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View Profile RedMarlin
Perfectly unremarkable

Joined on 12/5/09

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RedMarlin's News

Posted by RedMarlin - 8 days ago


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It turns out my expectations of no one buying from me at the marketplace I mentioned in my last news post were not unfounded. That five dollars on the side is the only money I made in the 4 hours I was set up. Many late nights and lost hours of sleep, lots of money, orders and re-orders of mugs, lots of care buying and arranging succulents, using the good soil even, typing out care sheets and designing new cards and getting everything set up just right, spending all night making buttons and finally putting that press I got years ago to use, finally putting myself out there and putting my work up for the public to see, and all of that, all of it, was for nothing. So I guess I really am doing all this just for me.


Marlinette's art sold like hotcakes though, so I am happy for her even if the exact same people buying from her could spare less than half a second's glance at my work. She's the one with the charisma, not me.


Something did happen though that actually made me really happy. There were a lot of kids at the event, and at one point this little girl came over to the succulents and stopped and stared, and she just started... touching them. Each one, very gently feeling the leaves, poking the middle of the echeveria, squeezing the fat leaves, looking closely at each one. I don't think she had ever seen succulents before and it was really neat to see the curiosity and fascination play out in front of me and watch her experience something for the first time. Even though all the rest was frustrating, that one bit almost made it all worth it.


Posted by RedMarlin - 2 weeks ago


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No matter how many times I draw figures, I'm still filled with joy when they turn out well. The more I depict nature's creations the more I fall in love with them, plants animals and all.


It's been a while.


I took a vacation last week for the first time in several years. I didn't do much while I was away, but having all that time without having anything to worry about was a big help. My sleep schedule got somewhat fixed and I feel much less stressed than before, even though I returned to work today with the same general burdens and load as before. We'll see how long that lasts.


Tonight was the first night in a long long time where I ran out of things to do. It's kind of nice, not putting pressure on myself to make every single minute count for something. I have several things I would like to finish, but they will all get done in their proper time.


I'm tempted to turn the above sketch into a digital piece, but I really want to keep practicing with colored pencils. I've been trying to render the bottom-most sketch as a finished piece, but I still need to practice rendering plants. I find when I try to identify or formulate a process for something I wind up doing a lot worse than if I just go with it, but as a consequence it feels like each new piece is discovering the process all over again.


I am going to be selling some of my work in a marketplace in a couple of weeks, in a rather unique form. I am looking forward to it, though to be honest I don't expect anyone to buy.


Posted by RedMarlin - June 28th, 2021


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Lately I've gotten back into bad sleep habits, mostly because it feels like there's not enough time to do everything in one day that I want to do. If I wanted to produce more, a compromise would have to be made. Sleep, exercise, relationships, money, healthy food, one or more would have to be reduced. Traditional art has been fun, but it's all the more slower compared to digital, which had gotten pretty quick once I had the process down. Perhaps that is my compromise.


I used to say that I preferred digital because it took up no space. There was nothing to fill box after box over time. I think that's changed. I've come to appreciate having something you can hold in your hands, see in real life. I enjoy working with the tangible instead of the virtual. Lately I've been searching for sculpture classes. I would love to be able to make things like that.


Career wise I don't know what it is I want anymore. I keep saying I'm not satisfied with where I am, but at the same time I am grateful that I have a job related to my field. Yet when I think about the idea of doing what I do for fun as a commission for someone else, I see no joy in that. These are intrinsic and must stay that way, though I don't see the harm in letting others have them once they're finished. I don't want to work for a company or a studio. I just want to do this. I've heard several people in my life give the mindset that their job gives them purpose, that they wouldn't know what to do if left to their own devices for too long. I have never had such a problem.


Posted by RedMarlin - May 19th, 2021


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I have been trying to move forward at whatever pace I can, trying to just let whatever happens happen without getting upset if things don't look quite right. I find that even if it's not perfect I still am happy when the idea is conveyed in some way. Maybe that's a sign I'm taking things too seriously. I also wonder if I shouldn't be so worried about making things so precise and clean when doing the final product. Who knows what will happen in the future, but I guess the good part is there are enough ideas that if one doesn't work then others can take its place.


I won't be able to make as many finished pieces, but as long as I can sit down and sketch a little each day then I'm happy. Sooner or later things will come through.


Posted by RedMarlin - May 7th, 2021


Some making of's. Life has been very busy and color pencil is a slower process with less room for error. Not a good combination for productivity.


