2021 art summary: reflecting on the year!

Most popular 2021 blog posts:

My most popular SuperLeonieMode

As usual SLM as a whole isn’t doing so well because I’m a super homebody with limited experiences to document with. Note that I’m not as proud with my SLM work compared to my other stuff.

Still I have a small buffer of SLM so I’ll let it disappear/stop after that (I do keep saying that because I’m reminding myself to let go haha). Or let it evolve again to my personal whims as it is one of my ways of self expression. So who knows!

The most Youtube views from 2021 [original blog post]

For some reason the Youtube algorithm gave me abnormal amount of views for a few videos and then I’m back to being under the radar again. I don’t normally get 600 views nor that many likes! I usually get 2-6 views a video :’)

My most upvoted piece on reddit!

Vivian!! 😀

My top 3 pieces from 2021 according to twitter likes

I’m not surprised that they’re all fanart because that’s how social media works ;D

Feeling mixed about it honestly. Reality is harsh I suppose.

My top 3 pieces from 2021 according my pixiv likes & bookmarks

Aw yes!! Kirbyroth reigns supreme!!

I don’t think this ArtStationRecap2021 counts

Note I haven’t used Artstation much in 2021 and the pro membership was a free trial for a handful of months only :’)

Yeah I don’t get much attention on this site since I’m not at “industry level” and I was told (in a well intentioned but super vague, unhelpful way) that my foundational art skills aren’t enough ;P

Whelp I got to keep doing, floundering and learning what I enjoy! Falling into an existential void. And hope to protect that joy without burning out :’)

My Artfol and my old Mastodon accounts; I ditched them for now

They’re cumbersome to use as one of them is mobile app only but at least they’re not horrible like Instagram :’D

I took a chance on these for a day but I don’t really want to post on them anymore. I sense that they’ll still remain as super niche platforms and I don’t want to commit and spread myself even more thin. I’m not taking it too seriously.

I’ve ditched Pawoo too since it seems like they have lots of sensitive/NSFW content which I respect but I don’t personally do.

I tried Bubblehouse too but deleted my work off from there asap when I found out that they’re blatantly doing NFTs and incorporated it within their app. I noped out of there. It wasn’t marketed as the apparent “eco friendly NFT social marketplace” when I initially joined!! I felt betrayed when I checked!! Now I have an empty account there because I can’t find the option to delete my account.

For the record again: I did not and will not do NFTs.

Reflecting on my art in 2021: I didn’t really do as many finished illustrations this year

I did lots of comfort zone fanart and some studies!

I don’t know how to best juggle studies/learning and finished illustrations – I’m just barely winging it :’)

Did I achieve what I was going for? Why / why not? What was my progress?

I don’t think I had a specific goal. All I had was “make sure I post regularly + take scheduled breaks”!

Striving to make arting and learning a habit!

But what’s different this year is that I actually took more planned breaks. As a result I don’t feel as stressed out. I’m thankful for that and how people seem to not mind (or care)! I don’t feel a huge surge of emotional relief that I’m taking this upcoming break for the first time since I’m not as tensed up throughout the year. Wow!!

In that light, I succeeded in posting regularly thanks to scheduled breaks. Now I need to make sure I have proper sleep as a habit. And I’m still tensed up in general because life and my energy levels are not great :’)

In terms of art progress, it’s mostly the same. Maybe there is some progress that’s invisible to me? I was too busy managing my part time art job and posting regularly so I mostly stuck with comfort zone art. That said I did experiment with studies as I’m not trying to stick to one art style. I’m just drawing what suits my taste and gut feeling in the given moment in which social media algorithms do not favour!

