2023 summary of art

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It's that time of year again.

Another design-y layout. Noticed this year I ended up using a lot more light color schemes than last year. I guess it's because this year I wasn't really feeling the same level of 'edge' and 'excitement'. But that's a point for later on. Before that, let's talk about each piece from this year.

January - Io, meets Io!

demonic io in front with reploid Io bumping into them

The first finished pic of the year. Demonic Io meets Reploid Io! This was made as piece to show off both versions of Io together, and reploid! Io ended up being my PFP on other sites for most of the year.

February - XZA hangout

x, zero, and axl from megaman x in casual clothes hanging out in the city

This was part of a Secret Valentines exchange for ssshrimpie on Twitter, featuring X, Zero, and Axl together in a group hangout

March - Io Lounge

Io lounging on a collage of other Io pics

Render of Io lounging. This was originally a companion piece to my business card design, originally made to be a postcard design that'd serve a similar purpose. But the idea ended up getting canned & this render stuck around as a page header

April - Battle with the Lake Demon

Widow fighting a hagfish-like serpent on a lake beach. She's holding it back with the cables on her back and is readying a knife to deliver the final blow'

This one's a complete reimagining of an older piece of mine for a personal worldbuilding project of mine, spotlighting the main focus of androids hunting demons. Widow, the hunter featured, is about to land the final blow

May - PC-Mania!

Jade and Iri running in cyberspace with a computer and computer peripherals

Highlighting since this was the release of my first webseries, PC-Mania! The story of Jade and Iri, two girlfriends where after their computer breaks in a freak accident they have to get a new one... everything goes wrong. This project has had it's ups and downs since then, mostly suffering from post-graduation fatigue + being unable to rebuild a buffer in time. But It's still ongoing & at the time of writing is looking to be finished in 2024.

Available to read on Comic Fury!


Reploid Io with a mock-dunkin donuts and mock-red sox cap captioned mecha-chussetts mentioned

I'm pretty sure this is the only thing I drew during June because I couldn't find anything else other than this pic of Io as your average New Englander. (for the record, Reploid!Io is from Mecha-chussetts... or Mecha-Chuchets as it's spelled in canon)

July - Autumn Travels

jade and iri sitting and waiting at a train station in fall

This year also marks my return to entering zines (the first ones I entered were way back in 2020). I was in two this year; Window to Worlds 2023, and Good Eats: An OC Zine. The one spotlighted is from Window to Worlds & was inspired by fall train trips I did during my time in college.

August - Me and Io

myself on the left, reploid Io on the right. There's supplies scattered on the floor and a nonbinary flag in the back'

A self-indulgent pic of me with Reploid! Io. This was more of a test drive for my set-up at home, since my workspace during college was completely different from what I have at home (even with the upgrades I've made since then).

September - Skibidi-IO

Demonic Io as a skibidi toilet

brrr skibidi dum dum dum yes YES

Or in other words I joined a Skibidi toilet collab over on Newgrounds & now I have a pic of Io as an evil toilet hellbent on world domination

October - Rocket Render

an aloof render of rocket standing on bones and pointing her buster down. There's smoke coming from it'

Another snippet from that personal worldbuilding project, this time featuring Rocket, an old android who was built as part of a demon-fighting army, but has since retired to work on a farm and help the surviving populace that way

November - 9:15 Slushie

Jpeg and Risa leaving the convenience store and discussing how risa had never had a slushie before

5 shorts about the surreal experience of getting a slushie from the convenience store at night, inspired by surreal experiences of my own. It was a black and white comic that was designed to be a something I could easily run copies of at home.

Available to download on Itch.Io, and read on Newgrounds

December - Hornet!

A robotic hornet-inspired superhero leaping at the viewer with a broadsword

And finally, my piece for the Newgrounds Secret Santa featuring Blaznthekid's OC, Hornet!

So, 2023 huh...

Speaking from a personal standpoint, I feel like one hand there was a lot of good that came out of this year for me. I graduated college, I tabled at my first event, I entered 2 zines, I did plenty of comic stuff, and I got back into a hobby after 3 years. But also this year was extremely stressful and demoralizing on many fronts. There's witnessing the industry I went to college for beginning to go under (thanks a lot AI techbros) that started to weigh on me, as well as witnessing & getting reaffirmations on how draconic the art industry is (infact, reading through #comicsbrokeme on twitter reaffirmed my choice to stay indie). But I think a rough post-college transition and struggling to get back on my feet afterwards might've been one of the biggest hurdles in the end.

Think of it like, going from having a studio space and semi-independence & being in contact with IRLs, and then going back home to somewhere better suited to where I was 5+ years ago. Maybe it's because my area's unwalkable, or relationships with my parents have been, wonky to say the least. Or maybe it's the uncertainty of it all. There's a lot.

This year compared to even the rougher parts of 2022 I feel like I've gotten, sadder? & having a lot lower energy. As I hinted at earlier, I think it even shows in my art. I noticed while editing my galleries mid-year that I think I lost some of the 'edge' that my 2022 artwork had. Doesn't mean it's worse, but I do feel it shows the change of energy from past years to now from high-energy to just needing a break.

Last year, I ended on a note about pulling out of pursuing full-time art. Mostly due to realizing how terrible the art world currently is in terms of treating art as "content with value measured by numbers" (ugh...). Though since then, I've decided instead of fully withdrawing from art as a career I'd rather continue to pursue it as a part-time indie artist. Hey, art has always been a dream job after all. Even if I don't want to break into the industry as of now and things are pretty scuffed, I don't think I'd be happy with completely backing out either.

The bigger question now is... what now? I've made loose plans & goals for myself going forward, art-wise I still want to do comics pursue part-time work. But also, I don't really know what the future holds, and that terrifies me. And like last year & the year before it, I don't want to jinx it for myself. Most of my goals for next year are personal & more about continuing to get back on my feet post-college after scrambling and sinking. Some art related, some life related. I don't have to be shooting for the most perfect outcome, I just need to make sure I don't drown.