Perfectly unremarkable

Joined on 12/5/09

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RedMarlin's News

Posted by RedMarlin - May 17th, 2020


I hadn't been feeling motivated to work on anything these past few days and I wasn't sure why. I think I was feeling disappointed with how the book was turning out which in turn killed the momentum and made me lose some confidence. But I tried again today and used a slightly different method, and my confidence and motivation are now starting to come back.

Unfortunately the new Terraria update came out so that has been very distracting too! But I want to keep working on this tomorrow and also there's a new sketch I want to turn into another single piece.

Of course now that my computer is about to shut down I feel motivated to work on art again, but alas I have work in the morning. Sometimes I'm tempted to quit my job and live off savings while trying to establish myself as a freelancer, but I feel that would be a very stupid move.


Posted by RedMarlin - May 14th, 2020



It's been a tumultuous past couple of days, with tonight's session being especially rocky. The day itself wasn't pleasant, with work dragging on and my work-from-home days most likely coming to an end. My plants once again are leggy and falling over despite my best efforts to grow them properly, the kitchen was a mess, and I just could not seem to focus on anything.

That all carried into tonight, and after drawing about a dozen pages of scratches while trying to figure out what I want to do with this damn fox, I eventually started drawing new pages on paper instead of digitally, since I decided it would look better due to the dynamic look of the pencil lines, but then I kept screwing up, because I'm trying to draw the fox with just one line and no sketching, which is difficult despite the simplistic and messy style, so I kept having to erase and draw again, and traditional art leaves scuffs and marks behind unlike the clean erasure of digital, so that left me in a conundrum too.

I look at all the art around me, including the new background image as I write this, and I see all sorts of different styles, and I can't help but wonder how much thought goes into them and how it compares to me. Did Maurice Sendak spend weeks on end determing the skeletal system of the wild things? How much time did Dr. Seuss spend sketching the building blocks of a Sneech?

Children's books often act as licenses to use unique and unorthodox art styles, including some that appear very messy and childlike themselves, and while it's tempting to say, "That's what I'm going for," a large part of me yells at myself for thinking that, saying it's just an excuse to half-ass the work and be lazy.

Finally I came to two realizations. The first came as I was trying to sketch one of the final drawings of the book. The fox is making her way back home (spoiler alert!) and all the little creatures are looking at her in awe as she glows bright from having been to the Moon. And I sat there trying to draw all those creatures when I finally realized, I have no fucking idea how to draw any of them! And what was I going to do, belt them all out in 5 minutes so I could finish and feel good about it?

So there was the first realization: because I've told others that I'm making this book, I've now put an unreasonable amount of pressure to finish as quickly as possible, and thus we get all the conundrums faced here. That's why I haven't been able to sit down and delve into this like I have with my standalone pieces.

The second realization came as I was writing this just now - you know what the difference is between all those illustrators and me? I'm the only one who's not having any fun! That's not quite right, now is it.

I feel renewed now, but it's 12:10 and I need to get ready for bed. I imagined if I stayed up until the wee hours I'd have something I adore, but I'm trying to curb my sleep habits. A constant balance between enough time for art, enough time for socializing, and enough sleep. Another problem to deal with.


Posted by RedMarlin - May 13th, 2020


I feel like I can do better than what I'm doing, but I don't know how. It's a question that has no correct answer, yet I'm still trying to answer it correctly.


Posted by RedMarlin - May 11th, 2020


This is still going. I still don't know how I feel about this art style - it kind of feels halfassed because of how quick it is to do them, but everyone I show it to seems to like it regardless, so I guess I'm just worrying too much.

Posted by RedMarlin - May 5th, 2020


20 drawings so far. Though part of me wonders if I'm being lazy. I used to rush myself too quickly with drawings because I was more concerned about the finished product than I was the quality of that product. Is there a difference between simplistic and lazy? Where do I draw that line? Does a low amount of effort needed equate to a low amount of care given?

Should I stop worrying and just keep telling the goddamn story? I think I should.

It's been tough to get motivated these past couple days. I think I need more sleep.

Posted by RedMarlin - April 28th, 2020


We're doing it, baby, one page at a time.

I really really hope I can stay with this. I think I can, especially now that it's got some momentum.


Posted by RedMarlin - April 25th, 2020



Today I tried experimenting by holding three separate creative sessions, each lasting an hour and a half and spaced out with two and a half hours in between. Each session was also to focus on a separate project, with long, medium and short-term pieces.

That experiment, unfortunately, was a total failure. The morning's session went rather well; I decided on an art style for a children's book I'd like to make, and I began preparing the digital page templates for production, after which I hastily sketched out the first page, shown above.

Unfortunately, things went downhill from there. During the second session I spent time working on the snake drawing, during which I felt as though I did not get into the open mode at all, feeling rushed to get all the bugs drawn in perfect detail and having very little tolerance for failure or floundering. I'm beginning to wonder if these recordings are starting to do more harm than good. I have been uploading them online, and I suspect that by doing so I'm placing an unspoken pressure to perform well during them, so any mistakes or hesitation is amplified. Unfortunately, I think my workplace is to blame for that, as I have in the past been criticized for taking too much time, resulting in some internal conflict.

As a result, the second session ended with several different drawings of the same thing, none of which felt satisfactory. Worse still, looking back at the results of the first session, because the sketch I made was hastily done at the last minute just to get something down before the session ended, that now felt unsatisfactory, making the first session feel like a failure as well.

For the third and final session I decided to give myself a full hour to get into the open mode, during which I would not be at my desk but simply lying in bed with just my thoughts, letting them run themselves out in hopes that I could move on from the rush and the pressure to more calm, concentrated work.

This plan backfired terribly. After some time spent glancing at the clock, I eventually fell asleep - I suspected that might happen but I had hoped that when I woke up I might be ready to work. Instead I simply felt upset, with the previous sessions' shortcomings adding their weight to this final failure, and as a result even the tiniest annoyances, be they external or my own, went off like firecrackers in my head. Only now, an hour and a half after the session started, am I finally starting to calm down.

So there is the result of my Saturday's work: two separate projects in which I probably made some progress but am too blinded by frustration to see, and a third session which ended in disaster. As much as I can reassure myself that it was all an experiment, and sometimes things like this happen, and I can't get frustrated, etc., all those words seem to stick about as well as rocks on a wall when the time comes.

I am going to take some time to just make some paper stars, then we'll see what happens afterwards. Next time I think I will stick to just one project per day.


Posted by RedMarlin - April 23rd, 2020

It's funny seeing other users' profiles and they have maybe 5 or 6 news posts and I'm over 100 after not posting anything for over half a decade. It's not even news, it's just me talking to myself.


Getting smooth, undulating curves is always such a pain, but it's worth it.

I'm going to be including a short story with this one. It's mostly a metaphor for everything I've talked about in these, though there's one extra detail that I don't think I've mentioned.


Posted by RedMarlin - April 15th, 2020


Things have been going well. The mind train still has its ups and downs, but for the most part I think I have a handle on it. So far the whole lockdown business has not bothered me much... probably because I spend a lot of my time at my desk anyway. And while making less money from reduced work hours kind of sucks, it's at least afforded me the ability to work a little extra on my art.

I'm still kind of on edge about showing it to others in real life because of its subject matter, but I'm trying to not be afraid of it.

Posted by RedMarlin - April 9th, 2020


I've been taking a few days to make a new background image for my different social media sites. It's been fun, though I wish I didn't have to worry about censoring everything so much.