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About Varied / Hobbyist Official Beta Tester has a low Idiot Tolerance!Male/United States Groups :iconmegamare-x: MegaMare-X
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Initially, I feel the need to say that this thing of yours is quite fan-bloody-tastic. The method you have gone with is truly prodigeou...

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AF40K Q&A

Q: What do you use to create your art?
For my lineart I use .5mm pencils with either regular office-supply graphite or blue-lead. In both cases I prefer to use 110lb cardstock, but regular printer paper works just as well in a pinch.

For digital work I use Photoshop CS5 or Paint Tool SAI, depending on what it is I am working on.


Q: Where do you purchase your materials?
In the event that I need pencils and paper, I usually go to office-supply stores, such as Office Depot or Staples. If I need blue lead, I normally order that online from Pentel (art supply stores are notoriously out of stock). For my other artistic needs, I either go to Utrect or Plaza.


Q: For your traditional artwork, how do you manage scanning your work? Do you feel the brand/type of scanner makes a difference?
For the time being, I use an HP Officejet v40 (…which is about 12 years old now). This is why I don’t have anything from sketchbooks or stuff from art class posted; there is no way for me to scan it in.

As far as the hardware is concerned; no, it doesn’t make a difference. The only thing that matters really is how large your scanning area is.


Q: How long does a drawing take, in all your chosen mediums?
Depends on far too many factors for me to answer easily. Some sketches have taken me a few minutes while there are some drawings I have lost track of how many hours I’ve put into it.


Q: How often do you draw?
I *try* to draw a little every day…even if they are mindless doodles when I should be taking notes in a meeting.


Q: Do you have any tips for lineart/coloring?
Yeah, draw and color. If you have a digital art program, don’t be afraid to screw around with stuff. If you don’t and money is not an object, do the same thing with any manner of materials of your choosing.


Q: Do you sketch your drawings and trace later over them for lineart or do you use the same page/layer?
Yes.
Ok, seriously, it really depends on the situation again. I’ve sketched out ideas only to expand on them further on the same page because I liked what came out, others get entire new pages. Sometimes I will work a sketch, take it to a light table to make some cleaner lineart, only to take that to the light table again 2 or 3 more times before I’m satisfied.


Q: Do you draw with any tutorial-style guidelines when you begin?
While I certainly apply the concepts I have picked up from a number of tutorials (such as setting up a skeletal structure/framework), I avoid a lot of tutorials like the plague unless there is a specific effect that I am looking for. I don’t need my work to look like it came from the exact same cookie-cutter styled colorist.


Q: How do you get over an artist's block?
I usually take four or five steps to the right (or left) and then press on.


Q: What is your favorite thing to draw?
My favorite thing? Mecha, armor, weapons and atrocities…what appears in my gallery tells a different story. You see, I am actually pretty good at the stuff I like to draw, but I need to get better at the squishy stuff (and I’m not necessarily talking about female body parts).


Q: At what age did you consider/begin getting into art?
No idea. I’ve been doodling and drawing ever since I could remember. That may be a painfully common answer, but it’s true.


Q: Did you ever attend art classes/school/academy/college? Did they benefit?
Yes; I took the required classes in high school, but I also took some basic classes through the Art Academy of Cincinnati for a painfully brief time and a number of courses through University of Maryland University College. And yes, I do feel that the more consistent and recent classes have helped me a lot.


Q: Did you ever try to adapt to someone else's style or start with developing your own?
I think I have always had my own style. Even when I was a lot younger when I traced pictures from video game manuals, they still looked different from the picture I traced from. Never could figure it out really…


Q: What types of color combinations are your favorite to experiment with?
Hmmm… well, I can’t say for sure, as I really don’t color too often.


Q: Do you prefer digital or traditional? Does either have an easier skill level/set of benefits over the other?
I prefer traditional, as that is where I have the most experience. I am working to change this by doing more digitally, but that doesn’t come overnight.
Both mediums I think have their own learning curve, and you can do things in one medium that you can’t do in the other. So I really can’t say if one is better than the other. It all comes down to personal preference really.


Q: Are you happy with your current level of art? Do you wish to improve?
Fuck no, I’m not satisfied! I am always looking for ways to get better. Of course actual execution is another kettle of worms and I need to put the time into that… which I have been lacking lately. But I do what I can…


Q: Do you plan before touching a layer/sketchbook, or make it up as you go?
A little of column A and a little of column B.


Q: What kind of tablet/sketchbook do you use?
For my digital work, I have an Intuos 4. Traditional stuff is pretty much regulated to whatever is within reach.


Q: What digital painting program do you use?
Paint Tool SAI and Adobe CS5


Q: Do you feel supported with your artwork? How do you deal with the choice of life/school/work/parental advice when pursuing your art?
Not really, no. I get very little feedback from my friends, and my parents can’t be bothered to give a damn (the ones that are still alive anyway).

Right now, work and school go hand in hand, with life and art taking a back seat to them. While I don’t decline going out with my friends in favor of art…I often bring my drawing materials with me.


Q: Do you listen to music/watch TV/read while drawing?
WinAmp is always running when I am at my computer. Enough said. If I watch anything, it would be fellow artists as they stream, but that is rare because it is a distraction.


