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After stumbling upon some mishaps regarding someone who will remain unnamed and almost commenting on their journal, I figure I'd air out my thoughts on matters like this since, well, there's a lot of misunderstanding on the subject, and my opinion may differ greatly from posts and things I've seen on DA. There's going to be a lot of tl;dr here, and I keep revising this down so that it's not an incoherent mess on the level of 'let me show you my pokeymans'.

First off, the obligatory diagnosis! I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome back in the mid 90's, when I was about nine or so, while going to see a therapist regarding a sudden but unrelated phobia of storms. Through the course of her helping my young self through these issues, she noticed some classic symptoms I had, ie  refusing to make eye contact, flapping my hands when I was excited, learning to talk and read late, obsessing over subjects (by this, I don't mean 'lol, i like cats', but a young kid version of 'I would obsess about a specific subject beyond normal'). Thus, I was diagnosed, and we began working on these issues. ... Though, really, people like my mom were working on them from day one- she just didn't have the benefit of a diagnosis back then.

To quote Monty Python, 'I got better'. Through the hard work of many people around me, as well as my own self, I developed into the person I am today, for better or worse. I know how to laugh at myself and my quirks, and I see that, really, there is no 'default setting' when it comes to the human mind. We have a median of normalcy, but no one can really reach it; they just appear to because we don't see every quirk and kink that happens in everyone's life.

Being diagnosed with something on the Autism Spectrum does not mean you 'can't do something'. It does not mean you're disabled. It means, to me, that your brain is wired differently. Some things will come faster to you than others; you will have strengths and weaknesses. Ignoring our strengths and nursing our weaknesses makes it a personal barrier, instead of just a different wiring of the brain. You also begin to fail to see what's really hurting you.

Here is where I talk about my pet peeve: the word 'neurotypical'. It's a useful word, sometimes used to quickly define, for people who may not understand anything about autism or the mind in general, key differences. I've seen it used as a bridge for understanding, and there, I see why the word came about.

It's when the word is used to put down others, define yourself as somehow 'superior', and ignore that Autism is but one of many spectrums that can exist inside the brain that I become riled. I've seen it used as a put-down of other people, of justifying bad behaviors that have nothing to do with why the term was invented. When the word is used as a wall instead of a bridge, it shouldn't be used. The behavior displayed when this word is used in this manner is often the same sort of bullying one could accuse 'neurotypicals' of doing themselves.

To me, everyone has a bit of wiring that's different. I'd even go as far to say that nature makes it this way so that we, as humans, don't stagnate. Some people have better memories, some people can't read maps, some people have trouble with math, some people excel at math. There is no 'normal' in terms of brains, just an 'average', and that's just a sum of similarities. People work on medications, techniques, and/or therapy to balance out wirings that may be keeping others from functioning. Depression kept me from doing a lot of things; the medications I take have been for that, and *not* anything relating to Asperger's. The closest thing to medication I took for it was when I very recently took Vynase for ADD, and it's given me my productivity and life back. I still have Asperger's, but I refuse to let the word control me. It's just a word for a collection of traits I display; I use it as a tool to improve myself, rather than limit myself.

Now, for the disclaimer: these are from my own experiences, and, well, if there's a quote I've adored, it's "You don't know people with autism. You know *a person* with autism." We're all a little different because, well, that bit of wiring isn't the only thing that makes up our brains. We're female, we're male. We're single children, we have brothers and sisters. We experienced what it was like to be the color of our skin, what it was like to be rich or poor, etc. The list goes on. I'm lucky I am where I am today.

tl;rd version: "This is my opinion on Asperger's, YMMV, man." I don't want people to read this and think 'dude i suck'. You don't suck. Now go and make art, damn it.
I wanted to keep my commissions entry up, but with the DD, I really wanted to say a few thank yous.

- First off, thanks to all who commented and/or +faved, past and present, and all those who featured my work in their posts and journals! Everything helps. I've commented before that I never minded how busy or how quiet my gallery is, and that's because I treasure who comes by and takes a gander! DA's a big site with a lot of great artists. It makes getting the DD even sweeter.

- Secondly, much thanks to :iconastralseed: for taking the time to suggest one of my pieces for a DD, and :iconkangel: for choosing it! Much props to you both.

