SuperLeonieMode 303: Reflection. Thank you Mighty Games team! Thank you so much everyone! Job hunt begins after some rest.

Reflecting to figure out my feelings and thoughts since the previous post. It’s a muddle of fears and feelings right now. Writing all this for personal clarity too.
Thanks for anybody reading in advance and for understanding. <3

SuperListenMode Mighty Giftart.
Documenting my workstation in my quiet little corner before I took everything down :’)
It’s quite similar to the one I have at home except my 2nd monitor at home is my ipad and everything is more crammed into my room. I don’t have cranes or my cardboard fort either at home. And this is definitely how I look like :’)
I won’t have workspace and living space separate for a long while from now on – oh dear I’m doing the homebody life again.
Guess I won’t be needing this piece of cardboard I kept from a New Zealand art exhibition and Mighty business cards anymore.
I left a box full of business cards at work because I didn’t know where the recycling bin was and I was already carrying a lot of stuff home, apologies :’)
I wasn’t kidding when I said I posted these personal messages everywhere. Not that I feel confident right now. I’m terrified more than excited in fact.
More things I stuck onto my lunchbox which I used to prop up my little Cintiq.
I hope the Mighty Cintiq goes to a good new home (:

Reality has finally settled in since my previous post on losing my job.

Was a full, exhausting day yesterday. It didn’t help that I was sleep deprived the night before because I wasn’t looking forward to the reality of leaving my first studio industry job, attempting goodbyes and actually pack things away. Couldn’t sleep.

I’m sure I’m not alone in experiencing this stage in one’s career.

Feeling lost at sea.

Picked up my things and scrambled to save what I could from Mighty. Tried to help a bit with an art asset too. Used the Mighty Slack for the last time.

Caught up with some good Mighty friends and peeps – it was sad, heartfelt and lovely. My brain wasn’t functioning too well due to fatigue but I did my best to remember important things people said <3

Generally I didn’t think I connected and bonded enough with Mighty colleagues because I am a super quiet, reserved, awkward, intense, energy-conserving, introverted, ignorant, workaholic grump in my invisible isolated work bubble. I was usually left alone to my own “work mode” tendencies and I couldn’t keep up with group bonding conversations as it is. I thought I didn’t really have too much impact on the team. I thought I had burnt out enough as it is to not care too much anymore. I thought I isolated myself too much.

I thought that I could get through the day without tearing up at all.

I was wrong.

I think I kept the feelings, tears and fears the best I could yesterday. Trying to not tear up too badly while this sense of loss hits me as I write this too. Gosh go away tears! Shoo! :<

I was moved that a bunch of Mighty peeps gave 1 to 1 lovely pep talks, advice, reassurance, support, help, recommendations, good hugs, chats, messages and reached out since the news. One even woke up and came to the office the earliest he’s ever done just to catch up with me! Another treated me with his wonderful company plus a scrumptious lunch! Another still invited me to a regular Mighty social thing too [though it’s not convenient for me]! At least I caved and went on my last coffee walk [just for the walk, not coffee] with some of the team yesterday morning.

My heart is full of sad, warm fuzzy feelings. ;___; <3

I wrote them a similar essay. But here goes again to Mighty peeps since I’m not good at talking:

Thank you so much Mighty team! Thanks for the three years – early February was my anniversary. It feels somewhat convenient haha

Thank you so much for your patience, understanding, kindness, encouragement, for believing in me and accepting who I am. Even though I don’t feel like I have any confidence in myself, striving not to be so harsh on myself and feel like an overwhelmed, quiet alien a lot of the time.

Thanks some of you for even keeping tabs on me and my work on different places on the internet! Whoa! I always forget that I’m not necessarily posting into the void because most people are lurkers and/or don’t check/engage with social media. So I’m always speechless, stunned, humbled and grateful every time someone I respect lets me know they care and know what I’m up to :’) <3 Thank you so much.

And now I’m going to forget that peeps are watching until we talk and catch up again but hey ;D I’m too good at isolating myself, having tunnel vision and living in my own solitary world for better or for worse I suppose.

I am certain that the incredible programmer, Lexa and brilliant game designer and writer, Tim will go onto wonderful things ahead too! Both of them have gigantic and deep game development industry networks beyond I could ever have but do let them know if positions are available for them as they are also seeking work. They’ve been super encouraging, brave, hanging in there, proactive and supportive while I’m just rambling and reflecting about :’)

Digressing. During my time at Mighty I got to make Mighty comics, marketing images, made art for Crossy Road, Disney Crossy Road, Shooty Skies, concept things, pushed, learned and applied UI art and vector art, attempted a few prototype games, got my work exhibited twice, did two conference talks at GCAP & NZGDC, did some PAXAus panels, somehow got nominated and featured for some things and did some commissions on the side. Did plenty of mistakes along the way. Was stubborn and insecure a lot of times too.

