Illustration / Relaxing Monstera Plant for Lauren + LeonieUpdate!

Hey I’m back after my little break! In this little LeonieUpdate:

  • Process for this giftart!
  • Personal update and:
    • hanging out at the AGDAs2020 & Parallels2020 streams,
    • keeping an emotional distance from the games industry,
    • small talk as an autistic person
    • Gacha games and Vtubers (the need of boundaries)
    • & other interesting finds~!

Initial sketch: learning how to draw monstera leaves! I just wanted to draw lots of them I guess :’)

Belated happy birthday to my lovely, generous, wonderful friend Lauren!! <3

I hope she likes it! There was no obligation nor expectation but I just wanted to show my gratitude and appreciation for her friendship plus her spoiling and shocking me with wonderful gifts on my little birthday <3 I tweeted about it here and here (:

For those new, she’s currently a LumiInteractive gamedev boss and co-hosts at the podcasts: LoveGamesCast and DoneWonderfully! (:

Thank youuu so much for your support, for being one of my lights in my life and many hugs Lauren!! <3

Leonie rambles time!

  • I’m so glad I took last week off from posting! I hope your October’s been okay and not too stressful and overwhelming so far! :’)
    • mind you it wasn’t really an actual break from making art for me because I’ve been trying to build an art buffer and facing the usual art struggle and juggling.
    • I also don’t have much time because of some short contract work for a month that’s starting this week so I am stressing out a bit :’)
    • at the least it did allow me to focus, get some breathing room and not have to always publish something each week
    • hope that doing this every 2 months or so will minimise burnout :0
    • please consider taking small and big breaks for yourself too! I’m not good at it but I’m doing my best haha (:
  • found myself watching true crime interviews and summary videos for some reason from youtube recommends
    • it just showed me some of the worst in human beings and made me more paranoid and wary of people 🙁
  • I find myself sucked back into Animal Crossing again due to the Halloween and Cherry Blossom events happening in my hemisphere :’)
    • I am sad and frustrated that I can’t get spring blossom DIYs because halloween ones took over!! :/ The spring blossom stuff is only the first 10 days of this month and I’m bummed I couldn’t get the pink blossom standing lantern, picnic set and most of it because of clashing with halloween and that took priority 🙁
      • apparently this also happened for Northern Hemisphere peeps with Bunny day month taking over the DIYs
      • I think I might actually time travel to get the cherry blossom DIYs gasp!! :0
    • finally paid off my house debt in Animal Crossing!! Yay!! FINALLY! Mostly by selling my things – the long way!! I couldn’t do turnips that often so it feels like I earned it more with patience :’)
    • finally cleaned out my overgrown amounts of flowers and dropped items in my house too!
    • I don’t think I’ll touch Animal Crossing daily but perhaps when Halloween happens, I need to get the cherry blossom DIYs and when I have an hour to spare :S

Watched the Australian Game Developer Awards and Freeplay Parallels 2020 live

Watched the Australian Game Developer Awards and Freeplay Parallels! It was pretty cool seeing people I’ve worked with/know and new peeps getting celebrated for their dedication, hard work and sharing their creations – some of which in real time 😀

Congrats to the Hipster Whale peeps for Crossy Road Castle winning “Best Mobile Game” last week! [tweet, tweet, their tweet too]
  • I’m just a little background voxel art & concept art helper for the game’s levels but it’s a pleasure working with and supporting the kick-butt art boss Ashleigh & the Hipster Whale team! Congrats!! <3
  • I got squirmy getting congratulated back for my part in it; I want to hide under a blanket :’)
  • it shall be noted that I should not work within unity haha
Congrats to Mighty Games peeps for Shooty Skies Overdrive for the “Best AR/VR” category! [tweet, tweet]
  • Plus congrats on Piffle getting nominated for best ongoing mobile game!
  • disclaimer that I have nothing to do with these projects! I’m just happy that their hard work got recognised (:

Freeplay Z•O•N•E a social space by Jae Stuart & Cecile Richard

I’m the one with the yellow text, yellow hat and dress on the right! It became super chaotic and noisy when the talks started so eventually I muted and left the space :’) I stuck with the Youtube chat.

It was pretty wholesome and chill watching people present their creations, thoughts, experiences and experiments. I wouldn’t have gone physically so I appreciate of all those involved in sharing and organising this! (:

