About this blog

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For my career profile & resume, please see my About & Links page.

Welcome to my quiet, rambly online home ♥

Since 2011, I’ve been blogging, documenting, slowing down and reflecting on my art & life adventures!

Full versions of my art, projects, studies, progress, personal lessons and thoughts reside here! I’ve been posting art online on/off since 2005 and I enjoy arting and sharing the journey because it all feels more meaningful to me than only focusing on the destination! I hope my work brings more positive, heartfelt vibes into people’s lives (:

Currently I’m learning and doing the best I can at character illustration and character design, reflecting and posting when I can! Striving to make a stable living through what I do.

Please consider supporting me through Patreon or Ko-fi if you enjoy and want to support my work!

All the same, thank you so much for reading and supporting my art, rambles and work! (:

Latest blog posts:

❧ On social media boundaries ☙

Email me for urgent, important things!

If it’s relevant to me and related to work, my blog and/or industry related, please reach me at my business email. I’ll get back to you if needed and/or appropriate eventually.

Otherwise thank you for being patient, respectful and understanding if you’re contacting me and responding casually through social media. At times I won’t be super immediate and timely because I am not too active on social media. I usually post and hide away!

I’ll lurk, engage & catch up eventually with kind online peeps when I feel ready and able to (if I feel it’s needed, appropriate, respectful and mutual within reasonable online boundaries)!

Social media is a wonderful tool where I enjoy sharing, interacting, lurking, appreciating, responding and learning from inspiring/kind people! On the other hand it can be scarily addictive, distracting, time consuming, passive, overwhelming, depressing, full of hot takes, toxic, performative, is full of comparisons and revolves around the fast paced attention economy of engagement, metrics, clout/online popularity, monetising parasocial relationships, consistency in content, marketing your own brand, audience/community building and personalised algorithms.

It usually isn’t helpful to my personal well-being, mental health, use of time and personal boundaries when it gets out of hand. Plus I don’t want to take it too seriously, I don’t look at my feed, don’t want to worry too much on how I’m falling behind, don’t want to feed into my trust issues, negative, depressing and insecure thoughts and not fall too deep into online parasocial relationships (I wrote at length about that in 2018) so I lurk and keep away from my social media feeds most of the time. I don’t like being always connected and I need my personal space, privacy and emotional distance for my own mental health.

I do not want to be available and online all the time, it stresses me out.

I’m friendly (with emojis) and super grateful that people enjoy and support my work but this does not mean that we’re friends. I don’t know online people super well and they are strangers to me as individuals (just like I am a stranger to them). It makes me uncomfortable, creeped out and on guard when people I don’t know so well get super chummy, generous, creepy, personal, inappropriate, rude, putting me at a high pedestal, projecting expectations upon me, trauma/emotional dumping on me, expecting/pressuring/obligating me to follow back even though I feel uncomfortable/pressured with it, digging up things about me because they “background researched me” and/or disrespecting my boundaries (online or in person). It takes a while for me to trust and warm up to people :’)

At the same time I do have an “unapproachable aura” in general thanks to my deadpan, quiet, energy conserving, solitary disposition and drifting/scattered attention too. And people online tend to be short, friendly, casual and brief in their online interactions with me. That’s why I’m super and sadly isolated for better or for worse :’)

Always learning to stand up for myself and my boundaries better (as well as respecting the boundaries of others!) And to be better at communicating and sharing expectations, assumptions and boundaries and making that more clear in the future. I’m not perfect at it, I forget about it sometimes but I’ll do what I can to my awareness.

I hope I’m not too intense and socially oblivious – I will always strive to reflect and do better if I become aware and manage my flaws, biases, misinterpretations, traumas, Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, demand avoidance, grumpiness and limited perspective.

Humans are complex, flawed, have agency, evolve and also make mistakes after all – and that includes me and you so we have to extend some level of self compassion, patience, understanding, kindness and self accountability with ourselves :’)

Social media boundaries:

