[NOV#1] Knight of Hearts character design revisited, Inktober & Jesse Faden Control fanart

** This post is a 16 minute read! **

In this blog post:

  • “You don’t have to fight alone” – revisiting my Knight of Hearts Character Design
  • Inktober 2019 ends / Leonie’s Sketchbook
  • Finally the StickyBones posable figures & Fly Rig I backed since 2016 are here
  • Jesse Faden Portrait (Control Fanart)
  • Leonie rambles about social media engagement, blog comments & Personal update

“You don’t have to fight alone” – revisiting my Knight of Hearts Character Design

#drawthisagain featuring an old character design I did for the 2015 WiDGETau zine. Introducing her as the Knight of Hearts!

Stay brave in your own way!! ⚔️💖🛡️

Although I’ve spent time working on this on/off since June, I feel like I need to keep iterating this character again when I feel ready as I have much to learn! See how far I improve :’)

My 2015 piece for comparison!

I still like this traditional illustration :’)

Inktober 2019 ends / Leonie’s Sketchbook

All the cute little birds!

#26 Eep 💦

How I react when I realise someone’s sick with a cold 😓

I’m not proud of it and I selfishly don’t want the germs and suffer for a week or two :< I can’t stand not being productive wahhh!!

#27 Let me think on that… 🐦

Me when I’m trying to process, remember and articulate :0

My gears are turning, please be patient with me :’)

#28 Wonderful 🌠

Embracing everything that you are.

I’m just happy people enjoy these! 😊 Thank you!

#29 Wait!! 🦉🌟

Are the small handful of you that see this even real? Do you exist? 😱

This is also me when suddenly somebody stops talking and I have to respond. And then I make some kind of keen head nod motion to buy myself time D:

#30 I got chu! 💖

Cheering you on too! Let’s keep doing our best!!

#31 Love box 💝

I feel all of these emotions sometimes :’)

#32 Caramel ice cream 🍨

It’s probably too sweet for me D:

But I do want vanilla ice cream ;D

Melbourne weather is having a silly hot/cold/thunder dance! Didn’t have great sleep last night so I’m pretty groggy when this was posted :’)

#33 What was I doing? I forgot.

This happens sometimes uh oh 🙃

Parasaurolophus! Because they are COOL ;D

And I’m okay being uncool ;P

#34 Aw yeaaah 🎊

Enjoying the moment!

It’s hard to take a break & not worry about things though

#35 Rawr!! 🗯️

Maybe someone will rawr back :0

#36 Buddy!! 💛

Cherishing those who are thrilled to see you.

#37 Stegabiscuit 🍪

I’m hungry :< What are your favourite snacks? I want to investigate & try new things ;0

#38 Talking at each other 🐦

No you listen to me!! >:0

Uh oh

#39 Feelings wahhh 😢

Letting your emotions be acknowledged and understood.

Like when my gloominess got the better of me a while ago :’)

#40 Let’s go for seconds?


#41 Shoppinggg!! 🦖

Oh nooo my monehhh! The downsides of retail therapy 💸

Not that I can afford to do much of it anyway. So it’s window shopping ;P

#42 But whyyy

Or howww

Asking questions all the timeee

For me it’s more how I’m ever going to get where I want to be ;P

#43 Swim and chill together 🌊

Not that I swim anymore ;P

#44 Thank you for supporting me

Because I know I can’t really do it all alone :’)

And thank you as always to the few wonderful patrons who continue to support my art and blog at Patreon ❣️

#45 Owning it! ✨

Because it’s so hard to see your own awesomeness.

Yes I know I struggle with this plenty so I don’t want to think about it :’)

#46 Snuggly warm 🧣

Ironically it’s super hot on the day this was posted. I hate super hot summer weather 😭

I don’t know if I can still tag these as #inktober #inktober2019 anymore even though I did all of them in October :’) I still got more & experiments to do so it’s not truly over ;D

Slowing down to a more sustainable pace, posting 2 to 4 a week on social media with art depending on how I juggle. The usual fortnightly blog posts will keep going!

