2018 Retrospective

Cross posted from my DA

It has been a long time since I did one of these. I have had a very rough couple of years. Undergoing treatment for my mental illnesses, my second divorce, a few different fandoms, big goals and devastating setbacks. So, the usual.

I will be 31 this Friday.


I'm hoping to move to Europe in the next year or so, I don't feel safe in the US anymore.


Doing so however is going to require even more focus and dedication to organizing my belongings, and reassessment of every project I have been dragging along. I will hopefully figure out more details and can see where I'm at milestone wise by the new year. In the meantime I will probably remain most active on Twitter and Hopefully more active on telegram again.

I'd rather start fresh

Honestly, I want to change my username to line up with the rest of my accounts because quite frankly this username is embarrassing in retrospect, but I missed the window of opportunity where LJ offered ONE Free name change and I'm not $15 certain about cleaning up this image until after I've cleaned up the backlog/archive of posts.

I am doing fairly well, mostly healthy, happy and significantly more sane.

I live in Spokane Washington and love it up here.

My husband Steve is 22 and enjoys his work as a pizza delivery driver for Dominos.

I'm working on the endless backlog of personal projects that I never had the time to work on while I was taking commissions, and I'm still /exhausted/ in retrospect from my time doing so. It's taken me about this long just to start working on art again, finishing anything is cause for celebration.

If you want to support this, I have a patreon. https://www.patreon.com/KiyaraSabel

Crunchy Brain Problems

For awhile now I've been having a gradual increase in brain crunchiness, days where just nothing feels right. Anxiety has been on an upswing as well. I enjoyed most of my vacation, but the children wore down my nerves to the limit by the end. It was a huge relief to go to my mom's to enjoy silence and solitude, and she's made great progress on the mess. She's even got a working washing machine now. I wish I could have stayed longer, because my nerves have not recovered from their fraying.

I think my husband is stuck in a rut. He seemed in relatively good spirits, until we got to my mom's. Even his bickering with his family didn't seem particularly negative, but when we met up with my mom he shut down. He had a few moments of perk, but mostly seemed resigned to resting bitch face, speaking very little, watching tv, and using my mom's droid to escape reality. All he'd been able to talk about for the last few days was his computer, despite the fact he'd been using my laptop and again, my mom's droid extensively. I could understand to an extent, he'd lost his phone and needed to use hers to keep in contact with his family regarding when we were getting picked up, but mostly he was escaping.

I get that, I really do, but even at my worst, I still find ways to occupy my time with something constructive, and I realize that maybe that's a coping skill he doesn't have. I was thinking earlier about how my family typically redirects our anger to productivity, rather than other people, as that only ever makes more trouble. His family tends to vacillate between extremes instead, alternately blowing up at each other, or passive aggressively bottling everything to complain about later. My upbringing has forced me to learn to focus on what I have and make the best of a situation, his are kind of short sighted, requiring instant gratification, and a rather self-centered view of how best to get what they want. Me and my mom are the opposite, carefully weighing pros and cons to figure out the best way to balance every loose end with the least direct pressure on any one point.

I can understand that my husband is just reaching out to internet friends, the outside world. I was there myself not too long ago. Unfortunately, I have learned from an extremely drawn out process that internet friends do not fulfill the need for face to face social interaction. It's only a temporary fix, and the need continues to build, until the internet becomes meaningless. I learned how to balance my internet vegging between irl productivity, but I'm still suffering exceptionally from a lack of socialization. I think my mom and I both needed longer to fulfil some of that ache.

I don't think Stefan has matured to the point to understand that yet, in addition to a number of other life skills he hasn't developed. It's a bit frustrating, and I hate hanging in this weird place where I'm trying to keep him on task, but I don't want to hover and nag him about shit either. At the same time, we need to continue working as a team on things or we're both going to fall apart, me more than him most likely. I feel like half the time spent at my mom's I was running interference trying to make peace between the two, but no matter how many times I reminded him that his scowling not just hurt my mom but bothers me, he kept brushing it off by trying to make light of it. He's vowed never to stay there again, and as much as I get that it's a mess, things were acceptable, and needed only a little bit more work to get things livable. One of my life goals remains to help my mom fix up the property, but I can't help but feel like everyone else sees it as a lost cause, which is not only hurtful to my mom, who is doing the best she can with the terrible fucking hand dealt to her, but it hurts me, because as much as I try to do better, and find direction, it's where I come from. There's too much of her in me for me not to take offense when I feel like she's being disrespected.

