at all. :')
          • how we may never fully know what Jim is like ;P
        Thank you for the story - Jim and everyone who made this semi-documentary happen. (:

        PS: The Good Place and Black Mirror are really good; people around me have good taste ;) There's more good shows being talked about but I don't want to fall into that trap [as I have back when I had payTV as a kid] of just consuming tv and movies all day and night. That's too much!! Moderation only!


        Perhaps I'll watch more things at the cinema! And actually go alone to a movie or something - things to try (: I've got other things I need to do like reading my untouched physical books and audiobooks/podcasts/learning while I do art. I'm expanding beyond just gameplay!






        The Importance of having a Breakdown
        When I stumbled upon this post, I felt reassured and encouraged!
        Sure it seemed clickbaity as a title but content wise it highlights how breakdowns shouldn't be something to be afraid of...it doesn't mean you're losing control *when* it happens. You've already lost control way before and are on autopilot...keeping yourself busy in work, hobbies and entertainment. 

        It means you're running away from your own personal issues, all the warning flags along the way and you're too terrified to face them, accept them and release them in a healthy way. Breakdowns as the post says, is your body's final way of telling you: "enough". Take care of yourself.

        I've been doubting myself lately on the many things of my life plus the fact that I share about my personal struggles and comics as I go. Am I giving the impression that I'm too emotional? Is this too unprofessional?? Well it's all happening on the inside. On the outside, I'm just quiet, learning from others and staying positive ;P I found that I tend to ignore my personal and emotional needs and boundaries...and I'm learning.

        Should I be private about all this?? I know people mostly don't care.
        Some keep to themselves while others are super open. That is completely fine.
        Even I don't share *everything* as I value privacy I have with other people. 

        Personal space is very, very important to me...I don't like when my boundaries and standards get violated and trampled on...there comes a point where I just lose respect, trust and won't tolerate you anymore. Sometimes I hold onto the hope that people will change for the better - they sometimes do. We all have bad days. Or I just don't feel comfortable anymore in opening up to someone when it's the same as talking to a polite brick wall. Or other times I get hurt badly because I wouldn't see things what for they are. Learning.


        Digressing: I blog for my personal headspace and art journey here really.

        The linked post highlights how we're so extremely good at "keep going!! Keep going with business/life! Keep pushing! It'll be FINE! Things will work out!", escaping through media/substance abuse/entertainment/work/hobbies and ignoring our feelings and internal struggles. Because it's EASY. Path of least resistance.

        We're sinking but we're trying to not think about it by distracting ourselves. Not allowing ourselves to slow down for anything that makes us face the pain and struggle we're feeling inside. We're doing what's expected of us and we're not allowing much time for genuine, slow, delicate self care and compassion. And then we end up breaking down. In whatever form it comes as we fall apart with guilt and/or pain inside.

        Apparently a lot of people felt tired, exhausted or are even having a breakdown too towards the end of 2017. We're all struggling with feelings of all kinds...we're just not all open about it [rightfully so]! 

        Don't share your personal struggles for attention and sympathy...keep working towards something that helps *you* and not your ego. Sometimes time away from others is needed in exchange for some self reflection and solitude. "Opportunity to learn", as the post says. 

        I'm not sure if my social media break and withdrawal from social demands is a breakdown in itself. But it is a result of showing up too much and pushing myself too far to the point of apathy and exhaustion.

        I'm blogging [and now doing private scrambled Morning Pages too] to reflect and unclutter my overthinking mind and keep it focused with clarity and purpose. Opening up to my best friend brother helped a bit too. It's not easy. Making art and doing regular exercise on top of this helps me be kinder to myself and it keeps the rock bottom breakdown itself managed better when it does happen.

        Oh it has happened a handful of times for me. When you ignore your emotional self too much it bursts in other places...it takes a long time to get back on your own feet again. I have grown to be more in tune whenever I feel sadness and pain as I express myself through my comics, blog, art, hobbies and in person [if the other person has earned my trust and respect]. 

        I think I took this social media break over Dec/Jan because I got a lot of figuring out to do. I need to minimise my time away from people. My boundaries need to be reigned in. I gave myself too much on social media and elsewhere and left myself empty. I wasn't expecting anything, sure. Sometimes I got kindness in return. But being emotionally & time invested at the expense of my mental well being? No...probably not great.

        Learning to be compassionate with myself, massaging my pain, letting it be, not strive to "feel better" or run away, release the tension, don't resist or fight it, have awareness and kindness with myself and trust that it'll be okay.


        One day I'll be good at emotional intelligence :')
        Actually, each stage in life comes with its lessons and struggles so I'll just keep learning. <3






        Reading about FLOW - the secret to happiness

        Linked above is an old TED talk but it reinforces how happiness and success cannot be chased and it has to come from a place of genuine dedication to something greater than yourself. To the point of:
        • setting clear goals, [I make really loose goals as that's what works for me and keeps me free from stress/restriction]
          • ensuring it's challenging & needs skill otherwise it's boring or gives you anxiety
        • complete immersion and concentration, 
        • enjoying the present experience,
        • immediate feedback and critique,
        • deep, effortless involvement with no more worries or frustrations
        • sense of control over your actions
        • concern for self is gone - awareness of self increases after the flow
        • time ends up passing so fast! 
        This is why I super admire and am inspired by people who dedicate time to challenge themselves into things they are passionate about and enjoy! Music, writing stories, public speaking, making tiny model kits, sewing clothes, dancing, cooking, gardening, teaching, speaking out, personal projects, traveling and so on!

