SuperLeonieMode 342 / Not actually ready for art + timelapse! Reflecting on purpose, energy, context switching and focus

Little timelapse!

SuperLeonieMode: Ready for art!! Oh

My creative brain started to float away!! Nooo!

This is what happens when you have a creative job, you’re struggling to carve time to learn art, do personal art *and* take breaks away from doing creative stuff.

Energy, brain and creative levels get super low :’)

I’m carving out time in small bursts so that I *can* slowly do some personal art, thumbnails and/or studies. Doing it consistently through small, manageable chunks! It’s working well so far when I can manage it on a given day! I find myself making more art and feeling more okay with dumping sketch ideas that don’t work. It’s a lot of juggling as sometimes it doesn’t happen :<

I am winging it, depending on how my energy, stress and focus levels are. Juggling between work, learning/consuming, creating/doing and fun/rest. Figuring out what times of the day I’m able to do mentally intense things and to make sure I don’t get distractions/interruptions (it changes depending on what life throws at me). For me usually it’s the evenings and early afternoons when I have a reasonable amount of energy. Mid/late afternoon and mornings I don’t have much mental/processing energy – I either need a power nap or I just power through it with black or earl grey tea and not letting myself sit down.

And when I’m lacking in sleep and/or self care, then I don’t know anymore ;P

Next I’m slow with project/context switching.

If it’s just small and manageable tasks then it’s easier to time block things and naturally take breaks in between to transition, switch, task block and rotate tasks better. I have optimistically tricked myself into planning and cramming too much into my routine in the past so I’ve been easing and testing things and habits into it instead. It may or may not work. If it’s impromptu then it adds stress, confusion, paralysis and overwhelm to the mix because it’s harder to switch gears immediately at will for me.

I’m not a robot and I’m not too adaptable under pressure. I just freeze up in silence as I consider life choices. Or I make impulsive, reactionary decisions I may regret later haha

If I’m on a roll, I want to stay working on something until I need a break/rest since it can take ages for me to get into the right work headspace again (and not fall into procrastinating a mentally taxing task). At the same time I’m trying to not burn myself out. So I tend to work in long intense bursts and then I take longer breaks to compensate. Ah life can be pain :’)

Sometimes you really need to turn off from everything art related and just play, rest and protect the joy and the reason why you’re creating art in the first place. There have been many times when I felt worthless, hopeless, hatred and burnt out from what I was doing and had to switch gears (if able) to recover.

Not making and learning art every single day is okay!

Now why are you learning and/or making stuff in the first place??

I ask myself this often. I struggle to answer with conviction. I continue to not feel super sure about what I’m doing.

Is this why I’m irrelevant? Hmm.

If I personally look deep into my own soul, I’m learning, creating art and documenting my art journey because I find it fun, rewarding, comforting, challenging and freeing. Again I don’t really have an ambitious dream project in mind and it’s exhausting when the hustling side of the art industry really emphasises on having your own intellectual property through a book/merch brand/movie/show/game/comic/etc. It gives me anxiety, dread and stress instead of excitement. If I do commit to any personal project, I’d want to be excited/interested/driven about it.

I don’t really want to force this “industry version of success” on myself. Otherwise I wouldn’t have quit instagram since it’s still another art fishing rod into the internet void. Perhaps I’ll return to instagram one day but it’s not now!

With art I just want to express feelings, message, story hints, mood through character driven art, to keep learning/improving my art skills and to enjoy the process. Hope I can do a manageable 2D toony, illustrative and fun project that suits me some day!

A project that doesn’t burn me to the ground. Yes I probably have trauma from past projects I need to be mindful of :’)

Or perhaps I’m more suited to one off pieces because I lose interest after finishing one :<

Yeah I need to think and experiment more. It’s frustrating :’)

Tablet thoughts

Ah seeing that I drew my current old model cintiq13HD in this comic, I hope to upgrade my cintiq plus a sturdy monitor arm so I’m less like a hunchback and have less back pain. Been thinking about it since late last year. I don’t have the space for a huge one that famous artists use (big cintiqs aren’t necessary), nor do I want to go back to a more ergonomic pen tablet (I am too used to drawing directly on screen, especially as a lineart kind of artist. I’m not a strong painter).

But I need to do more research with pricey monitor arms :0

I’m eyeing on the Cintiq 16 (2021 latest version) at the moment and hope to sort out financing this. According to the wacom reddit the latest December batch has some defects/deformities with the build quality so I’m not rushing :< I’m disappointed and I don’t know when to get it now since I don’t want a faulty product.

Don’t mind me I’m just rambling to myself because few read my blog. The internet generally thrives on short attention spans (and I have it too!) I shall continue to ramble more (or less) when I feel like it ;D

It’s going to be a tense week (at least for me) so I hope we can get through this :’)