|Updated as of 11/28/2016|
The Future of our Past(TLK Comics):
Uru's Reign Part 1:
The Eastland Chronicles:
Uru's Reign Part 2:
I don’t really want to get into the reasons why I decided to make this journal. If you watch a specific artist in this fandom you might be aware, but I’m not going to share names and I definitely don’t want to start a huge debate or witch hunt against someone I disagree with. But I feel like mental illness is still a hugely misunderstood thing in this world and I decided it was time to be truly transparent with my own struggles in this life so that hopefully someone can read this and understand, and those who suffer similarly or worse can relate. I don’t make a habit of hiding my mental issues, but I’ve never fully explained them either so here we go.
I want to start off by saying there are people with disabilities far worse than my own, with histories far more tragic than my own; but that that doesn’t make my experiences with depression and anxiety any less valid.
I also want to apologize for any poor sentence structure or running thoughts, I’m kind of writing this as I remember it.
Anyway, let’s get started…
I have pretty vivid memories of my early life. From about Elementary school to Middle School I can remember my life quite well and the first thing I recall is that I’ve always been a bit of an oddball. And outcast. My parents loved me, of course. I had friends here and there. But I was slow learning on the social skills that would have helped me have more friends. I wasn’t disappointed, though. While other kids had 5-10 wishy washy friends at a time, I always had at least 1 really good friend. Unfortunately, I could never get them to stick. My kindergarten to second grade friend moved schools. My third grade to fourth grade friend moved schools. My 5th Grade year left me friendless. That same year, my Grandmother passed away. She loved me so much, she was definitely my favorite relative at that time. She always made me feel loved and special. Not that my parents didn’t, by the way! My parents have always been loving. But it was nice to have someone outside of my parents that loved me unconditionally. When she died, I felt a deep sense of loneliness that no 9-10 year old should feel. I’d always had that twinge of melancholy, but I suppose this is the event that really triggered my full on depression.
6th Grade started my first year at middle school. I had no friends. I was quiet. I lacked confidence. And, apparently the worst crime to my teachers and schoolmates, I was a nerd. Both teachers and students picked on me because I was weird. I have a distinct memory of my social studies teacher laughing at me as the popular kids did. It wasn’t an isolated incident. Apart from those unpleasant memories I have zero memories of 6th and 7th Grade. From what my parents tell me I was almost mute, I didn’t eat a whole lot, and I failed almost all of my classes. Toward the end of 7th Grade, however, I do recall my Grandfather(the one married to my late favorite Grandmother) dying. Of course, that didn’t help things. By the time I was in 8th grade I wore nothing but black, hardly spoke to anyone, didn’t finish my homework, and had zero friends.
However, 8th grade did see some changes; good and bad. I finally started to make some friends. That was a plus. And a couple of them I’m still friends with to this very day. I remember not eating at all. I remember passing out several times at home and at school. That was bad, I remember the school trying to put me in remedial classes because I was failing, but whenever I took their tests I passed saving me from the “special needs” classes basically showing them that I was capable but completely uninterested. They were just trying to lump me in the “special needs” classes because they didn’t want to deal with me, or didn’t understand what I was going through. I remember as 8th Grade boy, a classmate, touching me inappropriately on a regular basis and me being confused as to what that meant because- despite the fact women are supposed to mature faster than men- I didn’t have a sexual bone in my body yet. I remember one teacher who seemed to realize all I needed was support and how amazing he was to me. I will always remember that teacher. I couldn’t tell you a single name of any other teacher I had at that school, but he was different. I remember my mother worrying about me, and my dad just thinking I needed to “snap out of it”. And please don’t judge my father for that… He came from a different type of family and didn’t understand- he has since changed his views. My mother didn’t want to medicate me, my father didn’t believe I had a problem… And I was just this dark blob of never ending sadness. I really can’t explain how confusing it is to be that young and that dragged down by the demons in my head.
Honestly, it is hard to imagine a middle school age student thinking about self harm but I admit I tried cutting. It wasn’t for me, I realized I didn’t like the pain. I didn’t eat, I hated myself. I did contemplate suicide at that age, a thought I’ve never shared with anyone before until now. You know what saved me? Outside of my new friends and my parents never ending love? The internet, and Harry Potter. It started with the Inuyasha fandom(I was really big into anime back then) I had always been pretty savvy on the internet since it became more mainstream in the 90’s, so when I discovered fan art and fandoms I got quickly absorbed. This also introduced me to roleplaying via text, which gave me a creative outlet and communication with other people. I wasn’t into fanart myself yet, that wouldn’t come until high school but the fandoms by themselves made me feel apart of something. As for Harry Potter, well… That’s a bit more complicated. Though I didn’t need the remedial classes, I always had a hard time reading. When Harry Potter came out, even though I was far too old for it my mother sat down with me every night and read me the first book. When we were done she told me if I wanted to continue the series I’d read it myself. And I did. That book helped grow a love in literature, and helped me be more confident in school. But anyway, the main thing I wanted to point out in this paragraph was that the internet gave me an escape. It made me feel welcome. And I think it really helped me come out of my shell.