Q: Who/what are your inspirations that you feel show in your artwork?
Most “Old School” anime (mostly stuff from the 70’s through the 90’s) has been an influence. Some artists like Joe Mad, Newt Ewell, Masamune Shirow and Fred Perry have also added some influence to my style as well.


Q: What have you done in order to obtain the financial necessity to purchase your tools?
I work, duh.


Q: Do you do requests/trades/commissions? Do you have a link that explains more in depth?
I very rarely do requests. I have done one or two at conventions, but I have to remotely feel like doing it. I would do trades if I felt that someone would want to trade with me. I offer commissions when I am at conventions.


Q: Do you have any final words for me?
Reality is for those who can’t handle √-1.

Activity


Thoughts on Suicide

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 14, 2014, 12:23 PM



Convention Status


MAGFEST: 2-5 January, National Harbor, MD

Katsucon: 14-16 February, National Harbor, MD

BronyCon: 1-3 August, Baltimore, Maryland

Otakon: 8-10 August, Baltimore, Maryland
Most likely will not even attend, however I may just hang out near the convention...

MAGFest: 23-26 January, National Harbor, MD
Doing this one, improving my aim to get a table this year.

Any other conventions are pending time, money and interest.




I DO take requests in that I will entertain any request. Whether or not I will actually work on the request is another matter entirely. The fact of the matter is that a request is just that: a request; something that you would like to see me do. This said, I am under NO obligation to do it at all.

If you're still here and want to request something from me send me a note or email and then wait. I will either do it or I won't. If you ask me whether or not I got your message about the request, rest assured that I have and that I have at least skimmed it over and am considering it. Good ways to ensure that I will NOT do your request include, but are not limited to:
- Requests that are outside of my interests (take a look at my gallery and faves to get an idea of what those are).
- Requests that put my characters outside of what they normally do or suggest that they behave differently than how they normally would.
- Badgering, pestering or otherwise being a nuisance is a quick way to see your request sent to a quantum singularity never to be heard from again...you are on my time and I've got stuff to do.
- Should a request actually get completed, you accept it as-is. Period.
- Friends, family and business partners get special dispensation and are far more likely to be considered. Those people know who they are...and no, just because you are on my 'Friends' list here or are watching me does not make you my friend by default.

If you find that these terms are unreasonable, then put some money on the table and commission me. You will find that I am MUCH more reasonable and FAR more inclined to bend over backwards for you.



When I heard about Robin Williams’ death, I refused to believe it. I heard about it while playing MechWarrior Online and, to be honest, you can’t always trust what it is that people put out there, especially when that sort of stuff is spouted in an attempt to get a rise out of others. So yeah, I called bullshit let it alone until after the match, then I hit up Google (Google pretty much knows everything) and I found the early release articles that were published hours after he was pronounced dead.

I wanted to call bullshit…

…I still do…

…but reality has since sunk in and one of the greatest men on the face of the planet has passed on.

Since then, I have noted some of the tributes, well-wishes and stories of others about the news. I have read a fair number of articles on the matter as people tried to understand what could drive a man to take his own life.

For anybody that spent more than 5 minutes actually paying attention to Robin Williams, his various acts, how he carried himself (even with the genuine, warm smiles), you could see the pain just beneath the surface. Spend a little more time watching the man and you realize that he had always battled depression and suffered from both alcohol and drug addiction.

Robin Williams is the perfect example of what is known as a Sad Clown. That is, someone who suffers from deep depression, but they mask and cope with their pain by bringing joy to others. Among comedians, this is a very, very common thing. Many comedians are very depressed and sad individuals, believe it or not…and believe it or not, they are actually very good about hiding behind a mask; they have to be because of the stigma that surrounds people who are depressed or otherwise mentally and/or emotionally suffering.

…and that brings me to the topic of this giant wall of text that this will inevitably evolve into.

The various articles I’ve read and the accompanying comments from folks (with some even providing their own stories and anecdotes) struck a chord with me…a very familiar one.

In light of this, and the descriptions of the challenges that others face and have faced, I want to describe my own experiences with depression:

I will be 36 in November. For the vast majority of that time I have been battling a very similar beast that many people fight. While I cannot ever know the depths or details of the beasts and battles that so many other people do battle with on a day-to-day basis, I know that mine is a special kind of monster.

Mine never leaves me. It is always there, lurking just at the edge of my mind’s eye. Watching. Waiting.

It can sit there in the shadows for months at a time placid to the point that I almost forget that it’s there (you never forget that you are carrying around a 10 pound weight…you may become used to carrying it around, but you never forget you have it with you). Sometimes it will reach out and pinch, poke or nibble. It causes me to question things, or casually remind me of any number of truths that I have come to accept. Sometimes it doesn’t say anything it all. Sometimes it just sits there and smiles, and then shows me the chains that bind me…just a reminder that no matter what they’re still there and they aren’t going away.

…no matter how hard I try to remove them…

Those are the times that are easiest. They are the ones that I can most easily cope with, because I am used to it. Yeah, I may be lugging around a 10 pound weight, but I can still tread water easily enough.

Sometimes though, it gets ornery. Or bored. Or both. Sometimes it just wants to pour some salt in the wounds and do more than simply remind me of my place. Sometimes it decides that it wants to make itself known.

