Category Archives: 📓 Ramblings 📓

Christmas, Ponderings, And My Online Social Future

Hello everyone. So, I’ve been a little quiet. I’ve been decorating the house for Christmas, decorating my blog for Christmas, been sick for a few days (and our partner also got sick, with shingles) had some doctor appointments, and been doing a lot of thinking. SO much thinking.

Twitter is imploding. I won’t lie, I wanted it to happen. In a “hold my beer” moment, dA also decided to make a move that, partly but not entirely due to poor wording, caused them to lose much of the users they had left. Friends I made there who had their accounts for SO many years –gone. My own, brand new account? Gone, but I’d made that decision before the most recent AI debacle. I didn’t enjoy my brief return to the platform.

Between this, and Twitter’s dumpster fire, I began to look for what my next social outlet would be, in spite of my “I wish all social media would eat itself” words.

Tumblr will never be an option for me again. But people seem to be having fun there, I say, good for them. I mean that sincerely! I also 100% believe that before a full year is out, most of the returnees will be bemoaning Tumblr’s toxicity, even if, without a stable Twitter to return to, they choose to stay there. In no small part because a lot of Twitter’s current community toxicity came from Tumblr after Tumblr’s downfall. Now, everyone is just going back there again. I don’t really think Twitter is better in this regard. I just find it much easier to curate my Twitter experience, than I did my Tumblr experience, and I am simply done.

Personally, I’m too old to be harassed over tags by teenagers, or get death threats from them because I like to drink from sippy cups sometimes. Getting more commissions (or any commissions at all) is absolutely NOT worth a return to Tumblr to me. I ramble on so much about this because this was one of TWO sites I ever chose to permanently block on all my devices (the second one being the now defunct FurryLife Online, or FLO). It was that bad for my mental health.

Anyway, as I pondered how to proceed I also tried to make a Cohost account, and I made two more Instagram accounts, a personal one and a toy one, and…

And, it all started to feel a bit pointless.

Social media is a sort of brain junk food: a quick dopamine rush, all fluff, no substance. It feels good: you want more. Unlike the forums, guestbooks and dedicated gallery site comments of yore, it is far more likely to be vapid, meaningless, stripped as much as possible of anything remotely offensive or problematic, generated to be liked by as many friends and/or strangers as possible.

Even within a given subcommunity, you’ll often be creating content to mass-appeal to your niche community if you want exposure and interaction within it. And I don’t necessarily mean sales of art. I mean interaction with people because you’re lonely.

But being lonely can be good. For me, being lonely did me a lot of good all throughout my life. There is value in enjoying one’s own company, in hearing the silence (literally, in the environment, as well as figuratively, in your own head, when no one is communicating with you). Even boredom can be a valuable tool.

I wanted Twitter to implode because the status quo required me to use it for business. And also because, well, everyone I know is there. If I want to talk to my friends or for them to remember I exist (not all my friends, but some) I have to be there. Now it is finally eating itself as I long hoped, but none of that matters if I look for an equal “junk food” type of social media. I think all of my currently available options are of that sort, other than FA, which I plan to stay on for the foreseeable future.

Here’s a rundown of what I’m thinking at the moment…

📷 Instagram 📷

I already deleted the two accounts I made the other day. I’m glad I made them because it helped me realize I didn’t want to go back. As far as my art account, I will leave it up for now because it will ultimately be my only “normie” sort of “gallery” on a place where it can be organically found, but I might delete it later as well. It really depends on the direction Twitter takes. I don’t want to jump the gun on deleting that, but eventually, I think I’d like to.

EDIT: Screw it. Deleted all Instagram accounts.

🐤 Twitter 🐤

My guess is that pretty soon I’ll only be active on my Twitter art accounts, and delete the others (personal, toys, and gaming). Time will tell. I feel less and less safe on Twitter given recent events, and a lot of my circles are leaving anyway. The ideal eventual outcome is to completely leave Twitter.

📜 Cohost 📜

Already sent in a deletion request.

🎨 deviantART 🎨

Already deleted.

🐾 FurAffinity 🐾

Still there as MarinaNeira until I can change my username. Not planning on leaving. Also, I have reopened notes over there.

