Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Happy New Year everybody!
It’s time for the mandatory yearly review of my life and time to make some plans, declare some resolutions, set some goals  and formulate wishes.

How did 2013 treat you? I’ve had people say it was a crappy year for them, while for some it was amazing. For most people, though, it was a year that brought forth a lot of important/big things that forced people to take a stance, evaluate their life choices and decide on a path. I believe life is full of opportunities. Not all of them may be seen as “good”, mind you, but they’re all chances to grow and strengthen yourself as a person, be it due happy events or really crappy ones.

One year ago I was summarising a roller coaster of a year, with lost of important life events that left me not really knowing where to go with my life, but knowing that I should decide on it soon. I was still struggling with household management, but I was happy because I was going places professionally! :D The beginning of the year was full of “I’m turning 30 this year…” and feeling like I was reaching some sort of milestone that I should have been better prepared for, feeling I was behind schedule at life.
I was looking forward to work and have some of the projects I worked on be released, work on some other projects and… I said I wouldn’t over schedule myself again (HAHA.).
I was also planning on becoming a vegetarian! Or reduce my meat intake, at least.
And that was all I had planned. I felt planning was not something I should do, so I didn’t. Did that work out? Kind of xD

As for my goals… let’s see how those went!

  • Pay my stupid debt.

 Nope. That didn’t work out at all xD I didn’t manage to make much more than the barely minimum every month, and the extra money I used on other things. It still haunts me! xD;

  • Save Money

Nope again xD I did save short-term for specific things I wanted, making commission-fundraisers and so on, but I don’t have *savings*. I should though.

  • Be orderly

I… got better at this. On and off.  I downloaded organising apps, schedules, scheduled my household chores for when I was working outside from home, then when I returned I just got back to the chaos. I’m currently trying my best with a suit of Mac apps and HabitRPG xD So I did get better, though I still have plenty of room for improvement.

  • Set my priorities straight.

I knew this was going to be a big year for that, and I think it was! I had a lot of fights with my boyfriend about our relationship and we came out strengthened and happy (more on that later), and I also set myself free. I think I know what I want now, though everything is very fuzzy… but it feels okay for things to be fuzzy, I’m no longer worried about it :)

So, 2013 was a big year, full of things! GOOD things! Also bad things that turned into good things for me in the long run :)
I didn’t document my life on this blog much, I resorted to tweeting, using my private personal Facebook as a diary and posting arts on tumblr and Facebook instead of deviantART.
(WARNING: THIS IS GOING TO BE SUPER LONG).

My released projects this year were Yousei, Blue Rose and Evilot :) And this was definitely the year of “Let’s work on a bazillion projects!” xD Let’s name them all, shall we?

  •   The Parasol Festival: some missing event illusts and item illusts :)
  •  A BAZILLION characters for Dies Irae: Phantatiom Elements (I’m still working on that one, haha)
  •  Finished more work on Hope~ :3
  •  A bit of work on Spirited Heart 2 (which will be resumed after I’m done with C14)
  •  C14, the archaeology otome! (only character and sprite designs and one illust, though I wanted to get more done this year)
  •  I did character designs and sprites for Kako no Koi, and I was later replaced for another artist, as I was too busy and slow >:
  •  Lots of character portraits for Scions of the Seraph, also known as SoS Saga (also still doing those! THEY ARE SO MANY XD )
  •  Worked just a tiny bit on Flight of Twilight and then set it to my back burner.
  •  Worked on a few card illustrations for japanese companies (that was SUPER fun <3 ).
  •  Worked on MANY characters for a Syrenaica project after Evilot that is currently on hold.
  • AUTUMN’S JOURNEY <3
  •  This little otome VN I’m missing two CGs and some chibis for that I’m not allowed to talk about yet.
  •  character designs for Corona Borealis <3
  •  AR·OD, a little game we made at this weekend game jam/workshop with some friends that we never really made public xD.

And a bunch of commissions on and off during the year.

Man, that was a lot. I’m still working on part of those things xD
This year many people approached me to work together! It was amazing ;O; I had to say no to many projects, but I also agreed to many because they were too cool to say no to ;v; I said I wouldn’t over schedule myself AND I DID JUST THAT. Hahaha I suck x’D

This was basically the year of sprites and characters standing there doing not-so-much. I got *way* better at character design! I experimented a lot with not-too-complicated colouring, but as I did little CGs and almost no personal stuff whatsoever, I got rusty on the composition, lighting and expression departments.
Also, because I spread myself so thin with many projects, I couldn’t just go down one path to improve upon, so I tried many different things and jumped back and forth between them all the time, not really getting anywhere. I can’t say I didn’t have fun, though, because I did have LOTS, but it didn’t help much.

