Crisis is probably an overkill word, but I can't seem to think of a better title. So, let's get right into it; some of my current tentative plans, thoughts, and little snags.
I've been here for a while. Seven years; soon, it'll be eight, since that first time I stumbled upon deviantART, thought to myself "let's go for it!" and made an account; I went straight into the galleries, found some drawings I liked, and asked the artists if I could try my hand at coloring them. I wasn't very good at first, but it was a first step, and I'm proud of where I've come from that point. And coloring other artists' work helped me get a leg up on networking right out of the gates, even to the point where I had one or two requests from artists for me to color their works. It wasn't anything big, I was in my early teens and so were most of the people around me, it was just fun.
And, in a way, that's a part of why I'm at this point now. It was fun at the start, but things didn't last; now, only a select few of the artists I'd interacted with are still around, a good portion of them moving on to non-artistic careers and all that fun stuff that comes with growing up. A couple have stuck around to continue working on art; I can probably count these on one hand. Even the group of friends I've picked up from only a few years ago, members of DAcademy and ArtistTree, a lot of the names I remember from the earlier days of all this have moved on elsewhere or simply drifted off in their own directions. Life goes on.
And I've not been immune to all of this, either. I've been here for close to eight years now, but it wasn't eight straight years of art. It came in smaller bursts, with some really busy years, and a couple where I had next to nothing to show at the end of them. Those "Year in Review" memes have been my bane for a while now, since I don't have enough finished pieces to fill them up!
I'm starting to ramble on, though.
Where I sit right now is a bit of an odd spot; I've gone through a couple of little evolutions and a few bigger ones, and while my most recent works have taken a big step up in scope, they've also slowed way down. And in the midst of all this, I went and started working on an alternate account as a bit of an experiment; that little "experiment" has, over the past year or so, turned itself into something a lot more successful than I could have imagined. Which has been a confidence boost, a motivator; it's taught me that, with the right drive, I can absolutely send myself to a higher level, but it requires that I shake off all those little self-imposed limits and imagined expectations.
...That is probably more complicated of an explanation than it needs to be. What I mean is, my alternate account had a clean slate, it was completely anonymous, and I could do whatever I wanted. There were no expectations to fall short of, I could do all the weird stuff I liked without being judged by anyone I cared about. And what I got instead was a ton of people who just enjoyed what I was doing.
So, that's what I want to do again. Jioruji Derako has come a long way from being a name generated by an English-to-sorta-Japanese website, and it's been a great journey. But I want to start fresh; I want a clean slate. and at the same time, I don't want to throw things away. I'm tempted to just start another account, but then this one just rots away (and I end up wasting my premium membership); I can rename this one and clear things out, but some little OCD part of me wishes I could reset my pageviews and comments and all that too (without losing that little "seven years old" marker of course). Another option I suppose would be to try and set my focus elsewhere entirely, make a name for myself on Tumblr instead, but deviantART is what I'm most familiar with and it's where I continue to have the most success.
I don't have to do anything really, I could just change the name here and start doing whatever I liked, but it's more of a mental thing; I feel like I'm still tied to all the little things about this account that have dragged me to a halt here, and I really love the freedom that comes with a fresh start. I just don't know how to go about it.
So there's my current... crisis. I guess I just want to hear thoughts and opinions from others; I certainly have no plans to start fresh and leave friends behind in the process, but I can't help feeling like a lot of my watchers here are just empty accounts or people who are waiting for me to do repeats of some of my older works. (that one Absol picture I did years ago continues to get favorited, and occasionally gets me a watcher, despite the fact that I haven't done anything related since then.) If only there was some way to merge accounts, so I could start fresh on a new one and then scoop this one back up later. Or a way to selectively clean the slate (I did figure out how to remove the deactivated accounts from my watchers, so I could clean that out entirely if I liked).
What do you think? what would you do if you wanted to reinvent yourself?