I'm probably going to need my meds adjusted when I see the psychiatrist again later this month. What I really need is a drastic change of scenery, but that isn't going to be happening any time soon. I've also got a tonsillar abscess in my throat, that I've just been waiting to go away or get worse or whatever it's going to do. The urgent cares covered by my insurance are all a distance away, and I don't have the nerve to ask for a ride from my in-laws, so until I can't fucking breathe because of it, I'm just going to wait until my October Doctor's appointment to get an opinion.

My husband wants to talk about it, but I can't find the words. Maybe I'll just link him to this.

I think I'm going to ask his sister's opinion about it first. I'm just stressed and tired and I feel like I'm being shoved into a corner, and everyone's telling me to hurry up and get moving but there's nowhere for me to go, just a growing pressure forcing me into the walls around me.

Recovery

So it's been almost a year now since I started medication, and nearly two since leaving pittsburgh. Maybe one of these days I'll finally feel like writing up all what that entailed and what it did to me.

I'm starting to feel like me again, I'm starting to feel secure. I've been changed, I'm older, crankier, less trusting. I've been putting myself first, my self-care is not infallible, I still skip meals, on occasion even intentionally. My sleep schedule still needs work, but I finally have the tools I need to regulate it(sweet glorious coffee, and incredibly potent sleeping pills, without any serious side effects).

My art projects are coming along nicely. I still have a backlog, mostly of illustrative work, but I'm finishing some big projects that might eventually lead to an income. I might re-start looking for a job once those are done, but I haven't had the energy to search through listings, much less refine my resume and cover letter forms since my brother went full crazy and kicked me out last summer. I don't feel quite so homeless, and since I'm most likely not going anywhere for another year, I've started to unpack and decorate my bedroom, which will do wonders for my well being.

My marriage is still great. We've had a couple minor tiffs, but I'll probably forget about them before too long. Just minor friction that comes between any two individuals. We have our own interests as well as shared ones. We're both fairly low maintenance, and are very clear about our needs. He respects my moodiness and accepts that he needs to give me some distance some times especially when I'm cranky. He's naturally incredibly bubbly, affectionate and cuddly. I tease him on occasion about his cherubic optimism, but it's a perfect counterpoint to my curmudgeonly tendencies. He's still an adorable young man, but the steel core of the man he's growing into makes me feel like a woman in all the right ways.

In any case, I think it's about time for second breakfast.

I need to see my mom

In addition to the fact it’s been awhile, things are strained with the in-laws, and I need to get some stuff, my mom just lost her job of 14 years.

I’m flat broke, or I’d be there already. There’s literally only about $3 in my bank account, leftover from Christmas money. My mom is 61 years old, a compulsive hoarder, with cataracts in both eyes and a bad back. She’s finally acknowledging that she should try to get on disability and is applying for the ACA. I know she’s dealing with some other difficulties in trying to get unemployment, and trying to fight some credit card fraud in her name.

I know I can’t fix her or solve all her problems, and I know I can’t stay in her house for more than a few weeks at a time without having a mental breakdown myself. I still want to spend some time with her, help her move some things, and just be there for her to vent to. I’d like to maybe have her come down to spend some time with me here, as much as my in-laws are problematic people, they usually put on their best behavior while someone new is in the house, and quite frankly she’ll butt in and stand up for herself if they overstep their boundaries. I think it would do her good to be in a house with some extra space. Hell, she could probably help them keep things clean and look after the baby some better than any of them have(it may seem counter intuitive that a hoarder is good at house cleaning outside of her home, but hoarding isn’t simply a result of laziness or poor housekeeping).

But I need to go see her, and spend some time with her and talk to her and let her decide what she wants to do.

If by any chance you’d like to donate to help me out, send a paypal gift to sabelfukaimori@gmail.com

I don't think I need my therapist anymore.

I don't want to undermine her efforts, she's been great, but during this break over the holidays I've been pretty coherent and haven't felt the need I used to have, desperate to get everything out that had built up.

I've been able to take things as they come, analyze my feelings and motivations, and I'm not sure her services are tuned in the right area I could use some help with.

I'll see her again Wednesday and let her know, as well as work out what he process entails. They have an incredibly long waitlist and I can't help but feel that someone else could use the below offered there more than I can.

I chalk it up to my meds, the incredible amount of progress I made with my PERSAD therapist and my currently more or less stable environment.

That said, I don't think that I'm completely cured forever, or even that I don't need therapy at all. I'm probably going to join a group for sexual assault survivors at a local women's center, and possibly another group therapy and/or individual therapist at SNAMHS where I get my meds/psychiatric needs addressed.

I'm a big girl now

But I still feel rather small and helpless.

I indulge myself with the little things. My birthday was surprisingly and exceptionally wonderful. I got a full haul of art supplies that I needed, and a wonderful pony plush to cuddle, just the right size shape and heft to snuggle against. Convincing myself I deserve food is still hard, especially without food stamps anymore. Hesitantly, I think I might start to begin offering small commissions again, but I'm not ready to declare it just yet.

