Currently on art: Q4 2020 – onwards to 2021!

Happy New Year everyone!

I wrote this during 31st December, 2020 and decided that it would be fitting to schedule it to one minute before midnight. Hence, chances are that when you do read this, it’s already 2021 in your part of the world – that’s fine, though! Enjoy the new, hopefully better year!

Well then. Buckle up; this is going to be a long, long post.

It’s been quite the year, this first one of the decade of 2020. Had I been told what would would end up happening, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. Yet here we are, three quarters in with the COVID19 pandemic, although since the vaccines are spreading already, I’m feeling hopeful about next year.

Honestly, this year has been too slow yet oddly fast, despite of everything. Things have been going pretty slow but I can’t help asking, “wait, it’s over already?” Funny, right? Anyway, I’m glad that it’s almost over now and we can look towards the new year of 2021, a year of hope.

It’s hard to come up with a proper list of major things that happened this year alongside COVID19 pandemic coming, but such a list does include DeviantArt’s Eclipse becoming permanent, which marked my move to WordPress, ending two projects and starting a new one, finishing Greenfield‘s first book’s first draft and starting to edit it, getting some games done, trying my hand at podcasts and finally starting to work on my FFM collections. A lot has changed and a lot is on hold or in progress for now, but all in all, despite the hardships in both personal life and academic life, I’m fine with how far I got. This is a good stepping stone for continuing onwards.

This year has been a year of unexpected learning and growth. We’ve all had to learn to adapt to a sudden, drastic change in our lives and learn how to do work, studies and other things remotely. We’ve missed out on many things, let it be events, normal gatherings, traveling or something else. It sucks, but you know what? It’s okay. We’ve gotten through tough times and now there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve got hope for returning to normal – a normal where we can once again enjoy the things we’ve missed out on this year – now. How long will it take? I don’t know, but then again I don’t know when in 2021 I’ll get my bachelor’s degree done either, so I think it’s fine. Nevertheless, I feel hopeful that this mess ends during 2021.

What is the biggest lesson I learned this year? I really don’t know. As a writer, one of the FFM challenges made me learn how to improve my skills at “show, don’t tell”; as a student I learned to cope with a failed exam (something I had never encountered before this spring) and figured out how to deal with failed courses; as a person, I learned to deal with the sudden and continuous social distancing; as a game developer, I learned to use Twine and a huge bunch of useful things during my game courses during the autumn semester.

Perhaps there is no single biggest lesson, but a group of major ones: these ones, each of them meaningful to different aspects of me.

It has been a tough year, but if there is one thing I’d like you to get out of my ramblings, it’s this:

Have hope.

Today, on the last day of this year, I faced a daunting challenge: retaking an exam I had failed on my first try, an exam of the very same format that caused me my first fails during the spring. I already had a different course lined up to compensate for the potential failure, so I prepared for the retake and decided to do it on the last day of this year to see if it’d end in a victory or an expected loss.

Against all my expectations, I was able to pass the exam and end this year with a bang I had not seen coming, just dreamed about.

So, even if things look bad, have hope. You can pull through. You just need to keep going.

Keep fighting, brave human! Or if a non-human happens to read this: keep fighting, brave fellow sentient being!

Back on DeviantArt, I had a habit of putting the next year’s to-do in the last Currently on art journal of the year and look through the previous one. It is a tradition I want to continue to see where I was 12 months ago and where those months have led me. Therefore, let’s see how ambition I had a year ago and how much fell flat like a certain Project Moonshot did. The ones struck through are done, while underlined are in progress. Bolded words are comments.

  • Studying
  • Revising all stuff I have yet to revise In progress
  • Working on my projects
  • Doing more references – hopefully including remakes that are direly needed I’ve got several references done this year and the other one of the direly needed remakes is in progress
  • Finishing the comic I’m working on
  • Finishing artwork currently standing by
  • Studying
  • Reading
  • Posting art I haven’t yet posted
  • Ending Behind Armada and putting its trilogy on hiatus until further notice
  • Losing some weight and getting into a better shape would be healthy Eh, I’m not sure how to address this. I did lose weight during the year, but recently I haven’t worked out at all and I’m pretty sure I’ve put up weight during the Christmas holiday… Let’s try this again next year with some proper scheduling, shall we? :’D
  • Publishing my FFM collections Two out of six done and the third one is in progress!
  • Editing and posting speedpaints that are still lying inside my hard drive I posted some but since then it has been on a standstill. I did work on a video essay for a course, though, so I didn’t stay away from editing completely during the autumn semester!
  • Studying
  • Looking into stuff like Patreon I don’t even remember why I was thinking about this last year, although Patreon did come across my mind recently. Odd…
  • Studying
  • Less procrastination, more Habitica I did lessen the amount of procrastination, but I could do better. Hence, I will put this to the 2021 to-do as well.
  • Studying

Okay, that does look pretty good. I’ve got most of the things done.