Consequently I’ve taken many breaks from having an online presence in the community in the past year or so for the sake of mental health and to slow down. And now I’m back a bit every day, feeling intimidated, lost and humbled that people even remember me. The attention span of internet lurkers are really short after all :’)

For everyone at Mighty:

I am super grateful, humbled, lucky and happy to have worked with many you. Thank you so much for being inspirational, guiding and working alongside me during my first industry studio job.

You’re all lovely, wholesome, kind people even though I don’t know all of you well and I’m awkward and quiet at conversation. I’m going to miss you including all the silly Mighty pun shenanigans. And I usually cringe at puns haha

I believe in all of you.
I hope to see lots of awesome Mighty projects in the future!

Hope to see you around, keep in contact and even do lunch catch ups with some of you in the future <3 Perhaps I’ll make more stickers this year haha

With a saddened, heavy heart, I look forward to doing our last get together <3 Thank you.

Caught up with emails and social media too. Thank you everyone gosh <3

My software is super effective at blocking me from social media so I’ve been using my ipad to access social media ;D Refusing to install them on my phone though. So much for my year long social media break. I don’t have that privilege anymore, especially if I need to keep doing art for a living.

I’ll just use facebook as little as possible though ;P

Took some time to catch up as I needed to recover, unpack & sort things since my pricey and exhausting trip in Japan. Gosh traveling was not relaxing at all – always felt pressured to make the most of it every day. :’)

I also need to figure out if I should cut down on health related appointments and find other ways to be frugal. Considered cutting things like massage therapy, physiotherapy and I might just do one more psychologist appointment. But kind friends are telling me not to cancel appointments because health is important. So I’ve put my stingy butt away and listened; yes they’re right :’) I know it will bite me back and make things worse if I don’t take care of myself now. I just need to arrange further appointments as sparingly as I can haha

Becoming a scrooge again since I’m back on the rocky seas of unemployment, away from the safety of Mighty’s stability and comfort and am afraid of spending all my savings away. Plus I used quite a lot on my Japan trip and some more with health appointments. :<

I don’t think I’ve had proper time to unwind either so I’m still feeling out of it. And not confident. And terrified. And exhausted from my trip. And lost with direction and figuring out what I want. My mind is a puddle.

I’m not feeling great right now but I need to blog and write all these feelings down for myself. Document the end of this chapter in my life.

It’s going to be hard to force myself to relax for days after posting this! Because I know it won’t be easy and everything will be beyond my comfort zone – I have to be brave, put in the hard work, figure what I want, start job hunting, reach out to people I haven’t talked to in ages and put things together. Gotta deal with it right?

I’m scared.

I don’t feel like doing it.

Been feeling guilty and ashamed

…that I’m back on social media and reaching out to people just because I’m job hunting. I feel terrible for coming out of the woodwork and my social media break just to “use” people and ask for help, to be blunt. It is what it is.

As you know I’ve been disconnected from everything for quite a long while and haven’t been in the loop so of course people aren’t that close to me online. And I feel super overwhelmed, out of my comfort zone and out of touch. Where to go when I’m not part of local or any community? My hermit-ness and reserved nature is biting me back now.

I’m giving out “I’m desperate for a job” vibes whether I like it or not. I feel icky and uncomfortable selling myself. Well Leonie, get over it ;P You’ve been there and everyone’s been there before. Just embrace the awkward and keep it respectful.

Indeed I do need to see what’s out and available right now and isolating myself will get me nowhere. I’m not really expecting or demanding help and I’m probably going to keep facing rejection but there’s that fear of burdening others, not being able to provide value and feeling like I’m only talking to them because I want something from them :S

Just not comfortable with asking for help and depending on others in general too. If you know me well, I tend to hold on my own and problem solve things myself until I’m desperate and in a dire situation. Admittedly I don’t want to be in that position again. I have to put aside my ego, pride and fear of burdening others away. Getting better at it thanks to working on Mighty group projects with colleagues checking up on me and teaching me to be less stubborn haha.

This is how the industry thrives – helping out each other. I’m learning to allow others to help me and I hope to return the favour if they ask me in return <3 If I did help anybody in the past at all – I forgot so let’s assume I haven’t haha

Gosh 2D artist jobs are super scarce and competitive so I’m not feeling optimistic. Game development and the entertainment industry as a whole is a rocky road so I’m leaning towards the pessimist side.

In any case, I can’t stay on a social media hiatus any longer. I have a purpose with social media now – getting myself out there to people who need my work I suppose. Who cares about my shame, fears, insecurities and guilt. I got to find ways to keep making art for people who need it – if they exist somewhere. I’m not sure if they’re out there, given how hard it is for anyone getting into or finding a job in the entertainment industry.

Or try to establish themselves as an independent creative and brand.

But I got to push forward and keep trying – when I’m better rested.

