I think I'm on track to get the next small chapter of Here We Are (HWA) out. Here are some previews that I've been posting to masto (I even made my own hashtag huhuhu)...

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Partway through I also got really into thinking about what they're going to wear during the different seasons.

Jake mainly wears b/w or neutrals, primarily no patterns and clean lines (minimalist).

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Austin mainly wears button-up shirts, tshirts, and belted pants. His style is primarily influenced by fuctional/durable workwear and cozy cabin/camping looks.

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Truth be told, the biggest motivation for posting is because I wanted to share today's music post (one of the strangely fun parts of blogging): Yussef Dayes X Alfa Mist - Love Is The Message (Live @ Abbey Road) ft.Mansur Brown & Rocco Palladino. Seeing musicians jam like this is really incredible...

My webcomic Here We Are is launched! The first chapter (10p) is available online at http://dirchansky.com/hwa/01 :)

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I want to acknowledge to myself that...I'm a very hard worker. Sometimes I feel subpar or barely meeting the status quo, but when I look at what I've been able to create/produce in tandem with all the other things happening in my life (full time day job++OT/travel, volunteer work, freelance work, personal work, etc.), I will give myself that pat on my back.

I will never be the best from a technical/visual/storytelling POV because of my circumstances (and ever-evolving moving target of what "good" looks like), but I have come to terms that I'm not at the point in my life where going deep into craft/skill-building is the highest priority, and know that my expectations will need to scale to the available space-time-continuum. I also scaled back on social media, consolidated my stuff into spaces that I prefer (e.g., this freetalk blog, mastodon) and that I feel that I have more control over.

A few personal achievements

  • Finished all my Love Love Hill comic work well in advance; learned that I have to start planning/plotting/drafting months in advance of the due date, ahaha (especially since I find the planning/plotting stage takes longer and longer as years go on; the well of stories is running dry in my mind)
  • Made a small visual novel game called Come for a Drink; practiced writing (using Scrivener), coding (where indentation matters) in a new game dev engine (Renpy), all while working with a set of very dependable, professional, skilled, and talented voice/music/sound folks!
  • Launched Here We Are webcomic, which I aim to continue and focus on in 2019, since LLH is taking a break next year (from anthologies, conventions, tabling, etc.); I'm making a conscious effort to experiment with the way that I tell stories in verbally/visually, thinking more consciously about voices, etc., so I'm sure the comic will be a bit of a mess, but I'll learn a lot from it! If I'm too strict with the planning, I think I'll feel creatively stifled/locked-in, so there's going to be a bit of "making it up as I go along" from a story POV.

(more fake dialogue)

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(fashion exploration)

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I owe most of the above productivity to pre-planning, time management, and years of built-up resilience; given my other responsibilities and unpredictable client work, if I let anything one slip too long, things will pile up and be due at the same time, and ultimately leads to detrimental mental/wellness ripple effects to all aspects of my life. When that happens, I feel over-extended, over-committed, and oftentimes bitter! I will continue to negotiate all these aspects of my life to strive for better balance, and keep myself out of situations where I feel bad!

Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this year and to everyone who engaged with any of my stories!

In 2019, I want to continue to add more positive vibes into the world, rather than self-deprecating/negative ones. After watching the tearful Mr. Rogers documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor, I really need to up my game on being kinder and nicer to people around me.

(My stardew valley life)

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Hope that 2019 brings you folks some good stuff! There's a lot of garbage stuff happening in our world, but a lot of greatness too. Don't lose sight of the good!

Lastly, here's today's music post: Lambo-san no Yabou (Lambo-san's Ambition) by Junko Takeuchi. It's a character song from the Katekyo Hitman Reborn anime. I really empathize with being a big crybaby, and particularly the parts of the song where Lambo's voice starts cracking/wavering. The voice actress (also does the voice for Naruto) puts on a great performance.

(I'm also very happy that I cut my hair short, I didn't think it would make such a big difference)

For the past 7 month's I've been having some health problems, so I finally went to see a doctor to figure out what was happening. No updates at this moment since the investigation is just starting. Thankfully my symptoms are not especially debilitating at this moment...?

After all this year's game projects, it's good to return to something more familiar.

Inking with bamboo reed pen; a photo for now because my scanner stopped working! Image description

Timelapse video of the above

Hopefully by December 31st: Here We Are will launch?! I've been working on the first chapter. Here are some previews with FAKE DIALOGUE!

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Timelapse video of me doing some flat blacks and tones in Clip Studio Paint. I barely know how to use CSP but will learn, over time!

I've also been trying to "get ahead" with a buffer, but who knows if that will work out. At least things are thumbnailed, right?

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^Although she starts as a side character at the beginning, I hope to write out her own dedicated storyline after this first arc!

Stay tuned...! I'm really looking forward to Scrivener getting the windows update so I can get deeper into writing in the new year. Scrivener was recommended to me by Jade Feng Lee/Dumplingheart and was really a gamechanging tool when I was writing for my non-linear narrative game, Come for a Drink.

Today's music post: Patti LaBelle performing "This Christmas" at the 1996 National Tree Lighting. Many things go wrong during the performance (outside of her control) and she still kills it!!!!

I managed to finish OCeptember 2018, a prompt for original characters! It's compiled in a birdsite memory here, but I'm also posting it below to add TL;DR.

Day 1. Favourite OC(s)

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The loggersports crew. Not necessarily my favourites (I still haven't nailed the look/design of some of them) but most top of mind because of upcoming webcomic!

Day 2. Least loved OC(s)

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The detective crew. Least loved only relative to how little I draw them. Some of these characters are from 2003 or even earlier.

Day 3. Best buds

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Fake is originally from the detective stuff, while Jake is from the loggersport stuff. They were created in complete isolation, but at some point I made a decision to make them good friends (because they play MMORPGs and go to cons together).