Any other place I’m on –not planning changes. What I will concentrate on next, is catching the blog up with my socials. And then probably go back to updating only my blog. Sorry for the incoming spam!

Thoughts On DALL·E

I posted a little on Twitter about getting invited to the DALL·E beta, and over there I limited comments because I wanted a better avenue to expand on my complicated thoughts regarding this technology. DALL·E makes people angry and heated (particularly in my circles, for obvious and valid reasons) and I knew I could not properly entertain discourse about it there.

First, let’s get one thing out of the way: regardless of my complicated feelings, I am impressed: I do not know anyone who isn’t, even if they hate DALL·E. Frankly, if I see anyone just “pooh-pooh” the technology, I roll my eyes. It is obviously amazing:

And yet, my feelings about the technology existing at all are overwhelmingly negative. Let me elaborate.

Part of it is, naturally, existential saltiness: no one likes to feel impending replacement, and no matter what anyone else says, there are plenty, PLENTY of clients who would be perfectly satisfied with DALL·E as opposed to hiring someone and pay them a livable wage to make it for them. I still want to make a living at art. I legitimate feel that DALL·E endangers that. I don’t like that.

But my real biggest problem with DALL·E is its way of learning. I can almost guarantee that my many art pieces floating online have been part of what taught DALL·E, as has been the art of many of my colleagues, unwittingly, and without permission.

In such a case, and in one way of looking at this situation, you could conceivably argue that anyone who uses work from DALL·E commercially without paying any artist whose work was used some sort of revenue, is taking food from that artist’s mouth. And regardless, that artist should have been able to say no: do not use my work for this. I do not consent to this. Mosts artists I know would not want their work used in this manner by an AI.

AND YET…

There is a valid, different way of looking at this situation.

Every one of us who draws for a living learned by processing a large amount of artwork that was done by others. Sometimes referencing it, sometimes copying it directly for practice, and many more times by taking inspiration. We are literally taught to take elements we like from different styles and incorporate them into our own. Granted, we are not computers: I’ll get to that, so please, stay with me.

Ideally, the end result is something brand new and unique. But that end result did not appear from a vacuum: as conscious or unconscious inspiration, we used hundreds or thousands of different visual inputs to create our own style. And we did not ask any of the people who created those works we used for permission. If those artists demanded that of us, we would find it risible. They didn’t ask their own sources of inspiration. There might be the odd exception to this rule, but in most cases, we couldn’t ask for permission if we wanted to, especially since we take so much inspiration from the media we consume every day, put out by large companies.

It can rightly be said that DALL·E is learning in a way not unlike the way we learned, at least for an AI. I can see how someone could put forth the argument, “Why is DALL·E any different? Why should DALL·E not be able to learn in the same way, if other people do not ask their every source of influence over a lifetime for permission?” and I feel it should not be dismissed offhand.

At least in my opinion, the biggest reason is that no one person is going to replace a large percentage of an entire industry the way DALL·E could, nor can work or learn with the unfair speed or facility that DALL·E is capable of.

If even one person within my niche subcommunity copied my style down pat (something I’ve seen done to at least one of my friends) and started drawing stuff I would not want attached to my name/recognizable style, or severely undercut me in pricing, I would obviously have a serious problem with that. I do not think we are at all far from a future in which a client who finds me too expensive can input my work into DALL·E and ask it to create new works in my own style, even if they need some post processing. Who do I complain to then? I’m SOL.

There is an extra bitter, unfair edge to DALL·E: it learns very fast (as I mentioned above, I’m sure being able to emulate styles perfectly is in the near future, and since styles can’t be copyrighted, what happens then?) while using your own work without permission to do so. Even if DALL·E cannot create fully completed pieces ready to use, with a little bit of editing this is easily achieved.

Take as an example what I got with this prompt, “a cartoon baby dinosaur playing with blocks.” I’m sure the samples below will look very familiar to you, as it is a common clipart style that is available for sale, right now, and yet I got these for free, accidentally emulating said recognizable style:

You might tell me, ok, point the specific artist this DALL·E emulating here. And I can’t easily do that. But for a potential client, any of the above samples emulate that style well enough that they may want to just grab the above, slightly tweak it, and be done. They won’t pay a commercial artist if one click grants them an almost-ready image for free.

