Who’s got two thumbs, a big mug of milk, and goes months without posting here?
Me. This derp. Yep.
Anyway, today is, I suppose, the… 15th anniversary of Ayarane Project? Technically I bought the domain in late April 2001 but the hosting didn’t get finalized until May 5. No reason to dump it now! (I have, also, considered picking up a bunch of “ayarane”-flavored domains but… too lazy to set up redirects and such.)
15 years of Yoshi and derping and fun! Let’s add 15 more onto the pile!
Playing a lot of FFXIV (and WoW too, less so because “end of expansion content drought” but really the only thing I’m burned out on is spamming LFR for legendary ring progress, which is why I’m so lazy about finishing the ring on my non-Yoshi/Phil alts). Met me a new leveling buddy in there, a cute Lalafell Black Mage/Ninja by the name of Bonnie and it’s been pretty nice. :D Also kinda got recruited into her Free Company (guild) even though I had been dodging those for months, and it’s not terrible! I’ve become their Chocobo Lady– while I’m logged in, I feed all the stabled Chocobos on cooldown– and it’s not gone unnoticed, as their boss-lady promoted me because of it.
I mean, I’m not particularly gunning for officer-rank here, but it does get me full access to guild storage, so that’s kinda nice. :P
In real space, uh, nothing really to blab about beyond the tired “parental management is taken all of my money to clean up their shit, and feeding me lies about how I’ll see maybe a fraction of it again” because, yeah, nobody reeeeeally wants to hear that again.
So art happened! I even streamed a couple sessions, though the second time I kept dropping my connection. And while it took quite awhile, I did finish it.
Also: HAPPY FLOWER CAKE.
The next one, despite what I said earlier, I may actually attempt to do entirely on the iPad Pro. I think part of my problem is that when I run into “oh this doesn’t work the way I’m used to” problems with those apps is that I’d sooner just shoot the file over to Blastoise rather than dig in my heels to find a workable solution where I am. I mean, I know in the big picture both units have to work together for a high-quality, well-polished piece, buuut… I DID get this thing so I can draw on it, you know? And I should actually try to DO that rather than just make a token scribble and then fall back on Blastoise since it’s more comfortable/less intimidating there.
I’ve been in a slump for a long, long time, art-wise. It’s at the point where I’m lucky if I can eke out a couple things a year.
And, frankly, that’s really terrible. Like, TRULY terrible. I tout myself as a painter as part of my personal identity, and yet in recent years I have so little to show for it. (Aside from commissions, which I don’t really count because money is involved, this is about art I do for me.)
Tonight, in trying to jumpstart my inspiration (since holiday season is fast approaching, as well as the day I get my Apple Pencil to complete my iPad Pro), I went diving through my Snowschemes– holiday art for Ragnarok TWILIGHT, a mega-AU for the MMORPG Ragnarok Online. Piles and piles of art JUST for the Christmas subplot. At least 3-4 pieces a year, and those were done solely within the month of December!
The last Snowscheme was 2 years ago. Only one. ONLY ONE. Disgraceful.
I can explain it away all I want: getting older, being distracted by other games/hobbies, depression/anxiety sapping my energy, focus and creativity, being more easily tired because of disability… but those are explanations, not solutions. I need to pry myself out of this pit of despair if I want to continue to identify as a painter. I know that having my iPad Pro+Pencil will better facilitate more art, but that’s really only part of the solution, because I do know that whatever I do there needs to get sent up to Blastoise for final polishing.
And equally as important is consistency. It has to be a regular thing. And I think I have a workable, viable and not-too-tedious solution for that: Twitch recently added their Creative aspect, which essentially reinstates streaming access for artists and such. I already have the software in place to do it (OBS), and as of this writing, Mondays are completely open– no raids or other commitments around the 5pm Pacific timeslot. I can do that, I can stream for a few hours. Even if nobody shows up to watch (though it would be nice if a few did). All I have to do is at least start with a wireframe, else I’ll be spending half the time putzing around on a blank canvas and making an idiot of myself. If I start from a wireframe, odds are it will stick and you can see some actual progression on the stream.
It’s Wednesday night, so I have until next Monday to hype myself up and get a wireframe in place.
Please watch my Twitter/Facebook for details about upcoming streams!
TAKE THAT, YOU DUMB EREDAR.
Watch my guild (Lazy Peons) be a bunch of badasses and ground-pound Archimonde in the FACE.
It’s normal mode, but… first kills are ALWAYS worth documenting!
I thought I may have screwed up the sound balance (between SFX and music) but… it’s the last boss, it’s gonna be noisy AF. Let’s run with it.