        And gosh this is how I feel sometimes when I make art or learn something cool! :D

        And there's also some things from his book about Yoga? On breath control, restraint, withdrawal to see, feel and hear at will, concentrating and holding onto a single object, intense meditation and self collectedness. I don't know what they all mean - I just wanted to make note of these here too.

        Anyhoo I think my focus this year is get back into "flow". As in learn more things with life and create art too <3



          






        Melbourne Global Game Jam 2018 Ramble!

        I keep feeling like fraud and feeling conflicted about finding a team because I felt like a burden in my mind but hey; I was ready to just make art on my own or just not do it at all...? I'm more excited about what other people I know are making than what I'm doing :<



        "Failure Motivates Me" 
        Came across this line and it struck a chord in me. 
        Either you fail and get up and try something different with the same purpose.
        Or you discover that it's not right for you after all and you change your direction and purpose (:

        I want to try something different for this Game Jam. Actually do vector art assets. I don't really get to do much collaborative game jamming at Mighty because of my fears so here's me putting myself in the deep end.

        Why? I felt like I personally failed myself during last year's game jam. Nothing to do with my amazing team at all, it's more about my expectations of myself. Felt like a burden because of my silly high standards of my own art. Too afraid to ask people I know to work with me as they'll find out how much of a fraud I am :< Yes I'm still tackling these fears but hey I am honest and dealing with it okay. I'm not going to pretend I'm completely happy excited - I mean I am excited! Just also nervous and doubtful about myself :< 

        So I was super keen to work with work buddy Scott! He's amazing! :D

        But first some social media posts I did:

        @ScottBeca & my MelbGGJ 2018 game! #whathappen :')
        Silly rhythm game; are you worthy of the Yodeling Pickle Family name?
        Thanks Matt Schenkel of @SubZeroSound
        & Matt Brown of mbryomusic.com for the fabulous Yodeling!
        https://globalgamejam.org/2018/games/pitch-perfect-pickles

        Yep an old WIP gif made by Scott I stole haha!

        My concept art for PitchPerfectPickles with @ScottBeca 
        Couldn't do the "Ready to Mate" Mountain Cat or Opera Singer Bear levels, ah well :(
        At least I got to practice vector art for this game jam based on my doodles!

        Note I did a lot of pen sketches to get the designs down first!



        Finally I actually play what @ScottBeca & I made during the weekend!
        I'm terrible at this game :'( I have dishonoured my family #tooReal


        Pitch Perfect Pickles: Spritesheet for The Kid
        I didn't really plan too far here with animation or what expressions we wanted/needed at first so most of these look static compared to their idle animation. I was mostly focused on getting it done & fast. Still being very slow at vector art. Yes I'm hard on myself but I'm not fully confident yet :< *pouts*

        Pitch Perfect Pickles: Spritesheet for The Family
        I got a bit faster doing these + rushed them too mostly on the Saturday. It's at this point where I'm feeling a bit more confident.


        Pitch Perfect Pickles: Logo Concept Doodle
        I think with the vector art version, the imperfect-ness of it is lost. It's at this point where I feel I'm the worst at vector art ever :') I was rushing it too on the last day within the handful of hours I had and argh!! I nitpicked the vector version so much :(
        I least I *did* do my best doing all the final in-game art with vector art. I am proud of myself that I was able to commit to my goal.

        Pitch Perfect Pickles: The Kid Doodle
        Just one of the pen doodles I'm showing ;P




        Gosh Scott is the best!!
        He's super supportive and a great teammate!! :D So glad he shut down my silly out of scope ideas haha ;) Had lots of fun and pressure but we did it! We made a game level happen woo!! 

        It would be great but I don't expect to work with him again next year as I'm sure he has people (: Now I don't know who to work with now as I've been mostly changing teams every time I do this! I think that's what I'm most concerned about...who I'm working with! Who will rein in my silly ideas?? :0

        Oh also it was super nice to hang briefly with some Mighty peeps who were doing it too! Usually we don't talk much at all...even though it's just talking about what we're doing. Safe topics and I was quiet mostly [tired too] but I appreciated the moments of positivity from others :')




        Mild existential crisis happened when I was jamming
        So...at the time of jamming I was thinking how I didn't want to "suffer" like this. Sleep deprivation makes me even more quieter or even more sillier. It was something!! Public transport was a slog especially with train works happening...I got home really late which cost me a lot of time I could have used for sleeping.

        But!! Now that I look back, the game jam was fun. It forced me to get something done and playable and I feel good that I did something in vector art. Something I feel I am terrible at. I managed to keep the sleep deprivation to one night as I strived to get the art done. Super glad I did it even though I was super nervous about pushing my comfort zone! Also all the practice & preparation I did prior was mostly not used...it did give me some confidence though :0

        What I've learned from this is that I need to get better at making game art! I've made much mistakes too! Illustrator CC has this cool export feature too...I just don't have it at home! That's my goal this year for Mighty: vector game art! I've got other things I want to learn too but I'm figuring it out as I go along :0

        Lots to learn! I'll talk about it next time!





        Thanks! Keep adventuuuring you!
        See you back in two months as a compilation post instead!!  (:
        Phew!! Weird to be back!



        Gosh I need to finish Nier this month...and actually play Switch games again :')


        Leonie