To me, any current wonkiness is completely moot. DALL·E will get past it, it is only a matter of time. For any person, artist or not, to feel that DALL·E will not revolutionize the industry, is shortsighted. It absolutely will. I feel that at the very least, DALL·E should have been an opt-in situation for artists. The ethics of the results of this technology where completely brushed aside. Once the technology exists, built upon the back of human work, done by artists who may not have wanted their work used to create their potential obsolescence, it is too late. And it already exists.

A part of me naturally gets excited by DALL·E and what I, as an artist, could do with it. I can use DALL·E to create things that I can build upon, so easily. I do not want to be shortsighted myself. Perhaps if this technology had been built by artists, or by people who aren’t infamous for being, shall we say, not very concerned about other human beings (such as Elon Musk) I would not feel so negative and hopeless about its existence.

I think it would have been possible for DALL·E to ethically exist. I also feel that ship has sailed. It is what it is. Anyone’s thoughts about DALL·E are, in my opinion, pointless at this stage. Whatever will be wrought by DALL·E is inevitable. I just hope it won’t devastate the industry as it becomes better and smarter.

JUST WALK OUT: you can leave!!

…except, of course, when you can’t.

I’m sure you have seen the (pretty wholesome) meme I am referencing above. It’s very popular on Twitter, a reminder of the constant dread and anxiety shared by everyone using the site. Twitter is absolutely horrible, yet we feel like we can’t step away, to the point its users constantly remind themselves and each other that YES, you can leave the site, just log off, it’s okay. Sometimes nicely (as in this meme) and sometimes harshly (go touch grass/you’re terminally online/etc).

But few of us do. When we do, we come back rejuvenated, singing the praises of having touched said grass for a few hours, or read a book, or walked the dog. We feel so much better! So why are we back? Above all, connection. Or work. Or both.

Recently I had another upsetting event, barely so if I’m honest, considering what I used to deal with. Yet it sent me in a terrible spiral. I spent hours muting words, until I hit the Twitter mute word limit (didn’t know there was such a thing).

When I was done, I felt no better. Instead all I had was the horrible nagging need to wipe my existence off of Twitter AGAIN, except now I know for a fact that if I do it, that is it. There is no more making a living from my art.

I know everyone is tired of these gripes. It’s always the same. I’m really sorry. It’s just that this site is hurting me. No matter what I do, how many hours a day I block it. It’s hurting me.

A couple of years ago I deleted Twitter entirely, wiped all my accounts, and I felt so much better. I had a lot less work though and that sucked. But my brain worked better. I got better. I legitimately do not know what to do.

I want to be able to keep drawing. I hope I figure something out eventually.

Habits And Struggles

I’m typing this on my Alphasmart Neo. It’s been a while since I used this thing, and the keys don’t feel quite as clicky as I remember them. Maybe, like me, it’s feeling its age. It’s also possible that they never were that clicky to begin with… my mechanical keyboards may have spoiled me. Anyways…

I am typing on this because I am away from screens when using it (though of course, I am on a screen again as I post it a number of hours later on my blog, where you are now reading it). It is a rest for my eyes to work on this little machine, and a respite for my brain.

I have to admit that lately, I am not doing so well.

It started gradually, and predictably, when I grudgingly remade my Twitter accounts, and even my Instagram. I had to do this, because by staying on FA alone, I could no longer get enough commission work. Once back on Twitter, I ran a few polls, and it was evident that most furry commission work happened via Twitter, while as I’d observed, commercial and book illustration seemed to favor Instagram. It felt like a curse returned. I could not make a living on art and break free of these services that I had grown to hate so deeply. And I do. I think most of you who have followed me for longer than a year know by now how deep that animosity goes.

I thus attempted to offer my work in these platforms without having to engage beyond what was needed: follow no one, “like” no content. Reply only to people engaging with my work. Basically, do the bare minimum. And in fact, long ago this might have worked. There was a sweet spot where if you did not follow or interact, your growth would be slowed significantly, but not be completely stalled. These days though, without such constant interaction, Twitter will very purposely hide you. Not quite like shadowbanning, but perhaps not far from it in practical terms.

Twitter is so intense in forcing you to interact, that I get an average of 10 “recommended tweet” notifications to each of my five accounts if I don’t make an effort to create and/or interact with content in all of them daily. There is no good way of turning this off permanently.

