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April 15
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It's been a while since I've been actively online.
But even though temporary, it did changed my perspective on some matters.

It's weird how much the internet can become an influence, and how this process goes so unnoticed. At a certain point the countless voices of people around you blend into a continuous buzz. A buzz that you soon get so familiar with that you forget there was a life before it. I guess that's what social media does in general; creating a buzz. An artificial need for you to continuously be online and check your messages, because you might just miss something otherwise. Life, in general, has become so infused with the internet that it sometimes scares me. I'm part of the internet industry. Hell, I even made it my job! But even I sometimes find myself wondering where the time has gone that I could work on an artwork for hours straight, without feeling that creeping itch to check my messages. 


The last few weeks before the break, I've repeatedly felt bad about myself. Why? Basically because people told me I didn't meet their expectations, and I just happen to be a person that hates to fail expectations.

As a kid, I was happy to be creative. Even though I only made drawings for fun, making art was a nice way to spend time and it genuinely felt good to be always full of ideas. As I saw most of my classmates lose their childlike imagination as they grew older and their interests shifted, I used to take pride in the fact that such a thing never happened to me. As most of my classmates submitted to peer pressure, I still followed the voice from within. And until not too long ago, I thought that that was what being an artist was all about.

As of lately, I've gotten quite a view what is the art world is actually about. About the constant struggle from many people that all try their hardest to get one of the few jobs in art and the hostility that comes with that competition. How art school students, that are supposed to be taught to be open-minded and accepting towards all kinds of art, are often the ones that pass the strongest judgement. About that you don't mean shit as an artist, unless you have the job to prove that you have skills. And how hobbyist artists are regarded as inferior because they simply don't earn money and haven't got a thing to prove. 
Money. That's what it all about. Living on myself, I can honestly understand that, because having a career is important. As a web developer with 10 years of experience in the industry I'm the least person to tell you that there's no difference between "just messing around with html" and working in the industry. However, hobbyist or professional... we do have something in common. We both love websites. We share our love for the same thing. And that's something so important I cannot stretch it enough.


What this whole thing comes down to?
That many of the people I look up to and I'd love to learn from (often those with professional-level artwork) belong to the above group -- something that isn't exactly motivating. And as we are all influenced by the people around us it's hard to make art my way and follow my own feelings and instincts, when the internet collective tells me that I'm doing it wrong and that I should feel ashamed I put my talent to waste. (For those wondering; that was literally said to me.)

The strength of the internet --that everybody can say what he wants-- has also come to be one of it's major downsides. Downsides that even drove many famous artists to the brink of depression. 
It's hard to maintain a sense of "self" within the buzz of people continuously talking about you, your works, your characters, and what you could (or should) represent. I think anyone even remotely known on any place on the internet can confirm that with me. It's even harder when you're an artist and you need this sense of "self" in order to create. Because let's be honest; for most of us our vision of life is the sole reason we create. Or at least for me it is.


My health has slowly gotten stable over the last few weeks. I've seen some doctors, got a new medicine for the migraine attacks, and whatnot. I've been back to training fully again, which I guess kinda helps since the RSI-specific training also strengthens the muscles in my neck. I'm still waiting for the checkup at the hospital, though (Those waiting lists... seriously...). Some days are good, and I try to enjoy them as much as I can. Some days are terrible. I'm still tired pretty often. but it seemed to have stabilized a bit. I think a large part of the tiredness came from trying to force myself to keep up with everything, even while in miserable physical condition. And in that regard, I think taking my distance really helped. I realize now that I can't keep up and that it's not a shame to admit so.

I guess strict moderation is the answer in this case. The answer for shutting myself off from too much negativity. If people in real life talk shit about me, I'm not afraid to tell them to shut the hell up. So why shouldn't I be able to do the same online (by removing and blocking)? It's not like people that deliberately try hurt others have the right to complain about that. 


To conclude this (already too long) message I would like to show my thanks to the massive support that I've gained from the DeviantArt community during my break. It's heartwarming to see how many people out here actually bothered to show their support. Either via e-mail, Facebook, or via DeviantArt's private message system. Not people that I know in person, but also people that are complete strangers to me and just happened to learn about my hiatus. Thank you. Thanks a lot!