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Posted by RedMarlin - April 15th, 2021


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Someday I'll finish this thing. So much for doing one piece a month again this year. I'll be lucky if I can do one every three months at this rate. Maybe I'm just not that good at time management, or maybe I just need to get better at cutting out the dead weight. Life feels like it's always go, go, go, never stopping until the weekend, and then all you want to do is rest and have fun. Not to say this isn't fun, but it's also not the only thing I do as a hobby. So many conflicting things, all that on top of just trying to keep your house clean and take care of yourself. How do people do it?


Probably caffeine.


Posted by RedMarlin - April 4th, 2021


They say consistency is the best thing you can do to keep yourself in the limelight. Unfortunately, trying to maintain a consistent schedule with art and posting whilst simultaneously trying to stay upright on this lovely little treadmill called life is quite difficult. I don't know how others do it.


I've been back to full time for a while now, which unfortunately means my output has slowed down again. Last year at this time we were locked down and my hours were being cut, so I could easily make a piece a month, but it's been almost two months since my last completed piece. And traditional art takes longer too, which only makes the pace slower. It's worth it though, to have something tangible. I've come to appreciate that about it.


Work has been stressful, not just for me but for everyone there. In a dark sort of way that's kind of comforting, but having your face held in a fire is still having your face held in a fire. If I really wanted to I could probably get away with quitting my job and living off savings for around a year while pushing my art more, but I don't want to sell on my investments to do that and who knows how well that would really work. I'm enjoying these color pencils a lot and I have hopes of selling physical illustrations in the near future, but of course right as I decide to make that part of my life's plan there comes a fad where digital art is suddenly all the rage to put a barcode on and sell. If I could have three wishes from a genie, one of them would be foresight.


The chemo medication is working thus far and my blood tests have all been looking good. We find out this week if I pass the 3-month checkpoint, which is one of three points over the next year before I can be declared in remission. It's weird to think there's a medicine I have to take every day of my life now because I'll die if I don't.


Mental health has still been up and down. It's more a matter of external factors than internal, I feel. But having some personal goals for the near future has been helping. I try to remind myself that what I'm doing is supposed to be fun, but sometimes it's not easy.


I doubt people read these but it's nice to just shout things into the open. I don't really care who knows at this point.


Posted by RedMarlin - January 17th, 2021


A lot has happened in the past several months.


I don't make new years' resolutions because I would likely break them in a matter of weeks.


Motivation has gone up and down in terms of art. Right now it's up again and I'm currently experimenting a bit with traditional art - mixed media with watercolors, colored pencils and pastels. We'll see how that goes. Also started sketching again after several weeks of not doing anything. Still trying a more realistic style and trying to go bigger, but with that comes a lot of challenges. I probably should study more.


I don't know that the medicine is working all that well. It seems like my sleep habits do more to affect my mood than the pills, so either the meds aren't working and I need to try something different, or I don't need meds to begin with. Who knows.


Also I apparently have leukemia. It is probably not going to kill me, but that was pretty scary to hear. Both my mind and my body seem to want me dead. But I'm not going to let that happen.


I think I've come to accept what it is I want to achieve with my art. It took a pretty bad experience to recognize it, but I'm happy now that it's here.


Posted by RedMarlin - November 7th, 2020


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I finally downloaded a trial of Clip Studio Paint. I like to jump right in and mess around when it comes to new art programs. So far it feels very similar to Krita - similar enough where I'm not convinced to get it. But I want to go a litle further into their brush engine and see what it's capable of. Apparently one of the big difference is that CSP uses a single, extremely versatile brush engine for all of its tools, compared to Krita which as multiple engines in different categories.


I want to find one that gives me a bit more texture. When I take the sketch overlay off this painting, it's look too boring and plastic-ey.


Posted by RedMarlin - November 1st, 2020


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Over the past week or so my motivation for art has fallen significantly. Attempts to draw usually end with impatience and frustration, as well as a few pages of me writing various insults towards myself. I feel as though I am getting better and worse at the same time. Socially, I feel like I've been getting more paranoid about screwing things up, not helped by two consecutive days of getting told off by my boss. It's like I don't want to try anything anymore, because I know I'll just fail. I still get ideas, but I don't have the patience with myself to implement them properly. Nothing seems right, and anything short of perfection feels like a failure. It sometimes reaches a point where my hand is paralyzed, unable to put the pencil to the paper.


I recently went to a doctor and have started a trial dosage of antidepressants. It treats both depression and anxiety, though leaning more towards the former. We'll see how it works. I also have an appointment scheduled with a therapist, though unfortunately the art therapists were all unavailable (that's basically what I've been doing for myself anyway).


What once served as a way to transform sadness into joy now only serves as frustration. The monster has grown stronger, but steps are being taken to change that. I'm tired of this. I just want to be happy again. I just want to enjoy art again. I don't even know who I'm doing this for anymore.