Turns out I’m happier being involved with the games industry on a remote and emotionally distanced basis
  • Much appreciation to all organisers and game development peeps of gcap2020 / migw20! I’m not involved in the game scene but am happy & feeling low stress from an emotional distance; it was fun chatting with emotes in the AGDAs2020 twitch chat & the wholesome Parallels20 chat, learning about cool games mwahaha
  • I prefer watching and posting emotes sometimes in chat than deal with real noisy crowds, small talk, people I’m really not comfortable with and party people ;P
    • in chat I feel like I have more of chance to have a voice and presence, regardless of who’s loud, quiet or what their reputation, charisma, energy, extroversion, accomplishments, wit, social/professional value and/or popularity are :’)
    • I don’t feel hurt and rejected when people ignore or ghost me in chat because we’re just expressing thoughts and reactions into the void (whereas it feels more personal, overwhelming, confusing, subtle, disrespectful and direct when it happens in person, in groups and with conversations)
    • in short, I can emotionally distance myself better in chat and text since boundaries and expectations are clearer to me. I don’t have to feel obligated to interact/engage if I don’t want to (and neither does other people with me)
    • sometimes I remind myself that some industry peeps may be familiar but they are not my friends where we’ll stick around and reach out to each other on an ongoing, genuine, mutual basis. They’re just friendly, casual, fleeting, professional acquaintances and as superficial as it is, that’s okay! Most people aren’t compatible with each other.
  • people saying “making professional, genuine friendships” means networking doesn’t necessarily ring true for me because I take years and years of quality shared time, trust, respect, communication, values, intentions, common interests and so on to develop the “genuine friendships” part ;P
    • from this advice, I feel stressed and pressured to “make friends” with industry people when my gut feeling says no, that’s too fast for turtle little me and I’m just happy keeping most friendships and professional relationships/acquaintances separate!
    • You could say that I’m afraid of getting my ego and sensitive feelings hurt again :’) It’s a given when I’ve been a hermit all my life so I’m super sensitive to ghosting and rejection; I don’t have many friends I keep in regular contact with as it is.
    • sometimes there’s an unspoken, underlying intention, obligation and expectation to benefit each other’s careers and it makes friendships (or potential ones) messy, conditional and superficial when the bond becomes transactional. I lose interest at that point and get uncomfortable and guarded with such people because I’d rather focus my time on the people and things that matter to me <3
    • I don’t know what “value” I could give because I’m a quiet person in groups; I’m not “entertaining” and full of energy, let alone in groups ;P
    • I’d rather be grateful when people show me kindness, show kindness in return when it feels right for me (not niceness where it’s out of obligation), watch how people act upon things (rather than just what they say) and play things by ear
  • I don’t miss not going to events in person and I’m at peace with that. I wouldn’t have gone otherwise.
    • if you haven’t read my previous MIGW posts, most physical games industry social events are not for me (probably a lot of social events even!)
    • I’m clueless with reading subtlety and where the fine lines between: people being genuine, being brief and casual, people understandably keeping a polite and professional mask, not interested or just people using you for their own career benefit :’)
      • if they’re still cool, honest, responsive and respectful through their actions way after the industry events and on an ongoing basis then it’s more likely to seem more genuine to me
    • note that I’m also hard to read too, given that I’m quiet, introverted, autistic, deadpan and not really interested in small talk so that definitely doesn’t help either :’)
    • I’m simply jaded, overwhelmed, isolated, lonely, drained, hurt, sensitive, grumpy and not finding any fun in group social things so it’s better and healthier for me (and everyone around me) to keep away from most group social shenanigans ;P
    • if you enjoy and thrive in it, I’m super happy for you! It’s okay. It’s just not for me and I’m cool being a quiet, introverted, remote supporter of the industry (:

Small Talk Is A DEATH SENTENCE! (Why is Small Talk so difficult? Autism talk)

  • neurotypical people need small talk because:
    • they’re emotionally closed off and it’s too much effort for them to meet others halfway
    • they enjoy being flippant, going with the flow and being casual; no need for deeper commitment!
    • it validates them and provides them enough with vague social rapport
    • to see if they “vibe” in each other’s company and if they get along or not. They don’t necessarily care about what’s being said
    • sometimes I need to do it too because I immediately recognise that we don’t “vibe” nor have anything in common with each other but we still need to be polite and play the “social facade dance” with each other :’) It’s part of life, I know.
  • small talk is not for me because:
    • I care with what we’re talking about!! I need to care about the topics and go deep with it for me to eventually and emotionally care about you too!!
    • it feels fake, boring, disingenuous and superficial
    • I’m stuck in a box with the same script, ritual and expectations
    • it’s an energy/emotional drain to pretend that I’m interested in the topic or that I’m “okay”
    • feels like I’m betraying myself and not getting anything fulfilling out of it
    • I don’t want to be somebody’s NPC when I’m a player of my own life too ;P
    • I don’t want to waste my limited, low energy for topics I’m not interested in
    • I’d rather express myself and learn more about them as an interesting person
    • I get tired too so I make myself even more boring because most people don’t really want to know about my life, what I’m currently interested in and they don’t want to put in the effort. I just give up most of the time.
    • and hey usually I don’t want to learn about somebody on the spot either when I don’t have the right headspace for it
    • I can’t tell if people are done, serious, interested, polite, overwhelmed, bored under the facade and mask of small talk. I can’t read subtlety and most people don’t or can’t communicate/articulate how they feel; help :’)
    • I avoid most parties because most people are pretending to be friendly to everyone and just vibing with each other’s company
    • I am cool with my own company but I feel stressed and pressured by people to vibe and mask myself to mirror everyone else :’)
    • I only get along with somebody if there’s strong common interests and feelings to talk about on deep levels and that only comes slowly from quality time, trust, respect, boundaries and learning from each other
  • to deal with small talk I’m already doing and learning to:
    • have an exit strategy
    • respect people who wear the social mask and I hope they respect that I don’t want to mask myself too much
    • people need to talk about interesting things for me to enjoy the interaction too! I need some shared interests and passions to make social interaction fulfilling, mutually great, enjoyable and rewarding!
    • I guess I should talk about my own interests?? Mention topics and see what they’re interested in and whether they’re asking about it
    • slowly get out of the script and ask general, open questions! It’s fun learning about people a bit better this way (:
    • “trick” people out of being boring and try to get them out of the script (only if I’m genuinely interested!)
    • if I’m not interested and/or they’re not interested, I’m cool with keeping it to minimal small talk and going on our separate ways (this is mostly the case so it does get disheartening for me :’) )
    • someone said that autistic people should only interact with creators and helpers with purpose in their lives so that small talk doesn’t exist and we jump right into the deep topics and just ramble together :0
      • they point out that meaningful conversations should be engaging and interesting and not solely about what entertainment/media that we’ve consumed; I think that seems true to me!
    • goodness I’m an alien for making notes and breaking things down like this :’)