So, with no obvious alternative and much to my chagrin, I did begin to follow other accounts. By compartmentalizing my content in five very different accounts geared towards specific audiences, I was able to somewhat reduce my exposure to toxicity. I forced myself to interact here and there. But in spite of everything that I tried to do to prevent it, before I knew it, the sense of addiction, of constantly refreshing to seek validation, the dread of reading my feed and consuming its ever-more-toxic content, it was all back.

The difference is that escape no longer feels easy or feasible, as it did on that freeing day a couple of years ago when I wiped all of my accounts. I am aware now that the bulk of my work, if it comes, will come from Twitter. And that if I don’t interact to some degree, Twitter will hide me. If Twitter hides me, I will sell little to nothing. Gradually, this is making my dream of making art for a living feel much less like my dream. My job is inescapably on Twitter, and working on Twitter was never my dream. But I don’t know what the solution is.

Moreover, it’s not just about my work. The following is a rehash of something you’ve seen me write a million times, but it rings true still: I feel isolated from my community.

When I first joined FA over ten years ago, the sense of small, strong community support and interaction lifted me up at a time of my life when I was so deeply lonely, that I sometimes cried myself to sleep. The fandom is made up of many small clusters and groups: I just happened to find one of them. Even my own subcommunity is made of these smaller clusters, so it’s not like I’m saying the fandom is dead/ruined or anything like that. I did say things like that before, now I think this is nonsense. It’s just my own “cluster” that has changed beyond recognition. And in the current zeitgeist, I no longer feel a cluster where I am “home” exists.

When it comes to the fandom, I very much present a completely different front depending on who I am speaking to. Very few people in the fandom (perhaps two or three, if that many) know me as myself. Maybe that’s normal. But way back in my early days, I did truly feel like I was being myself to everyone I met. This is very much no longer the case. I don’t remember exactly when it changed; I suppose it was gradual. Incredibly, I feel almost as isolated now as I did in my childhood days, something I never thought would happen after discovering the fandom, and while still being part of it.

I think I’ve expressed this before, though likely less strongly, but I hate the Internet. I used to love it, at least in the first form I experienced. Possibly many of you reading this were born after the Internet that I loved ceased to exist.

To me, the Internet of those days (mid to late 90’s and early 2000’s) was a place to pop in for maybe an hour or two once a day for a little fun and connection with strangers, all of which, it felt like to me, were potential friends. It was not life-encompassing. You did not carry it in your pocket. Life and its possibilities were still all mostly offline, and this made everything feel more solid, more real, and the Internet more like TV, something you’d turn on for a bit every day, but that was it (at least, so it was to me).

You got some emails (which you probably didn’t even check every single day) and maybe that was exciting. You wrote on your Livejournal, or your MySpace (that was the very, very tail end of the Internet I loved). In what were my earliest days, you found a topic you liked and went from page to page on a Webring, because it was the best way to find the niche content you were interested in. Going from page to page was a completely and almost always pleasant surprise.

Websites had these little awards they gave to each other, think stuff like “Most Informative MLP Site” or “Coolest Rocketshipper Page” which they presented to one another out of sheer goodwill and for fun. They’d have link pages full of wonky banners on their topic of choice. Maybe you’d email the webmaster to tell them you liked their page and you’d make a new friend. Or you’d sign their guestbook.

In most of the interactions I had, politeness and friendliness was the assumed behavior. Even in forum disagreements, I generally saw politeness. It’s very likely that my own experience was insulated and limited, but when I talk with other people my age, they often describe similar experiences.

And the biggest difference to me was that, even though the Internet felt way, WAY smaller back then, the connections you made, the comments or replies you received, felt so much more meaningful and important.

But anyway, why, when and how it changed isn’t really the point. For me, it is no longer a refuge of any sort. It is a prison I cannot escape, not even when I leave my home. I fantasize a LOT about not having a smartphone. I feel that I need it, but I hate it. I hate that anyone can message me at any point. I miss having a stupid flip-phone, that sometimes I could not afford to pay and then no one could reach me, and you know what, it was okay. The world didn’t end.

