What I’m working on now

MElWIP

I’m drawing a Mine-craft obsessed 7 year old. She’s not paying me now, but I told her she owes me 40$ when she gets a job. Also, her mom is going to tell people it cost 50$ if anyone asks.

Last time I asked, her favorite color was purple, but her mom informed me that it’s now green, and will probably be something else before the week is over. My response was “She can suck it then, she’s staying purple.” I’m glad her mom is a good friend of mine and wasn’t offended.

This is a close up of the face, but there’s also a minecraft  t-shirt (with my own spin on the logo) and there’s going to be some sort of highly-detailed background, probably mine-craft screenshot inspired.

M3Lcurrent

I keep going back and forth about how dark the shadows on her face should be. In this shot they are not as dark. You can also see the T-shirt, but aside fro the logo it has no detail yet.

I belatedly remembered I was going to put up some earlier work in progress shots:

hair3mel1wip2wipM5WIP

Advertisements

Silly Girl

1littlegirl10

Another GIMP project. I think I probably need to move up to a program that’s specifically for illustration. And I need to buy a tablet, or at least a dang mouse! I love my laptop but the touch pad is not ideal. Because I’m using the touch pad, right now my process is to either paint over a photo or paint over a sketch I did by hand. That makes it easier for me to focus on improving my shading and coloring.

I lay down a dark color in the background, then outline the figure with free select and lay down a light color around that. After that, I  then either use free select to cut out dark areas on the light color, or add color to another area. So basically, it’s hours and hours of zooming in, hand-selecting areas that are the same color, and, filling them in on different layers. It works for my personality. I use repetitious tasks to zone out. But I don’t know that it’s the most time-savvy method.

Anyway, I love making faces blue. I think I come from a world where everyone’s skin is green or blue, and they just sit in the sun all day and play cards. Sounds fantastic.

This was going to be the first panel in a comic, but I just don’t know how motivated I am right now. My boyfriend pointed out that the background doesn’t work, and he’s probably right, but I just don’t have the energy to fix it right now.

Anyway, because I’mm trying to learn how to say positive stuff, my favorite part of this is the pink part around the eyes.

I broke down crying tonight- what now?

I tried to keep it in all day, tried to work on art, watch TV, chat on facebook, read. About an hour ago, I couldn’t handle it any more. I started sobbing. I blurted out everything I was thinking to my boyfriend. I reminded him about the one medicine I took that made me feel not depressed- it only worked for about 3 months, and then side effects kicked in that basically induced psychosis. It was like a horrible prank- letting me feel for a moment that I was going to be okay.

I’ve had depression for about 20 years and I’ve had anxiety problems basically since I was born. When I took that medicine, I suddenly realized that it wasn’t that everybody else was stronger than me or tried harder. It was that most people weren’t spending their days under a persistent, pressing cloud of anxiety and depression. I suddenly understood how I could go forward, and then I was thrust back into my old situation.

My new medicines usually take the edge off, but sometimes I feel like all they do is make me seem better to my friends and family. Inside, it still feels so scary and unfair, and I feel all this pressure to pretend to be normal. I barely go outside because of that. I always feel like people are laughing at me, thinking about how fat and ugly and weird I am. I worry that they somehow know that when I’m employed, I freak out and miss days to the point where it becomes a problem. I feel like a finger is always pointed at me, like I have “Lazy,” “weird,” “not normal,” “spoiled,” “awkward” written in balloons over my head. I’ve learned to pretend this feeling isn’t there, but that leads to people telling me they don’t think I’m depressed and that if I just try harder I can get a good-paying job and support myself. Then they tell me that I’m 32, as if I don’t know, and too old to be depending on my parents. A new favorite thing for people to do when they find out I have an English degree is to start listing careers I could have, as if I haven’t thought of these things. I usually want to scream at them at this point, because I’m not stupid or lazy. I’m really not.

My boyfriend says no one wants me to pretend to be okay. He says my friends and family love and care about me, and that no one else matters. He says I need to let people know when I’m not doing well.