I Spent $1000 Buying Waifus in Gacha Games (some Gigguk videos)

  • warning lots of weeb/otaku, sexual and objectifying language and swearing.
  • I don’t think his youtube channel is my kind of thing and I’m not really deep in the anime/manga world but I respect his honesty and being true to himself about fictional characters and his lust?
  • entertaining and enlightening on how the addiction and “becoming a whale” actually happens if you’re not careful with your self control
  • most of the games are free to play in reality. The real, substantial resource you’re spending is with your time and strategising how you farm. You’re not necessarily spending your money.
  • the key danger is when you’re spending money for the slim chance, dopamine and gamble to get the ultra rare characters (opening loot boxes)
  • recommended watch! See how gatcha games can also be fun, fair, casual, played in short bursts and positive too! It highly depends on how the game is designed and how addictive they are of course.
  • yes I’ve worked on mobile gatcha games so I found this clarifying, educational and enlightening (hey I’m just an artist, not a game designer!)
  • I personally don’t play them much because I don’t want the potential of a huge timesink and addiction. I already got sucked into Animal Crossing so I don’t want any more. I prefer having a set game experience than an ongoing and endless commitment and timesink :’)
  • yes I know Genshin Impact is currently the huge thing right now :0
There’s another rabbit hole of a video from him about being “addicted to cute anime girls” and respecting them as content creators: I Got Addicted to VTubers and Regret Everything
  • interesting space where it’s both fictional + real people behind it (it’s blurry with their fans like with wrestling)
  • it’s accessible, entertaining and informative on how Vtubers came to be and continue to thrive and spread
  • whoever’s behind the anime avatar stays respectfully private and separate from the content and avatar. They’re just people/YouTubers with avatars in the end. And apparently the chat culture is really different from twitch
  • there’s been doxxing, people breaking chat rules and other political issues lately too with Vtubers
  • apparently Kizuna Ai was not the first to make Vtubers a trend and that there’s also Vtuber boys; it’s just not mentioned here because it’s limited to his experiences
  • all of this isn’t my cup of tea but it’s interesting to learn about this and see where the memes and clips come from!
  • essentially they’re a different kind of content creators/online personalities who monetise parasocial relationships with their viewers and fans
    • healthy boundaries need to be established for all content creators! They’re not their viewers’ friends or family :0
    • when people start worshipping, loving, obsessing and praising them upon pedestals it gets creepy and unhealthy
    • as a result there’s lots of ego boosting, ultra supportive, adoring, “yes” people surrounding these popular figures rather than people grounded in reality
    • there’s been a lot of influencers, youtubers, streamers, “internet celebrities” revealing themselves to be predatory, abusive, manipulative and/or taking advantage of their fans in recent years
    • it also annoys me when content creators claim themselves to be their fans’ “friends and family” while monetising on those parasocial relationships; it feels too unhealthy and blurry between personal and professional :< Stahp this!
    • there’s a huge difference between enjoying, having connection and attachment with someone’s online persona and content and actually being friends with someone
    • both the fans and the “influencers/role models” need to be accountable and real with their connection, boundaries and expectations from the start
  • all of this just reinforces why I need boundaries and some emotional distance from social media shenanigans too
    • my personal approach: my readers and peeps are just here to support my journey and art
    • I’m not trying to give the illusion that I’m friends with everyone who simply enjoys my work; we are probably not friends but casual online acquaintances because I don’t really know you as a person outside of the internet :’)
    • hey online casual friendships do happen and are valid but are rare for me! (:

Interesting finds: games, films, anime, social media and cute Pikmin Short Movies!

Thanks so much for reading & here’s some music for this post:

Hey thank you. I hope things go alright and safely for you this week and please take care and things in stride! (:

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