I finally moved rooms, so I can start spreading out and setting up a proper work space which is nice, I can finally start unpacking from boxes.

It is my hope that a year from now, my husband and I will be living in our own place, living comfortably financially, that I'll be making a modest income from my art, and I can discuss the possibility of children and/or returning to school.

After the extreme highs and lows of the past year, the current waves of my mood and surroundings are just gentle ups and downs I can take in stride. Especially with little naps and more redundancies in place.

Scattered

Cleaned up all the things cluttering my computer's resources and restarted after leaving it on for days.

The physical world still has me overextended with things though.

I've been going to counseling regularly again for a few weeks now. I like my new therapist and we're finally starting to work past the 'getting to know each other' phase. Next week we'll start addressing our goals. I see my psychiatrist tuesday and I'll ask if slightly reducing my dosage will make me less drowsy all the time. I also need to schedule an appointment at the welfare office to adjust my benefits. I get one more month of food stamps before they're automatically cancelled, but I need to go into the office soon because I got married and need to report it, even though nothing has changed in regards to income. But I can update my address, even if I'm probably going to move again, to who knows where this time, in six months or so.

I'm going to start looking for a job, possibly a driver or at party city/spirit halloween or something. Stefan is waiting to hear back from his recruiter, probably just out of job postings until the new billet arrives next month. His parents are complaining we're taking up all their resources.

His grand parents are also arriving next month, when I can finally move into a permanent room. My stuff is currently scattered across three rooms, and today I think I'll finally start working on consolidating the stuff that's not already downstairs.

It's difficult for me to work up the energy to do house cleaning. My energy levels are always tricky, aside from a couple of manic episodes, I generally only have the stamina to do a little bit at a time. My mind is foggy and I spend a lot of time outside of reality these days.

I have a rough idea of the order of things I want to do, but finding the energy and time to do so is harder. I lost a day this week, and I'm not sure where it went, other than that Monday and Tuesday where the time is missing was spent watching movies. The lack of sleep that night is probably responsible. I need to start adjusting/timing/taking my sleeping pills. It's hard to feel like sleeping a regular schedule matters. Stefan is pretty bad about it as well. With how long they've been putting him off the idea of going to basic seems to have become a little abstract to him, as opposed to a month ago when they were constantly demanding paperwork from him. I have been told that "Hurry up and wait" is the unofficial motto of the US Millitary, but it's still kind of absurd.

Still Scrambled

But I'm easing into a manic episode again, so I should get stuff sorted out.

My manic episodes aren't a bad thing, sure they last for about a week(if this runs the same as the last one), give me headaches and don't let me sleep, but the surge of satisfaction I get from being productive more than makes up for a little bit of inconvenience, and if I pay attention to the time I can take a sleeping pill at a normal time and get some decent sleep. And I have been sleeping enough, just weird hours.

Presently, I just made a new tumblr blog for social justice issues, which is a load off my mind because I've been torn on how much of it I reblog on my personal blog and I'm not sure fits the theme and tone of what I want representing me as a whole.

I'll be doing more on my art blog soon, as I sort out what I'm doing with all my current project. I have my sculptures all arrayed around my laptop desk, which is a little cramped, and it's a little unnerving being under their constant judging surveilance, begging me to finish them (okay, I'm embellishing)

I'll probably be focusing on my illustrative art, just to catch up on where I'm at drawing wise to where I'm at digital/finished product wise. I'll probably do a little more writing work too, I just found a free program to make dating sims, so I'll be testing it out with a choose your own adventure story I wrote back in high school, and then I'll have an adventure/dating sim about a female(although I may put in an option to be male as well) cop, corruption and the occult.

I'll make a few posts on my art tumblr about my sculptures, from the various finished, in need of repairs, in progress and conceptual pieces. I'm going to sell at least half of them in some form or other, and I'll be using my tumblr to ask for advice on what to do with them, assuming that any of the four followers have an opinion. I still have not received an answer from anyone regarding whether or not I should include NSFW art on the blog. If you want to follow it, the url is uncannyvalleystudios.tumblr.com

And for now I'm considering the dolls/sculptures as one entity. After I sort things out a bit more, I actually am going to work on fursuit stuff, as I still have a block of foam, so I'll start sculpting up Miera and Blouis after I have the time and money to put together a DTD head for me and my fiance to use as bases(I may also be putting in my efforts at wig making too).

All right that's an update and slightly clarified thoughts for myself.

Uncanny Valley Studios GO!

Okay, okay, it's been awhile and I have some pretty big plans for my art starting again next year, hopefully at Further Confusion.