That is impossible now. Payphones are no longer a thing, so if I have an emergency, I need my phone. People no longer have landlines, so if I want to talk to anyone, I need my cellphone. I depend on my phone for maps, for Ubers, and for my banking apps. I’ve removed so many features from my phone to make it as basic as possible. But it still feels like this ball and chain I must carry.

I’m not sure where I am going with this post. I haven’t been “well” mentally and even physically as a result of all I have written here, and needed to let it out somewhere. Maybe it will help me achieve some clarity.

The world has become a very unfriendly place, online and offline. Offline, making new acquaintances is harder than ever. Online, navigating a sea of toxicity and self-righteousness on one side and of hate, bigotry, and intolerance on the other, takes a lot out of me. Among all this, I must somehow sell my work, and maintain relationships. If I go completely offline, I make no money and feel deeply lonely and isolated. If I stay even somewhat online, the result is an ever present brain fog, an exhaustion and jaded feeling in regards to everyone and everything. Nothing feels good.

Moreover, the more I allow myself to be online, the harder it seems to be for my brain to function normally. I’ve lost a large amount of my ability to concentrate on anything for any long period of time. This always improves if I go mostly offline for a period of weeks to months, it is absolutely caused by having to be online, I’ve confirmed it repeatedly. But if I do that, the algorithms destroy me, and most acquaintances forget me, even some friends do, if only temporarily.

I do not say this with any form of resentment: there are people I love a lot, and yet I can go days or weeks without thinking about them very much if at all, if those same algorithms force them out of view. The online world is far too noisy. So much is happening all of the time. A brain can only keep track of so much information.

I don’t know what to do. I am not asking for anyone to give me a solution: trust me, you do not have one. I’ve been contemplating this quandary and trying a myriad of solutions for over half a decade.

But at least in the time I spent writing this, I was not online. So maybe I just need to tweak my blocks a little more here and there, optimize my time better, so I can be more present in my offline and offscreen activities.

Offscreen. That’s important, too. Reading was once the most important activity in my life. I used to read hundreds of pages in a single week. The problem is, I still do, but now it is all in the form of tweets and news articles. What place does that leave for books?

Unbelievably, I’ve given up (as in, donated) both of my drawing boards: these days, it is all iPad and watching YouTube while I work. It has been for years. Crime, science, history channels: I’ve half-watched hundreds of hours of them while pushing art piece after art piece. I remember almost nothing I have learned. I used to draw and ink traditionally, while listening to podcasts or to music. My eyes did not get tired anywhere near as much. I was more present. I was happier. I actually learned stuff.

I feel old. I miss my flip-phone. I miss my iPod Nano. I miss the Today page on the (very) old DeviantART. In a few days, I will be 39: perhaps this is some sort of midlife crisis.

I know I need to do something. Hopefully, perhaps, I will figure that something out. It is difficult to figure out what a happy place for me should look like, and what I will have to sacrifice to find it. Interaction with friends? My form of livelihood?

Something that I am fully aware of is that at any given time, I could pretty faithfully recreate the conditions I myself carried my everyday life in before. I cannot control how other people carry theirs, however. So if I do this, I will miss on things I like, that I got used to: being able to take commissions, conveniences like Google Maps, Uber and Spotify. Talking to friends. Heck, even keeping/having friends. I do have the Internet to thank for that.

But in exchange, it takes a really heavy toll on me. In exchange for friends, interaction and validation, I have lost the ability to be present, to concentrate. Maybe I’ll figure something out though. I have to keep trying.

Is It Bad To Enjoy It all? 😟

As time goes by, I’ve become really passionate both about the Jurassic franchise and about paleontology. These are completely different things, obviously. I have to say though, JP/JW absolutely had a major impact in my interest in actual, fact-based natural history.

Of course, Jurassic Park / Jurassic World, the franchise, is almost entirely pure fantasy —even more than I realized as a kid. But finding that out didn’t bother me? 🤷‍♀️ I love both things (fictional and factual dinosaurs) equally for different reasons. As I participate more in these Twitter communities though, I’m honestly saddened by the vitriol and the hate towards Jurassic Park / Jurassic World.

I see it mostly come from people seriously into paleontology and natural history, and to me it seems misplaced. I’m not the only person I know who became interested in the scientific aspect because of “cool monster dinos” as a kid. I dunno.