Speaking of projects, let’s start with the (yet unreleased) star of my year: AUTUMN’S JOURNEY.

This was the cause of many amazing things that happened this year!
You see, I wanted to get done a NaNo VN, because I never get those done >>; (this year wasn’t the exception xD), so I approached my newly made twitter friend KittyKatStar, who was writing for WinterWolves and we were going to work together on Spirited Heart 2 and on the Archaeology otome, and I made her a deal after Nano had already started: “You, me, Nano 2013 :D”. And SHE AGREED.
So we met on Skype and started planning stuff.
In the end, we decided to go with an ISHTERA THEMED STORY. Dgshafhda. *cries a million tears of joy*. Later down the road, Nellie and Arowana joined us on our Apple Cider team and we worked hard during March-April
… And during the rest of the year, because I was painfully slow with CGs, working on and off and all xD; I commissioned a storyboard for an animated opening, we got partial voice acting, and afterwards we commissioned backgrounds to Morishita! They’re actually the only thing missing for release as of now ^^.

So Kitty, Nellie, Aro and I became good friends and had so much fun together chatting on Skype everyday and supporting each other, we decided to invite more people. And more people. And more. And so we formed a semi-secret – invitation-only mostly female dev chatroom that has grown to be *really* big. And fun! :3
AJ also was the start of a beautiful relationship with Kitty. Kitty was working with WW and wanted to visit a convention on USA to meet with Michelle (LittleRamyun) in Dallas. I said “CAN I GO WITH YOU *v*?”, she agreed to share a room and BAM! I was making plans for USA again! x’D BUT THIS TIME AROUND I PROMISED IT’D WORK OUT. And it did! I told all my friends, we convinced Auro-Cyanide to change her vacation plans to visit the States too and we organised a big trip to AnimeFest 2013!

And man, that WAS THE BEST THING EVER.

I never summarised what I did during the trip, though I said I would, and I actually stopped writing on my blog after that :’D But it was awesome! ;O;
I had a hard time (mostly because anxiety) to get my USA visa, but I did! My mom lent me money to buy the plane tickets (and then went and said “you know what? BIRTHDAY PRESENT. ENJOY.”), I did a commission fundraiser to fund my stay and we booked a room at Sallas Sheraton and then at another hotel for 2 weeks with Kitty.
It was my first time flying by myself, I was a wreck, all nervous and sfgahdfh, but happy as hell. I met Ayu and Micah, Kitty, Lorelei, Auro, PyTom, Sapphi, met again with Moogs and Carrot from MysteryParfait after so many years, along with Moogs’ wife Emily and Carrot’s sister Rachel, met some of Ayu’s friends who were very cool, MET AN ALICIA COSPLAYER THAT GAVE ME THE BEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE AS AN ARTIST, met lots of cool fans, ate lots of amazing food, sweated a terrible lot because Dallas weather… I had so much fun I just wanted to stay there forever! I didn’t know Lore much before the trip, we had only talked on the dev chatroom, though she and Auro were really close and Auro was staying at her place for the trip, but during the trip she was a sweetheart and I loved her so much (I loved everybody so much) and now I’m very lucky to be able to call her my friend ;v;
I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE EVERYBODY AGAIN ;O;

The trip started as “let’s meet everybody!” trip for Kitty and I, then it evolved to “let’s meet each other and spend time together ;O;” as time passed and our friendship grew deeper. Suddenly we were giving each other declarations of love and blushing and all that, haha. We became something people usually don’t understand (so we didn’t go telling everybody seriously, but more like joking about it? AYU TOOK IT SERIOUSLY FROM DAY ONE THOUGH): we became Romantic Friends. Look it up, it’s lovely.
Dallas was actually like a honeymoon for us, it was the most lovely thing ever. We held hands, spoiled each other rotten with gifts, shared a bed and cuddled, and even had ridiculously sweet chaste kisses. We were heartbroken by the time we had to say goodbye at the airport, but I was determined to see her again and to see everybody again, so I wasn’t sad but motivated!  (I got sad later, though xD) I decided I’d work hard to be able to meet everybody every year, because it just feels right. I also refuse to have an online-only relationship with my GFF >:T

What I came back home with, along with all the happy memories and the sadness of not having as much amazing food over here, was one amazing life lesson: I don’t care about life expectations anymore, I can do *anything* I want, whenever I want, because I can be as amazing and free as I want to be; I just have to set my mind to it and work hard.
And man, that was *so* liberating!

