Hello guys! Did you think I would stop these series? Not at all. I like writing, and even though I know not a lot of people are going to keep up -- after all, people are busy and we understand --, I find a lot of enjoyment just writing for a hobby, especially when times are tough. I love this quiet environment of writing blogs. Just me and you, in an intimate space. No enraged comments, no video editing, just pure candid interaction. I hope that these posts will find you and you will find them somehow relatable.
Perhaps you did not read the last posts, and I don't expect you to! All you need to know is that I'm a very ambitious anime style artist, I'm speedrunning the achievement of my goals, and I feel uncomfortable being just a drop in the ocean.
I just find it annoying that most artists who make it to the top just don't say anything, or are short on words about it. It makes me feel like they magically landed there like they were always supposed to be there, when luck clearly takes a factor. Not sharing their journey, or just making it with no history makes me feel like they are a "chosen" one and makes me lose all relatability to them. Or like they expect you to make it like they do, treating it as if it weren't a priviledge to begin with.
So, last year I mentioned having problems feeling recognition from my work and needing therapy for that. I just realized back then, even with all the efforts, deep down I just didn't think I have what it takes to be successful. Now I'm still not 100% certain if I do, and the more I talk to other artists who made it, the less certain I feel at all. But I like -- and I want to -- believe that I have all it takes to achieve all the success I want to achieve in this job. So I'll just stick with that.
So last year, a lot of very good things happened. In January, I started raising funds for my moving. I ended up not moving where I planned, and going to a better place instead, where I'd be able to continue my career without a side job. I gathered all the funds for an international trip and went to Anime expo 2023. There, a lot of things changed. It was the fullfilment of a dream of meeting my favorite artists in person, shaking hands with them and seeing the largest artist alley I've seen my whole life so far, as well as meeting my biggest idols and inspirations such as Rosuuri and Mogoon. A lot of very interesting and funny interactions happened. People were extremely nice, and I could tell everyone was having a very good time.
AX was also a nightmare for some of the issues I had with the trip. During my 7 days there, I needed the police more than I needed in my home country in a lifetime. I'm sorry, California lovers, but I don't feel like going back to that place ever again. Even though I might, because that is unfortunately the center of the world, apparently. deep sigh
Last year, I also got to work for Studio Élan in two wallpapers for their Patreon page. They're a visual novel studio I deeply respect. Sucks not to be big enough to make more for them, but that can be considered a good start. I also got my first cover job. I worked for an art director to make the cover and promotional art for Kitchen Sync - Aloha! a cooking simulation game. He has been working really hard on his project, so I encourage you to check it out.
For not so good news, I had a bit of tension within my artist friend group. One of my friends found out a way to blow up on social media, and grew really fast. With that, a lot of others started feeling left out, including myself. I don't tend to judge cases of jealously. It's easy to judge when you're seeing the situation from outside. But working on your dream career can take a toll on your emotional health, and it's important to see the situation for what it really is, not from your own lenses. I eventually decided to leave all my bad emotions out of the way and try to extract as much knowledge from this friend I could. With this, I started growing a little bit faster myself as well.
Some more bad news is I had to close my patreon indefinitely due to a lack of supporters. But I also think part of that was my fault for not knowing what my public really wanted. I intend to come back soon, when the economy goes back to its normal state.
As for artists who made it, I realized there are two types of them: the super serious "majime" ones -- for those who are not familiar with the Japanese term, majime stands for an extremely disciplined person -- with sharp skills, high understanding on the fundamentals and strong opinions on how the market works, and the total opposite ones: the jokers. They don't take their job seriously. Or at least they don't SEEM to, in comparison to the other group. They are always making jokes and don't talk about work much. But they find their own way to come in earlier than everyone else to tendencies and blow up on social media in a way no one else does. I have some joker friends myself, and I'm slowly getting over the fear of befriending them. -- a personal fear I'm not sure if I'm comfortable to talk about.
This year, something is playing a huge factor in the decrease of commission numbers. We still don't know if it's AI or the international market's crisis. But even with that in the way, I did pretty well.
I mentioned speedrunning my career, and I don't feel like slowing down anytime soon -- I feel like every time I take a rest, someone will overtake me, and that's not necessarily true. People are overtaking all the time. All I need to do is know when to take a rest, take good care of my health and find strategies to propel myself further in the meantime. You'll never get too far if you stop at a certain moment. And a break is just a break.
I think that's it. Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed my text this year. I'm really excited for 2024, even with all the hardships in the market.