Expecting the movies to be realistic documentaries seems odd to me. Seeing the infighting / hate makes me sad. It’s easier to enjoy things for what they are and find common ground as we celebrate what makes us happy and passionate without always taking dunks at what others love.

Happy Dinosaur Day! 🦖🦕🎊

How did your love for dinosaurs “evolve”? Mine began, obviously (if you know me at all) with the original Land Before Time film, one of the earliest films I have memory of watching. With Jurassic Park, my fascination would increase tenfold, and I wonder if paleontology as a topic is something that would have interested me further as a child, had I not attended a Catholic school in the 90s, with a library and curriculum completely devoid of books on the topic.

The potential reason for the absence would not hit home until, when I was eleven years old, one of my schoolmates (a little girl who, while not especially smart, was widely known as being the hardest worker in the class) decided to do her homework assignment on evolution, and was roundly yelled at by the teacher in front of all of us.

In four years, I had not seen her be scolded once, and the teacher’s reaction seemed incomprehensible to all of us. The absolute consternation in her tear-stained little face stayed with me all of these years. Back then, evolution was a concept I knew of, which went in the same “field” in my head as dinosaurs. Neither was a topic that had been covered in school, and while I hadn’t understood why, it wasn’t until then that I realized it went against doctrine to even discuss it.

In Argentina, where I lived at the time, it felt like everyone around me was Catholic, or just about. Whether in or outside of school, I never had the opportunity to learn more about dinosaurs. My love for them would lie dormant until I arrived to the US, and had more resources. My knowledge expanded, but far too slowly. I was still heavily religious and struggled with many topics that the study of natural history exposed me to –topics which made me contemplate possibilities that I was not ready to accept.

So my fascination would not REALLY come into its own until rather recently, starting about three years ago, when I began to open up to my potential agnosticism/atheism, something that had been in my mind in some shape or form since I was twelve, and which I finally fully and joyfully accepted a bit over a year ago. Then, with no more scales in my eyes, I jumped into all sorts of science topics like a ravenous animal, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube channels and documentaries, expanding my library and my knowledge and learning about our world, how it may have come to be, and above all, about dinosaurs.

Yes, we come back to dinosaurs, finally.

I finally began to learn stuff beyond the one form of content I’d been exposed to (movies). Every single day, I either read or watch or listen to something new. My studio now has dinosaurs anywhere you look, as does my wardrobe, and other parts of the house, such as our game shelf, my library, the porch, and even the master bedroom. Were you to ask any friend or family member what is something they think of when they think of me, dinosaurs are probably high on the list, because I never shut up about the things, and there is SO much for me to learn. I have so much lost time to make up for. There are so many books to read, podcasts to listen to, movies to watch (fantastical and science based) and more, so much more.

I am, at my core, an animal lover. Dinosaurs are simply more animals to love –but especially fascinating ones, tinged with a bit of bittersweetness, because most are no longer here. But they were: this same Earth they walked on, I walk on. And that connection fascinates me.

And have I mentioned that I love ALL dinosaurs? “Movie monster” ones. Closer to scientifically accurate ones that keep evolving as our knowledge improves. Good documentaries, mediocre documentaries. New, old. Great Jurassic Park/World movies, “bad” Jurassic Park/World movies. CGI, cartoon, anime. Give it to me. Give it all to me.

Feathery, scaly, big, small, colorful or not, realistic, fantastical. New books full of new knowledge on dinosaurs, old books filled with outdated but fascinating takes on them. I love it all. I love paleontology. I love natural history. And I. LOVE. DINOSAURS.

This was quite the ramble, but something I wanted to share today. If you love dinosaurs too, then you are already partly my friend, and I wish you a very Happy Dinosaur Day!

I No Longer Identify As A “Little” 🧸 (I’m Still Me!)

Scary title is scary! Well, not really. It’s nowhere as bad as it sounds, so please read on before commenting. 😅

Recently I’ve made kind of a big change across all of my online presences. You probably didn’t notice, and that is why I am making a post about it.