I had lots of doubts on this because this isn’t really portfolio stuff to find freelance work with but it’s for my own enjoyment & kept things interesting and fun for me :’) Who would even hire me for this 😛

Finally thank you for coming along with me over the past month with my little sketchbook inktober designs! 💙😊

Again it won’t be daily or twice a day anymore (unsustainable!) but there’s going to be some more! 🎉

Finally the StickyBones posable figures & Fly Rig I backed since 2016 are here

I was starting to think that they weren’t coming because lots of people got these within one or two years and it’s 3 years later for me. I did not expect to wait this long (I got these in August). It was a pain and struggle for me to snap and force all the disassembled pieces together (I’m weak) while the metal plates were not clean looking (I didn’t make all those prints) and looked worn out at the edges.

But so far the figures themselves seem pretty sturdy? Pieces may pop out but it’s just as easy to pop those particular joints back in, like the pelvis/leg joint. The magnets at the feet and hands are *super* strong and you can make more dynamic and extreme poses that stays in place with these figures. Hope to make use of these to see how they fare in time as well as my other figures/models when I get around to pushing my characters eventually ;D

Jesse Faden portrait from Control🔻

Watched this trippy, cool game a long while back, really well done with their effects, visuals, sequences and environmental, inter-dimensional lore building. I appreciated that Jesse’s face is a stylised version of the actress in-game with a different facial structure so that it’s not looking like the typical attractive model.

Still the main story and character didn’t resonate with me and I was annoyed with her brother ;P Apparently gameplay-wise it gets repetitive towards the end thanks to levitation powers but that’s according to a few streamers I watched.

Opinions aside, it’s a really good game based on what I’ve seen of the whole game (fun physics times) and you need to really dig into the lore to get Jesse’s backstory and because the game is more about the intriguing, SCP experiment-esque side quests. I watched for the cool visual sequences really, that maze and for the fridge man. I didn’t catch lots of the side quests so I probably missed a lot more cool stuff.

Artwise I’m struggling and having growing pains. So I did some fanart so I don’t feel as hopeless, apathetic and stuck :’) Arghhh I got to keep learning, managing and take my time. Swirling, negative thoughts hovers over me like a cloud at times.

Leonie rambles section!

Let’s overthink about social media engagement

A while ago, it seemed that a lot of people weren’t interested in the inktober stuff on facebook and twitter as time went on. And yes my art needs to get better and most people probably scrolled past my stuff; that happens to people in general ;P

I do believe some people see my posts but my fluctuating followers aren’t accurate because a lot aren’t active twitter users, even check anymore or interested.

I was probably focused on the wrong people as most people I knew/followed usually didn’t engage or resonate with anything I do anyway. As in people I know may see what I do but aren’t that interested enough to interact. And as a hermit, we’re probably not close in person to warrant actual social media interaction. This is completely fine and reasonable because just because they follow me, it doesn’t mean they necessarily like what I post. Plus I’d only want people to enjoy them if they actually do and not because they pity me and/or only because we know each other.

In turn I know I’m using social media to keep tabs on people I know, am comfortable with and/or I am genuinely interested in what they post. It varies because people are complex :S So in a way, there is the element of “because we know each other” and “because I like someone as a person” and/or “I really feel inspired by their work”.

Hey good friendships aren’t transactional, as much as I feel guilty/stubborn about fairness sometimes and people can drift away from each other by not being actively engaged in each others’ lives anymore. It might be somewhat transactional if it’s a business/industry/collaboration thing but I’m not talking about that. Also for most people, making art is not their whole world and I don’t enjoy everything people are interested in either ;P

Yes it’s normal when things don’t work out and nothing works out as you hope. And this year has been a mixed bag for me.

It’s just at times when I’m not in a good headspace, it hurts, feels lonely and I care too much about internet engagement as I experiment & struggle with what I want to do with my art. Especially when I put more effort in certain pieces and it feels like I’ve plateaued. Even though logically I know social media is just a tool and I shouldn’t take it so seriously. It definitely gets to me sometimes.

So I went on a “ah well, I won’t post inktober stuff on facebook or twitter and just post them on instagram then” in a moment of increased gloominess, impatience, isolation and discouragement 😛

I got super disheartened & sad especially with twitter because I actually use it and people seem to be tired of these. But after some reflection and a few days, I decided to keep posting these to twitter anyway. Interest will die down and Twitter (and social media in general) are mostly made up of fleeting, fickle attention spans after all.

