I've thought about this for a while, but I don't intend on making anything creative for the sake of profit and gains anymore. The thought of monetizing everything, including nameless blogs like this, is dreadful and demoralizing. There's also the portion of still not being used to voicing my thoughts and expressing some vulnerabilities more openly, but this may be a good chance to do some self-reflection of some sorts since this place is still relatively empty.There's a lot of things happening, and I'm just trying to get by. I don't think I'm capable of handling anything more than what I'm doing now in life and it's time to draw some boundaries. Trying to fight for a place in communities are exhausting; I don't think places should be fought over in the first place when maintaining the links and social relations to be there is already draining.
Things did go south, and I can't say I was too shocked. In any case, this made me realize my own shortcomings and once again proved that you can't please everyone around you. I don't want to consider the hows or whys or what ifs anymore; things already happened and there's no way to rewind, so there's no reason for me to dwell on it any longer. Sometimes things don't work out and it's okay even if it does take a mental toll. It might be all for the better that it turned out this way. Regardless, I don't have the energy or capacity to deal with something that was never communicated to me properly in the first place. I might be using things at home as an excuse right now, but it is also true that times are tough right now.
I'm not that eloquent with words, especially when I'm trying to sort out my own thoughts and emotions. This is probably because it's a topic I'm not familiar with handling due to my personality. Being a bit low on the spectrum of emotional intensity is not always a good thing I guess; but at least I can try to learn how to handle discomfort. I don't intend on making this place an emotional dumpster, but I do enjoy the static nature and not having to worry about getting notifications from strangers or people that read my word vomit.
As someone who'd been doing artist alley and cons since the 2000's, it's really unsettling to see how the community and overall scene has changed over the years.I don't ever consider myself to be famous artist or even did AA for profit, and it really boggles my mind how profit is the single driving force behind many active artists in the community today. It definitely feels like I'm an oddball in the pack when my approach to artist alley and fanwork in general had always been inspired by the Japanese doujin scene. While I enjoyed tabling and meeting new people in artist alleys in the past, I think the later 2010s is when everything started to feel more like a chore as competition for tables increase and maximizing profit-making became a common goal for all participants. The pressure to keep making new merchandise to keep up with the trends and maintain a variety of stock to appeal to the masses became exhausting, especially for someone like me who prefers creating content for my niche interests. And I do respect people who can keep up and turn this hobby into a business; I'd love to support indie creators and hope the best for everyone who choose to make a living out of this, but my biggest fear seems to be already coming into fruitation as I'm typing this up: the inevitible transformation of the AA community as a clique of small business owners.
It's easy to blame the rising cost of tables and merchandise on the economy and greedy conventions, but the reality is that treating an amateur space for hobbyists as a small business is no longer sustainable and the community needs to change their mindset. I always treated artist alley tables as more of a social event rather than a job or business; having a booth space simply made it easier for friends to find me and meet other people of similar interests, and making profit was really only a secondary bonus for me. I'm sure I'm not the only one who also do artist alley as a pure hobby to share our niche interests, or simply to just have the experience of boothing at a convention. So it really pains me to see that with all the factors combined to form the community today, it's almost impossible for a new artist to start tabling at an artist alley without many strings attached or worry that they won't be able to obtain a table. Artist alley was a space for amateurs and hobbyists, but it's no longer the case.
I think what saddens me the most is that looking back now, my most memorable and fun times as a fan artist selling fanmade products in Japan and smaller conventions. The ease and reassurance knowing that I can always sign up for a table without worrying things will be sold out within minutes, spending hundreds of dollars on a space, or not having enough merchandise to fill the entire table space was refreshing. Japan is able to compensate for the many artists and circles creating and selling fan works, but why is it that we are suffering such a lack of events or tables here? Having more spaces, smaller spaces, or even selling spaces by day rather than the entire convention can solve this problem, but it doesn't seem like the industry has caught on here--and it might not happen any time soon. If only we can have a comiket style event here as well.
Not sure where or how to even phrase this, but sometimes it feels like all of my efforts are in vain espcially when the sns community's impact extends far beyond wank from strangers on the internet. I've already made up my mind about stopping whenever I can, when things get better, but the journey feels never-ending. To be a little less negative on here despite all the previous stuff I've posted, I gave some thought and decided to perhaps keep this place as a personal diary log online. I'll likely keep more creative things on pixiv as I've always done but cultivate this place a little more to be an archive of sorts. I've been aiming to remove a lot of my sns accounts as much as possible, but I always found it difficult to sever the few good connections on places like the blue bird site and the gram. It may be a little heartless, but I think it may be best for me to finally lower the guillotine and pull out of whatever lingering nostalgia I had and focus on things that are actually more valuable to me.
Been feeling a little 'oof' lately, not even because of the shit going down in society but life in general. I think it was still a good decision to stay way from AX and cons this year because the rush would have been too overwhelming to handle right now. As much as I miss these events and just the opportunity to not worry about anything at home, it's a really bad time to take up escapism as a coping method. Sleeping issues is still something that I struggle with and it's likely not going to get any better within the foreseeable future; but at the very least I think I've come to peace with the fact that staying away from family is best for me. It's not easy to just say fuck it all and remove myself from the strange comforts of this household in such an abrupt way, but at the end of the day everything is for the better--at least that's what I hope. Coming to terms with your own weakness and insecurities isn't easy. She's just like how I was in the past to a different extreme, and while it does hurt to see her like that, I don't think there's anything I can do anymore to help.
I picked up this place mostly as a test with hopes to completely transition away from social media. Everything feels reminiscent of the 90's and early 2000s time on the internet, and maybe that's why I feel drawn to this hosting platform in the first place. Social media had transformed the internet rapidly over the last decade and while I see merits to it, as someone who grew up with the comfort of curating my own spaces the prospect of having only one (or few) option to post content to a wide audience it's been overwhelming. I think in addition to a lot of personal things I'm going through in real life right now I needed this feeling of regaining control. I like not having external expectations on what content I post and when I post them; I'm not here for fame or anything, just a place to keep my creations. Which also brings back the idea of archiving art and thoughts. I'm tired of missing out on posts because I don't scroll feeds quick enough and having to dig through things to find fanworks, and I'm hoping neocities is the new place I can call home to keep my stuff.