You see, for so many years I felt I was… trapped in this mould of a life that I was failing to live up to, feeling that I was behind schedule at life, living as if I was 25 when I was 30. The clock was ticking and I didn’t have a stable job, I wasn’t married and working towards forming a family, I wasn’t doing all the things people “my age” were “supposed” to be doing…
I was measuring myself against some preconceived notion of what my life should be like and I was failing at it and getting frustrated (though not as frustrated and depressed as before I started my meds).
But the trip cleared all that up for me.
I mentioned before I had troubles with my relationship this year, like a lot, but everything was for the better, right? I was basically shedding my old notions and not really knowing what to do because my relationship didn’t measure up to my preconceived notion. When I returned from the trip all light and free, I realised I couldn’t care less about getting married! One big drive of my relationship was that, and I was wrong about it. That realisation brought forth a lot of issues I didn’t even know I had with the relationship, but that in the end were solved and made everything so much lighter and free, and I couldn’t be more happy with my boyfriend right now.

The sensation of being able to do *anything* is just amazing. I hope I never forget what it feels like ever again. (I won’t say i won’t forget because I DO FORGET THINGS OFTEN.)

Now for more cool things of this year, I got to teach again :D ! And this time I had a big group of male students + one female xD And they were amazing. They are amazing. Man, I felt like I made so many friends with them, teaching to them was great and I just can’t wait to see what they do with their projects! I’m happy I got to meet them and teach them all <3 And I’m thankful they valued my teachings, took me seriously even when I joked around *all the time* in class and considered me a friend of the group.

I also got to work at Syrenaica’s office part time this year! THAT WAS ALSO AMAZING. I had so much fun working with my friends, joking, being productive, collaborating, being challenged… it was great. I did have a hard time managing my personal/freelance work while I worked there (the main reason I was replaced at Kako no Koi – btw I have no hard feelings and I’m happy it’s working for them! ^o^), but I was super happy :3
Sadly, because of many different reasons, we had to leave work at the office and put things on hold after a few months. Some friendships and partnerships were broken, which was awfully sad >: But I still love everybody and I can’t wait till we resume working again on the project we left hanging there! And work with the friends that for different reasons decided to part ways.

Speaking of Syrenaica friends, I went to an Extreme Workshop VIDEOGAME JAM and teamed up with my composer and my animator friends, and also met some old friends and made new ones! :D We didn’t manage to finish our game, but I had SO MUCH FUN <3 definitely a super cool experience! :D

I also got around to attend local illustrators meetings, attend some human figure classes (that later overlapped with my teaching hours >>; ), attend our local ComicCon with my dearest Lira, have a super fun 30th birthday with my friends, go to the beach a few times with my mom, and hang out a lot ^^ AND ME AND MY BF STARTED RUNNING. Well, attempting to run, I still die after a few minutes xD

So this year has been AMAZING for me. I feel so much lighter, very free, such wise, wow (sorry for the Doge xD ). To the point I’ve been giving LIFE ADVICE and positive thinking comments to people on twitter and on Skype x’D I’m really proud of the person I’ve become, the projects I’ve worked on, the people I’ve met and the bonds I’ve formed this year! I’m not so proud of my art because I over scheduled myself, I spread myself too thin and I became rusty in some areas while overworking others and just wing it most of it, but I know I can do better ;)

I apologize for the length of that summary, but I don’t want to leave important things out, and I think all of that was important :3

 

Now let’s talk about plans and what I’m looking forward to!
First of all, FINISH ALL THE PENDINGS ON MY SCHEDULE. Seriously xD
I decided that not only I will avoid over scheduling myself, I’ll avoid working on more than one project each day.
Lately, I had *so* many things to work on, I’d work on 2-3 things for 2-3 projects every day. It was draining! It helped avoid burnout, but MAN. MULTITASKING MUCH FAIL. So I won’t do that and schedule days for projects instead of project tasks.

