The Sunday Currently – 09

Going back to the old format for this week’s Sunday Currently. I almost forgot to write this post, as I was already getting ready to work on some new comic strips the minute I got out of bed.

Drawing: Aside from new strips, been trying to get back to sketching and painting other stuff. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make anything else for the upcoming Komikon as it’s only a couple of weeks away, but I think I’m just happy that I’m doing personal art again.

Writing: I’ve been wanting to write some reviews for the products I bought from BeautyMNL last week, so I might do that later tonight. It’s completely… unrelated to any of my personal goals, but I guess at least it’ll stretch my writing muscles.

Playing: Mass Effect: Andromeda is preloaded onto Star-Lord now (yes, I name my tech), so now it’s just a matter of waiting. I’m a little disappointed with current news that has been coming out regarding the game’s animations but I’m sure I can overlook it if the gameplay/banging is really good.

Reading: Finally got back to reading Furiously Happy, although I have a crapton of new webcomics I subscribed to on Tapastic that I hope I’ll get around to reading soon.

Watching: We finally got started on watching the Expanse. I need to rewatch the first episode though, because Maki kept bothering me while we were watching and I barely understood what was going on.

Wanting: More time/energy. Work + comics + new cat + everything else I need to do is still crazy, though I did manage to get a few workouts in this week, so I think I’m regaining some sense of normalcy.

Needing: To figure out scheduling posts ahead of time. Something to get around to this coming week.

Thinking: I need to slow down a little. The last two weeks felt like they kind of just… passed by without me noticing. I even forgot that we got Maki just last week, which means it’s only been week 2 of having him around.

Feeling: Tired, mostly, but also… very loved. My readership on Draw Write Play has been growing steadily, and thanks to a couple of Daily Snack features, I have about 1.5k new subscribers on Tapastic. I think I’m finally past the panic of having so many new eyes on my work. I still have a bit of anxiety left, but it’s more on me trying to live up to my personal standards. I’m basically High Expectations Asian Asian.

The Sunday Currently – 08

I’m ditching the old format for this week’s Sunday Currently. Partially because trying to start my sentences with ‘drawing’/’writing’/’playing’ etcetera, was getting pretty old; and because things got a bit crazy last week, which threw me off of my normal routines.

All the craziness happened to stem from the fact that: we have, yet another, new rescue kitten. Our uncle found the kitten in the gutter in our yard last Monday, and knowing that we had a penchant for taking care of strays, he asked whether we’d be interested in taking care of it. We’ve heard this kitten mewling for attention since the night before, and had jokingly considered stepping out to find it, but then we realized it was past midnight and it sounded like it was coming from the other side of the street.

We found the kitten covered in dirt and canal water, so we first had to give him a bit of a rinse just to get rid of the smell. The kitten seemed to appreciate it though, because he seemed super happy after we dried him off. The kitten seemed to be only a few weeks old, so we assumed he needed to be bottle fed, much like the twins were when we found them. Luckily, we had some leftover milk replacer and the twins’ old feeding bottle, so we were quite prepared for the occasion.

The rest of the week was a bit of a blur, with me just trying to juggle work, making comics, keeping fit (which I feel I failed at), taking care of the big cats, and taking care of the new kitten. We also had to take the kitten to the vet at some point to get his left eye checked because it was constantly teary -turns out he had a cold so add giving medication to the kitten on top of my already packed to-do list.

Long story short, I’m exhausted. So exhausted I can’t even be bothered to figure out a better way of writing this post. Or ending it.

The new kitten’s name is Maki, by the way.

The Sunday Currently – 07

Last week was a little crazy and a lot to take in. I suppose no one really expects going viral, it just happens and then you’ll just have to deal with what happens next. For me it’s a lot of staring at Facebook Page stats, and as fun as it is to look at numbers, I think I’ll have to dial down on the monitoring next week so I could concentrate on more important things.

Drawing and writing a lot of new strips. I haven’t been this motivated with my comic-making in forever. Balancing it with work is a challenge, but I think I’m slowly learning a process I’m comfortable with.

Playing nothing at the moment. I’m really just waiting for Mass Effect: Andromeda to come out and I suspect a dip in productivity is imminent.

Reading a lot of comics on Tapastic. I’ve added a bunch of titles to my reading list and I’ve been burning through their archives the past few days (and sleepless nights). I want to eventually write about my favorites in a future post, so I won’t list what I’ve been reading for now.

Watched Logan last night and it’s soooo good. I don’t want to risk spoiling it for anybody so I’ll just leave it like that.

Wanting not a lot, at the moment. I finally bought myself a couple of new shirts and a new cardigan last week. I’m still on the lookout for a decent pair of non-skinny jeans for my non-skinny ass, but it’s not a big priority as I’ve been reacquainting myself with some skirts that finally fit again.