Sometimes, it just wants to break me.

These times are the worst. They are the hardest. These are the times where in addition to carrying that ten pound weight everywhere, the ground gives out underneath your feet. You struggle, you try to climb back up, but you keep slipping as the dirt crumbles to sand that constantly gives out underneath you. You fight harder but the sand continues to carry you inexorably downwards, eliminating any progress you have made instantly. If you’re lucky, you are able to maintain the status quo, you are able to postpone the inevitable descent a little longer.

Unfortunately, you can’t keep this up forever. You know it. As you fight, you become tired, fatigued. Soon, the effort required to stay in place exceeds your ability and now all you can do is just slow the descent. As you sink deeper and deeper, it becomes harder and harder to sit up, much less fight. The climb has become too steep and the weight too much. You are up to your waist in sludge that is puling you down and you just can’t fight it. You want to NEED to, but you can’t. The effort to just lift your hand through the mire and muck is just too much, especially now. Even if you don’t give up, you are either just too exhausted by this point or any efforts you make serve no purpose.

…and so you sink…

The deeper you go, the harder and more painful it becomes to resist, so you stop. You also realize that nobody actually cares. Oh, they say that they do, but it’s a lie. They never cared. At worst, they completely ignored you, at best they just passed on by after a smile and ‘how-you-doin’?’. Of course you told them ‘fine’ because that’s what’s expected. Couldn’t they see past the obvious lie? See the pain you were in? If they truly cared, they would have noticed long ago and done something then.

…you sink deeper… 

You are in a deep, black pit; surrounded by oppressive darkness. The ten pound weight now feels like a thousand. You aren’t sure if it’s the weight itself or if it’s just all of that sand, muck and mire. The pain goes from mental to physical. You feel a stabbing in the center of your chest. Your joints refuse to cooperate. It is physically and mentally draining to just stand up and go to the bathroom. You shut out the light and avoid going outside because it’s just too painful. Everything hurts inside and out. Its torture and you just want it all to end.


But it can end you know...the pain, the sorrow, the helplessness.

It can all be over in an instant. If you just pull the trigger. A fraction of a second and not only will it all end, but you will never have to worry about it tormenting you again. So what about everyone else? They didn’t care then, why should they care now? What about your obligations and responsibilities? Irrelevant. They won’t follow you; they can’t.

It can all end. Right here, right now. It is just. That. Easy.


 

….and then the feeling passes.

Just like that, it’s over. You don’t know how, or why you are suddenly near the end of a dark tunnel, but there you are after stumbling out of the darkness. In the murky grey that surrounds you, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel easily enough. Not too hard to keep walking forward really. For a moment, you think that the darkness that you were in was just a dream, some sort of hallucination or something, but you look over your shoulder and see from where you had just come. It is a dark, terrifying place and you genuinely wonder how in the hell you ended up there to begin with. 

You pick up your pace a little, walking towards the light and more than a little eager to be on your way…there is so much to do and you don’t have time to dawdle. That ten pound weight is still there, but you don’t really notice it; its weight seemingly negligible, especially after what you had just gone through. You step out into the light. You feel better. Not quite totally relieved of everything, but still, you feel pretty good though.

Something catches your attention out of the corner of your eye and you see it, sitting there watching you. Waiting. It smiles. A shudder goes down your spine as you realize that this will not be the last time it puts you through that hell. Worse, you don’t know when it will happen again, or how bad it will be…only that it will happen again and when you least expect it.

 

If you got this far, thanks, I really appreciate it! If you also got this far, I think some things also bear explaining as well:

:bulletblue: I exist in a constant state of minor depression. That is, I am always slightly depressed. If, on a scale of 1-10, the average person sits at 5 as their day-to-day feeling, I tend to sit at about a 4. I have to actually make a conscious effort to look, appear or otherwise sound cheerful.

:bulletblue: I am not currently contemplating suicidal thoughts, but I have in the past and there is a non-zero chance that I will in the future.

:bulletblue: This is me putting my emotional state to paper (or, rather, pixels) when things get bad. This is not a cry for attention, rather it is an attempt to let others know what’s going on in my head.

:bulletblue: Reading similar perspectives from others helped me identify and better nail down the things I have been feeling, so it is my hope that by reading this, others will be inspired to do the same.

:bulletblue: For those that do not suffer from chronic depression, but have heard about it and/or know folks that do, I hope that this gives them a bit of insight to what is happening their friends and loved ones





Commission List:
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4)
5)



BronyCon 2014 Awesomeness

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 7, 2014, 12:51 PM



Convention Status


MAGFEST: 2-5 January, National Harbor, MD

Katsucon: 14-16 February, National Harbor, MD

BronyCon: 1-3 August, Baltimore, Maryland

Otakon: 8-10 August, Baltimore, Maryland
Most likely will not even attend, however I may just hang out near the convention...

MAGFest: 23-26 January, National Harbor, MD
Doing this one, improving my aim to get a table this year.

Any other conventions are pending time, money and interest.




I DO take requests in that I will entertain any request. Whether or not I will actually work on the request is another matter entirely. The fact of the matter is that a request is just that: a request; something that you would like to see me do. This said, I am under NO obligation to do it at all.