Finally, /salute to Robert, he and the other Shaman basically suicided that last Banish right before we finished off Archimonde.
music credits: srsly, though, GaMetal/Jonny Atma FTW, his metal covers are very appropriate for this, and that it’s covers of Bowser themes make the running “Archimonde is the Bowser of HFC” meme that Alex and I cooked up even more hilarious.
Now I’ma lie down because holy hell adrenaline crash (prolonged by editing this video).
So, uhm, apparently on my way home from my most recent stay in the hospital, some awful stuff went down in Paris. And as usual for anything of this calibur, social media thinks it can make it all better if people would just change their icons and insert platitude hashtags.
No thank you.
Now, before I continue, I want to make it clear that terrorism in any form is horrible and I don’t condone it in ANY way. (Because you know someone is going to interpret this Post of Unpopular Opinion like that…)
It’s, just… changing my profile picture does what, exactly? “Support France and the people of Paris” is an awfully vague statement. Call me a party pooper, but overlaying the colors of the French flag over my fat face… doesn’t really do anything to, you know, locate the perpetrators, collect evidence that would lead to their conviction, provide monetary and logistical aid to the wounded and their families. Changing your icon does not do any of those things, ever. Only people on the scene can do that, and people on the scene have no time to be busting out their phones to fart around on Facebook.
This is just like that one time where there was a campaign encouraging people to change their Twitter/FB icons to, what was it, 80’s cartoons to raise awareness for child abuse. And I was all “what the crap, how vague and ineffective is that? Changing your icon will not end child abuse. Not by a longshot.” Classic feel-good slactivism is what that is, feeling like you’ve contributed to a cause by doing what is essentially nothing at all.
So, all you people swapping icons to support a cause or to “mourn” with a locale that has suffered a tragedy… Please, please think about what you are doing and whether or not it will influence the outcome in any way. (Spoiler: It won’t.) If you want to Do Something About It, put your feet on the ground and get to it by, you know, volunteering for the appropriate organizations. Or if you’re too far away or otherwise unable to act directly, go donate to said relevant organizations. Enough with this “I’m going to change my Facebook profile to support/protest X” bullshit, because you’re just diluting your own message.
Bonus rant: the #prayersforparis hashtag!
Um, okay. I know your hearts are in the right place (the above notwithstanding), but… you DO know that France is a very secular country that highly discourages public displays of religion, right? While it appears to be a Catholic country because of all the historic cathedrals and such, in practice it is very big on religion being a personal thing that the state should have no influence in, like imposing a religion on everyone. It’s even uncomfortable with religious displays/expression in public places because it could be interpreted as support for one religion over another. Surely you may recall controversy about Muslim students wearing their hijabs in public schools…?
So, yeah, about that #prayersforparis hashtag that I’ve seen floating around? It’s actually quite inappropriate and does not respect the French stance on public displays of religion. Put another way, it’s like telling an atheist person that you’ll pray for them despite KNOWING they are atheist and would therefore find such a thing at LEAST a little offputting. In this case, the secular “our thoughts are with you” alternative is actually the best one you could use, if you must make such a platitude.
I understand that prayer is a common, powerful coping mechanism for many religious people, but it’s essentially their version of the “changing my social media picture will solve everything” trick. You can pray until you’re blue in the face, but prayers will not catch the perpetrators, get them convicted or provide medical/practical/monetary aid to the victims and their families. Actual hard work and donations to the appropriate charities will!
(Want a good, helpful hashtag to cling to? #PorteOuverte (literally “open door”) among the locals who provide shelter to those either directly affected by the attack, or are stranded because of canceled flights. And it’s an example of “action, not platitude” at work!)
In the absence of directly assisting in those things or putting your money where your mouth is, the best thing you can do is to go about your lives and aspire to do good. Don’t feed into mob mentalities, don’t give into revenge fantasies, because that stuff just brews racism and violent thoughts and hate and… it just feeds into the cycles that lead to these incidents happening. We as human beings have this really bad habit of using Bad Events like terrorism or shootings to “otherize” people and lump them together as the enemy, and that doesn’t really help anyone. It happened after Pearl Harbor, it happened after 9/11, it happens every goddamn time that a large amount of people die because of violence, as if we think we can justify hate and vengeance and we forget that whole “an eye for an eye makes the world blind” thing.
“But I’m just blowing hot air,” the person who gets called out on openly talking about his violent revenge fantasy says. “I’m just talking. I’m not actually going to do (super violent thing), I know it’s illegal. But I’m just so MAD.” Still not okay, because it inevitably influences you to form prejudices and biases that don’t need to be there. I’m not saying “don’t get mad about stuff ever” but rather, funnel that into something constructive or at the very least won’t make the situation worse.
This unpopular opinion was brought to you by the itch on my belly and my cat rubbing on my chair.