My motivation has taken a fair number of hits, in recent years… I could type a wall of text going into detail, but, realistically, no one is going to read it, much less care.

The latest of those hits came a few days ago, when I found out that this site had been hacked. I don’t know when it happened, but I can guess at how. A vulnerability was found & exploited, thousands of spam posts generated, and the site messed up to such a degree that no one would even SEE those posts. Fixing it took a day that I could have otherwise spent finishing a gift image that I’d originally hoped to have finished a week ago, so now I’m not in the best of moods.

Over the past three years or so, I at least had enough paying work to keep me occupied, and to use as an excuse for why I wasn’t drawing more. Unfortunately, that work had also burned me out, at one point, to such a degree that I still feel like I’m recovering from it over a year and a half later.

Attempting to channel my burn-out into a comic about Daisy being burned out, wasn’t exactly the wisest decision…

Not helping my burn-out, are a number of things well beyond my control. Among them –

  • Elon Musk buying and effectively ruining Twitter, scattering artists & audiences alike to the winds.
  • Crypto-bros engaging in a free-for-all, minting bullshit tokens out of artists’ works, and making a lot more money from that theft than those artists could ever hope to earn.
  • The same people now pushing AI to muscle artists out entirely.
  • The games, animation, and VFX industries now salivating at the idea of not having to pay artists or even actors.

That last item is especially demoralizing, because while I’m sure I’m too obscure an artist for anyone to want to train an AI off of my work, I’m not making a living off of my characters. If my role as an animator or rigger gets replaced with AI, though, then I’m screwed, because there aren’t many other things that I know how to do to earn a living.

One other thing that’s been eating away at me for several years, now, has been the lack of a quiet, private space to work in. I used to thrive in isolation, and have been struggling without it. Anyone who’s been following me long enough, might remember my semi-annual rants about not being able to accomplish anything when staying at my brother’s place around Christmas time. Too much activity throughout the day, too much noise. And even on the quiet days, his dogs would want constant attention. That’s what the past several years have been like for me, nearly 24-7. I rarely ever have a peace and quiet for long enough to where I can just sit down, clear my thoughts, and work without any fear of anyone or anything interrupting me and ripping me out of that mindset.

As I type this, I finally have two weeks entirely to myself, and I worry it won’t be enough. It could take me a week or two just to really settle into the idea that I will not be interrupted. And even if a surge of inspiration hits me today, the “why should I bother” voice in the back of my head has me wondering if there is any point to cranking out a ton of images in the next couple of weeks, when afterward I’ll be right back to being distraction-full 24-7…