Then, what next year?

  • Studying
  • Revising stuff
  • Scheduling my life better
  • Getting the rest of my FFM collections done and published
  • Getting my Prose-ject and Tribble Month collections done and published
  • Studying
  • Trying to get a summer job
  • Working on my projects
  • Getting at least a quarter of Greenfield‘s first book’s editing round 1 done
  • Less procrastination, more Habitica
  • Studying
  • Finishing my bachelor’s degree
  • Losing some weight and getting into a better shape
  • Tackling my speedpaint footage pile
  • Tackling my TBR pile even harder
  • Studying
  • Playing some games I’ve got on my TBP pile
  • Studying a lot if I do not get a job for the next studying year
  • Studying a little if I do get a job for the next studying year
  • Honestly? Studying
  • Watching videos, series and movies in my TBW piles
  • Taking part in The Gauntlet (Coming up in January!)
  • Taking part in at least Flash Fiction Month, perhaps Tribble Month and/or Prose-ject

I think that isn’t too ambitious. I’ve got goals that are (hopefully) achievable and I will work towards them during the next year.

I suppose I’ve talked long enough about all this stuff. Let’s focus on art and talk statistics; since this is the second year I’ve been doing them, I whipped up a yearly comparison infograph as well. Therefore, you’ll get the see Q4 2020, the quarterly comparison, the whole of 2020 and the yearly comparison. I must admit that while these take a good bunch of work even now that I’ve gotten a spreadsheet to (mostly) automate the math side, the results are interesting to look at. Definitely worth it.

Now, let’s look into what’s going on right now, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 16 of The Strength of Mind is in editing. All writing is at 1649 days. I’ve finished remaking Arya’s reference, so now I’m working on remaking Jedova’s one. I need to make a comic about Valentine Clanker and lots of other drawings. I’ve been creating data on Scrivener to build a wiki of sorts there so that I can flesh things out for writing. It’s been progressing hardly at all recently, but it’s looking fine; I’ve got a lot of written down. Revising is still in a standtill.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 42 is in writing. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. Revising needs to be done.
  • Off-DA projects: Making and releasing a prototype of Project Moonshot, finishing and releasing Ther Person At The Door, now working on the third one!
  • Greenfield: Due to studies taking too much energy, I haven’t edited this much, but content-wise it keeps getting better whenever I do work on it. Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 progresses: Part 8 of story 6 is translation. The monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish are on a hiatus because nobody cares. References need to be done.
  • A Wandering Aura: To celebrate N making his first game appearance ever since Black 2/White 2 came out (which was 8 whopping years ago) in Pokémon Masters EX, I got around to posting his debut in A Wandering Aura. I’m already working on more stuff to get to some parts I really want to write, but otherwise not much on the editing and posting side.
  • Gaming: Habitica, Duolingo, Pokemon GO and now Pokémon Masters EX (due to the aforementioned N appearance) keep on going but otherwise I haven’t played much due to lack of time. The last one on the list has me hooked with the story, I must admit.
  • Other stuff: I’ve fallen behind with literature deviations because I can’t read them on DA without getting a headache from the eye strain. Due to being busy and tired, I haven’t even been reading FFM or Tribble Month stories for some time, so things don’t look good in my watch. I’m not sure what I even want to do about it, so for now I’m letting the stories sit there until I figure out what’s the best course of action. I’m working on my third FFM collection. Reading is still in a standstill on the book side since I’ve spent my reading time on Archive of Our Own, but I hope to change that soon. I’ll have a break from Unity for a while, although I’m quite likely to return to it soon because of a course. I should get back to video editing since I have so much footage to be edited.
  • Personal life: Studying, studying and studying in addition to the Christmas “holiday”. I got through the tough online course somehow and now I can focus on the spring semester with a little lighter load. I watched through The Mandalorian and a short anime called Girls und Panzer (it was surprisingly good) and now it’s probably time to look into resuming The Clone Wars.

I think this is the best time to end this long post. Thank you so much for reading all the way here. I wish you a better year! Take care and remember, no matter how bad things look, have hope.

