Being a Slow, steady and sleepy LeonieBear + art of the past week

** This post is a 4 minute read! **

Slow, steady and sleepy LeonieBear

Read upon a good analogy – that it’s okay being a slow tortoise among many hares in any field. It’s okay if many cool, hardworking, intelligent, proactive people are higher on the mountain with their lives and careers than you are. We’ve all got our own unpredictable, scary paths to experience and grow from after all.

I don’t really thrive in competitive situations as I tend to retreat within my own mind in a bad, insecure, tense, anxious, lonely way. That’s my brain! Competition might work for some to get their skills going but it’s not for me in the long run. I get worn out, paralysed and stuck from the constant cycle of self improvement, comparison, disappointment, hustling, being left behind and doing more/faster/better. I’m not one of the competitive, ambitious, rockstar, outgoing, charismatic hares of the industry. I don’t want to play that “game”. I don’t have the energy for that and to worry about other people. My easily overwhelmed brain can’t handle the complexities of other humans so even though I reflect about it afterwards, I don’t want to handle too many interactions and emotional labour. I just emotionally burn out :<

I say that but I know the reality of freelancing too. You need to work at it for a long time. You have to at least match with the quality standards of people already working in the industry – hence standards I have for myself are super high. It’s a fiercely competitive industry as the number of great and inspiring artists is always increasing. I’m not there yet with my character design and illustration skills. But I’ll keep working at it. If I wanted to survive, I know I can’t completely ignore the industry that I’m in.

Also based on a handful of twitter threads, I need at least 8k+ followers on a given platform to have a substantial audience (for things like patreon, your own intellectual property, products, books and for having marketable, engaging content) and more importantly, strong relationships with professional industry people and collaborators. You have to put yourself out there and earn the trust, respect and reputation as a professional artist with quality art and problem solving skills.

I’m finding this all daunting and impossible because I’m a hermit who has plateaued with followers and networks until I create more “relevant, popular” stuff :’) Plus I don’t have an interest in making my own IP right now – I’m just keen on learning and getting better at quality and expressing myself through my art. I’m not great at effortlessly creating things from imagination either – I take lots of time researching, learning and exploring! Fast turnarounds in a work situation don’t often allow that luxury. Lots of food for thought all the same and how I’m not good enough yet :<

Lots of mental health stuff to manage! Everything worthwhile doing depends on how dedicated and patient you are and remembering that it’s not completely all your fault nor something to take personally whenever rejections happen and things aren’t working out. It happens. You try something different next time and do your best. Keep open minded to different perspectives and approaches. Reassess why you want, believe, need it. How can you help solve their problems?

Many say that life is change and chaos. And it gets overwhelming, frustrating and pointless when one attempts to control it too much. Letting go of that anxiety and mentality that comes back is hard though. I mean I still have my super tense jaw tension pain :<

Admittedly I do envy people who celebrate how happy, loved, supported and thriving they feel in their lives, homes, loved ones, friendships and careers. I don’t know if that’s possible for me :<

All the ruminating!! I can’t help it as my brain searches to understand my feelings and how to manage it. WAHH ;___;

Hey I’m trying to not be frustrated, sad and existential on my own already! Hellooo self doubt and the freelance life. Making me question everything and making me feel horrible, lost, isolated and worthless about myself. Gah been struggling so much with it, especially this year.

At this point, I need to stop dwelling and stressing over some inner “purpose”, “dream” and “why”. I’m in this for the long haul and doing things the long way with my freelance illustration and art career after all. An art helper who doesn’t want to burn out 😛

It feels like I need to get better at being a 2D illustrator who helps out on other things where able. Also I need to be more picky with private/personal/low budget commissions as they’re definitely not enough to make a living from. I often get underpaid with those and I’m learning to manage it better.

I just want to enjoy, learn and do my own thing, solve creative problems that interest me and go with my process. Just go with my selfish gut and keep doing the kinds of art I’d like to learn, experiment and do. I’ll keep being a slow learning, low energy turtle, doing the best I can and help others if I’m able. Keep doubling down and focus on my strengths.

Yes I do have some goals and things I’m learning and I do enjoy planning in chunks but it often takes a backseat when life, the occasional negative, toxic home vibes and work get in the way :< Still I’m learning and improving at my own pace; not at the expense of my own well-being <3

Yes I’ll keep rambling about my feelings to the internet void and doing the best I can anyway. Manage the worry and keep learning! Not new here ;D

Art from the past week!

#51 Quiet moment 🎧🦉

It’s beautiful in a calming way. A deeper connection to your existence.

#52 Can I sleep now? 🦉💤

Don’t you get grumpy if you don’t get enough sleep?

Lack of focus too :<

I hope you’re faring okay and getting good rest 😴

It seems like there’s still a small handful of people who like these and so I’m grateful :’)

Hope this new format is working well!

I probably won’t be rambling this much for each art post but at least I will post art from the past week. I’ll work it out as I go along as usual! ;D

I also bruised my thumb’s knuckle last week when I was half asleep. I accidentally smashed a dumbell into it. Ouch 😭 The bruise isn’t bleeding anymore, just sore, discoloured and slowly healing up though. Just ouch!!

Thanks so much for reading! ❤

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