If you're still here and want to request something from me send me a note or email and then wait. I will either do it or I won't. If you ask me whether or not I got your message about the request, rest assured that I have and that I have at least skimmed it over and am considering it. Good ways to ensure that I will NOT do your request include, but are not limited to:
- Requests that are outside of my interests (take a look at my gallery and faves to get an idea of what those are).
- Requests that put my characters outside of what they normally do or suggest that they behave differently than how they normally would.
- Badgering, pestering or otherwise being a nuisance is a quick way to see your request sent to a quantum singularity never to be heard from again...you are on my time and I've got stuff to do.
- Should a request actually get completed, you accept it as-is. Period.
- Friends, family and business partners get special dispensation and are far more likely to be considered. Those people know who they are...and no, just because you are on my 'Friends' list here or are watching me does not make you my friend by default.

If you find that these terms are unreasonable, then put some money on the table and commission me. You will find that I am MUCH more reasonable and FAR more inclined to bend over backwards for you.



So in my last journal, I noted how stuff regarding my car pretty much exploded all over my face for most of the weekend, but it all turned out much better than expected or hoped. The vast majority of that was me bitching about how shit went wrong. This one is going to be talking about the stuff that went right.

Friday
For me, Friday was, for the most part, a rather quiet day. I had very little planned and I was actually quite content to spend my time chained to the table. I wanted to catch a morning drawing workshop which was nice, but I probably should have let some of the younger and/or less experienced artists have my spot. That said, the group there had some rather neat art supplies for our use.

What actually stuck out the most for me was these little color sticks called Chroma Stix that seemed to be the spawn of Crayola crayons and oil-pastels. They were durable and had a smooth wear like crayons and they also lacked the oily feel that the pastels have. However, they also went onto paper very smooth and fairly uniform, which reminded me more of the pastels. To be clear, they weren't the greatest thing, but they were pretty neat. I think my only complaint at this moment is the lack of color variety (they only had 5 colors; blue, red, yellow, green and purple). They also had an interesting shape that would allow for one to color in different ways, not unlike holding a paintbrush or something similar. All in all, they were very interesting and lots of fun.

The next thing of interest was getting Tabitha St. Germain’s autograph. You see, Tabitha apparently doesn’t go to a lot of conventions of any sort, and she tends to avoid the East Coast like the plague. I did not know this, but I learned all about it while waiting in line. So you could say that managing to get ahold of her in person is somewhat of a Rarity… In any event, the line just for her autograph was rather long and I almost didn’t make it due to the high demand (she does voice best Princess and best Mane 6 after all…), but she did sign the NLR poster I brought and we traded a little banter after I told her I liked her performance as Roberta in Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail (well worth the watch…especially if you want to hear naughty saucy talk from Princess Luna/Nightmare Moon – trust me, when it happens, you’ll know).

Now, what follows could be considered, more or less, the epitome of irony. You see, I left to get in line for my autograph at about 3:30 and I got back at about 5 or so (I was gone for more than an hour and a half, but less than 2 hours). During this time, several people showed up wanting a commission, but they were both unwilling to wait and did not want to write down what they wanted. There were also folks who were asking all sorts of questions about the Mega Mare prints I was selling and other such things. In addition, a few of the houseguests were having some social anxiety problems (a very understandable thing when you understand their individual quirks and such and I think a couple of others just were not feeling well. Why do I find irony in this? Because I was in my seat from noon until the time I left for the autograph session and not one person shows up about anything for my stuff. At all. But as soon as I take a step out for something more than to use the restroom, the shit hits the fan and I’m just looking around scratching my head wondering what in the hell just happened.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t absolutely terrible and everything worked out very well all things considered, I just found the irony downright hilarious.

The Vendor’s Hall closed at 6 with those vending having the hour to run around and check out their peers as well as break down and clean up in preparation for the next day. I hung around until about them and I figured I would go ahead and sit in on the Artist Palooza 101 panel to eat up the extra time I had before 8pm where I was to meet with Starlight Studios. This is an oddity for me, as I typically don’t do panels, this is mostly because I find there is little they can teach me and I prefer to actually do stuff and interact with others. There are exceptions of course, but they are just that: exceptions. So while there, it turns out that that the Starlight Studios crew had the exact same idea, as those were at the con were also present in the audience…this is likely because :icondarkflame75: was one of the members of the panel. So the panel was pretty cool and maybe about a quarter of the way into it, I realize that my teammates are present and move to join them.

…in my defense, I only met some of the guys for maybe about 1-2 minutes a year ago, so I don’t know what a lot of folks look like. I mean, from September of last year to now, I only know their handles and avatars…which can (and have) changed. So yeah…

Anyway, after the panel, we met at the Diamond Tavern and had a nice dinner that pretty much consisted of us all talking, catching up and getting used to the fact that we all actually have faces and are not, in fact, an avatar and/or a glowing set of lips in a Mumble call.

My night wrapped up with a short workshop regarding expressions done by :iconbalddumborat:. This was much more useful and interesting and I met a lot of really neat people as well.

