This is my first time using WordPress, which is probably evident by the fact that I’m still using the default theme and haven’t been able to make heads or tails of the code to edit it at all yet. Also, something about child themes? I probably should have done more research on PHP sooner, but it’s in my traditions to jump head first into something without planning it properly, so, here we are.
I sometimes find it really difficult balancing being a creator of stuff and a consumer of stuff, you know? It’s more often than not that—when I get into a Thing—that is the only Thing I am thinking about or drawing for at least a week or two. I totally neglect other projects, ignore my original work, because man guys, this Thing, have you seen this Thing yet? It’s so great. I’m not complaining right now, because it’s summer and I really have nothing better to do, and I like enjoying other people’s creations since I think that’s an integral part to existing, but it just feels frustrating at times because it highlights—to myself—some of my own inadequacies as a creator.
Granted, I’m probably being unnecessarily hard on myself, as most creators are. I tend to go through phases where I can look at my art and go “woah, that’s something that I made, holy crap” and then other times where I want to delete most of the stuff I’ve made and throw my computer out of a window: this feels way more amplified when I sort of “dive in headfirst” into some content that a bunch of other people like, because now I’m looking at everyone else’s fanart and going “man, that’s so great, why didn’t I think of that, why does all of my stuff look amateurish and cartoony, it just doesn’t work, you know?” and then I basically end up lying on the floor for a couple of minutes and having a short-lived pity party. Going through those phases gradually—a sine wave over a couple of months, maybe—really isn’t that bad: some of that critical eye on my own work helps me find areas I want to improve, techniques I want to try next time, and so on. But when you’re shifting back and forth between these feelings in a single day, it’s damn exhausting.
The only way to get over this is to just keep working, I think. Being a creator is difficult and frustrating and sometimes you just want to give it up, but if you just keep trudging through the mental molasses, you’ll come out of the other side of it with more knowledge and creativity and confidence. That’s the theory, at least.
And then there’s the second aspect that happens when I get into a Thing, which is that I don’t shut up about said Thing. It is inevitable. You can look at my Twitter feed or Tumblr blog and find the exact time when I started watching Doctor Who, or reading a comic, or (in this most recent case) listening to Welcome to Night Vale (are you guys listening to Welcome to Night Vale yet? You probably should be. Also, have tissues on hand for Episode 25. Just trust me on this one). It’s pretty cool, I think: it’s interesting to scroll back through what are basically online diaries and just track my interests and thoughts and how they’ve developed over a pretty short period of time. We live in a world where we can share stuff with friends instantaneously, where people can make comics and videos and art and music and podcasts and whatever the heck they want to make with greater ease than ever before.
People always say that they’d rather live in a different era, but I don’t want to live in an era where I can’t create so freely and share those creations so effortlessly, you know? There’s still so much potential that hasn’t been explored with the tools we have today. We live in a pretty cool world, I think.
Plus, I wouldn’t really want to live in an era without indoor plumbing. Or central air. Or the internet.
So, there’s that.