So, I just want everyone to know. I AM TRYING SUPER HARD. When you see me laughing, like I always am, that’s me trying. When I am outside at all, that’s me trying. When I am having a hard time and I don’t cut myself, that’s me trying. Sometimes when I get out of bed in the morning, that is me putting in an extreme effort.

Depression isn’t sadness. It isn’t an emotion that is necessarily linked to what is happening around a person, and it isn’t something that can be shrugged off. It’s an illness, and it sucks. If you’ve never experienced depression, there is probably no way you can know how it feels (although you can be compassionate about it.) I have a good friend who is pretty wonderful in many ways, but every time I tell her I’m depressed, she asks me why and if I don’t have an answer, she dismisses me and tells me to watch cartoons or eat something tasty.

I feel like I’m wrong for being like this. That I should just be able to be better immediately. I didn’t cry tonight because I was depressed. I cried because I feel like I’m running on a Hamster wheel, getting nowhere, not able to take care of myself and everyone can see it. I’m so tired of being judged.

I wish I was better.

Pressure

I have these spurts where I make something everyday. And then suddenly, I start feeling pressure, and I stop completely. The thought of drawing, or sewing, or writing makes me have anxiety attacks. 😦 It sucks, because it leaved me pretty bored.

I can force myself, but that doesn’t always end well.

The other day a friend told me to stop being so neurotic, and I laughed in his face and said, “Have you ever seen me not be neurotic?” I thought that was me acknowledging my faults, but he didn’t agree.

Being Poor is Hilarious

Nowadays I have to talk to normal people, people who weren’t dirt poor as kids, people who never lived in weekly-rent hotels or stayed in shelters. They never went to meals at churches that cost a quarter, or stayed in houses with no electricity until the first of the month came, or took sponge-baths with cold water. These people never got cardboard boxes full of government cheese, “puffed-rice” cereal,  and tins of sardines. They’ve never been so hungry that they had recurrent dreams of a Kit-Kat on a stool with a spotlight on it.

The key point about these people, is that even if I mention this stuff around them, for the most part they won’t realize that I’m actually reminiscing. They’ll stir uncomfortably in their seats and look at me either with pity or in confusion, and I’ll think, “You’re totally right, some of it sucked, but this part I’m telling you about now is funny.”

Sometimes I see someone trying not to laugh when I talk about how in the beginning of the month we made the kool-aid strong and super sweet, and by the end of the month it was basically flavored water. I wish they would laugh. It’s funny.

The way I grew up isn’t better than the way others grew up, but my good moments were just as good as others. Like I said, there were some awful things. But there were awful things in just about anyone’s lives.

I admit sometimes I want people to know that I grew up poor. This isn’t because I want them to feel sorry for me, though.

Most people just assume I’m middle class, probably because of the way I talk and because I went to a private college. Sometimes I feel a little bit like I don’t belong anywhere. I remember once when I was in 6th grade on a field trip, a classmate commented to another that he had bought marijuana. (I’m not kidding.) He mentioned how much he’d supposedly paid for a dime bag. I interjected (without really thinking) that for that much he should’ve gotten at least an eighth. Our teacher overheard. The two boys got in trouble for talking about drugs and got a lecture on not making things up to sound cool. I got told not to pretend to be something I wasn’t just to fit in. The problem with that? I wasn’t pretending. My dad was a drug dealer at the time. He tried to keep it from my sister and I as much as he could, but he wasn’t very good at it.

I’ve always felt that I’m supposed to sound and act different, and have different experiences. But I can’t change myself.

Children are smarter than me, even in dreams

nonsense1this1

 

When I am very, very stressed, I start to disassociate. I don’t feel like I’m present, and all the houses and buildings I see look like sets to me. They’re not any different than the fragile houses in movies. They could be demolished in an instant. I explain to the people around me very calmly that nothing in our lives is solid or means anything. I had a dream last night that I was saying these things to one of my nieces (something I’d never do in real life.) She looked at me calmly, wrinkled her nose, and answered, “Sets for movies and TV don’t have any plumping. Real houses have pipes and wires for electricity in them in the walls and underground. Sets don’t.” Sounds like something she would say.