Saturday
Saturday was pretty much exactly like Friday. Things did not go very well starting off because I needed to hit up JiffyLube and thus some folks had to call a cab to get to the con. I still feel guilty about this development…but I just couldn’t trust my car, you know? In any event, from a business standpoint, things were fairly quiet. I think the most interesting thing that happened is that I ran out of the large NLR prints with text and I was down to 1 or 2 sets of Mega Mare Sets (that is, all 20 images). I spent most of the time at the table, but I did take a few minutes here and there to wander around the Vendor’s hall to get a better idea of what was there. Seriously, if I was not on such a tight budget, I would have picked up a LOT more. Seriously.

Things wrapped up with me attending the Extra Drawing with the MLP Drawing School (which is apparently a thing that I had never heard of and kinda want to get into now that I think about it…). Again, I had quite a bit of fun with this workshop and spent a lot of time just doodling and drawing with some of the folks who shared a table with me.

After the con, I think I stayed up until 1 or 2am chatting with :iconshrineheart: and :iconrattlesire: about different aspects of the con. Apparently things weren’t going as well for them, and they had a fair number of issues with, well, different things ranging from traffic management to general frustrations with people looking but not buying anything. Personally, I am not exactly sure how to think on the matter. I mean, I certainly see their perspective and do sympathize, especially when I know that one of the primary reasons people even came to our table was to pick up FOB coins (which we were selling on behalf of FOB Equestria). However, my reasons for doing the whole con/artist alley/vendor hall thing is more for the social interaction; meeting and chatting with other artists and such. Their intent is to try and build this up to become a thing that they can use as a significant source of income (if not primary), so yeah, I can see how subpar performance can put a serious damper on things, especially when one worked so hard on making cool stuff to sell. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much more I can say about the whole thing other than that because, well, from my perspective things went very well… but then again, my benchmark for things going well is if I sell anything and make enough money to pay for food and/or parking. Yeah, low standards I know…

So yeah, I’m not exactly sure what to think here. I mean, I had a great time and things went very well…but I know that not everyone can say the same. I understand this, but it bugs me a bit when my friends, who both do much better work than I do do not seem to do well, while my derpy little scribbles get all sorts of attention.

Sunday
The last day of the con was pretty much a mixture of the last two days. My car troubles had me showing up a LOT later than I wanted to and I was just very concerned about being able to get people where they had to get to on Monday. This was tempered with the fact that I sold out of my Mega Mare sets (apparently Pharaoh Mare is popular…).

My intent was to actually stick around until I was kicked out by the convention staff and the BCC. I mean, that’s how things typically go for me on the last day of any con…especially if I took the next day off. Not this time though, as one of the members of Starlight Studios opened their home to the whole lot of us for a post-con get together. So almost as soon as the vendor’s hall closed, I was breaking things down and trying to get the hell out of dodge.

Odds & Ends
My swagbag was pretty limited this year, not because I didn’t see stuff that I wanted, but because I did not have the money (things are still tight around here). I picked up a Rock/Tumbler glass with Trixie’s cutiemark engraved, as well as a couple of shot glasses one with Luna and the other with Trixie. As I mentioned, I got Tabitha St. Germain’s autograph, a handful of badges and buttons as well as a little blobby thing of Trixie (it’s cute as a button!) and a couple of commissions done.

I also ran across a handful of artists and internet/pony-famous people such as Dusty Katt (aka The Manliest Brony), Jitterbug and others. I also seemed to have attracted the attention of some folks who are in the video game scene and are generally looking to show off stuff, so there is potential of showing off more of my work to more people.

All in all, BronyCon 2014 was a great convention for me. In a number of ways it was better, and in others last years was better, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am looking forward to BronyCon next year, where I intend to have a table, this time with Starlight Studios.

Next stop: MAGFest!



Commission List:
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4)
5)



So...BronyCon 2014...

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 4, 2014, 8:30 PM



Convention Status


MAGFEST: 2-5 January, National Harbor, MD

Katsucon: 14-16 February, National Harbor, MD

BronyCon: 1-3 August, Baltimore, Maryland

Otakon: 8-10 August, Baltimore, Maryland
Most likely will not even attend, however I may just hang out near the convention...

MAGFest: 23-26 January, National Harbor, MD
Doing this one, improving my aim to get a table this year.

Any other conventions are pending time, money and interest.




I DO take requests in that I will entertain any request. Whether or not I will actually work on the request is another matter entirely. The fact of the matter is that a request is just that: a request; something that you would like to see me do. This said, I am under NO obligation to do it at all.

If you're still here and want to request something from me send me a note or email and then wait. I will either do it or I won't. If you ask me whether or not I got your message about the request, rest assured that I have and that I have at least skimmed it over and am considering it. Good ways to ensure that I will NOT do your request include, but are not limited to:
- Requests that are outside of my interests (take a look at my gallery and faves to get an idea of what those are).
- Requests that put my characters outside of what they normally do or suggest that they behave differently than how they normally would.
- Badgering, pestering or otherwise being a nuisance is a quick way to see your request sent to a quantum singularity never to be heard from again...you are on my time and I've got stuff to do.
- Should a request actually get completed, you accept it as-is. Period.
- Friends, family and business partners get special dispensation and are far more likely to be considered. Those people know who they are...and no, just because you are on my 'Friends' list here or are watching me does not make you my friend by default.