I want to precede this by clarifying that nothing has changed about me as a person, or the activities I enjoy, how I like to dress, or the people I consider my friends, the sort of events I may choose to attend at cons, the art I like to draw (on both of my accounts), my fursona or her age, the dynamic in my relationships, none of that has changed. Nothing has changed in practical terms. I want to make this super clear, this is a personal change in how I describe myself and not one that will affect any of my commissioners or the joy I get from drawing the usual topics, or my comfort with said topics. Everything is okay.

What has changed is that I no longer will be using any community labels other than “furry”. And I do mean none: I no longer call myself a “Little”, the last label I felt comfortable using after hopping between labels over the years.

There’s a lot of reasons, but one of which is that I am seeing so much label-infighting across all of these subcommunities, that I feel like I’m just getting a bit too old for the label thing. I also feel that not having this label will allow me to expand a bit as an artist and have more wide appeal.

Consistently checking if the word I’m currently using to describe my headspace is in someone’s DNI is stressful. Changing labels because the latest label has become toxic, or its meaning twisted into something bad or co-opted by people who added a meaning to it that doesn’t resonate with me, is stressful. Having wild assumptions made about me based on a single word descriptor is tiring, it is reductive, sometimes violating depending on the assumption, and I cannot change what tons of outsiders think or do. I can either choose to not let it bother me, or make a change so it is a non-issue. The former doesn’t work for me, so I am doing the latter.

I suppose another reason is that the amount of drawn borderline CP I am exposed to daily on Twitter has grown, I feel it is becoming more prevalent in the community, and it makes me want to distance myself from any community terms.

Going forward, I’m just a colorful furry and fantasy artist whose inner child is pretty close to the surface all the time. To that end, I’ve reworded a ton of posts on my blog, and now I’m using mainstream words to describe my childlike headspaces and activities. If I find any I missed I will continue to adjust accordingly.

I hesitated as to whether make this journal at all, but I felt I should because I do not want to be described as a Little anymore. This is very literal, meaning, you do not have to change how you treat me otherwise or any playful teasing you may have felt comfortable doing if we are friends. I am still 100% me. I still love my friends. I still engage in the same kiddy activities. I am just putting the label aside. It no longer makes my life happier or easier to describe myself this way online.

Hope that makes sense. Thank you for reading!

Can’t Fix It

Lately I am not doing so well. It’s rare that I do proper vent art, it feels so wasteful and selfish, especially right now. Both for economic/time reasons and because anything that puts my own feelings into focus really seems terrible and makes me want to punch myself in the face. I considered making this post private, even (I certainly have posted vents privately before and never published them) but, I don’t want to feel so alone.

I’m a very emotional person, but on the other hand, I’m very solution-driven. I guess I was raised with a mentality that if you try hard enough you can help any situation or fix any problem that someone may be having, especially if you love them, especially if they have done it for you before. I feel like it’s my responsibility as a supportive friend, or partner. I need to be able to do this, otherwise I have failed in that most important responsibility.

Because of this, many times I have tried to “fix” pain or trauma in friends and loved ones that is not possible for me to fix. I keep trying to do it and feeling awful when I can’t. It’s presumptuous of me to even assume that I could.

And yet, I cannot convince myself that me trying harder, working harder, making more money, making the house nicer, buying fancy gifts, planning fun things, cooking special meals, just, being happier harder, isn’t going to fix it. I’ve been there. I know all of this is pointless, I know how it feels to have people try to force you to feel better. It sucks. The truth is that only patience can help, just, quiet, loving patience, but I am not good at the quiet part, or the patient part.

Standing idly while someone I love suffers, just feels like wilful inaction on my part, like I’m ignoring them, or not caring; it feels like abandonment. How do you stand idly by and continue greeting the day happily if the person who matters most to you can’t?

So, every morning, I try to think of what I can do that day to make things okay as fast as possible, or at least okay for that one day. I can’t accept that I can’t do anything at all, or that I can’t make it all better now. But I think that’s causing more grief than it does help. I understand this on a logical level, but my heart can’t accept it. So I just carry on with my day with an underlying quiet desperation and my brain still trying to come up with a magic solution for things that deep inside, I know only time can fix.

I know that from experience. I’ve been there. But I still can’t help it.

I’m Fine! 👍

So uuh I guess I hadn’t done a vent in a while, I didn’t mean to worry anyone, I wasn’t expecting to get any DMs about it, I feel kinda bad, though it is so sweet that people do care… yes, the porch thing pisses me off, but funnily enough in spite of what I wrote, making the post did help me.

