RIP Inspiration: 2006-2014

7 min read

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C-quel's avatar
By C-quel
Hello everyone,

I hadn't realized it at the time, but November of last year was actually my five-year anniversary on DA, when my old forum-pal :iconbellacielo: convinced me to keep on drawing here after I had unceremoniously left the old OS-tan Forum.  Roughly 2-3 years earlier, I had arrived at that place as a means to practice digital drawing, a craft that was so new to me then (and aided in large part by that wonderful vector drawing program Inkscape, which was also brand-new to me at the time). It seemed like only yesterday when I drew the lovely Amiga-tan, my first OS-tan, first vector drawing (with some Photoshop editing mixed in, since I still used that dastardly program at the time), and first illustration of any kind that approximated the vision in my mind...

Amiga-tan Debut Picture by C-quel

And from then on, as my gallery stands testament, I did not stop drawing or creating or working hard to build an artistic persona I could be proud of, and, admittedly, would gain me success, fame, admiration, and, at times, perhaps even financial gain.  But for all my accomplishments -- for all the people I've taught, lives I've changed, projects I've donated to, and so on -- it is remarkable how very little pride I've felt from any of it.  Hence why it's been so easy to jettison projects, dash expectations, burn bridges, abandon character concepts, and at times break hearts -- because I've never really loved art as most artists do, I've always seen it as a chore since inception up to this very day, and, as such, a failed project just becomes more deadweight.  Someone once complained that I'm almost always partially miserable because I always treat artwork, or my commitments surrounding artwork, like a job, and even use the same terminology for it sometimes (e.g., "retirement") -- and in all honesty that person was right, I've always treated this as a job, something to endure for a greater purpose down the road, and NOT for fun.  Fun came with it, but it was never the goal... I can't honestly remember the last time I actually drew for fun.

I get people IRL who wonder why I don't pursue a career in art, but if they only knew how fragile and tenuous that talent was, they'd know I shouldn't quit my day job.

What I really like is helping people -- being the first person to take a dive into something, a person to lead by example, a person who helps turn the tide of fortunes, a hero.  And in hindsight, almost all major project I've done have been done in the aid of some cause....

  • OS-tans in 2006 were unsurprisingly Windows-centric and non-Japanese artwork at the time was uncompetitive in quality, so my goal first coming in was to turn that around
  • My work on Ubunchu started as a specific grievance against the original LtR version, and later as a means to positively demonstrate that Western artists are also capable of professional work and artistry, even for a free translation work.
  • My work in eeePcLinuxOS was obviously to save Linux netbooks from an onslaught of cheap Windows PCs set to destroy the market, and of course to help our small team be the best it could be.
  • Likewise my short stint in the KDE Artwork and Games division was done for pretty much the same reason, to help make this project amazing.
  • For Heny, I wanted to prove to her that her talents were amazing and well-appreciated, and as far as CameliaGirls went, to prove that dreams could become reality with the right tool and mindset
  • Ponies had an abundance of high-quality artwork, but at the time an underabundance of inexpensive craft items, hence my efforts to fill that void with my pinatas and other interesting papercrafts.
  • And once the threat of copyright policing loomed over, Sun Dried Cherries was born to offer something truly free, fun and safe to distribute.
  • And for those precious few who knew my old Minecraft server, I don't even want to talk about it... but yes, it too began as a means to help some of our old friends of ours, and once it became crystal-clear that Cquel-kun made a terrible admin, that idea died a very slow and quiet death.

In neither case do I remember my job ever being done -- usually my participation either lead to an abysmal or fiery failure, or my services were simply no longer required, at which point the inspiration would slowly die off a slow painful death.  My coming to DA was in fact a life support measure, one that endured for a good solid five years.

But I'm the first to spot the warning signs, like an oxygen tank quickly running out of gas, and no amount of tapping, banging and clanging on it will make it create more air.  I know when I'm getting bored or frustrated, and risk tossing everything aside again and starting from scratch, in the hopes that this time it won't be an abject failure.  I could tell myself I will chillax and draw for fun from now on as I've told myself several times before.  But I'm not kidding anyone any more, least of all myself -- I've accumulated too much baggage, too many things I'm not proud of doing, to suddenly turn around and say I will finally have fun.  In my mind I don't deserve it and am incapable of enjoying it because I take it too seriously, but taking things seriously has been the hallmark of what I do, and how I've managed to produce the work that I've done -- I simply can't have one without the other. 

