Ringing in 2019

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The door has closed on 2018 and opened on 2019.  Sitting down to write this post, it’s hard to believe 365 days passed so quickly.  Those winter days and weeks last January and February don’t feel as though they happened that long ago, let alone summer and fall.  Somewhere in all that quickly passing time it was an eventful year and a good one.  I visited friends and family in Buffalo, New York City, Central and South New Jersey, and had a great staycation at home.  I updated some furnishings, organized, and made plans for my house.  My workout schedule got back on track in June, and I’ve been at the gym 3-4 days a week.  Both my health and the health of my dogs has been good throughout the year.  An organized house, cardio, healthy pups, the friendly skies, and poutine all add up to a pretty great year.

Last January, I wrote this blog post regarding the desire to be more creative throughout the year.  Without quantifying exactly what I’d produce and when, I’d hoped that by simply keeping creativity in mind, I’d have a more successful year in terms of the things I love to do.  Although I haven’t posted as much in this blog as I’d planned, I’m happy to report that I met my objective.  Last Valentine’s Day I wrote four short stories for my characters’ significant others (see the blog posts from late February 2018 here and here), in May I completed a massive set of drawings of my characters and Nezumi’s characters (here), in June I joined up on a monthly art challenge (the first theme is posted here), and in December I completed another set of stories for Nezu as part of her Christmas gifts (including a mini comic!)  In between all that, I was sketching much more than I have in the last several years and completing RP as usual.

One of the best decisions I made art-wise in 2018 was to create a separate art account on Instagram.  Ever since I joined IG back in 2013, I posted everything to my main account (pups, food, vacations, art, stories, dolls, memes, life stuffs, whathaveyou).  Early last year I suddenly started getting an influx of coworkers, family members, and other folks starting to follow my account (my IG somehow got connected to my FB, which I never use).  I am a rather private person, and I generally don’t want my coworkers or some  family members seeing my art work or reading my stories because really it’s none of their business.  I don’t draw or write or create characters to make any money or gain success, it’s strictly for fun.  If I know people have the same interests as me, then I’m perfectly okay with them seeing all my artistic stuff, but otherwise not so much.  So all these people on my IG were stressing me out and I found myself more and more reluctant to post anything creatively related, even in my IG stories.  I wasn’t sure about managing two IG accounts, but Nezu convinced me to give it a try and it was an excellent decision.  Now I have a separate space to be the massive dork I am.  So if for some reason you follow me on IG, all creative things are now located @goldshotmidnight.

So where am I now as 2019 dawns?  The same place I was last year.  I have more art and writing ideas already spinning around my head, waiting to be produced.  I’d like to take photos of my dolls since I didn’t take any last year (which is unacceptable).  Frequent posts on this blog would be great, to catch up from 2018, to document current projects, and to finally update the character and world info pages.  Mostly what I’d like from 2019 is simply more.  More of what I love and what makes me happy.

Overall, 2018 was a satisfying year, and helped set the stage for what I hope will be a good 2019.

These girls helped make 2018 pretty great.

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Monthly Art Challenge : June

I’ve recently jumped in on a monthly art challenge.  One of my goals this year was to produce more art, so I’m excited to be part of a challenge that will ensure I produce at least one piece of art a month.  It may not be colored, but it will at least be inked.

There’s no set list of themes, but every month, one of those of us on the challenge pick a new theme.  June’s theme was “Oh Pepe,” and I chose Arch for the first idea that came to my mind, which of course was a rather famous Pepe: Pepe le Pew.  Who else but my shapeshifter to rock a cute skunk look?

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2017 Creators Meme

I was tagged by Nezumi for this meme, so here we go ^__^

Rules: it’s time to love yourselves! choose your 5 favorite works you’ve created last year (fics, art, edits, etc) and link them below to reflect on the amazing things you’ve brought into the world in 2017. Tag as many writers/artists/etc as you want so we can spread the love and link each other to awesome work.