  • I don’t check my main twitter feed so keep my follow list small, clean it up sometimes as things/people change, people drift away, don’t interact much at all and I don’t often follow new people
    • I might randomly follow a small handful of mutuals if I feel comfortable enough, if it feels genuine enough and/or if I really admire an artist’s work (even then I put most artists on a list instead and then never check again whelp)
    • note that a huge majority of who I follow are not my friends, not people I’m in the loop with or not people I know personally; admittedly some/many remain because I feel obligated and/or they’re people I used to know.
  • Following does not necessarily mean that it’s a friendship, let alone that we really know each other. Twitter at its worst makes me feel jaded, isolated, conflicted, envious, anxious, insecure, depressed & lonely with:
    • its false sense of parasocial “deeper friendship/connection” since peeps are passively keeping up to date without actually catching up outside of social media,
    • unspoken social expectations (and everyone’s are different so you can’t please everyone),
    • seeing mostly the highlights, thoughts and reactions of people’s lives,
    • popularity & metric comparisons,
    • negativity, noise, trauma dumping, emotional and impulsive posts,
    • hot takes, reactive opinions, difference in values,
    • too much personal information in one place
    • struggling to get people to get off the platform to see my blog posts (same with other platforms)
    • oversimplification of meaning, feelings and fragmented communication,
    • absence of tone, facial expression, body language, physical proximity and nuance (even then I’m not great at reading subtlety and non verbal communication so spelling/articulating it in text makes things clear at times)
    • easy to misunderstand, misinterpret, dismiss things and people
    • short attention spans (generally this is the case with the internet)
    • fast switching between endearment to apathy and sincerity to insincerity since interactions lean towards being superficial, professional, casual and brief when under the public eye (and perhaps some forced positivity)
    • noise and blurred boundaries with strangers, acquaintances and friends alike :’)
  • if we’ve comfortably met but only as brief industry acquaintances, it’s probably better to connect at LinkedIn instead
  • generally twitter is overwhelming for my personal boundaries so I strive to not use it too much, follow less people and don’t want to take the online connection, performative public interactions, engagement and apathy/indifference too seriously
    • in some ways I’m a sensitive, isolated, lone, insecure snowflake who doesn’t have many friends in the physical world so I keep myself behind an emotional fortress as a coping mechanism ;P
    • social media/instagram/twitter is a complicated, mixed bag when it comes to sustaining and making friends plus I’m a super reserved person and don’t really go out of my way to be social on a regular basis as it is
    • social media expects/favours you if you’re engaging and “social” too – I don’t want to feel obligated to do it when it feels like a time consuming, neverending void
    • it puts me in a not so great mental headspace a lot of the time because of what I feel I lack in comparison to others
  • inherently social media is about marketing, promotion and publishing/talking to a public audience, you don’t often develop lasting friendships from social media alone
    • it’s still great for casual, brief conversation! And to follow people if you’re genuinely interested in what they post! This is a rare occurrence for me haha
  • regardless, I skim through someone’s twitter profile to see someone’s latest tweets ;D
    • I only check my replies/mentions (with some exceptions) because I don’t want to obsess, get addicted and worry over other notifications (likes, retweets, quote retweets and so on) for my mental health
    • thank you for your kind, encouraging support, for sharing/boosting my posts and many apologies if I missed your expressions of appreciation of my work!! I am super grateful for your help!
  • I deleted facebook! Feeling less burdened and I don’t use messenger!!
  • I have LinkedIn to collect industry peeps so feel free to connect with me or follow me there in a professional and industry sense! I’m not too active there; I just post my blog posts & update my work experience there.
  • I post random fanart & finished illustrations at instagram and reddit and not the rest of my work because they’re bonus places to post and I’m not taking it too seriously anymore. My expectations are low.
    • I did quit instagram when I deleted facebook in Feb 2021 but being able to post via desktop changed this
    • I’ve put some instagram boundaries in place so please note I do read follower comments but I don’t check my notifications as much or see my likes counter
  • I’ve also started my tiny discord updates server too!

Although it’s my default way of being social and it’s super encouraging and wonderful when people enjoy and support what I post, I can’t keep up with everything, I don’t follow too many people, reduce/clean out/add who I follow to manage social media overwhelm and limit how much time I spend on social media. Time and mental health are important, especially for a slow turtle like me!

All the same and whether we follow each other or not, we can still interact on social media as occasional, friendly, casual, professional, online acquaintances as long as everyone’s respectful, clear and understanding about each other’s boundaries! 💖

Consequently email is better for urgent, important matters, catching up, meaningful conversation and invitations.

Thank you for understanding & for your kind support!

❧ Socially quiet, autistic and pretty cool about it! ☙

Always the curious learner, I’m socially a quiet, low energy, solitary and introverted hermit by nature!