I just hope it doesn’t require another 2 years of unemployment and occasional freelancing to get there. Digressing, I’m trying to not to be a super negative and let that prior experience bring me down. 🙁

Hey I’ve been through having no luck with jobs so I can bear with it again if things get really bad. I hope it doesn’t get that bad though :’)

Overwhelmed with 2019, to do:

  • had to go back to Illustrator CS6 and uninstall CC
  • clean out my to do lists
  • allow my mind to process things at my own pace
  • sort out my Japan trip belongings and clean out my room eventually – so many storage boxes!
  • need to exercise daily again
  • have lots to figure out with changing my routine
  • reach out and research into people I want to work with, get help or ask for advice from
  • gotta prepare for lots of rejection
  • figure out what I want to do with my career right now
  • plan and rework portfolio and make new art
  • get myself out there – in baby steps in my case
  • reach out to people just to talk as friends and not isolate myself down a negative spiral – which I tend to do
  • catch up with friends and peeps – I need to reach out and say yes to things more so I won’t be cooped up
  • homebody life ahead! I’m privileged I can stay with family but I’m getting the pressure to change career paths and “get a stable job” again :<
  • I have a lot of helpful but daunting suggestions and advice from kind peeps to work through. I’m going to take it slow or I’ll just be paralysed and end up doing nothing instead.
  • balance of job hunting versus develop new work for my portfolio later down the track

Thank you so much for the lovely support <3

I am grateful and amazed at the lovely online support out of the blue I’ve had! The tweets, retweets, encouraging compliments, shout outs, signal boosting, pep talks, checking with me to see how I’m going, advice, private messages, recommendations for jobs and encouragement ;___; <3

Thank youuu.

I feel loved. And looked out for.

Astounded and unworthy. And like a ball of mushy goop.

And ultimately alone, overwhelmed and lost at the same time because it’s all up to me! haha

I also note many peeps I’ve grown distant with or don’t use social media – understandably so! I’m a reserved butt, especially when you’re not around in my immediate life anymore and we don’t really talk beyond small talk together. So scared on who I should reach out to again :<

So I stress that I’m not popular because I wasn’t swamped ;P Social media isn’t too overwhelming and daunting for me now since I mostly just check notifications. I don’t want to fall into the hole of trying to keep up to date with everything, getting emotionally affected by my feed and distracting myself from real life :’) I’m not ready to check right now as I have a lot of feed pruning to do.

And it turns out that twitter was the platform with better, wider engagement for me. I am confused and grateful as I got more follows from all the kind, lovely signal boosting ;__; Meanwhile 1 to 1 emails, lunch and a phone call with kind peeps and friends went deeper, was more meaningful and substantial. Received some kind words on Instagram and Facebook but both were mostly places for kind passive, lurker support than deeper interaction for me.

Again thank you so much. I am humbled and want to cherish the people I have in my life. Always have much to learn and grow. Thank you so much also for those reaching out as I felt very much alone. :’) <3

I’m sentimental, sad mush at this point 😉

What to do from here? I don’t know for certain yet.

I love creating cute characters, illustrations, comics & reflective blog posts. Did concepts, comics, voxel & vector art at the wonderful Mighty Games as a games artist. Currently reworking portfolio & seeking freelance, FT/PT/contract work. Help appreciated!

— Leonieʕ✿˵•ᴥ•˵ʔ [looking for work] (@leonieyue) February 22, 2019

Not going to limit myself to only work in the games industry since ultimately I just want to keep doing 2D art, character design, comics and illustration. Help people and make art that I’m proud of for them.

I don’t mind as long as I’m excited and believe in the project.

I’m not sure if I should move out and find work overseas – it’s too much change and scary for me. I love living in Melbourne. I know family will support me if I moved out on my own [plus I’m not burdening them anymore] but I don’t know if I really want to transform my life that much.

To travel bravely into complete isolation from everyone I know into a new city, country, culture and environment – that’s a really brave thing that many have done! For me it’s taken me several years to even build the few friendships I have now. I really don’t want to start over from zero again when I’m living far from the city already. And I haven’t moved out in my life before! A lot of new, scary things bundled altogether!

Or maybe it’s the change I drastically need to get independence, autonomy and growth that I need. And go beyond what I’m comfortable with. But relocating is super expensive too 🙁 Let’s just say it’s not something I would immediately say yes to.

I can’t technically say I’m a newbie but I always feel like one and shall keep learning! I don’t know how I fit with what’s out there yet. I don’t want to be an art director/lead as that means I need to manage other artists and possess a higher level, experience and range of art skills in my mind :<

I enjoy designing, making art and helping out instead.

A lot of food for thought for me in coming weeks and months.

Okay I need a little break!

I haven’t had time to unwind from my Japan trip as I have been constantly checking messages, unpacking and processing things. Again, I need a few days to recover properly before going back to job hunting & figuring things out mode. Eep!

2018 hasn’t been too great for me and 2019 is super eventful for me already! Wow. As long as I’m not homeless and still healthy, things will be okay. :’)

I’ve rambled long enough about my sad feelings. Thank you so much for reading this far <3

Aye. Going to miss a lot of the peeps at Mighty.


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