If you find that these terms are unreasonable, then put some money on the table and commission me. You will find that I am MUCH more reasonable and FAR more inclined to bend over backwards for you.



…holy fucking shit, where do I even start? Okay, maybe at the beginning. Some folks tend to like that idea…

But where to really begin though? I mean, just how far back do I go?

Do I start with the fact that I had a hell of a time working on my prints this year because I just didn’t feel like drawing or working on shit? I mean, sure, I could have just come with what I had done, but I would have maybe 2-3 robot masters and no new megaman. Or how about the crippling performance anxiety about people even liking my work (much less buying it)?

I know. I will start on Wednesday (30 July). Work had been a drag all last week except for some stuff that came up the week before where I put in some serious overtime (we’re talking 11-hour workday here). And given that Thursday was the last day of the workweek and I was already taking PTO, this meant that I had a 5-hour workday coming to me. Cool, right? Well, turns out one of the guys that I’m hosting needed a lift.

From Pennsylvania.

To be clear, it was NOT an issue going up to get him. However, it was the start of a long weekend that, although fun, was not very relaxing (more on this later). I mean, you would think that finding out that everybody whom I thought would need transportation into the convention managed to get to the house with nary a problem would be pretty fucking sweet, right? Well, it kind of was, except for the fact that I was the only person with a car and folks needed a way to get to the convention! Yes, some folks called in favors and pooled their resources and got a rental…but that was a stressor that I really did not need (mental note: when making arrangements for people to stay at my place, ensure there is a suitable person-to-car ratio!).

Anyway, Thursday rolls around and people make their way to the con for preregistration and the bar-trot. Things go fairly smoothly, which is nice.

Unfortunately, this was not to last. Friday morning on the way to the con, my car starts giving me some shit. One of the lights (now referred to the Glowing Wrench of DOOM) lights up and my car loses all ability to drive…like as if the transmission just decides to shit all over my face and fall out from under the hood. Pull over, shut everything off, and all is right with the world. Except that it’s not. It does it a couple of more times and a couple of times on the way back too.

Figuring that it had something to do with the transmission flush I had last week, I decide to spin by JiffyLube on the way in on Saturday. This puts pressure on a number of folks because there is suddenly not a car that can be used for reliable transportation (a resource we were already lacking!). Fun times! JiffyLube tells me that I’m somewhere between 1-2 quarts low on the transmission fluid. Which is normal because on a full flush, the replacement fluid may not get to all locations and that driving around does this, thus making it a bit low. They top me off and I’m on my way. All is right with the world…until that night when, already exhausted and tired, it happens again. Just once… but it still happens. Decide that maybe it’s an isolated incident and think nothing of it.

Sunday rolls around and I have a car-full of folks…and I don’t even make it out of the complex before my car craps out again! Of course I’m not only furious, but also feeling a LOT like Han Solo. I limp my way to the JiffyLube and find out that they don’t open for another 2 hours! Wonderful. If it were just me, I would have just waited it out. But I have passengers so I can’t. So I limp to the convention center (getting the Glowing Wrench of Doom several times). JiffyLube looks at it again, and they can’t figure out what is wrong, so they flush my entire system again with the hope that maybe there was some gunk in the system that was mucking things up. Turns out they were wrong, but that’s a $200 thing they just did for free… so my hat goes off to the JiffyLube at Greenbelt.

Anyway, for today, I get people up to where they have to go, limping all the way (especially the last drop-off point). Car behaves on the trip back, but I drop if off at the dealership anyway. They tell me they may not be able to get to it today and I go get a rental to get the remaining people where they need to go.

Things take a rapid turn from horrible and shitty to goddammed fucking win and awesome when I get a call from the dealership. Apparently there was a problem with the Throttle Body (it manages the fuel/air mixture) and that was what was causing all of the problems. Better still, as this problem was electrical/computer-related in nature, they were able to fix it very easily. The best part though, was the fact that the repairs were all covered under my vehicle’s warranty!

Needless to say, this was all one hell of a relief for me (I was prepared to call family and borrow money to pay for the repairs). And to be perfectly clear, I am thrilled about the development, I truly am, and I also had a phenomenal time at BronyCon (I will write on this a bit later, promise, but I am tired right now). So please watch this space over the next day or two about AnimeFreak40K’s take on BronyCon.



Commission List:
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2)
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4)
5)



Bass by AnimeFreak40K
Bass
One of the ten mini-prints I sold at BronyCon 2014.

Got a lot of positive feedback about this set, as well as a few new suggestions, so I'm further inclined to keep going with the Mega Mare thing for next year.
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Thoughts on Suicide

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 14, 2014, 12:23 PM



Convention Status


MAGFEST: 2-5 January, National Harbor, MD

Katsucon: 14-16 February, National Harbor, MD

BronyCon: 1-3 August, Baltimore, Maryland

Otakon: 8-10 August, Baltimore, Maryland
Most likely will not even attend, however I may just hang out near the convention...

MAGFest: 23-26 January, National Harbor, MD
Doing this one, improving my aim to get a table this year.

Any other conventions are pending time, money and interest.