High school was when things in my social standing started to change for the better. I had some boyfriends and girlfriends here and there, I got into the Equestrian team, and I started to not give a shit what others thought about me thanks to my awesome friend group. But I still struggled. I was one of the few openly bisexual people in my very conservative town and I was bullied for it. I remember one day going into the school with my mother and someone asking if she was my girlfriend, implying that my mother was a pedophile and I was a deviant into much older women. I remember being called “Columbine” because I wore a lot of black. I still woke up a lot of mornings thinking “Why the hell am I doing this?” I still had bad grades starting out. I still was in a lot of pain. A pain that, even when it was almost gone sometimes, seemed to be lingering around the corner like a demon just waiting for me to fall again. And fall I did, frequently. There are times I look back and really think I should have been on medication, or should have been seeing a therapist. But by that time I was refusing even though my parents started to realize I might need it. I was determined to do all of this on my own. And I did. I even had a few part time jobs to keep me busy. By the end of high school I had better grades, but the damage had already been done. While I got A’s and B’s my Junior and Senior year, the D’s and C’s from the previous years tarnished what would have been a good GPA had I gotten a handle on my struggles earlier. Gone were the Zoology of Veterinary dreams because I knew I could never get in a good enough science school. But, it wasn’t all a loss. I had discovered I was good at art, and that started my way into college.
Things were a HELL of a lot better for me in college. I loved art school. Though, I admit I didn’t always do well. I partied a lot, and my brain started to make the connection that things like alcohol made it easier to cope with what was going on in my head. But, I thought so long as I wasn’t abusing any substances that all was fine. I had a lot of good friends, and they still are good friends. Honestly, apart from the self medicating College was probably the happiest point in my life. The time where the demon in the back of my head was the most subdued.
Graduation and the years after brought me down again. I didn’t get the job I wanted immediately out of college and worked several part time jobs for a year. I lived at home again. I quickly sank back into depression. But you know what gave me some feelings of positivity? The Lion King Fandom. I had started my comic in college, and it was still going. At times, I thought it was the only thing I had to keep me going and the fandom was, mostly, good to me.
I finally got my first full time job. It was 2 hours away from my hometown. I had started seeing a boy, someone I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with, and together we moved out there and started a life together. He worked construction, I worked in a design studio, we got a dog together and all was really really good for a while. Until he started to take advantage of me. It was slow coming, I didn’t notice it at first, but it wasn’t long before that demon was back full circle. I started taking days off work just to lay in bed and stare at the wall and cry. At first my boyfriend did what he could to comfort me, but I don’t think he really knew how to cope. He started taking more and more and time off work as well, but his was to play video games. But, as I said I didn’t see the pattern in him until much later. At this point in time, I started seeing a therapist for the first time in my life. And it was great. I felt like it really helped, though she was into alternative medicine and yoga and stuff and I rolled my eyes a lot at that, haha. Then one day I stopped going. I had had a full blown anxiety attack on my way home from work, the first one ever, and it was my day to see my therapist. I didn’t even stop at home, I drove right to her office and… She was there. Her office was closed. I checked my email and my voicemail to see if she’d canceled but she hadn’t. She just wasn’t there. I thought she might be late, so I sat outside the office for two hours- practically in a fetal position- but no… She didn’t come. She later sent an email out to all her clients saying there had been an emergency and how sorry she was but the damage had been done. I don’t blame her, really, but trust was always been a hard thing for me and in my mentally stressed out brain I saw it as abandonment in a time I really needed her. I didn’t see her again, and haven’t seen a therapist since.
I eventually got laid off from the job I mentioned before. Company restructuring cut three of us loose. Suddenly, we were relying on my partner’s income and his wishy washy attendance mixed with his impulsive ability to spend every cent of his paycheck on his own interests meant we relied on my pathetic unemployment checks and the food bank down the road. Again, the lion king fandom came to my aid. When my boyfriend actually was at work and I was home alone with the dog the fandom held me together, and even provided me with commissions that helped the struggle. I will never forget that. This was another one of those incidents that I don’t know what I would have done had I not had The Lion King fandom. I was so down, drinking far too much, turning a blind eye to my negligent partner and sinking into the state of depression I was in back in middle school.
