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:iconendling: More from Endling


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December 17, 2012
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Heeeey folks.

Firstly, thanks for all the birthday well-wishing. Veritable.. mountains of well-wishing. Though I'd be just as content postponing my birthday until next year. And then maybe the year after that, and after that..

A year older and a year wiser. Well, the latter is debatable. But definitely a year older! This year has been a wild, satisfying, disappointing, exciting one. It marks my first total year as a freelancer, which has been simultaneously one of the most liberating and terrifying career leaps I've ever made. Thankfully, the studio I've ended up working with for the entire year has been a very welcoming one. The workload can be immense, but outside of being paid, there are few rewards greater than seeing your work animated in a game after toiling on it for hours. Getting to visit Barcelona was another fantastic perk.
 
I really can't complain at all about work, this year. I've worked with the guys from Wayforward, Vigil, did a bit of here-and-there for my old studio Spidermonk. I've been quite comfortable here in Texas, and even recently started house-hunting. Though to be fair, it doesn't come without a price.

 The most obvious being time. Time isn't a commodity freelancers have in spades, that's for sure. And you wouldn't think it either, given that you can work from your own place, on your own terms, make your own hours, choose your own clients. You know? It all sounds too good to be true, until you realize you have to pick up the slack for about a billion other things you wouldn't think of were you working in-house with a studio. I've had a crashcourse in business matters, and I've come out of it mostly successful, but with a mess of bruises to show for it! I am terrible at managing myself.. as a matter of fact I think Zombiesmile all but took up those reins for me, even from the distance we're still at (VISA/green card stuff ETA is 02/13, btw). Very thankful for all the help she's given me, seeing as how she's far and away my superior when it comes to freelancing experience.

 But yeah, time. Time I wish I could spend here. Well, you know what I mean. At my desk, drawing stuff for myself. As grateful as I am to have steady work and a roof over my head, I feel like I've been missing a part of myself for the past.. well I don't even know how long, anymore. I miss making gigantic, rambling journals. Participating in contests, HOLDING contests.. you've no idea how long I've been trying to piece together a new, streamlined, fun art competition. Though I wonder, is there anyone still out there on dA that would enjoy doing that sort of thing? I'm loathe to use the word "OCT".. they were very popular for a time, and I have fond memories of that time, for the most part. But nowadays I'm not getting the same sense of energy that was present in those endeavors. Though to be frank, I think the whole notion needs a serious retooling. As I said, streamlining. I think a return to art-focused, short-but-sweet material would do wonders. Have you ever heard that one question regarding video games? It goes something like, would you rather play a game with 60 hours of content you enjoy, or a 5-6 hour game that completely blows you away? Don't get me wrong, I love me some big, sprawling games myself. But have you ever played The Walking Dead game, by Telltale..? Yeah.. exactly.  

 So I have something more like an art jam in mind. Still competitive, still character focused. But much, much more focused on art. Short, intense conflicts, with a set page limit to keep everything compact. I'm not saying there isn't a place for the more meandering, plot-heavy model anymore? But I do think the sheer time commitment it takes can be off-putting to people who have things to do on a daily basis. And, well, to be honest, if I want to write a big sprawling story that's big on dialogue and plot, I might as well be making my own comic with that time, I figure. With a contest, I kind of just want to go all-out and have a good time arting it up. Especially with something as cathartic as big, bombastic fight scenes. Maybe I'm the only one that feels this way, I dunno! I could always gauge interest with a poll I suppose. Or heck, if you have any thoughts on the matter, please feel free to let me know in the comments. It would be appreciated.

But that's just one thing I'd like to do with extra time. It'd be easier if there weren't a million other things competing with that thought. I still have a mountain of your characters to add to that megaposter, I still have an INCREDIBLY delayed sketchbook I've wanted to put out for the past year and a half but keep running into snags. I still want to update regularly to dA, but you know what's actually been stopping me in that department? Every time I sit down to draw a character or two, I get hit with this guilty feeling that I've already done more than enough to introduce people to them, and what I should really be doing is focusing on actually TELLING THEIR STORY in the first place. Which puts me in a difficult place, because trying to tackle a graphic novel while working full time for a game studio is a tall, tall order, but I'd still like to update dA.. so I end up in this continuous loop of starting to draw, but then rethinking it over and over and getting nothing done. Then it's the next work day and I'm back in the loop again. Haha. Ah well. Here's hoping this following year I'm able to better free myself up and just draw for the sake of drawing. Even if I'm not releasing a comic about Ree, or the girls of Living in Sin, or if the starts align my god even a reboot of Everafter-as-it-should-have-been, I should probably not think on it so hard that I keep myself from drawing ANYTHING about them and sharing them here.

For the people that keep coming back to my side of the site despite a severe lack of steady updates since like.. 2009, I'd like to start giving you all a reason to come back, you know? With the notes and compliments, the fanart and cosplay, all those amazing things I've continued to receive for these past few years, I'd like to start making it up to you. And myself, really, because I've been denying myself the simpler joys of just drawing art for arts sake for way too long now. I hope I can rectify that. Though until then, all I can continue to say is thank you, to all the folks that do keep swinging by. The same folks who have come over today to wish me a happy birthday.