Currently on art: Q2 2020 stats, Prose-ject 2020 and the end of Suntuubi

This is the first Currently on art update that I’ve written on WordPress. If you have been following me on DeviantArt, you know that I’m migrating away from there due to its new UI, Eclipse, due to reasons including poorly handled literature and heavy eye strain (I think I will never figure out how exactly they managed to pull that off when I have literally never had eye strain at my computer).

With no alternatives available yet, I have had to deal with my summer flash fictions with duct tape and compromises: Flash Fiction Fridays required me to post on DA, while with Prose-ject 2020 and Flash Fiction Month I’m allowed to post here on WordPress – an ineffective alternative because the stories drown among my other blog posts, but the best one currently available. Therefore, I have collected the links to a static page for easier access: Flash Fiction Link Compilations

Yes, I ended up joining Prose-ject this year despite of thinking that I wouldn’t because the moment I saw the journal, I couldn’t say no. I guess I shouldn’t have been following the group and the poster at that point, haha. However, I don’t regret it: my challenge of writing only about my already existing worlds has borne lots of fruit, with multiple previously scarce worlds now having more story and characters than before. I’m especially proud of the world of Unar and Ria – the prompt that led me to discovering the latter has brought a lot of interesting stuff to the story, and I currently love those two precious ones.

I especially love the last story, because it gave me the perfect closure to the month of discovery: I managed to use all four prompts on the last day and make the story about the end of a journey. I must admit that I might have gotten some Okami feels while writing and editing it, which also accounts for how much I love the final story, as I’m currently playing through the aforementioned game’s HD version.

There is something I want to get off my chest better than by tossing a status update, though. If you have read my previous Currently on art updates on DeviantArt, you know that since spring 2019 I have been migrating a Finnish website from its original service provider, Suntuubi, to WordPress because Suntuubi was shutting down 30.6.2020.

At the moment I’m writing this sentence, it is the 26th and it has been about an hour since I finished that long migration project. I had to cut some corners (mainly with archives, which I will keep backed up on my computer), but I ended up making it in time anyway despite of time almost running out.

Now that the migration is over and I’m painfully aware that the site I have grown with, built and nurtured for nine years is going to get wiped off the face of the earth in four days. I can’t help but feel empty and extremely sad to see it go; I was unable to replicate all of the user interface on the free WordPress plan, so the new site, while cleaner than the original, does not look like it too much. The UI that I have looked at, tweaked and used for nine years is about to disappear forever.

It’s hard to believe that after nine years it’s now over. Before the announcement that Suntuubi is shutting down, I had known that someday it would end (I had seen it coming from various things), but now that it’s happening… it feels surreal. The thing has been up for over half of my lifetime (Wikipedia said that it was started in 2006) and my website has been there for almost half of my lifetime, a majority of the time the service has been online (since 2011).

The thing is, if I hadn’t stumbled upon Suntuubi and, most importantly, its Finnish Code Lyoko fandom, it’s likely that I wouldn’t be here. If it wasn’t for that fandom, I might’ve never actually tried my hand at fanfiction, let alone created my first website for it. If those two hadn’t happened, I might have never found my way into the writing community on DeviantArt or created this website. A lot could be different, and I can’t imagine anything that would be better than this.

The Code Lyoko fandom on Suntuubi has grown silent during the previous years, but it was there when I needed it. Now, all traces of it, those years of things learned, stories shared and lessons learned, the network of individual websites all built for our love of the series, will be erased. I will keep going on WordPress, but nothing will be the same especially with so many sites disappearing completely. I don’t even know if any other Code Lyoko sites from Suntuubi ended up migrating to survive.

It is a fact that the fandom would have never become the same it was, but I still miss those days, and I know I will miss the days of Suntuubi. It was, after all, a huge part of my life for nine whole years, some of my most important years of growing and learning. The fandom shaped me in ways no other group could, and it gave me a voice both as a beginning writer and a Code Lyoko fan, something I couldn’t have gotten outside of my laptop.

Those years with that fandom, I treasure them. They taught me a lot, and a community where I belonged to and had a voice was an invaluable treasure to me back then. Communities like that still are – it is only human to want to belong, to be heard.

To the strangers on the other side of the screen who are a part of such a community: thank you for being there.

Everything comes to an end at some point, so it is important that we make the most of the time we have and make the most valuable memories. Someday, we will have to say goodbye.