I DO take requests in that I will entertain any request. Whether or not I will actually work on the request is another matter entirely. The fact of the matter is that a request is just that: a request; something that you would like to see me do. This said, I am under NO obligation to do it at all.

If you're still here and want to request something from me send me a note or email and then wait. I will either do it or I won't. If you ask me whether or not I got your message about the request, rest assured that I have and that I have at least skimmed it over and am considering it. Good ways to ensure that I will NOT do your request include, but are not limited to:
- Requests that are outside of my interests (take a look at my gallery and faves to get an idea of what those are).
- Requests that put my characters outside of what they normally do or suggest that they behave differently than how they normally would.
- Badgering, pestering or otherwise being a nuisance is a quick way to see your request sent to a quantum singularity never to be heard from again...you are on my time and I've got stuff to do.
- Should a request actually get completed, you accept it as-is. Period.
- Friends, family and business partners get special dispensation and are far more likely to be considered. Those people know who they are...and no, just because you are on my 'Friends' list here or are watching me does not make you my friend by default.

If you find that these terms are unreasonable, then put some money on the table and commission me. You will find that I am MUCH more reasonable and FAR more inclined to bend over backwards for you.



When I heard about Robin Williams’ death, I refused to believe it. I heard about it while playing MechWarrior Online and, to be honest, you can’t always trust what it is that people put out there, especially when that sort of stuff is spouted in an attempt to get a rise out of others. So yeah, I called bullshit let it alone until after the match, then I hit up Google (Google pretty much knows everything) and I found the early release articles that were published hours after he was pronounced dead.

I wanted to call bullshit…

…I still do…

…but reality has since sunk in and one of the greatest men on the face of the planet has passed on.

Since then, I have noted some of the tributes, well-wishes and stories of others about the news. I have read a fair number of articles on the matter as people tried to understand what could drive a man to take his own life.

For anybody that spent more than 5 minutes actually paying attention to Robin Williams, his various acts, how he carried himself (even with the genuine, warm smiles), you could see the pain just beneath the surface. Spend a little more time watching the man and you realize that he had always battled depression and suffered from both alcohol and drug addiction.

Robin Williams is the perfect example of what is known as a Sad Clown. That is, someone who suffers from deep depression, but they mask and cope with their pain by bringing joy to others. Among comedians, this is a very, very common thing. Many comedians are very depressed and sad individuals, believe it or not…and believe it or not, they are actually very good about hiding behind a mask; they have to be because of the stigma that surrounds people who are depressed or otherwise mentally and/or emotionally suffering.

…and that brings me to the topic of this giant wall of text that this will inevitably evolve into.

The various articles I’ve read and the accompanying comments from folks (with some even providing their own stories and anecdotes) struck a chord with me…a very familiar one.

In light of this, and the descriptions of the challenges that others face and have faced, I want to describe my own experiences with depression:

I will be 36 in November. For the vast majority of that time I have been battling a very similar beast that many people fight. While I cannot ever know the depths or details of the beasts and battles that so many other people do battle with on a day-to-day basis, I know that mine is a special kind of monster.

Mine never leaves me. It is always there, lurking just at the edge of my mind’s eye. Watching. Waiting.

It can sit there in the shadows for months at a time placid to the point that I almost forget that it’s there (you never forget that you are carrying around a 10 pound weight…you may become used to carrying it around, but you never forget you have it with you). Sometimes it will reach out and pinch, poke or nibble. It causes me to question things, or casually remind me of any number of truths that I have come to accept. Sometimes it doesn’t say anything it all. Sometimes it just sits there and smiles, and then shows me the chains that bind me…just a reminder that no matter what they’re still there and they aren’t going away.

…no matter how hard I try to remove them…

Those are the times that are easiest. They are the ones that I can most easily cope with, because I am used to it. Yeah, I may be lugging around a 10 pound weight, but I can still tread water easily enough.

Sometimes though, it gets ornery. Or bored. Or both. Sometimes it just wants to pour some salt in the wounds and do more than simply remind me of my place. Sometimes it decides that it wants to make itself known.

Sometimes, it just wants to break me.

These times are the worst. They are the hardest. These are the times where in addition to carrying that ten pound weight everywhere, the ground gives out underneath your feet. You struggle, you try to climb back up, but you keep slipping as the dirt crumbles to sand that constantly gives out underneath you. You fight harder but the sand continues to carry you inexorably downwards, eliminating any progress you have made instantly. If you’re lucky, you are able to maintain the status quo, you are able to postpone the inevitable descent a little longer.

Unfortunately, you can’t keep this up forever. You know it. As you fight, you become tired, fatigued. Soon, the effort required to stay in place exceeds your ability and now all you can do is just slow the descent. As you sink deeper and deeper, it becomes harder and harder to sit up, much less fight. The climb has become too steep and the weight too much. You are up to your waist in sludge that is puling you down and you just can’t fight it. You want to NEED to, but you can’t. The effort to just lift your hand through the mire and muck is just too much, especially now. Even if you don’t give up, you are either just too exhausted by this point or any efforts you make serve no purpose.