So my schedule for January is comprised of late commissions (including this little otome VN I can’t talk about that it’s missing 2 Cgs. 2! I CAN DO THIS >O ) Work on Dies Irae stuff for the new Kickstarter, that’s overdue because of me being on and off with art; work on art for the SoS novel while taking a break from SoS characters, then work on ALL THE c14 SPRITES. I’ll get those done, I swear >O
In February I’ll get around to do Corona Borealis sprites (maybe CGs too?) and after that C14 CGs!
All this time, I’ll be devoting some time to Flight of Twilight a week, so I can get it done with SO IT CAN GET RELEASED. It’s time already! I CAN DO THIS!
After C14, my priority is Spirited Heart 2, and by the time NaNo comes around, I’ll finish Every Sunrise (the sequel to Ripples). And the next chapter of Jisei Series comes after that! WOOT!
So my schedule is 1000000% closed (except for the occasional commission) for new clients for the time being. Sorry about that! But I seriously want to get my professional life on track again.
I also want to be able to have more free time, not to work on personal projects that much, but to PRACTICE and EXPERIMENT. I need to go back to draw expressions, composition, environments… working on CGs will help with that, but I want to do it on my own too :)

I’m looking forward to the release of Autumn’s Journey. We have a sequel planned (totally on hold, though) if people like our little VN, and we may Kickstart it if things go well :) Because we had so much fun working together, but we can only do so much the 4 of us xD So a Kickstarter would help us pay for things we can’t do ourselves (and help me finish it faster >>; ) We may still make a sequel if we don’t kickstart it, just because :3
Kitty and I are planning to tackle Caramel Mokaccino together at some point too. I won’t add it into my “plans” but it’s still something I look forward to, either in 2014 or whenever we can and want to do it ^^

Relationship-wise, me and my bf will celebrate our 10th anniversary this January! :D He’ll take vacations and we’ll go somewhere to relax and have fun ^^ I just look forward to have a happy year with him and it has been lately ^__^
I’m also looking into getting a Canadian visa to go visit Kitty before traveling to Dallas in the middle of the year. Because the AnimeFest date was changed, I may spend my birthday there this time xD It’ll be fun! ^o^

I hope I get to teach this year again! I love teaching so much >w<
And I’m considering opening a side-tumblr for life advices and musings along with little doodles, so I stop spamming twitter with it xD

ANYWAY! SPECIFIC GOALS/RESOLUTIONS TAIM!

  • Don’t get spread thin across projects.

I think going back to working project-after-project will be a good thing. If I need to prevent burn out, I can mix around DAYS (or weeks)not TASKS. Also it’ll help me avoid having to deal with more than a couple of clients at the same time; that also drove me crazy this year! not because of the clients, mind, you, but because I could only switch stories/world views/characters around in my brain so much! x’D

  • Manage to not get behind schedule more than occasionally.

Better schedule organising, organising DAYS instead of TASKS will help out with this, I’m sure! Because by default it’ll leave more breathing room. more breathing room means less work done in theory, but in practice it means less panicking because I’m behind schedule and less art block/procrastination! :D

  • Make time for practice and personal stuff!

Not really for completing personal projects, but for drawing things to practice and experiment outside being bound by what any specific project at the time allows me to do. There are things I want to get better at that I want to focus on this year :)

  • KEEP EXERCISING. 

I started running, BF got me running clothes, so I PRETEND TO KEEP DOING THIS. It feels good, it’s healthy and I have so much of a sedentary life I really need it. I should also get my bicycle repaired so I can do both :)

  • Work hard to see everybody again!

This. This very much. I refuse to have an online-only relationship with Kitty AND with my friends. I felt at home with all of them, I’m upset I don’t get to live closer (and that people hasn’t invented teleportation yet), because I had *so much fun* being able to talk to them smile at them, hug them, laugh with them. They’re my friends, I love them, so I’ll do my best to see them every year if possible.

  • PAY MY STUPID DEBT!!!

Mandatory, it had to be included xDD

Thanks everybody for the support this year, it’s been amazing. Thanks to all my clients for believing in me and trusting me, to my followers and ‘fans’ for being supportive of not only my art but myself as a person, to all my friends and friendly-acquaintances both online and irl for being amazing and… existing! xD and letting me share some of your time. I’m really grateful for the life I have, it may not be this standard I used to measure myself up against, nor the life my family wished I lived, let alone what other people expect of their own lives, BUT I’M HAPPY. And that’s what matters!

And… I got sidetracked xD

So, again, HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!
May your year be filled with amazing new things, exciting challenges and lots of opportunities to grow, get stronger and become happy people! :D
All my warmest wishes and hugs for you all ^__^

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 at 12:01 am and is filed under General Talk, Life, Projects, Work. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.