I’m also autistic (self diagnosed and my ex psychologist agrees with me) so thanks for understanding if I’m slow, overwhelmed, overstimulated, dealing with sensory overload, drained, passive, quiet, confused, deadpan, head empty, zoning out, misunderstanding, losing focus, inattentive, forgetting things and taking things too literally. And if I’m terrible at social things, groups, social cues, subtlety, body language, attention, working memory, articulating words, eye contact and thoughts in the moment, reactions, expressions and emotions when it’s socially acceptable and expected of me.

Note: not every person with ASD is the same! I’m just rambling about my personal experience. Going forward from here, it might be too much information & personal for you! So feel free to stop reading! I tend to info/emotional dump about things I’m interested in too :’)

I have tried to read up about autism a lot. But I can’t really read the room, pick up non verbal cues/body language, don’t have the energy/concentration for super long conversations and not know when it’s my turn to speak so I keep quiet (or interrupt somehow), do minimal eye contact and masking, let my thoughts and focus drift in the moment and I do not bother mentally and emotionally draining, stressing and confusing myself from figuring out indirect social cues, subtle mind games and communication.

Unfortunately being an anxious, deadpan ghost like this leaves me with mostly shallow, superficial, distant connections. Or people feel uncomfortable with me and stay away because I’m quiet and inexpressive (+ when I am too tired and stop acting/performing through my friendly social persona/mask). Or people get annoyed with me when I engage with echolaia – repeating other people’s words to make sure I’m processing and understanding what I’m hearing because I lose focus or get inattentive.

I probably fidget with my arms and bounce my leg to comfort and/or to keep myself focused, comforted and reassured but I don’t always pay attention with how I’m fidgeting/stimming ;P Regardless I’ll keep working to manage all this within my own personal boundaries, flaws, mistakes and limitations to bridge the gap where appropriate and reasonable.

Dealing with it as it comes!

I’m better with reliable, patient, likeminded, slower paced people I’ve warmed up to. Striving to manage my levels of bluntness, tunnel vision, trust issues, drifting attention, flaws and self-centredness (because I live within my mind lots and as much as I keep mindful of it, I consequently have blind spots with my own self awareness).

I am who I am; doing my best at self awareness, understanding, communication with others, feelings, energy levels, giving myself time to process/reflect over things and (when appropriate) asking for clarification later with expectations, boundaries and what people *actually* mean and intend. Often I don’t have the trust, respect, connection nor luxury to get clarity and honesty with people I don’t have a good connection with so I let it go instead unfortunately. Or I don’t have the emotional headspace nor mental energy to handle it. Most people aren’t aware and/or don’t have the desire, time, interest, care and patience to sort out nor confront communication issues too. I don’t think there’s a “perfect” way to handle it.

I am not great at reading/doing subtlety nor verbalising my own needs, thoughts and feelings in the moment because I need time to process it (let alone mind read others’ unspoken, subtle needs and feelings tii) so please ask, clarify, discuss and let me know about things and intentions upfront because it will go over my head and I’d assume things at face value (as that’s all I have to work with). Otherwise I lose trust, get confused, frustrated, disrespected, ignored/ghosted, hurt, petty and emotionally pushed away by someone’s mixed signals, words, expressions and actions instead.

Easier said than done of course when feelings and humans are fickle and can be vague. And I’m not saying I’m never fickle either because we’re all free to change out mind – let’s just not be a jerk about it though :’)

It’s frustrating when nobody wants to talk from a sincere place and I am guilty of this too with people I don’t feel safe, comfortable with or respected by – most of the time things go nowhere because people aren’t on the same page and it’s not clear cut at all. People generally assume a lot, myself included and sometimes it becomes a dance of misinterpretation and misunderstandings at times. Ah the human condition!!

Striving to mitigate communication issues best I can but all parties need to be on the same page and towards a common understanding and goal for it to work well (and at times we stuff up or change our minds so that needs to be worked on together too). One person can’t do all the work.

Hey I don’t want to overshare, get too fast, intense, weird and make anyone uncomfortable either! It’s better earned and appreciated when people are slowly, respectfully, openly, consistently and naturally honest about their (evolving) intentions, values, concerns, expectations, needs, boundaries, comfort levels, flaws/shortcomings, mistakes and feelings. We can support, learn, evolve, make mistakes and adapt together as appropriate (:

More personal trauma ramble so feel free to skip:

Common sense is not always the case to me – it hurts when people see, insult, dismiss and judge me as “dumb, sensitive, clumsy, useless, absentminded, forgetful, hyperfocused, overlooking the obvious, slow, clueless, rude, lazy, inconsiderate, inexpressive, obsessive over a topic/thing, unfeeling and incompetent” whenever I struggle with “normal” things. I have grown up with this judgement, being an outcast and feeling “not enough”. I worry about not “hustling” enough to survive because I don’t really want to struggle to find jobs for years again.