…and so you sink…

The deeper you go, the harder and more painful it becomes to resist, so you stop. You also realize that nobody actually cares. Oh, they say that they do, but it’s a lie. They never cared. At worst, they completely ignored you, at best they just passed on by after a smile and ‘how-you-doin’?’. Of course you told them ‘fine’ because that’s what’s expected. Couldn’t they see past the obvious lie? See the pain you were in? If they truly cared, they would have noticed long ago and done something then.

…you sink deeper… 

You are in a deep, black pit; surrounded by oppressive darkness. The ten pound weight now feels like a thousand. You aren’t sure if it’s the weight itself or if it’s just all of that sand, muck and mire. The pain goes from mental to physical. You feel a stabbing in the center of your chest. Your joints refuse to cooperate. It is physically and mentally draining to just stand up and go to the bathroom. You shut out the light and avoid going outside because it’s just too painful. Everything hurts inside and out. Its torture and you just want it all to end.


But it can end you know...the pain, the sorrow, the helplessness.

It can all be over in an instant. If you just pull the trigger. A fraction of a second and not only will it all end, but you will never have to worry about it tormenting you again. So what about everyone else? They didn’t care then, why should they care now? What about your obligations and responsibilities? Irrelevant. They won’t follow you; they can’t.

It can all end. Right here, right now. It is just. That. Easy.


 

….and then the feeling passes.

Just like that, it’s over. You don’t know how, or why you are suddenly near the end of a dark tunnel, but there you are after stumbling out of the darkness. In the murky grey that surrounds you, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel easily enough. Not too hard to keep walking forward really. For a moment, you think that the darkness that you were in was just a dream, some sort of hallucination or something, but you look over your shoulder and see from where you had just come. It is a dark, terrifying place and you genuinely wonder how in the hell you ended up there to begin with. 

You pick up your pace a little, walking towards the light and more than a little eager to be on your way…there is so much to do and you don’t have time to dawdle. That ten pound weight is still there, but you don’t really notice it; its weight seemingly negligible, especially after what you had just gone through. You step out into the light. You feel better. Not quite totally relieved of everything, but still, you feel pretty good though.

Something catches your attention out of the corner of your eye and you see it, sitting there watching you. Waiting. It smiles. A shudder goes down your spine as you realize that this will not be the last time it puts you through that hell. Worse, you don’t know when it will happen again, or how bad it will be…only that it will happen again and when you least expect it.

 

If you got this far, thanks, I really appreciate it! If you also got this far, I think some things also bear explaining as well:

:bulletblue: I exist in a constant state of minor depression. That is, I am always slightly depressed. If, on a scale of 1-10, the average person sits at 5 as their day-to-day feeling, I tend to sit at about a 4. I have to actually make a conscious effort to look, appear or otherwise sound cheerful.

:bulletblue: I am not currently contemplating suicidal thoughts, but I have in the past and there is a non-zero chance that I will in the future.

:bulletblue: This is me putting my emotional state to paper (or, rather, pixels) when things get bad. This is not a cry for attention, rather it is an attempt to let others know what’s going on in my head.

:bulletblue: Reading similar perspectives from others helped me identify and better nail down the things I have been feeling, so it is my hope that by reading this, others will be inspired to do the same.

:bulletblue: For those that do not suffer from chronic depression, but have heard about it and/or know folks that do, I hope that this gives them a bit of insight to what is happening their friends and loved ones





Commission List:
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2)
3)
4)
5)



deviantID

AnimeFreak40K
has a low Idiot Tolerance!
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
Current Residence: My own little world somewhere between the State of Insanity and the State of Confusion
Favourite genre of music: Stuffs...some techno, Heavy Metal, J-Pop, J-Rock...y'know...Anime Stuffs...
Operating System: Windows 7
Skin of choice: my own? but only because im attached to it at the moment
Favourite cartoon character: you just HAD to ask that one didnt you?
Personal Quote: Sanity...is for the WEAK!
Interests

Webcam

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconnoshoba:
Noshoba Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
www.deviantart.com/art/Cadence…

See MLP in Battlemechs lol
Reply
:iconanimefreak40k:
AnimeFreak40K Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Heh, yeah, I know that guy's work. IIRC, the mechs that he's using in the artwork is for a game he's working on.
Reply
:iconnoshoba:
Noshoba Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well they are cool chuckles. Played a few battletech games with him online
Reply
:iconanimefreak40k:
AnimeFreak40K Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh yeah they are.

How do you play BattleTech online? I mean, I play MechWarrior Online... but that's about all I know about that's out there.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconpatrickfinch:
PatrickFinch Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for adding me to the watch list!
Reply
:iconanimefreak40k:
AnimeFreak40K Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Not a problem ^_^
Reply
:iconnoshoba:
Noshoba Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not bad MLP types there my friend.  Used to have some MLP taurs 3d models that were fun from years ago.  They would be your heavy weapons specialists.
Reply
:iconanimefreak40k:
AnimeFreak40K Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Heh, that'd be interesting to see.

...though admittedly most of the latest works are actually characters from the Mega Man franchise gender-swapped (as the characters in the game are male) and ponified. So Mega Mare is just Mega Man ponified, for example.
Reply
:iconnoshoba:
Noshoba Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not bad idea.  Actually one artist's work on here with MLPs in mechs isn't bad at all. 
Reply
:iconthat1brony1guy:
that1brony1guy Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014
Thank you for the llama :)
Reply
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