StudyPost 01 / February figures! Open for freelance! What saying no means & my fears in focusing

In this blog:

  • Figure studies I’ve done / Figuary
  • Open for freelance work! flails arms about!
  • What saying no means & fears that came up
  • Posting future sketchbook updates only for patrons after this

I feel like I’ve been rusty here but it’s still some good, slow progress :’) Hope to gain confidence in drawing from imagination at all angles and various art styles one day! :0

And hullo! I am open for freelance/remote work

I enjoy creating characters & cute art! Email me if you’re interested. Or support my art and rambles with Patreon! I’ll probably make an actual social media post later this coming week. I delayed talking about it and the awkward self promotion because I wanted to take things slow :’)

All the same, thanks so much for the kind encouragement! 😊💙

Striving to do my best and manage my swirling mind of doubts!

What saying no means & fears that came up

A while ago I got contacted for an illustrator position for infant/girl product and toy design? Which seems to involve a lot of commercial vector art, graphic design, more generalist art skills and that’s not really what I do. Me wanting to avoid and minimise doing vector art and graphic design was the reason why I can’t completely go under the “generalist game artist” umbrella anymore in the first place. I really burn out doing that if it’s on a full time basis :<

Plus I’d rather work remotely as a freelancer. I’ve learned from experience that I don’t have the energy to deal with a social work environment every workday. If it was a role where I could just focus on designing and illustrating characters and do it remotely most of the time (come into the office only if needed) then I would be more intrigued about taking the leap into another industry and I can manage my social overwhelm and low energy better.

Also my gut feeling tells me that I’m not a great fit for them as I’m not a generalist artist who does everything. I hope they find someone wonderful for the role all the same; I don’t know them but they seem nice and I’m grateful for their offer. Thank you for considering me if you’re reading!

I guess I’m super afraid of burning out altogether and I’m learning better about my personal boundaries. I have only begun climbing out of the depressing, jaded burnout hole and am veryyy slowly finding joy in making art again. I do not want that progress to be taken away from me again. I need to protect it and my mental health.

I’m saying no so that I can save my yes for something I’m happy to keep serving, helping with and believing in. Something I don’t mind struggling with in a worse case scenario.

But what do I want to do and help others with?

My mind’s been running in circles about this and it’s making me existential again. I know that eventually I have to say yes out of necessity and in an ideal world I hope to do it without compromising my need for character design and/or illustration. But I know when times get super tough for me, I cannot expect this all the time and I’ll need to do what I have to do for survival.

Anyhoo every time I find myself going back to illustration and character design but I’m too scared to call myself a character designer and wuss out whenever I change my bio (I’ve changed it back and forth, for those who are observant). I need more experience and practice :0

I know how grueling character design can be, I don’t naturally pump out new characters everyday and how too many revisions and thrown out ideas drain out my morale :’) But that’s how the process is, that’s why people do personal projects for more creative control and I feel overall it’s better than iterating with graphic design and vector art for me! Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to call myself a character designer, actually work as one and push myself in this direction. I don’t know yet and I think I need more practice and mileage. I hope to actually study character design properly later this year and see how well that goes for me.

Character illustration on the other hand, I can focus and iterate on how I want to visually communicate a character and/or moment. It seems to be what I’m leaning towards since currently I’m learning and revising figure drawing again and anatomy. Still illustration potentially involves a lot of drawing everything other than characters too. You definitely need to know what audience you’re serving and actively get rejected to find projects that suit you best.

Now creating my own short story is a head scratcher for me because I’m terrible at storytelling! I don’t know if I want to be an independent, entrepreneur yet because that means I have to be more publicly out there and more community minded too. My overwhelmed, introvert brain says oh no, pushing my comfort zone! Maybe I’ll be able to handle making my own webcomics when the opportunity arises; baby steps for now! I also need to learn and read a lot about storytelling once I get my art skills up better.

There’s so many great artists and creators hustling for the same jobs on twitter and in communities too!

I don’t feel like I check all the boxes and/or I don’t think I fit into their culture. And some artists are pumping art and posts everyday/lots too because of the social media algorithm! I feel sad from the burnout that’s waiting to happen within internet creators and I’m striving to not fall into that anxious hamster wheel art posting trap again 🙁 I’ve been busy doing studies too so I can’t show everything either. Gah I’ve been getting distracted by everyone else’s amazing work when I need to focus on my own struggles and learning path :’)

Also a reminder that weekly is my normal update pace. I think that’s a good, sustainable pace for me so that I’m not checking social media too much 😀

At the moment I’m known for and enjoy doing cute art while I’m also trying to expand my skills, outside of this.

It’s been concerning as I see people create wonderfully adorable art but they don’t get paid much on a sustainable financial level either 🙁

I feel like I’m limited by my current art styles and ability and I need to be more smart with how I’m learning. At the moment it’s not as fast and efficient as I would like but I know you can’t rush studying, revising and applying things to your own work. It is a journey of patience, meaningful work and deliberate practice and not about pumping lots of content for people to consume after all.

I’m afraid of being pigeon holed into an industry when I just want to have fun doing what I like and help others along the way for a living :’) That’s where I’m at right now. Feeling inadequate but taking it slow and steady anyway. I’m sure I’m not alone with these sucky, depressing, discouraging feelings :<

A lot of my blog rambles are me reminding myself that things are going to be okay, not getting work is just an opportunity to learn and my brain is just figuring things out. Maybe it helps someone out there. <3 Admittedly I don’t 100% believe in myself but I’m just doing my best in managing my negative feelings. We’re not happy all the time; we have a full range of complex emotions! Sometimes managing is all you can do. One small step forward at a time.

For now I’m in the cycle of learning as you can see in this post and making art :’) Art is hard, I need to keep expanding my visual library and there’s always more to learn!

Posting future sketchbook updates only on Patreon after this

This means after this post, I’m keeping most of my studies and sketchbook art exclusive to my patrons! I will post them at Patreon and in a patron-only blog post here too (hoping their plugin works). Please consider supporting me through Patreon if you’re interested!

Why? Because I want to keep the rough studies and sketchbook stuff more under the radar, document my progress and keep it to special peeps who are interested in my struggles & learning journey.

Stressing that the Patreon is still a tip jar for my art and learning journey rambles! I just wanted to update patrons on my studies & behind the scenes too as a bonus when I’m able.

Thank you so much if you’re already part of my tiny club! <3

♥ Support my art & learning journey on Patreon or Ko-fi! ♥

Thanks so much for your support & for reading! You help me keep going! ʕ ✿˵•ᴥ•˵ ʔ ♡

If you want to stay up to date with me, sign up for my weekly blog updates!

Do take care with your own personal struggles and the week ahead! Lots of positive and best wishes your way!

♥ Support my art & learning journey on Patreon or Ko-fi! ♥