I eventually got another job, at the worst company ever. It was a coffee company and I was to do packaging design. I told them going into my employment that I’d never done packaging design before, but they told me it was okay. That they were hiring me for my illustration abilities and that my co-worker would teach me packaging design. Well, my co-worker was a mega bitch who didn’t like that I was getting all the illustration assignments so she stopped helping me learn packaging design about a month in. Suddenly, I was looking incompetent and she was refusing to help me so that I would look incompetent. Let’s just say I didn’t last long with this company, and I spent a lot of time blaming myself for this. I later found out that no one else had lasted longer than 1 month since I was canned, and I was the longest to have lasted at 6 months because of that bitch, but at the time I really saw myself as a failure. It didn’t help that 3 months prior to my firing I had kicked out my Boyfriend after two years of dealing with his shit. I was the only one paying for anything. I was the only one working. And I wouldn’t have minded had he done chores around the house, or cooked, or did the shopping. No, he sat on his ass playing video games all day and night. So I had a failed relationship under my belt, and then I dealt with losing this job.
I got another job quickly, in fact I had been in the process of getting said new job before I was fired because I hated the coffee job and I knew it wasn’t long before they got rid of me. So I started that job because I had to… But damn, I didn’t want to. I was miserable. I was all alone in my house, sleeping alone in the bed I had shared with my partner of two years, working a graphic design job that was basically a creative factory to pump out ads, and things went very down hill fast. I drank every day just to cope. I hardly spoke to anyone at my new job. I did well at it, but that’s only because the repetitive task of creating ad after ad kept my mind busy. I started dealing with some troubling medical signs, too, thanks to my drinking. It was a very dark time to me. A time of self medication and loneliness. I knew I had to do something otherwise I wasn’t going to survive.
A loving friend from my hometown sent me an link to the job I currently hold. An assistant teaching position in one of the classes I took in my senior year in high school. And, not expecting to get it, I decided to apply. Within 4 months I was hired and moving back home to my hometown. I was excited to go home- because frankly I needed to- but I also felt like a massive failure. I moved back in with my parents and started my new job.
I’m pleased to say that things did improve for a long while after that. I loved this new job of working with kids, a lot of them special needs, and teaching them the ways of digital art. I loved the respect my co-teacher gave me, and the sense of family the entire staff gave me. I think in many ways, like how The Lion King Fandom and Harry Potter did this for me earlier in life, this job saved my life and gave me a sense of purpose. Within a year I had saved up to buy a house.
I now live independently and have a practical zoo at home filled with the critters I love. But I can’t say that life is easy, even now. I still self medicated on days where things become too hard to cope. I’ve hermited myself away from my real life friends for reasons I really couldn’t explain. I haven’t been in a relationship since the previously mentioned ex boyfriend, making it 4 years now that I haven’t been with someone. There are days I still don’t want to get up in the morning. I function, but it is hard. I have anxiety attacks at least a few times a year, sometimes more during stressful times. Suicidal thoughts are quashed by my fear of death, but I would be lying if I didn’t say they lingered. I can’t imagine what I would do if I didn’t have the Internet, This fandom, or my family.
Now, take all of that and make it ten times worse. THAT is what some people have to deal with on a daily basis. Imagine all of that, but worse trama at a younger age. Imagine all of that, but include a disability like autism. Imagine all that, but without the active support of a loving family. THAT is what some people have to deal with. And I think THAT is why we see a huge number of people with mental, social and physical disabilities in fandoms.. Because it is a community we can all escape to when the outside world is just too hard or lonely sometimes. Because it is a creative outlet that gives us worth. Because there are people with similar interests we can talk to, bicker with, and almost feel normal with.
I am lucky. I have always been able to work and live independently. I am not medicated(probably should be). I don’t see a therapist(probably should). I self manage because I can(sometimes very poorly, I might add...). And I have a very supportive family(plenty don’t). Fanart has been more of a hobby than a lifestyle, though I definitely lean heavily on the social aspects of it, for me. For others it is not that easy. There are some who live in assisted living homes. There are some who live with their parents. There are some who can’t work. There are some who thrive on the internet because it’s the closest thing to social normality they can cope with, and shame on ANYONE for judging any of those people for things like this. Not everyone can get out of bed in the morning, put on their “happy” mask, and go work like a “real” adult.
I know there are some people who use their disability to their advantage. I had one friend, now ex friend, growing up who used her depression to get expensive gifts out of their parents, never work, drop out of school and spend all their parents money on clothes, electronics and other stuff. But she is just one person. Most of the other people I have met, including my students, have legit medical concerns in these regards and find their place in communities like this one. And no one should be judging them.
