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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....

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Hello everyone,

I've not been around in what seems like forever, but rest-assured... even if I'm barely around anymore, I am active in something and I'm still doing very well (at times better than well).  And I extend the same wish that everyone that has followed me is also enjoying themselves this time of the year, and can enjoy company with friends and family!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, from this crazy pig. ^v^

And I'm coming empty-handed here on Deviantart, but here's a little blast from the past that's worth reading again....  ^^

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More Fanart!!

2 min read
Yay!  I continue to get random SDC fanart!  :D

Here's an adorable submission by my good friend :iconcayfie: who decided to pair CC, DD and The Boyfriend with her cute OC Moonchaser.  Technically the two worlds should not collide, but some dimensional rifts are to be expected, of course.

Cay is also a great traditional artist and aspiring vector artist, so give her and her works lots of love!  Thank you!!  :D

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Rumors of my absence have been greatly under-exaggerated. XD

This is how I feel after the last few weeks...

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Well well, it's been a while since my last update.  In between that time I've had quite a lot to do at work, and still do to some extent.  I even had to revisit Central Florida yet again, and much to my chagrin I had to stay at a far worse hotel this time in pretty much the middle of nowhere, so that was two weeks of lifeless droning away at both the local branch office and the crappy hotel room, with perhaps dinner and the occasional minecraft game to keep my sanity.

Oh, and playing around with my new Chromebook Pixel with Crouton... (how else could I play Minecraft in the middle of nowhere?).  :P

But it was shortly before this time... in fact during my last journal entry... that I started to give serious thought into reviving an old series.  It is in fact two years since our old visual novel CameliaGirls was terminated, and I started switching gears to get my mind off it for a while (ponies were a good distraction).  But even then, I never gave up on some of my characters, especially Cyllia and Kai who I developed the most of the entire cast, and it was hope that some day I could have them return in something new. And at long last perhaps that day may come.  :)

First off I will say this... the visual novel format will no longer happen as it requires lots of investment in time and energy that I've been running lower and lower on.  In contrast, the relatively light-hearted and efficient Sun-Dried Cherries has demonstrated AMAZING staying power in part because I can do a lot more with less.  And so my rebooted story... tentatively called "@CameliaProject"... will in fact be a comic, or perhaps more precisely a light novel.  

As opposed to the 4koma format of SDC, cp would consist of only one detailed illustration (of higher quality than SDC drawings, but still not over-the-top detailed), followed by about 3 or 4 paragraphs of text or dialogue.  It wouldn't follow a weekly release, but would either be released biweekly alongside SDC, or would alternate with the other comic.  And this one will adhere to a main storyline, although with lots of room for spinoffs and "filler episodes".

It will also be a complete reboot of cg, with very little retained from the original other than the 4 characters below and the school setting (which is now less central to the story, and more of a convenient background).  Whereas the original was a high school comedy drama [with an ethnic twist] that intended to parody (and parrot) the anime format, cp will be a highly-artsy, action-packed, technologically-bent, comedic superhero satire that has more in common with SDC.  (in fact, I plan to have it set in the same Sun-Dried Cherries world, so watch for cameos).  :)

As for the four characters themselves,... they've been reworked in varying degrees to suit their new purpose and personality.... 


The pink pineapple-haired protagonist, Kana, still hugs her original appearance, but with a darker shade of red in her hair and dichromatic eyes that have both a story and a purpose.  cp's Kana is a firey leader and self-proclaimed revolutionary with unrelenting spirit and boundless vision and imagination.  She sees nothing as unsolveable, but even so is still  haunted by a dark past that complicates her efforts to change the world.  Her new character could best be described as "Haruhi-like", only more useful.  ^^

Her mentor Cyllia is no longer a shadowy character as in cg, but is now a first-and-foremost main cast member, with a revamped quadruple pigtail appearance to make her less "Hatsune Miku"-like.  She probably will not be as young as in cg, but will certainly have been (and continue to be) a child prodigy and genius, wise and calm beyond her years, and always willing to clean-up after the antics of her more reckless friend, Kana.  However, she still continues to have zero respect for laws and customs that she doesn't feel like following, so she's unfairly viewed as a truant hooligan by the world outside her circle of friends.

Kai is also no longer just a future secret character, but now takes center stage as the impossibly-small, tech-illiterate, legendarily-adorable, and completely undetectable trap.  Similar to the original, he joins the all-girls school to fulfill a promise to his deceased sister, and unlike the original he is discovered almost right away by the Kana/Cyllia duo.  But ever the admirer of original and unusual things, Kana takes him under her protection and introduces him to a brave new world outside the confines of daily school drawl.  And being a professional tailor and non-nerd, with a unique view of the world from his vantage, he helps fill in many of the gaps left behind by the girls' erratic and quirky lifestyles.  

And finally Reina changes massively [no pun] from the original, having been the victim of an uncontrollable growth spurt that left her "too tall" to lead a normal girl's life.  Feeling hideous, manly and abandoned by friends and family alike (from her point of view), she withdraws away from society and lives her school life secluded in a state of self-imposed exile, with social networks being her only connection to the outside world where she can take any form she desires.  It's only after meeting Kana, Cyllia and Kai that a slow but fun period of social rehabilitation ensues whereby she regains a sense of self-worth and self-respect, and learns to make the most of the strengths she's blessed with.

The above describes their "normal" characters (or as normal as they get), but they also have alternate superhero personas in addition to vastly-less-exciting internet personas.  Kana becomes the dark warrior of justice[?] "Kommander Kanniving", Cyllia the hyper-intelligent "Dr. Calamari", Kai the stealthy manipulator "Little White Lie", and Reina the cute-loving juggernaut "Tall Tail".  None of the other original characters from cg will make any main appearances, although cameos are always possible (Q.U.E.E.N.'s role is now Reina's delusional internet avatar, for instance).  

And that's about all I can share right now about this new project.  I do hope it can gain traction and become something worthwhile and serious that I can do exciting things with.  ^^

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RIP Inspiration: 2006-2014 by C-quel, journal

Seasons Greetings by C-quel, journal

More Fanart!! by C-quel, journal

I See Light at the End of the Tunnel... by C-quel, journal

Initiate Camelia Project by C-quel, journal