Throughout my life I often feel like this world isn’t catered for someone like me and I deeply dread, am mentally & emotionally drained, feel useless, meaningless and trapped with normal, regular jobs, skills and activities. I am anxious about some “normal” shenanigans and life skills. I am also afraid that all of this will be used and manipulated against me.

I don’t want to mask myself and pretend to be neurotypical all the time to survive – I can’t keep it up for too long and then end up being a soulless, mute zombie anyway like my previous career and brief jobs. Sometimes I question whether I can even exist and survive in this world.

It feels like learning and making art is all that I *can do* as a profession in the long term (and even then that is super difficult and it requires considerable people skills I’d need to mask myself for). I’m overwhelmed and scared. Shall have to embrace my differences and flaws, slowly face my day to day anxieties and obstacles at my own pace and make the most of what I have.

When I actually feel safe and emotionally ready to go outside and be around people (I don’t know if this will ever happen during these troubling times but I need to eventually and occasionally), I enjoy bonding, rambling and being quiet on a deeper level on an individual basis with good company. Activities we can do together and not worry about talking all the time (such as online gaming sessions or something with a common goal) are great too!

I tend to be a quiet listener, run out of energy faster, lose focus faster and get sleepier the bigger the group gets. Overstimulation and sensory overload tends to happen within an hour or two, to the point of becoming an exhausted zombie! I tend to work and do things in intense bursts when I’m in the flow and then I need lots of time to recover from burn out.

Ultimately I’m more interested in 1 to 1 email and/or social shenanigans, mostly with people that share mutual connection, trust, interests, activities, values, goals and intentions (that is developed and built naturally over a long time). Rare friends that I continually enjoy spending quality time and rambly conversation with, where we can just enjoy and exist quietly in each other’s company on a somewhat regular/periodic basis (something loosely scheduled is needed for me for a sense of security because nothing happens otherwise).

I need advance planning and I don’t really do spontaneity as that stresses me out plus I need recovery time afterwards! :’)

I’m a turtle who needs a lot of alone time, enjoys solitary activities, being a homebody and is mostly okay with maintaining a small handful of friendships and acquaintances. One can’t force, expect, project, manipulate or pressure to keep the connection or friendship going. I’m not great with it – I’m too much in my own bubble and am a hermit who forgets if people aren’t in my life on a regular basis. I’m not keen on people trying to change/force/pressure my lifestyle either.

So I guess they become acquaintances/casual good distant friends now? I don’t know :0

I thrive much better at low key, quieter, planned social situations (ideally it’s 1 to 1) so I can better manage my low energy, warm up to kind people and develop relationships based on mutual trust, interest, hobbies, understanding, effort, consistent communication, comfort, honesty (not forced positivity) and respect. I need scheduled, regular catch ups so compatibility and enjoying each other’s company without stress, discomfort nor anxiety is a must for that to last ;P

Always learning to verbalise and maintain my boundaries and discuss social expectations better – especially when I’m not great at standing up for myself and articulating my feelings and boundaries in the moment. I lean towards being a quiet, tired blob :’)

I reflect more about how I manage my autistic, inattentive brain here.

Okay that’s all from sappy, sensitive Leonie! Thank you for reading this far :’)

❧ What equipment I currently use ☙

  • Evoluent VM4S VerticalMouse 4 Right Hand Ergonomic Mouse with Wired Connection (Small Size.)
    • (there’s one for left hand peeps and those with large hands)
  • Thera Cane Massager
    • (for kneading sore back and neck muscles from sitting intensely for long periods – if I remember to use it)
  • Kinesis Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard for PC (20″ Extended Separation)
  • Clip Studio Paint Pro and Adobe Photoshop CS5 Adobe Photoshop
  • standing desk on a normal desk + standing mat
  • Wacom Cintiq 16 Pro (2021/2022 edition)

Thanks for reading, for your interest and for coming by! 💙

All rights reserved and all art and work in my blog are copyrighted ©2005-2024 Leonie Yue unless otherwise stated.