You guys are, without sounding.. too overtly creepy.. my LIFEBLOOOOOOD. YES THAT'S RIGHT. But no, hear me out. It's totally true. No sacrificial altars involved, I promise.

On my worst days, when I feel like I've fallen off the proverbial art-horse, you guys are the ones who shove me back on with sizzling hot pokers of love. When I feel like I haven't done anything of merit in far too long and am in danger of just being totally forgotten, you guys give me the confidence to get back on my feet, to shut the hell up and just draw. I have received the most wonderful notes over the past year, from people asking permission to cosplay, asking when certain webcomics will renew themselves (and if any of you remember, add three more months to the time that will happen.. ohoho), or just tell me that I've inspired you. I can't possibly overstate how amazing this is. This is not bragging, this is not me asking for a sudden influx of this kind of correspondence. As I said. I just can't overstate what that means to me, every single time. Even if I don't get a chance to respond to your note, your frontpage comment, your questions, etc. I know that's kind of a hot button issue on dA from time to time, artists who never reply to people who ask them/poke them/note them with something. But you have to know, even if I don't. I've read every single last one of them. And just because I'm a forgetful ass with the memory capacity of a severely impaired sea snail, it goes straight to my heart. I mean, obviously it does, or I wouldn't be acting like big mushy super-thankful what-the-hell-is-he-drunk End right now.

I want to start a short story series this year. I'd like to begin livestreaming more. Get more tutorials up on Tumblr. Hold another contest. Shamelessly draw more character stuff even if I don't get to a single comic about any of them. Introduce people to the world I've been building for the past year, based on a bit of art I uploaded last October. I'm feeling pretty damn energized.

So let me close here and get to work, dammit. Thank you, guys and gals. :heart:
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:iconrochichan:
rochichan Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
It's so crazy how time passes! There's a lot of people saying that they've been following you for a while, ever since high school. I'm with them, as you've inspired me to draw better ever since I was super young. (10-11 years old?? i think// so young wwww) Anyways, happy birthday, Endling! Hope the coming year is better for you!! Good luck!

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:iconkydoon:
Kydoon Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy genethliac convergence, sir.  Thanks fer comin' 'round fer rambles.  Your journals are as fun to read as your art is to look at.
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:iconalleluia00:
Alleluia00 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:cake:Happy Birthday Cousin:cake:
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:iconaviansie:
aviansie Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
Happy Birthday!
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:iconramencartel:
RamenCartel Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
End, I miss these reading your rants. They're bloody hilarious and make me a bit nostalgic for your comics' wonder years (07-08?).
Anyway, best of luck with everything! It's nice to hear things are finally moving in the right direction for you.
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:iconamoyastudio:
AmoyaStudio Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013   General Artist
It's very intresting what you write about the freelancejob. Thanks for the sharing. Good luck!Clap 
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:iconwilmarrow:
WilMarrow Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Awww this made me feel all gooey and fuzzy inside... Like mold..the good kind. Even though I've never done anything supportive for you >_>. Still I chewed on every word. I hope to see more of you stuff soon, I've still get hopeful every time I get on Snafu looking for everafter updates and I don't mind if I never see all those character's stories... I just want to see more of them :o You've been teaching me to draw and inspiring me since I was like 14 and I always get excited for art DAYS after I look through your gallery. I'd watch you on tumbler... but I'm not sure how to work tumbler <.<
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:icondoodlerush:
DoodleRush Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013
I wish i could purchase some stuff from you some day :)
Reply
:iconechosinfire:
echosinfire Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013  Student General Artist
I first read Everafter when I was in middleschool (8th grade in fact). It was just on the tail end of you updating it - looking back at the archive, it must have been about 2 months before it sputtered and died. I am now 20 years old, one year away from graduating with my biochemical engineering degree, and I just wanted to tell you that in all this time, I have always come back to check to see if you updated. I never came to your deviantart before, but I wanted you to know. I love your work. And now I am officially giving up.
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:icontimidemerald:
Timidemerald Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Student Filmographer
(somehow I missed this 9-month-old journal and only just read it now)
But just wanted to say...
Endling, you have always been one of my greatest inspirations. I just thought you should know that. I never commented back when I was still a shy, nerdy little middle/high-schooler because I was too intimidated to, but I've grown since then. 
I think it was during the ol' OCT days with Endzone and LoT when I first discovered the concept of not just designing a character but developing one... Silly that a concept idea had to be realized, but I was like 14 or 15 at the time and used to only drawing fanart. After years of trying so hard (and failing) to be just another anime artist, it was only after looking at your art that I realized "wow, I want to have a unique art style like this." So I started keeping a sketchbook and cranked out 30 OCs within that year... not including those one-time, throwaway designs. Most of them were pretty terrible, but the experience was really an amazing breath of fresh air. It really got the cogs in my head turning... and got me thinking about how to create something unique instead of trying to conform to an image in my head. I used to go through all your sketches and do studies from them... I even went through an awkward art phase when my style was really similar to yours, hahaha.
So much in my life has changed since then--I've been through so many struggles, asked myself so many questions, but also made so many leaps and bounds... Every day I find myself just a little closer to finding out what kind of an artist I want to be. I've still got a long, long way to go, but I'd never be where I am now if I wasn't inspired by you. 
So I just wanted to say, thanks. Thanks a bunch. And also, sorry for the long post... But keep on being amazing! 

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