UPDATE 5/29: I just wanted to tell everyone thank you for your kind and comforting words and extremely helpful advice! I've had such an outpouring since posting this, it was unbelievable. I truly thank all of you for commenting on this journal or sending me a PM. It means so much you truly care or were worried about me (even if I didn't want to worry anyone!). I never made this journal to gain sympathy or pity, I merely did it to add transparency to my situation. I wanted everyone to make sure they knew what was going on with me in case it reflected in my online presence. So I didn't expect this!
Thank you all again. I will get back to everyone as soon as I can, but I've been taking a lot of advice and just taking it easy and slowly. My hand is off and on hurting, and I am trying to work during periods it's not. I promise I won't hurt myself (try not to anyway!) and will develop a plan for how to solve my issues in the future! /END UPDATE
Firstly, I was getting excited to commission someone to whip me up a new journal CSS, but with Eclipse on its way... I guess that's not worth doing after all lol Weeellll we'll see.
TL;DR of this journal cause it's LONG:
• A sudden re-occurrence of hand pain is causing art delays.
• I'm horribly off schedule with literally everything, from comics to commissions to the raffle YCH due to my retail job and FWA.
• I'm mentally not in a good place right now. Not horrible, but not good either. I haven't been talking much about it but it's... it's there.
• I'm gonna keep truckin' but it's hard and I'm very tired.
PART 1: Filly y u so emotional?
The main point of this journal is rather lengthy, but I'll try to keep it as brief as I can manage. Things in my personal life have not been okay, and it's been affecting me a lot more than I realized. Since I had to move back home to my parents it's, frankly, been really emotionally taxing in a lot of ways I won't get into. Plans to fix the situation are in place, but I don't know when they will come into fruition, so I've just been going in and out of a mixture of trying to look forward to the future, and sinking into a hole.
I think this is a bad time for a lot of artists, because I'm not the only one as of late writing journals about such things. It hasn't gotten so bad that I'm upset on the daily or anything like that, on the contrary I'm pretty content/happy most days. But there are definitely underlying problems I've been ignoring, and minor things that come up and trigger a downwards spiral. Like letting things sit or sweeping them under the rug until it reveals its ugly head and you feel suddenly miserable. That happens about once a month on average now, and it's really emotionally tiresome.
I really gotta talk about the big thing that's been messing with me. I struggle a lot to just... feel worthy, I guess? With my artwork, with me as a person, just a lot of things. I enjoyed FWA a lot, but I feel like a nobody there. I feel like I don't belong in the community, either with my art or with me as a person. I'm ALWAYS really good at making friends in person, and I have met so many great friends through FWA and the Furry Fandom online. But I still sometimes feel like I'm not good enough, somehow, and I've never really felt this way before until I started accepting myself as a member of the furry community. I guess it's just that feeling of... starting over?
The same applies to my artwork. Have you ever just felt like you were doing something "wrong" but don't know what that is? I know my work is not very typical of work you see in the fandom or... really most communities, especially my webcomic. But not in the "I'm so special UvU" way, but rather in the "how the heck do I categorize this?" way. Kind of niche, I guess? And I dunno if that just turns people off? I find myself much more... "belonging" to my communities here on deviantART than I do in my strictly furry communities, but sometimes even then I dunno where to go or how to feel about myself. I don't draw an animal comic... so no one in the animal comics community cares about me. I don't draw humans... so none of my SCAD peers take me seriously (I always joke about being THE ONE AND ONLY furry in anthologies I submit to, but looking at it sometimes I really do feel... kinda alone). I draw furries... but they aren't, like, normal furries? Like I don't have typical animal sonas. I have tiddyless alien raptor women and tiny sassy essence-stealing goat-chicks and... whatever the hell Kailani is supposed to be. So often it seems people scratch their heads when they look at my stuff and move on, and it's more apparent at conventions when you can physically see the disinterest on people's faces. Doesn't help my style isn't cute, nor is it nice and epic, it's just? What even IS my style LOL
Maybe I'm just being paranoid? I don't know. I guess I just want to feel accepted for being me, and currently I just kind of feel out of the loop without knowing how to fix it. It's really difficult to explain, and I don't know if I'm doing a very good job, but I hope that makes some kinda sense. I had a bit of an emotional, hopeless breakdown about this after FWA, and it's been really gnawing at me and I just don't know what to do or how to proceed.
* * * PART 2: Filly get TF on with it
Then, moving on to other more specific issues...
I'm just. So. Off schedule. With everything. Comics, commissions, even misc things like the raffle YCH. Everything is a mess. A hot ass mess.
I really enjoy both my retail job and my art job (comics, commissions, etc.) but the two often conflict scheduling wise. Before I got my retail job I had my webcomic updating regularly (albeit, it still does, but behind the scenes... not so much), commissions were popping out frequently, it was great. Now... now it just is a struggle. I work every other day or sometimes 3 days straight, on shifts that always differ as retail often is, so my sleep schedule is a hot mess. When I get home from work I often get too sleepy to do things or have just enough stamina to do meager portions, and on other days I have to go to bed so early I don't have time to finish anything. It's caused my motivation to be extremely hit or miss. I miss being able to work on things consistently and being proud of my process. I'm not very proud of it right now.
How do you guys who work multiple jobs do it? You are magical and I send you ALL the respects.
After I complete this current commission batch, I just simply cannot
take on more batches. Not unless you are 100% okay with it taking longer than usual to do them. Stream commissions are my ideal method of doing coms, because I don't have to worry about "Take home" assignments, if that makes any sense? I like being able to do coms in one sitting. It's less stressful for me AND honestly it's just more fun? I love being able to talk to people, be silly, goof around, and be productive all at the same time. It's honestly such a joy, and if you've been to my stream you know the kinda shenanigans we get into! So I think I need to build some sort of structure or schedule to do stream commissions more regularly, such as biweekly.
My biggest issue is always saying no. I just... really need to start learning to say no to batch commissions and stick to my guns on it. But it's really hard for me.
That said I appreciate every single person who commissions me or wants to do so
I never want to sound ungrateful, as none of this is your fault. This is just something that no longer works with me (batch commissions, that is) like they used to. I hate that stream commissions are often out of people's time frames, so I do hope to implement a "reserved slot" option for streams in case you can't make it. I'll figure the specifics out at a later date!
For The Selection
I just desperately need to get my buffer back. Without the support of my Patrons, I don't know how far behind TS would be right now. I always put effort and time into my TS pages and having "due dates" through my Patreon has allowed me to figure out my process and learn how quickly I can complete a page that is to my standards. But even so, the damage is done, and there is rarely a buffer anymore. Last month I had two pages, before FWA ruined it LOL. So I absolutely desperately need to get back on track with that, for my own sanity. I plan to go on a 1 month hiatus for public updates once Chapter 2 comes to a close in July. That'll give me time to finish touching up the script for Chapter 3 and get some pages rolling out again. I still plan to update weekly as a tester at SOME POINT this year, and to do that I REALLY WANT a solid buffer.
And of course, I saved the best for last... I have hand pain again.
I don't know why because I haven't been exerting myself all that much, but it's back with a vengeance as of 2 days ago. Sharp, throbbing pain in the depths of my thumb, probably tendonitis. AGAIN. I have had this on and off the last 2 years. Guess it's time for another doctor's visit... but it came at such a bad time. I have so much I need to catch up on it's honestly the last thing I need. But that's a heads up in case progress becomes slow again.
I hope things get better.