- Thirdly, but not leastly, thank you all again who have found me through the DD! I can't reply to everyone, but know I <3 you all and looked at all your galleries. It'll take me a while to go through everything as well, but that's like taking a while to get through a fudge sundae. A large fudge sundae, full of awesome and with sprinkles of kickass on top. It's that good.

- Fourthly, I have the flu. I cannot account for the clarity and/or funniness of my comments today and tomorrow, but let it be known that this made having the flu all the more awesome. If I got a DD every time I got the flu, I'd get more flus.
New website up, with a shiny new domain name:

www.whitneymattila.com

More artage is there. As always, this will be my gallery for the stuff I probably wouldn't show to clients, like stuff I don't feel comfortable showing in most environments, personal work, or, on the absolute flipside, pictures of Mio being all Frank West and, well. Ryu in drag. Which is in the scraps, by the way.
It's a funny thing. I was tidying up my favorites gallery of all the bugged pictures (ie, the ones that showed up/didn't show up/etc from when DA updated earlier this year) and I'll find pictures that, for some reason, I had either defav'ed in a stricter frame of mind or were just somehow removed.

So yeah, there are some I +refav'ed. Yay.
If you remember seeing me a while go adding you to my watch list, then recently again, don't take it as a plea for page views. Since DA's radically changed their message center, it's become MUCH easier for me to watch several people rather than a few.

In short, I watch because I like your art. :)

----

Meanwhile, those who are passing by and want to see more of my artwork, please visit here: wmatt.magatsu.net/

.... It's in sad need of updates, however. :(
So. Yay. Have a website set up for prospective clients.

wmatt.magatsu.net/

Those interested in seeing commissions I've done for people and what I feel is the best of my work can do there.

This gallery shall still be my main place for my drawing scraps of Ryu in drag and retarded anime pictures that I draw to scare my friends, however. As well as a backup gallery for other pieces when I get around to scanning them and so on.

Peace out.
Ignore the mess- I'm cleaning this place up for once, so that it doesn't look like a complete eyesore when people look at it via my resume.

I greatly appreciate the Creative Commons license; that really helps in allow artists to decide how they're displaying their work.

Devious Journal Entry

Sun Aug 7, 2005, 11:13 AM
My gosh!~

I never thought, in a gallery this big, that something like this would happen to my quiet lil' corner of DA. Thanks a bunch to everyone who visited and sent me their congrats. See these cheeks? They're red, yo.  

Much love to everyone else who won!

Woo. Yeah, it does seem that my updates are sporatic at best here. And very concentrated in anime. ^_^

While I'd love to show my sketches and artwork from art school, it's nearly impossible to scan them in and have a scan that does the picture justice- especially if it's on very flimsy paper, like my model sketches, which are done on newsprint.

I'm hoping to put up some more items of my printmaking stuff from summer now that I have a nicer scanner- I just need to remember to bring my stuff. :P Many of those are compact enough to fit on 8 x 11 with only a tiny bit of cutting off along the edges.

I wish I could show off my icon designs from visual communication class, but my PC grates its teeth each time I try porting over one of those bebes. I wish windows would be a bit more forgiving of Mac files. 9_9
Wow. I've been amazed at the response I got. After only one picture I managed to glean off my home page (aka my online junk door- don't get your hopes up yet),  I got some comments already! This really is an amazing place, much better than the galleries I've been on. Plus, I have the freedom to put up whatever I'm working on and not have to worry if it's in the theme.

Now, I just need to get ahold of my Dad's digi cam so I can take pictures of the stuff I did in 3-d class. Art school's cool that way. XD
   Woo. Well, I decided to finally break down and get an art gallery here. I'll admit I'm a little confused, and it'll probably stick that way until I get all of this down.
   As for this place, it'll be empty except for one or two entries for a bit, provided I can find them. Why? I'm home for the holidays, and my scanner, wacom tablet, and art projects are all at my apartment. So... When I get back, maybe I'll be brave enough to put up all that stuff I've never been quite satisfied with.
   Maybe this'll give me the extra kick to draw a bunch more. ^_^ If anything, you can see my sketches of boxes from drawing class. Huhuhuhu...