I teach at a trade school for high schoolers. We have a high percentage of Special Population kids. Things like depression, anxiety, autism, ptsd, learning disabilities, etc. all fall under “Special Pops”. And there are some who are more functioning than others. I have had kids with autism, depression, anxiety, whatever go on to college or work and do really well. I have had other kids end up committed, dead, in jail or on drugs.
Not everyone can live what some would call a “normal” life. Not everyone can become what some would call a “functioning” adult. And anyone who doesn’t understand that is stuck in the old-school belief that all of us can just “buck up”. We can’t. Get over it. Some of us function better than others, but it really isn’t any of your business, anyway, and I fail to see how our lives at all effect your’s.
For anyone out there battling with illness- be it mental, social, or physical- please know you are not alone. Many of us suffer these things, and many of us are there for you should you need it. If ANYONE ever needs someone to just listen to them please feel free to Note me. I’m not going to blame you for something that you can’t biologically control, and even if you’re in a worse state than me I do know what it feels like to feel like there is nothing. I am here for you, and many others are.
Requests: NEVER OPEN
Art Trades: FRIENDS ONLY
Collabs: FRIENDS ONLY
Point Commissions: SOMETIMES AVAILABLE, RARELY
Commissions: ALMOST ALWAYS OPEN, SEE BELOW FOR PRICES.
$50: background, ink, color, shading. 2 characters interacting, $5.00 for any extra character after the included 2
$40: ink, color, shading. 2 characters interacting, $5.00 for any extra character after the included 2.
(please note the characters have to be interacting, this is not a way to exploit the system and get two character sheets for the price of one)
Custom Character Commission:
$30: ink, color, shading. One character limit. You provide the gender and species and any special details and I design you an original character.
I'm changing up the way this works because it takes the most revision time. It's like working with a freelance client, I don't stop until it's the logo you want. SO, because of this, it's $10 an hour for logos. I will keep time logs, and will do so fairly. Most logos take around 2-5 hours, so $20-$50. Obviously, the more complicated and the more revision the more expensive it will be.
$20: background, ink, color, shading; only the head and shoulders. 2 characters interacting, $5.00 for any extra character after the included 2
$10: A rough sketch of your character. Digital or Traditional(though I recommend Traditional).2 characters interacting, $5.00 for any extra character after the included 2
1.) I will not do commissions of canon characters of the Disney universe. Some companies like Nintendo for Pokemon fanart, for example, don't care about monetized fanart, but I'm not fucking with Disney...
2.) As I said up there, you can not use the "2 included characters" thing on most of my commissions as a way to get two commissions out of one payment. Characters must be interacting. It takes a damn long time to draw these things, and you guys get a decent discount off my standard freelance rates, so please don't try this loophole.
3.) In regards to the statement in #2 and my "high" prices I'd like to do a little breakdown for you. I do freelance work outside of my full job. This is graphic design, print design, packaging design, etc. My freelance rate with real life, non-fandom/DA based clients, is $25/hour. And that is because doing commissions eats up time. It is work. It does not poof and become an image. The fact that I like or dislike the subject matter is irrelevant. Work is time and time is money. Sorry, that's the real world. So, to put this in perspective it takes me on average 5-12 hours, mostly depending on the complexity of the background, to do a full commission. If I charged my normal freelance rate you guys would be looking at $100-$300... Suddenly that $50 is looking pretty good, huh? I give you guys a discount because I care about my online community. That's it. I'm doing you a favor. So please don't try to take advantage of me, and don't complain that my prices are high... Because they really aren't.
4.) There are some sorts of commissions I've been asked about that are not listed above. I've been asked a few times now about drawing comics for people and stuff like that. I'm afraid, for that massive undertaking you'll be looking at my $25/hour rate.
5.) I only accept PayPal for payment.
6.) I only accept pre-payment. I have been burned by accepting payment, or even half payment, after the fact and I will not have that happen again. I am good for it. I always get commissions done. I have never stolen money from someone. So this is non-negotiable.
7.) I know a lot of my stuff is lions because of The Lion King. But I'm fully capable of doing most everything. Especially if it's something living or organic. Once you start getting into things like cars or machines or buildings I start getting a bit uncomfortable, so we'll have to talk about that if that's what you really want.
8.) please note me, if you are interested, with a clear description of what you would want and any reference links you can provide me.
9.) I can do "adult" themes, but I will not post them on my DA if they're too pornographic, and there are certain fetishes I will not indulge, so please note me for details
10.) If there are any deals posted those apply over these prices until the sale is closed.
11.) Please get permission from me before posting them in your gallery. I technically did the work, not you, and I just want to know where the images are showing up.