Guess I’m stuck at my current follower and metric counts forever ;P

I have been keeping track of my twitter metrics again with an analysis mindset though and it’s kind of interesting and eye opening! I’m not as sad anymore because I’ve given up. My metrics have plateaued for years – unless I have a sudden popular fanart or a very kind soul, friend or big company account who decided to retweet/share/boost it. Now I’m more focused on engagement since likes and retweets are more rare. Tweets are only popular because kind people share/retweet them – which don’t happen too often for me because I’m not really focused on making “shareable” art content. And I’m probably not “good enough” to have work shared widely. I’m floundering with art haha

I thought my study stuff didn’t do well since there isn’t as much likes but it’s still reaching more people than I thought! I deliberated many times on whether I should post my studies and rough stuff at my secondary twitter account but seeing the number of impressions shows that people do still skim, ignore and scroll past it and least they know that I exist (maybe? Since impressions only give me an idea of potential reach and not necessarily eyeballs on my art posts).

Anyhoo I can just keep my secondary blog feed account automated! I don’t want to track another twitter account either ;P

I note that fanart illustrations reach people the most and everything else falls to the wayside because not a lot of people resonate with my other work. It seems like the real time youtube video didn’t really resonate well (at the moment there’s no likes) so I guess I’ll stick with low effort art timelapses at my youtube? Do I bother with timelapses? I’m more happy blogging than making videos, even though people keep saying youtube is the best for search & reach. Or are people on social media breaks right now?

I feel like people are in holiday mode while I’m existential about my life and trying to plan/juggle life, art direction and learning :’) Then again I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering about 2022.

It’s also emotionally exhausting when people tell me I don’t or do fit in something and I don’t know anymore. I don’t have an entrepreneurial, business, charismatic mindset as I’m more of a reserved, stubborn craftsperson and autistic artist. And I don’t feel compelled to fit into one industry because I’m more interested in doing small, manageable character concepts and illustration.

I keep asking year after year: where do I fit in?? Hm as always I feel lost and I have much to improve on and experiment.

Oh I won’t go into the art I do for Hipster Whale since it’s a team effort with the Hipster Whale team! I did some messy environment concept art and I mostly went straight to voxels when making and iterating art assets. I think I did improve under the art direction of our art boss as she had clear and great game artist vision!

Next year 2022…?

Next year I hope to do more personal illustrations, art, learning and studies~! Push my comfort zones with more studies, experiments and learning! Figure something fun and manageable to do perhaps. Okay this sounds like a lot on my plate already halp.

I guess my core focus would be learning and trying to get something going?

In terms of blogging I’m barely managing as it is! There’s also the low level and constant performance anxiety of not having anything of quality to show. Ah my life as a social media illustrator and homebody :’)

Maybe 2022 will have changes. Or maybe not. I don’t know. I’m still a low energy hermit and slow alien while many people are not natural homebodies like me haha

What can I do that only I can do? How do I compete with myself? What can I do better? What things should I experiment and study more in? Hmm. Lots of things ;D

I have a lot of vague hopes mentioned here instead of new year’s resolutions because I know life and my mental health are more important. I’d rather keep things optimistic, realistic and flexible. And I don’t want to promise things that I might not be able to deliver :’)

It’s frustrating, meandering and frightening at times but I’ll take as much time as I need. Trusting instead of rushing the slow process is best for me and my stress levels.

I hope that I’ll get a bit more engagement (hey I want to see what resonates, what I enjoy doing and what I’m good at), gain more understanding and practice in the things I’m learning, make more things I’m proud of and progress through my art.

I’ll keep up with my posting & art making schedule and learning/study schedule! The journey continues!

Time for my social media hiatus! I’m taking January off again!

Yes I am taking a long break from being on this “content/art creation hamster wheel” but I’m really attempting to build an art buffer here + learning, life, work, pondering & resting :’) Maybe I’ll play some games but I don’t know :<

As usual, I’ll pause the patreon so you shouldn’t be charged for January at the start of February :0

Digressing! Thank you so much for the kind, lovely, ninja support and for reading this year!!

Take care of yourself (emotionally, physically, mentally) and stay safe during this holiday break!

Catch you in February 2022!