This goes a little past artist's block... I don't lack ideas at all (if anything, I still have an abundance of them),... this is truly a loss of will to go on.  I'm tired of beating a dead horse and I'm tired of trying to make something out of my pig persona.  But not being one to surrender either, I rather treat this as a tactical retreat... close down operations here, and find something new to do, IRL, that can genuinely be considered fun, free of any of my so-called baggage, and perhaps rekindle in me some sorely needed pride in myself.


The TL;DR of it is... the day has come, C-quel is finally out for the count.
Regardless of what I said or promised to do before, I think I will announce an indefinite hiatus starting today.  I may be around to tie up some loose ends and possibly help some people (as I always do), since of course I am still grateful for all the amazing support I've been given over the years (without it, I would have given up back in 2006). 

But, bottom line, this pig is tired, and needs a long overdue rest....

© 2014 - 2021 C-quel
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TheFurryBallFoxy's avatar
Farewell forever...your art shall go on.
Ane-H's avatar
I hope life has been kind to you as of late! :)
C-quel's avatar
Hello.  Yep, its been grand.  Hope you've been doing great as well. :)
Ane-H's avatar
Not much has changed on my end except for it being summer break.  I probably won't be any more active than I previously was though.
GeneralDurandal's avatar
I know the feels friend.
C-quel's avatar
Inurantchan's avatar
I'm not sad at all to hear this. I'm so very happy for you.

Because your story, is almost exactly like mine.

I hate drawing! I really do. I have never loved it, I have never liked it, and the only reason I continue to do it is because I love to make people happy. I have that same innate complex that makes me wish I was a hero, and makes me try to be one. So I continue drawing, because people are happy when I draw their OCs. They're happy to see the fanart I draw. Even just happy to talk to me when I really don't want to talk and can not explain my problem of not being able to follow through on requests/things I owe them that stems from my depression. I can't even talk to too many people in a day because it stresses me out too much (if I got a job at customer service, I would probably die from the stress it's so bad). And it stresses me out to answer people when they ask how their things are going. I am too honest and stressed to tell them their stuff is just sitting around unfinished or I just couldn't force myself onto the computer to work on I bury myself in other requests. It's such a vicious cycle...

All this is the reason I will never call myself an artist. I'm not. This was just something I started to both past the time, and feel close to an old friend who moved away, I don't even talk to anymore. I wish I could do what I love for a career, but I've spent years and years looking for a talent I could use in the real world and I have none. Not even drawing. It's a skill I taught myself that I hate and it's the only one I have I can turn into a I'm gonna become an animator, in the dying field of 2D animation (which means I won't even be making movies, the only thing I wanted and was happy about), and probably hate my life every day like I already do. ^^; It's really all I have. It's all people think I have: asking me why I'm not pursuing it as much as I should be. Telling me to be an artist, that I should be a professional artist.

So I'm very happy for you. Getting out like this. Focusing on happier things. That's the best move. I wish you so much luck finding some fun hobbies. :) 

I wish playing video games were a career. That's about the only thing that makes me happy still (when I'm not bogged down by the nagging "I should be working on______" thoughts...). God help me when people suggest I should create them...hell no.

So, see ya when I see ya man. :) It's been great, I've enjoyed our talks and your artwork. ^^ :hug: Feel better, my friend. :)


This got a little too personal heh...but I just wanted to share you're not alone in this kind of thing.
C-quel's avatar
Hey there, Inuri-chan ^^

Thank you for your understanding AND for sharing your own personal thoughts.  Indeed, we are remarkably similar... granted, I don't necessarily hate drawing per se, but I'm simply not as passionate about it as people want me to be.  To me it's a tool, like a hammer or a notepad.  Same with programming... my old boss nearly chewed me out when I admitted I wasn't really passionate about coding.  And other things seem downright impossible for me to pursue... music in particular terrifies me, because it's one of the few creative pursuits that I cannot for the life of me envision in my head.  As much as I love music, it's disturbing to me that I can't conceive of my own no matter how much I've tried.  

