The reminder of this post is purely my personal story, as I felt I owe you an explanation for my absence, at the very least. So feel free to indulge in the going-ons of my life since I went into hiding.
During the latter half of last year, I was starting to lose my vision for my art. Why was I making art, for whom, for what reason...all these questions started to interfere with my drawings, and for a while, making art indeed felt like a chore. An obligation. A job. And that wasn't a good feeling.
I was overwhelmed with pressure to produce more art, be it for myself, for my watchers here, for whatever. The point is, it was causing so much unnecessary stress that I didn't need nor deserve.
So I went on self-imposed exile since late July, trying to find and rediscover what art meant for me. I dared not even visit DA at all, which I believed to be the reason for all this stress. No announcement, no journal post, no nothing. I disappeared just like that.
Then my first year at university began and completely overwhelmed me. For the very first time, I discovered how much I get nervous when I'm around other people. The thought never occurred to me during high school, because I was well-known for being a good student. But in university, it was different. People I never knew flooded the lecture hall, and the white noise of them chattering would keep me at edge. Was I supposed to talk to them? Do I attempt to make friends and such? The worst part would be when we were told to split into groups, and all the students would happily cluster and band together, each a part of their own little friend group, and I would be left alone, struggling to leech to any group, though I would feel that I was intruding on them.
Unfortunately, this horrible case of social anxiety would quickly spread into my online life, and I started quietly fading from other social networks, because I started to feel that "I didn't fit in."
Throughout this time, I have never stopped drawing. Creating art was a sanctuary, a haven from all the mess I was facing in the real world.
Now that a whole semester at university has come and gone, I realize that I have learnt a great many things. About life, about people, and most importantly, about myself. It was only a couple weeks ago that I have completely realized the importance of creating art in my life.
I was always focusing on the finished product, rather than the process. And when I randomly decided to flip that perspective around, I felt a previously unknown satisfaction while drawing. Enjoying the process, enjoying every step of the journey, that is what makes me feel alive. My desire to finish a drawing is now not because of the end result, but because I'm excited to know what lies ahead in this everlasting journey.
The other thing I've learnt about myself is who I draw for. I must confess, for as long as I can remember being here on this website, I have been obsessed with gaining more exposure for my art. More views, comments, favourites, etc. jumping from one group to other trying to spread my art like a plague. Each time I would upload something I would sit the next day continuously refreshing my page, consuming any form of feedback like a deprived beast.
But each time, after things would calm down, I would feel empty and frustrated. I would desire more, and I start a painting with the thought of gaining more positive feedback driving me. Then I would feel even more frustrated when the risk vs reward wasn't as great as I expected.
This mentality of seeking others' approval and weighed down on me, deluding me from the reason I create art in the first place. Ultimately, If you don't derive joy from creating art solely for your eyes, it will be difficult to do so by seeking feedback from others. This is a lesson I have had to spend half a year learning.
But now I have started to miss being around people. The friendly conversations, sharing thoughts about art and whatnot, and seeing my favourite artists post their lastest...I sincerely miss all that.
And when I received a few messages from a few friends I've made here and on other websites asking about my whereabouts, I truly felt bad and horrible for disappearing for so long. I was happy talking to people online, I just never realized that.
So now I will myself to come back to this community, trying to make amends and posting my art as usual. I may take gaps and breaks in between as I explore personal projects, though. And to those watchers who started following me but never saw any new content, I owe you a special apology.
I'm hoping to better myself and be more social here on DA, on other networks, and maybe even offline (though that one may be difficult to do haha) I do consider writing this entry a small step towards that goal, and progress is what matters~! ^^)/
Lol I hope I didn't go on for too long, but if you had the patience to read to the very end, then I wish you a very nice day! \^o^/ (or night,whatever floats yer boat)