It is ironic that when I was finishing the migration project, my playlist was playing Audiomachine’s Farewell to Earth. One couldn’t have asked for a better song for it, not even on purpose.

Whatever happens, take care and make sure to check in with people you care about.

As I am writing this sentence, it is already the 30th. I visited my old website and some other old Code Lyoko websites that were in my bookmarks in the morning one last time. During the day, all those websites were replaced with an announcement that Suntuubi has been closed down. I already feel wistful for all the time I spent there, for I was attached to that enormous amount of ones and zeroes that made Suntuubi and everything within its system. I still am, and perhaps will always be for the way it influenced me over all the years.

However, I mustn’t wallow in that attachment or the loss. The only way is forward. I will move on and make sure that those years of learning weren’t in vain.

Today, two things ended: my journey within my worlds for Prose-ject 2020 and Suntuubi’s 14 years on the internet as a platform for people to make their own websites.

This is the end of an era. What comes in the next one? I have no idea, except that it’s probably going to be mostly silent.

Silent or not, it is time to move on.

I think I have written enough about this case. Now, it’s time to look into my stats: Q2 2020, comparison to Q1 2020 and Prose-ject 2020 stats.

Here are the infographs:

While most of my writing projects’ stats are disappointing this quarter and I wrote less for Prose-ject this year, I did well with visual art: more artwork done and far fewer projects standing by.

Now, it is time to see what is up with my projects, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 18 of Crystals of the Past is in editing. All writing is at 1466 days. I need to make a comic about Valentine Clanker and lots of other drawings. I’ve been creating data and putting stories into an order on Scrivener to build a wiki of sorts there so that I can flesh things out for writing. It is coming along well. Revising has been on hiatus, but it should resume soon now that I’ve recovered my writing inspiration.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 39 is in editing. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. Silverwind’s reference is in progress. Revising needs to be done.
  • Behind Armada: Chapter 23 is in editing. I need to draw the references for a few characters (although they are the lowest priority). This trilogy will be put on hiatus indefinitely once I’m done with BA.
  • Off-DA projects: Not much going on atm. FFM collections are still at a standstill; I haven’t had time to look into them yet. I should be able to get to them during the summer.
  • Foes & Friends Remastered: Part 22 of New War Remastered is in translation. I should work on references at some point.
  • Greenfield: Currently on hiatus until summer, at which point I will start editing it. Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 progresses: Part 2 of story 6 is in translation. I have resumed writing monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish. I have finished Mary’s reference and made a sketch of Sophie’s first Lyoko suit. Other references need to be done.
  • Gaming: Habitica, some random games again, with Okami HD taking most of the gaming time.
  • Other stuff: I’ve fallen behind with literature deviations because I can’t read them on DA without getting a headache from the eye strain. I’m trying to keep it from flooding otherwise, though, and so far it’s been looking good. I still have no idea when my first FFM collection will come, other than hopefully this year. Lots of reading to be done still, but my TBR list has gotten smaller again, so it’s under control. It’s probably going to continue like that. Gotta get back to Unity and also Blender if I can. And video editing, I need to do lots of that because I have tons of footage to edit if I just found the time to put my laptop to work with them. As explained above, I have finished migrating a Finnish website of my own (the one which hosts the Finnish Lyokostar stories) from its original service provider, Suntuubi, to WordPress.
  • Personal life: I finished my online course that I took to replace the one I flunked, and I ended up getting a small-ish work gig that has me rebuilding a website. I’m also sweating tons in my apartment because it’s constantly around 30 degrees Celsius during the days. Luckily, it’s been a cooler outside the last days, so it’s now closer to 25 than 30, which is nice, although I’m still sweating. LOL.

I’d say that’s all. Thank you for reading this long journal. Take care!

Progress diary: Rikios the Chirein, 9

Saturday, 11.6.2016

Let’s just say I am infuriated to hell because of my mom’s phone. When a simple turning the app off requires installing the factory version…. Argh! Anyhow, with hopes of relaxing with the fifth day of drawing scales, I started to work.

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Then I noticed that the scales have been shrinking again………

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With more infuration that I like to have, I erased and redrew some. This shall continue on another day, for kriff’s sake! I’m done for today! And I still need to start painting that one character…

Progress diary: Rikios the Chirein, 8

Friday, 10.6.2016

Scales once again. Fourth day in a row. And for a change, a headache from the morning. I hate it.