For a hermit artist like me, social media engagement is a loose gauge for me to see if something I did resonates with people as an artist which in turn helps me reach more people (as is the nature of noisy social media).

Even the word “engagement” itself is a becoming a blurry, messy buzzword between one’s reach through their online presence/brand and one as a real, complex person. It depends on the individual when it comes to compartmentalising public facing, professional life and personal, private life when they definitely overlap sometimes.

Digressing! In general I got disheartened by the apathy and lack of engagement (it fluctuates so much before and after inktober) and I’m definitely seeing this as a sign that I need to do better. This is just another mental obstacle in my learning journey.

But I do enjoy doing cute art (and portraits), did these in bulk so I don’t really want to adapt in this case. I did them already according to how I want it. I did it for myself 😛

Generally I don’t think inktober helped me substantially because as suspected, people lean towards semi-stylised, beautiful, inking art styles, and it’s a bonus if it’s packed with lots of storytelling. And then they sell the originals and copies as physical, limited edition prints. Not my silly, little, sappy, cute stuff :<

Well stuff that, *I* like my little pieces 😛 I probably won’t do this many though, if there is a next time. I think I overwhelmed people :<

Someone on twitter last month essentially articulated the kinds of things and questions in my mind so they were good reminders. And the fact that I don’t want to check twitter analytics or take heavy inspiration from too many social media artists (at least not too much for now) because I don’t want to derail from my bigger picture and process. There’s always some things that are out of my control and I do not want my art to be solely driven by chasing social media popularity, engagement and stats. That alone feels empty to me.

Instead I check my blog posts stats more than I look at social media shares, replies and likes because I go into much more in depth here at my online home, even though the majority of people don’t even read it. Regardless both social media and blog stats help tremendously with reassuring my underdeveloped levels of confidence :’) Oof my silly, sensitive heart that’s encased with a deadpan, overwhelmed, boring, defensive exterior ;P

Regardless I am deeply aware that engagement and large audiences do not necessarily equate to getting jobs, making deeper bonds and/or having quality artwork. Likes/shares/replies doesn’t necessarily mean quality! It just means somebody enjoys and supports your post enough to boost it (well that’s how I interpret it)!

Social media is a mini blog and way of communication – all of which are dominated by accounts who can pay to promote their posts or by outgoing people who have large industry networks online and offline. Personally I don’t have a huge network in person and I don’t really get involved in many online communities so I guess I’m in trouble 😛

To be specific, twitter is super chattery, casual and noisy. Instagram can get super curated, eye-catching image heavy and impersonal (please stop reposting my art!) Instagram stories is great when used well for fleeting moments and behind the scenes but not for me since I have it in this blog.

Finally facebook pages makes it super hard to reach anybody so mine is just for blog updates and snippets. But I’m still surprised I have 70 something people there as of writing! Wow! It helps a little as I know a few actually come to the blog from facebook too!

For me (as naive as it sounds) I just want to get better at art first (namely with characters and eventually rendering styles) and have fun with cute art too at my own slow pace. It’s more fulfilling to me to do it in a way I enjoy and true to me. Gosh I need to get a routine going :<

Anyhoo, these are the kinds of things I think about when I post on social media and blog, in a world of many things calling for your attention. I was doing inktober for fun in the beginning and I can’t let the indifference, quietness & disinterest of some internet people and acquaintances take that away from me.

It’s just hard to manage because I do have feelings and art is also personal way of expression for me. At my most gloomiest, it feels like rejection. Yes partially because of the fact that I’m a hermit :’)

Was grateful for the twitter encouragement when I expressed getting sad & discouraged. Thank you and for enjoying them! 😭

I did super appreciate the few kind wonderful peeps who *do* keep supporting and enjoying these!! I’m glad that for some it makes them happy or they’re finding them emotional & sweet. Knowing that there are people who appreciate them really encourages me heaps and reassures my worried mind.

Dealing with eternal existentialism, burnout, fears and self doubts with my art and career. Perhaps I should dwell less on these doubtful thoughts as it’s pretty much an ongoing thing to manage and I’d like to not give them too much of my time. Letting those feelings come and pass. On the other hand, I don’t want to bottle it all up in and pretend I’m okay. The dilemma!!