Needing to find a balance for all the things I want to do. At the moment those things are basically work and webcomics, while still trying to get some regular exercise. I’m shelving a bunch of other hobbies for now like learning to code and 3D but no regrets on the time I’ve spent so far on those.

Thinking about schedules and projects, and all the tiny things I’ve been putting off that I really need to get back to. Also, it’s already March. What in the world happened to February? Time flies when you keep yourself busy, I guess.

Feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety for the future.

Almost Famous

A funny thing happened earlier this week. Somehow one of my comic strips went viral, reaching over 2 million people, according to Facebook. Friends reported that it was on the top lists on 9Gag, Imgur, and Reddit, though I have no confirmation of this because I live under a rock and don’t know how those sites work.

The strip sparked a lot of conversation, everyone having different opinions on what I could’ve meant by it. I got a lot of negative comments ranging from “keep your bullshit out of our videogames” to “feminism is such a joke,” and apparently, I was somehow against marriage and having kids and that I would die alone, yada yada.

Most of the comments were very positive and encouraging, though, and despite the anxiety my newfound notoriety gave me, I ended up feeling even more motivated to continue doing what I was doing.

Quite honestly though, when I wrote that strip sometime last year, I was at the height of my depression. My self-esteem was at its lowest, and I was in constant fear of being judged by my family for not having “settled down” even though I was in a perfectly healthy relationship (I come from a conservative, Christian, Chinese-Filipino family; go figure).

I wrote that strip mostly for catharsis. It was only after several months of going to the gym and eating healthy and over a hundred dollars’ worth of self-help books later that I had enough courage to actually post it.

I guess you could say that I didn’t really think about how people would react to what I wrote, but that’s the funny thing. I simply didn’t give a fuck about it.

And that is the key to my happiness.

The Sunday Currently – 06

The past week started on a somber note. I got word that one of my aunts died from pneumonia, and it took me a while before I could process the emotions the came with the news. Since work was a little light that week, I decided to take a leave to attend her wake and also take a bit of time off for myself.

At the wake, I was able to reconnect with one of my cousins, and our conversation went to writing. She wrote fanfiction, she said, but she also said that she didn’t know if she liked writing because it frustrated her. She said she never finishes what she writes, because she kept feeling that what she wrote was never good enough that she just stops. It got me thinking about my own experience about making comics, and as I tried to give her some advice, I realized I haven’t been very good at following it myself.

Finished, not perfect. It’s something I need to keep repeating to myself, and something I try to remind others of. Finish your work, it might not be the best work of your life, but finish it. Critique your work after, then take the lessons learned from the last experience to make your next one better.

Drawing new strips, finally. Had to struggle with my inner critic this week, as I tried finishing the first strip I’ve made in months. It looked way different from previous strips, and I was tempted to redraw it. I almost did had Dante not gently reminded me of the “finished, not perfect” mantra. I also had to remind myself that since it’s a personal project, I’m allowed to explore what I’m comfortable with, and I can change the art up as I like.

Writing more strips, and I guess about the process behind it. There’s only so much I can condense in four panels, and I guess this blog is for things that require a bit more explanation.

Playing D&D again, we’ve had another session yesterday (after maybe a month) and as usual, had tons of fun. Our adventuring party is finally doing some good: actually saving people, not getting anyone killed, finishing quests and we got to level up (wheee!)

Reading a new book called Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. Remember last week, when I said I was trying to take it slow with Red Shirts? One night, I decided I’d read a few chapters before going to bed, and then spent the next five hours finishing the damn thing.

Watching not a lot this week. Saw an episode of Riverdale, but that’s about it. Nothing new to say about the show, I just watch it for the pretty people now.

Wanting to shop for new clothes. Since I’ve lost a quite a bit of weight since last year, some of my clothes are now a little too loose. Comfy, sure, but also ill-fitting.

Needing to get back to a regular gym schedule. I haven’t been going to the gym lately though I still do cardio at home. I only feel guilty because membership costs money, and I don’t like wasting money.

Thinking that I’ve been slipping a bit with the bullet journaling, but I guess I’m just relying on it a little less.

Feeling a bit somber, still. I am not used to processing grief, and because I’ve also been trying to get back into making comics, I’ve also been pretty anxious lately. It’s a weird mix  of feelings that will hopefully get sorted out soon.

Writing Comics Gives Me Anxiety

I’m writing comics again, and it scares the shit out of me.

Well, a lot of things scare the shit out of me these days, but writing and drawing comics in particular has become so scary that I have mild anxiety attacks every time I boot up Photoshop to get started on a strip.

I know that sounds kind of silly, but making comics has always been a dream of mine since I was a kid.