Last year was a mixed bag for me in terms of creativity, something I’m working to remedy in 2018.  However, there were a few bright spots.  I drew a lot more than I have in the past few years.  Not colored, finished pieces, but lots of sketching and lineart, which I found to be quite enjoyable.  There was also writing, both the regular rps and another Christmas collection that was gifted to Nezu.  So even if I didn’t photograph my dolls as much as I wanted or managed much else in the way of creative production, the year wasn’t a total wash. Continue reading

Pass the champagne, it’s a New Year

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January 2018.  New Year, new beginnings.  It’s the season of resolutions, promises we generally make to ourselves with only our own conscious to govern whether we hold them or they fall by the wayside.   Which isn’t a bad thing, as we should be the ones to hold our own feet to the fire if we truly are serious about completing a resolution.  Ultimately a very large majority of resolutions are reliant on willpower and on our own interest in the resolution itself.  After all, it’s really hard to train to run a half marathon if we discover that we hate running, right?

I thought about how I wanted to begin this year and what I might want to accomplish, made a list, crossed things off and found myself drawn to one simple objective for this coming year: to be more creative and by extension, to be better about sharing what I create.  Nice and broad by design because as I found myself trying to compartmentalize and quantify how I would be more creative (complete one finished drawing each month, write for at least half an hour every day, etc.), it quickly became apparent that in tying myself down like that, I was going to end up stifling the creativity I’m trying to encourage.  So I’m going to just let things flow to start, and see where it takes me.  If I find I’m having difficulty focusing because I’ve got too many options, then I can come up with a more definitive schedule.  

It’s not much of a resolution if I don’t take a moment to reflect on why I feel as though it’s necessary.  My hobbies have always been creatively centered, so it’s not necessarily a matter of needing to branch out and try new things (although hey, if I suddenly want to take up knitting or quilting or whatnot, then that’s perfectly fine), it’s more a matter of 1) producing and taking risks with writing, art, photos, etc. and 2) motivation.  Taking risks has been an issue for me when it comes to creative pursuits (except maybe with writing) and I am my own most self-defeating cheerleader.  Case in point, I’ve always wanted to do a few short little comics, but end up discarding the idea because I convince myself that my artwork isn’t good enough or I’m not talented enough to attempt even a short comic or I don’t have any ideas that would make good comics.  Tough to even begin a project when you’re leading the charge against yourself, and I’m not saying one New Year’s resolution is going to overcome my own brain being stupid about things, but I want to be more aware that I’m doing it so I can try to neutralize the risk-killing thoughts before they nix a project.  I have my work cut out for me.  Motivation is a tough one, too, because I know that’s directly tied to depression.  This isn’t a matter of me simply deciding not to be lazy, this is my brain telling me that doing whatever creative thing I want to do is as hard to start as it would be to walk on water.  It feels exhausting to even think of trying it when it’s much more appealing to stay in bed or turn on Netflix and binge watch.  Frustratingly, this lack of motivation extends past things I may not want to do (work, grocery shopping, etc.) and right into the things I love to do.  Brain chemicals being what they are, I foresee motivation as the bigger hurdle than productivity and risk, but I’m aware that nothing will ever get done if I don’t start addressing it head on.  If I don’t, then it wins, and I won’t get to enjoy doing what I love, simple as that.  I’d rather not let the brain chemicals win, so to that end, I’m adopting a new approach.

Just start.  Beginning any new project from the simplest short story to a new drawing often feels like standing in front of a ninety foot wall and attempting to climb.  It’s hard, harder than it probably is for folks whose brains aren’t actively cheering them on to couch veg or sleep.  My theory is that by taking the first difficult step and starting, it will be easier to follow through.  We’ll see how it plays out in practice, but I’m hopeful.  (Or as hopeful as pessimists can be XD)

So what’s the point of this and why am I bothering to post it here?  This blog hasn’t had much activity lately, partly due to me being busy and partly due to all that in the paragraph above.  I have plans for more posts and lots of things to share about the worlds and characters I love so much.  Part of the resolution calls for me to improve the way I share the things I create and produce, and this blog provides the perfect forum.  Anything I post up here, including updating and rounding out the info pages or posting old writing/artwork/photos, I’m calling a win.  So I’ll hopefully be more active here in the very near future.

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Story Hour : Bridge : The Dragons

As mentioned in the overview post for Bridge, the gods Light and Dark used their power to create many races and realms.  At first these creations were independent–and often adversarial given the natures of the gods–but eventually they learned to combine their power.  It has been speculated by some scholars that the reason for this joining of forces was an attempt to create beings that could not be tampered with by Chaos.  Others believe that Light and Dark had simply grown bored with creating things aligned with their own aspects and wished to experiment.  Entire symposiums have been dedicated to these theories, but in the end, who can really know the minds of the gods?

Continue reading