Oh well, I either exhausted my frustration on SWTOR since I kept losing connection. Then it completely lagged and I had to restart my laptop, which of course thought that it would be appropriate to waste my time on updates which could easily be installed at any other time. Anyhow, today drawing scales felt relaxing. And I can see real progress today.

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This is how far I got. I noticed that I was nearing the edge of the leg, and I decided to finish there. When compared to when I last did the scales before starting this drawing streak, I have progressed. When you just do it daily, you get there eventually, that I sure have seen with my writing streaks. :)

Progress diary: Rikios the Chirein, 7

Thursday, 9.6.2016

Third day of the streak! To be honest, it was today when I noticed the shrinking the scales. Yet before noticing that I continued them a little bit.

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This far.

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Well, when you must erase, you must erase. And I erased a lot.

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And it ain’t like I did much after that. It was a pain to start making scales of the right size, and it became a fairly big source of frustration to me, in cotrast to the previous feeling of being relaxed when making  these. You can imagine that I did not want to continue this much.

Progress diary: Rikios the Chirein, 6

Wednesday, 8.6.2016

The second day of my drawing streak. Some progress, but I also drew a character for my Star Wars fanfiction, Exceptional Jedi, since a friend of mine has a new story and the first three commenters would get their character to her story. Only when I had finished with the outlines I realized that I could have made a progress diary of that character too. Well, too bad. I guess I’ll just try making a speedpaint of her or something.

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But now that I look at this, I can see that the scales have shrunk for no reason. It doesn’t look good. I guess I have to erase a lot of stuff now…

Progress diary: Rikios the Chirein, 5

Tuesday, 7.6.2016

It’s been a while since I last drew Rikios. The test week ate up all my time and strength, but now that my summer holiday has begun, I am now going to start a drawing streak of Rikios so that I can finish her during this two-month holiday. This marks day 1.

Not much, though. I did not draw for very long, barely half an hour I’d say. I started drawing since I was having a chat on Steam and had nothing else to do meanwhile I waited for the replies.

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Slowly but steadily the scales are spreading… :)

Progress diary: Rikios the Chirein, 4

Saturday, 21.5.2016

About half an hour of drawing as I waited for Iwisoft Free Video Converter to finish converting my recordings so that I could begin playing SWTOR (Star Wars: The Old Republic), since I really don’t think my laptop’s cooler could handle them both at the same time.

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What do you think? Is it going well? Is there something I should fix (other than some of the scales’ lines)?

Progress diary: Rikios the Chirein, 3

Sunday, 15.5.2016

Alongside fighting with a slow internet connection as I am downloading Star Wars: The Old Republic on my laptop (it’s kriffing huge) I decided to continue the scales. I hoped that it would help my nerves.

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At this point, as I was talking with my boyfriend on Whatsapp, I asked some feedback from him about the changing of the size of the scales. He noted that the change should be evened, and that I started to do. I also noticed that the “pattern” of the scales had distorted as I had proceeded, as you can see there.

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First, getting rid of the distorted stuff.

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Then, getting rid of the scales which got too big too fast. I left some stuff so that I can evenly make them that big.

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This is it. Now I should seam them naturally here. Seems difficult, though… Lemme think about this thing, because there is a size difference…

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I am in such a good flow with what I started that I decided to erase the part I had left earlier. It’s easier to get the size change good then.

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But but but but…. the pattern seemed like its starting to go off as you may be able o see in the previous picture. I erased that part.

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I sure got to a good flow then but I need to fix these lines a little bit when I am done. I am sure you notice why…

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I gave it a thoughts and I decided to erase the preliminary scales I had made there. I can continue easily from this. No need for additional stuff or anything that chains the things into something.

This was Sunday’s work. I’ll see when I continue this.

Progress diary: Rikios the Chirein, 2

Wednesday, 11.5.2016

Ok, I am back home from my school trip. I am tired (it was a long day), but I decided to see if drawing more scales would help me feel at least a bit better; I’ve noticed that my thoughts become very negative when I am tired.

I’ve gotten so far, that for the sake of proportioning I am attempting to make the next scales bigger. Anyhow, I am not sure if I should clean some small scales which are quite dark. What do you think? Should I do that or should I leave them for some premade shadowing?Näyttökuva (168)

In the end of today’s drawing session, I drew some preliminary scales to the beginning of Rikios’s tail so that I know how much I need to enlarge the scales. I doubt I’ll have time to draw tomorrow as I need to write my stuff and go through that history paper of mine. And I should check my French essays before I email them to my teacher, too.