At first, it was just about drawing for Marvel or Image, but that didn’t really stick because, well, I kind of suck at drawing backgrounds, and those comics usually mean a lot of backgrounds.

During college I started dabbling in making comic strips based on my friends, and I didn’t really think about it at the time, but I guess people thought it was good enough to be published on a community website for our school.

I don’t really remember why I stopped making those strips, but I suspect it was due to a falling out in our barkada (long story).

I’m not sure about the chronology of it, but I tried starting various other titles later on. I had some very mild success (or at least it seemed like success at the time) with my Penny Arcade-inspired “Draw Write Play” (yes, it’s the name of this blog, and the name I’m using for my new comic). It was basically Penny Arcade with girls.

I know it was a success because at some point, my comic was listed on a “worst webcomics” thread somewhere on the internet, which probably contributed to why I stopped working on it (that, and I wrote myself into a ditch). Later on, a friend of mine commented on how my two heroines were basically me and that I was doing a Mary Sue. I hated that comment, but looking back at it now, I guess he was right.

I suppose I should mention Kamote Komplex, which I started with an ex. I stopped that because, well, we broke up.

There’s probably a few more titles I tried that I’ve forgotten. But I guess my point is that my history with making comics has been kind of shitty so far.

Last year, when I restarted Draw Write Play as a semi-autobio/slice-of-life comic, I was determined to make it work (and by make it work I mean get so popular that I’ll be in more than one worst webcomics list, plus, hopefully make money out of it).

And then depression happened.

Now that I’m sort-of-kind-of okay-ish, I’m trying to get back to it, but it’s scary. I probably spend more time wondering whether what I’m writing is shit/unfunny/stupid than I do actually writing and drawing it all out. I try to remember all the good advice I got from books the past few months: Don’t give a fuck. Just create. You don’t need to make it perfect, just finish. It doesn’t make the blank page less scary to me, but maybe if I just hack at it long enough, maybe one day I won’t be so scared anymore.

The Sunday Currently – 05

My goal this past week was to start getting back to writing and drawing comics again. Although I didn’t get to make any actual comic strips, I did manage to come up with new ideas and start sketching out characters again. After months of feeling creatively dry, I’ll take that as a win.

Drawing characters in various styles and proportions. I’ve been experimenting with new looks I can use for the comic, although after some exploration, I realized that the style I’m comfortable with was not that far off from what I was already doing in the first place.

Writing prompts. I haven’t worked out the scripts for the comics, but I’ve started listing down ideas in my bullet journal so I can revisit it later. I usually change up the text anyway until the very last minute, so I tend to write in rough ideas first, sketch, then polish after.

Playing so much Postknight. I’ve only been playing for a little over a week and I’ve already finished all the current available areas and fully upgrade the tier 5 Nightbane armor set (currently my favorite). The only things left to do, if I were to go all completionist about it, is to get to 5 hearts for all the romanceables, get to S rank (currently at A-7, I think), and possibly try to do all the other achievements (but I really don’t see the point). I’m STILL playing, by the way. The game is really addicting.

Reading Red Shirts, still. I’ve relaxed my reading pace a bit, so I’ve been going through my books a lot slower. I’ve been enjoying the book so far, as it feels like a very long episode of Star Trek. I’ve been imagining one of the characters to look like Anton Yelchin, and I really hope he survives the book.

Watching Legion. I’ve managed to watch the first two episodes of Legion this past week and I’m really, really liking the treatment. Also, Dan Stevens appears to be getting younger (WTF). Riverdale is still, also, on the watchlist. I’ve decided at this point that I like it. Not loving it yet, still, but definitely not a hate.

Wanting new eyebrow makeup. I’ve upped my skincare game, so now my brain has shifted to trying to level up my makeup game. I thought I’d try to master my eyebrows first, since they’re very sparse, and on a normal day I look like I barely have any brows at all. I’ve already done some research (youtube), so now all I need is the proper tools so I can practice the techniques.

Needing for the weather to improve a bit. We’ve been having super cold nights and then weird overcast days with minimal sunshine (and then rain!) this past week, and as a result, we’ve been feeling sick all week. I would like to not feel sick so I can go back to my cardio.

Thinking about how my year has been going so far and the running theme seems to be self-improvement and relearning how to “love myself”. There has been several aspects of my life that I let slip or neglected for several years (like fitness and skincare), and now that I’ve taken a more active role in improving them, I feel like I’m getting some of my confidence (which was completely destroyed in 2016) back.

Feeling good. These days, I feel like I worry less. I still worry a lot, mind you, but much less than I used to. I’ve relaxed my iron grip on my finances, and figured it’s about time I invested a little money on things that can improve my self-confidence (like skincare products and makeup). I’m not going all crazy and buying all the most expensive stuff, but improving one small thing at a time.