Thanks for indulging & bearing with little hermit me :’)

Feelings aside, I’m trying to not get too gloomy about things 💙

Edit Nov 6th: It’s pretty telling that this blog post didn’t do too great with views nor do the subsequent twitter posts I do. It doesn’t matter how much time you’ve spent on your work as much as I do my best with things after all – it really is how you bond and benefit people (“the numbers game) and I’m terrible at it all. Hurt ego and feeling irrelevant aside, I think I’m going to slow down eventually with posts towards the new year.

Blog comments return (again x3?) & soft goodbye facebook

Since I don’t really want to use facebook/messenger, this time I’m logging out of facebook indefinitely. Just not touching it altogether if I can get away with it. I’m tired of giving mixed messages when people forget that I don’t use it and still contact me that way. Consequently I’ve opened blog comments again for facebook peeps. Again yes I know.

Hey I don’t even expect or get regular twitter/instagram replies. Still I want to talk about my blog through blog comments or privately through email since it makes more sense when we’re already here.

Figured I shouldn’t keep using a platform that I don’t enjoy, plus I don’t really need it to keep in contact with friends and family. In the past if I’m lucky a few kind peeps have actually sent me screenshots of work opportunities posted on fb or directly invite me to things! Their kindness gives me warm, happy fuzzies because they know I miss a lot of things <3

But the facebook page is still going with blog updates for peeps who still need it! There are still some of you who come from facebook according to my blog stats. The support there definitely helps and boosts what I do and I do appreciate it! 💙 It’s just that I won’t actually see it, my apologies!

And even if I feel blog comments redundant and it’s another thing to manage, I want to leave a door open for those who kindly support me and are attached to facebook, don’t want to email or just don’t really use social media. Just replacing facebook with my own blog’s comments really ;P

A soft goodbye to facebook I guess. Bye Facebook!! Woo! 😀

If it turns out that people aren’t coming to the blog from fb anymore I might fade out the page; we’ll see.

On a passive aggressive sidenote, please please please don’t message me on facebook; I don’t use or have messenger! I don’t get email notifications! I’m software blocked too! I don’t want to stress about missing people’s messages so I’m putting my foot down! I’m logged out! Please email me instead especially if it’s time sensitive and I’ll get back to you when ready! I don’t care if I sound like a broken record – people do forget! :<

Rest assured it doesn’t usually happen so we’re all good 😀

Edit 6th Nov: Oof no one from my facebook page came to the blog. I guess I’ll stop posting there for good by the end of the year if it remains super low since apparently only less than 5% to 40% of people following see my posts. I guess there’s no reason to log in now.

Personal update & naps to recover from workdays

I was about to say that I’m technically unemployed again but found out earlier last week that my contract got extended till end of the year :0 Doing 4 days a week this time because of project needs.

Well I guess I’ll be unemployed next year or in the latter half of December instead then. Hey I’m being realistic here in this turbulent industry ;P

Four days a week is already pushing my personal limit because I know I will definitely burn out and become a zombie person with headaches if I went beyond it. From past attempts and experience, I learned that it’s not physically & emotionally sustainable for me to do the usual 5 workdays a week. The weekend becomes recovery, chores & housekeeping time without room for relaxation & personal project time. I can’t do what normal people somehow manage to do (and I don’t drink coffee) :’)

Even after one workday, I feel so heavy in my mind and physically tired and the only way to recover is a power nap or two during the day. Consequently I cannot do it 5 days in a row because by Friday my body is just done and not functional from the intensity.

To outsiders I may seem like a lazy, sleepy bear but stuff you! I have my limits so that I’m not overwhelmed and burnt out! 😛 I don’t know what this fatigue and headache is and maybe there’s a name for it? Maybe I need to get more sleep as it’s 6 to 7 hours right now. I don’t want to self diagnose but surely I’m not alone in this? All the same I’ll keep adapting with it :’)

Since I have less time, I’ll have to figure out how to best juggle with physical health, chill time, learning *and* making art to post! Again my social media posts won’t be twice a day anymore. I can’t sustain that. I’m just one hoomin and I don’t have a marketing team behind me :<

Anyhoo, thanks for reading my rambly brain and for coming along for the journey as always! Take care! ★

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