I decided that I’m going to trash a lot of the stuff that looks bad and not worry about the porch as much beyond keeping it clean. And I’ve been taking care of a lot of things I put off and got back on track with my eating and exercise.

Sometimes you just need a good vent, but I didn’t mean to worry anyone, I’ll cheer myself up and do what needs doing, I always do, so please no one worry, ok? 🥰 But I’m deeply grateful for the concern all the same. I’ll write back when I can.

Thanks guys!

Frustrated Today

[RANT/VENT, feel free to ignore, I just need to let it out.]

Lately I haven’t really been myself. I’ve been dealing with intensely high “highs” and on the other hand some pretty deep lows (related to work, chores, the house, and such.) Work has me overwhelmed, the house has me overwhelmed, and on some days, even though it’s true that I have to draw because I need to complete commissions, I will have higher priority things that I should be doing (such as post-citizenship paperwork) yet I keep drawing from the moment I wake up until I go to bed because it’s just easier to draw and lose myself in it, not thinking about other stuff I have to do, or about anything else, really.

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking and thinking trying to figure out what has been bothering me by priority level. By and large, it is my “to-do” list. Sometimes it’s really stupid things. I did figure out one of them, the primary one, I suppose.

Our porch is in horrendous shape again. Even when I spent two days cleaning it a few months ago, already multiple things in it were ruined, and that was depressing in its own right, but at least I cleaned the mold off. In this godforsaken state, anything you put outside is ruined by the sun, sometimes within weeks. But it rains so much, you get mold in spite of the sun —because of the humidity.

Last time, I cut myself on a plastic flowerpot that cracked to pieces in my hand due to sun exposure. And right now, in between the dirt and grime and mold, and everything breaking down in front of my eyes, every morning when I see the porch my mood is just kind of fouled for the rest of the day. It’s incredibly depressing. It’s so depressing that I don’t want to go out to water my plans and they are dying.

And you might say well, just clean it. And every once in a while I do, which with pressure cleaning and moving of so many things, takes me two days to do. I have to do it by myself. I’m not very strong nor do I have a lot of stamina. Even though every single time it gets this bad I get so depressed that it affects so much else in my life, it just means I feel even less motivation to do something about it.

If money wasn’t so tight right now, I would just hire someone. It’s too much for me to do alone (primarily the moving of things, and all the decorative rocks have to be cleaned too) and after doing it alone twice I don’t even want to have anything to do with it. I get this simultaneous anger and hopelessness about the entire stupid thing.

It’s just a porch, I don’t know why it affects me to this degree. Maybe because seeing it through the windows it ruins the entire house for me. But I know it does affect me. It happened just like this last time too, and I feel so much worse just writing about it, because I don’t want to do it any more than I did before I wrote this, but now I realize how much it has been affecting me, even more than I suspected. I literally start neglecting the rest of the house as a direct result. It’s a cascading effect.

So yeah. I don’t know. Either I hire someone (can’t, really… I haven’t even bought my walking shoes because I’m so desperate to continue saving money) or at some point I feel so absolutely and utterly miserable that I just do it and waste two days of my life.

I don’t usually feel this much worse after writing a post. Well, at least I know what’s been eating at me. It’s not the only thing, but this one is so major compared to the others that it’s kind of hilarious.

Also, some stuff has left me in such an amount of physical pain for freaking days now, that I don’t know what to do with myself, going on my walks sucks ass, walking up and down the stairs sucks ass, it hurts even trying to work or laying down, and I’m definitely not okay enough to handle the goddamn porch. Like I’m not actually complaining (much) but fuck.

Shit! I’m so cranky. I’m sorry. I don’t usually swear so much. I have multiple happy posts in my drafts that I haven’t worked on because I’ve been so miserable and just trying to keep it to myself for days. I’ve been neglecting friends, too. I thought I was doing well enough and instead I just vomit it all over the blog.

Maybe I will clean the damn thing. Can’t very well stay like this, it’s not good for me, but I just get so angry about it. I hate it. I’m in pain. I don’t want to do it. When I think of doing it I fucking hate my life. Stupid ass porch!!