(Here are some of the kind messages that people send me (and I've already read -- there are still many more).

Thanks Hiatus2 by DamaiMikaz

At this moment, I still have 17.376 messages to catch up to (artworks excluded), from which 7500+ new messages and even more replies to... whatever stuff I made.
I still have to read the replies to my last journal to find out who the winner is from the previously announced "contest".

Hiatus Replynr by DamaiMikaz

There are a lot of things going for me at the moment;
Animecon is coming up soon. I'm currently in negotiation with Mangaschool about their schedules, but if everything goes right I might return doing a workshop there... or at least be at the manga-drawing stand there. Which will give you, Dutchies, a chance to say hello and make me help you out with your art. 

Dynamic pose by DamaiMikaz
(for those that were curious about the previous workshop, check the link behind the artwork above)

What also might be interesting, is my upcoming kiriban of 1.000.000 pageviews. I'm still doubting about the prize. It's gonna be either points or a head-shot drawing of your character. The choice is up to you. Whichever gets the most votes will do.

Uploading artwork might still take a while. I have a whole lot of sorting out to do. And as weird as it sounds; I still feel a bit insecure about publishing stuff online again and exposing it to an audience that is even more massive than the day I left. I guess it'll take a bit of time until that feeling is entirely gone. And even aside from that; I've got a lot of sketches and stuff to sort out.

Sketchdump january 2014 by DamaiMikaz

Having learned from previous experience, I'm taking my time to catch up.
So it might take a while before I'm fully operational again. In the meanwhile; please bear with me.

~ See you around!


TLDR version; I'm back

Crowned with chaos by DamaiMikaz
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad you're back, and feeling better. ;w; Trolls are so stupid, they're worth nobody's time, so I hope you feel much better about ignoring them too. I remember some research suggesting they all might be sadists doing it for fun, OMG. So the whole "Don't feed the trolls" thing makes a lot more sense to me now.
Reply
:iconstettafire:
Stettafire Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Agreed. If people need to be horrible to someone to have some fun in their life then truthfully it's them I feel sorry for, because they obviously have something wrong with their life. 
Reply
:iconcraftedmusic:
CraftedMusic Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Trolls are trolls. I hope your health and the trolling both get better. ^^
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:icondarkrukia91:
DarkRukia91 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I'm glad that you're back and feeling a bit better. This is a well written journal and it has a lot of truth. But you know, there are some people who do art for money, attention etc. and don't really care about it, even if they have no skill. It's funny they don't really get criticized but people who do art for passion and not for money always get disrespected about their art, even if they have skill. =/ Even professional artists sometimes get disrespected by their fans....
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:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Maybe they do get criticized but they just don't care :/
Reply
:icondarkrukia91:
DarkRukia91 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I noticed a few do...but they act like they shouldn't get critiques =.= a lot of artists on DA tried that with some noobs (or fanboys that drew) and they just get cursed out and blocked.
Reply
:iconlight-lein:
Light-Lein Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am glad that you're back! :D But take it slow so you can recover completely :). I think it is really good that you take action against these negatively minded people! And I hope you can enjoy all the good and positive messages you get! Those have so much more value!
It is too bad that a lot in this world is only about money and not about passion, love, friendship etc. anymore! (I guess it never was about that for a lot of things.. :( ). Lets hope the view of many people will change one day and that they will be gratefull about the fact that we do love the same things and that we can enjoy it all together! :).

I wish you get well soon and hopefully we can see eachother soon!
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:iconfuu-star:
Fuu-Star Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2014
Yay! You're back!!!! Missed you!
Reply
:iconrest-in-pinkness:
Rest-In-Pinkness Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Woohoo so glad ur back, damai! Ive really missed the intelligent voice of ur journals and beautiful art. ~hugs~ i know what u mean about things getting overwhelming. Just like candy, online can be poison too if overdosed. Its something anyone of note learns, true... But the important thing to remember is that ur own perception of ur art matters above any other and u have every reason to love and be proud of all the pieces u do :)
Reply
:iconaichisendou17:
aichisendou17 Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2014
am actually reading some of your journals right now... keep up the awesome job okay? :)
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