Similar to your case, though, I kinda got stuck using [really bad] coding as my profession and bread winning tool.  Again, I don't "hate" it per se, I simply recognize I'm not very good at it as other people mainly because I lack that passion.  If I have been able to survive for so many years with only a borderline understanding of this trade, it's mainly because of my people skills, which are a lot stronger.  A person looking for tech support is more bound to listen and trust a very friendly person with some skills, rather than a computer genius with the personal tact of a mule -- and if said person signs the checks and decides to offshore jobs to India, then I ironically end up being all the stornger for it.  

So yes, I think we should celebrate our so-called "predicaments" because they're not really as dire as they seem... in fact, it's kind of a testament to our resilience.  The unfailing drive of the human spirit to adapt and make the most of a bad situation.  :)

Oh, and there are careers playing video games (as testers), though I hear that profession is a bit saturated, hehe. ^^

Anyway, thank you for that, and here's a counter-hug!  :hug: 
GTRAtomixsearch's avatar
It's been forever since I stopped by here, but that's unfortunate to hear. I enjoyed a lot of your early works at OSC and am really grateful you've let me use some of your art on my cars. I hope we'll cross paths somewhere again.

Until then, however, I wish you the best of luck in your future pursuits.
C-quel's avatar
Oh hello, yes, I do vaguely remember the car thing.  It was definitely different, and I feel glad you saw fit to use the images.  :)

And thank you, likewise.  ^^
cayfie's avatar
;-; c-quel..?
C-quel's avatar
*hug* Don't worry.  :)
KarRedRoses's avatar
Enjoy your retirement! *hugs*
C-quel's avatar
*hug back*  Thank you, Kar!  ^^
GeoNine's avatar
I wouldn't flat out call it quits.  Now if you need to take a break and/or find that inspiration again then just take some down time to relax and seem if there's something else out there for you.  

But just going and saying you're done altogether just because you have the feeling of not wanting to do anything.  Maybe just play some games and relax, take your mind off of things, have yourself a movie marathon with friends, whatever helps you out of a slump.  Might just be what you need before you start waving the white flag.
C-quel's avatar
Hey there GeoNine,

Well in fairness, I actually have found something to do IRL that I'm truly enjoyed, but it's not art-related.  So until such time that it can see the need to draw, I'm basically closing down C-quel the artist.  

But C-quel the SomethingElser is no slouch, I can tell you that!  :)
Although I can't divulge what I'm doing, I can assure you I have a knack for it, and I don't treat it as a chore... it is fun and I love it and I'd like to do more with it.  ^^
GeoNine's avatar
Well that's good to hear.  Hope we can find out what you're working on/doing now that you've got a new passion.  Maybe we'll find a way to send support in another fashion/site depending on where this takes you, but wish you luck regardless with your new SomethingElsing!
C-quel's avatar
Thank you, and likewise it was a pleasure knowing you IRL.  :)
Ane-H's avatar
I know that feeling.  I don't thing I've done any "art" since November.  Not for a lack of ideas, but for a lack of motivation.  Enjoy your vacation for it was well earned.  :)

Aww.  You weren't a terrible admin.  Aside from my incompetence at playing Minecraft (along with the "claypocalypse" bug), nothing really  went wrong. ^^;
C-quel's avatar
hahaha, the Claypocalypse!  XDDD

Well the admin problem was actually from long before you came on, with that giant hotel thing.  It's a long dramatic story that I wont get into (not important), but you arrived during the final heydays of that server, where I was trying to figure out if it had a future or not.  In the meantime, it would just be used to try out snapshots.  ^^
Ane-H's avatar
Ah.  It took a little getting used to.  Spawning of the roof of the inn was terrifying (though not because of the NPCs up there). ^^

Speaking of snapshots.  I'll have to test the latest one sooner or later.  They added granite! :D
C-quel's avatar
aye, and I whole bunch of other cool rocks too.  It adds a surprising depth to natural and cave scenery, I'm surprised what a little coloured rock can do.  :)
Ane-H's avatar
The instant we get granite slabs.... granite counter tops! :D
Now all we need is oak furniture.
C-quel's avatar
yay!!!! :D

*mojang, get!*
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