I am currently living in CA again and looking for a real job. I am going to take my real life career fairly seriously and hopefully I can get my living situation, finances, and education back under control. My health is still my number one priority though. I'm also going to try to make it to the Prancing Skiltaire regularly.


So in between all of that, I've been reorganizing all my creative projects and attempting to put them in some kind of recognizable order. This means my writing has progressed from snippets of cool dreams written on scraps of paper and such, into one compiled master list of around sixty distinct stories, not including those which revolve around recurring specific groups of characters and settings.


I'm also 85% certain I will have the time and resources to offer Meme Badges again Soon™. Possibly ordinary conbadges, but I am very trepidatious about returning to commission work. To those I still owe commissions, yes, I have been working on them, and no, I can't show you any progress right now, but Soon™ I should have access to a scanner again, and have some form of coherency to all the various art files on my computer. But if you want to double check on them just in case to remind me I owe you something, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I feel bad enough that I've already issued one refund, but in general I'd much rather prefer to finish the work, although to be realistic and completely honest I have no idea when I will have the time to do that. I'm still learning how to manage my time, and I have quite the back up of information and responsibilities to process, and although the going has been slow, I have been making constant progress.


With all that out of the way, let me make the actual announcements, aside from meme badges, which will be addressed in their own post later, once I have finished the base templates.


I will be officially registering Uncanny Valley Studios as a business next year. Unlike the last time, I do not expect to turn a profit any time soon. The way I will be doing business will be much different from my past endeavors. As I alluded to earlier, the biggest change will be that I will no longer be taking commissions in any real capacity. I will focus primarily on making original one of a kind pieces of art to sell individually, as well as making resin casts and the like.


Any commissions I will offer will be auctions, as will be most of the artwork I will create. I am going to become a fairly selfish artist, and use it primarily as a therapeutic outlet.


The most ambitious project I am going to start the process on is my infrequently mentioned but positively massive magnum opus, The Chronicles of Matri. I originally created the series as a creative writing project for my seventh grade English class. Over the past decade or so, it spawned from what was originally planned to be a series of roughly ten full length novels, to an entire universe of spin off stories. At some point a few years ago I got frustrated with the project because I simply didn't think my writing was good enough to express things the way I wanted to.
So I put it on the back burner and focused on much smaller projects, most of which are just as half finished and slip-shod as it ever was. For instance, I have suffered several file transfers over the years, and have always had to spend months reorganizing my files because I kept deciding to use a different format, hopefully, fingers crossed, my current PC will be more reliable, and also my file organizing has greatly improved. My focus over the last year and a half has been to improve my life skills, as well as attempt to regain my mental health.


In anycase, I should be opening auditions for The Chronicles of Matri at the beginning of the year, along with everything else, as a collaborative effort to make it a full length Animated Web Series. I have been working tirelessly on building my show/pitch bible so that prospective employees will know exactly what I am looking for. I will obviously need lots of animation artists, special effects technicians, sound engineers and composers, not to mention all-important editors. The world of Matri is a near-future Science Fiction Fantasy story, combining elements of urban fantasy as well as sword and sorcery, and the setting is concurrent with modern Earth. It will deal with politics, espionage, social justice, romance, adventure, mysteries, and every day life. It takes place over the course of generations. My biggest obstacle to date has been compressing and polishing all of the data in my head to show and not tell. I do not want to make a documentary or encyclopedia, I want to make an engaging experience that elicits feeling and thinking. I want people to be moved by it. I don't care if people love it or hate it (although I would prefer the former) but I want it to be something that people respond to.


The other big project is that I may be opening a line of Anthropomorphic Ball Joint Dolls. I will only be releasing one of a kind dolls for auction, and if there is sufficient investment on behalf of interested parties, resin blanks for customization. And again, I will probably still offer the occasional auction for a custom commission.


Fursuits and Plush Toys will mostly be the same deal, but in a much smaller capacity. I want to make it plain that I will make these projects first and foremost for myself, and after making such things, I will consider them for sale. Custom commissions are probably still a ways off, and again, by auction only, but mostly because I want to be sure that my products meet the highest quality standards and my work in the past has not been that. This may lead to a readily available inventory of pre-made goods though, so not all is lost. I want to specialize in blanks of rarer species, as well as more defined and realistic human and animal features in my masks. Anatomical details are going to be the death of me.


My illustrative art will continue, I really hope to find the time and space to take up traditional painting, as well as better flesh out my digital portfolio. I will probably not offer commissions at all. I may offer gifts and trades at my discretion, and very improbably will ask for requests and suggestions. I will however hopefully have original canvases and prints to sell. As with the fursuits, I'm going to concentrate on defining a signature style. My goal is and has always been what I term "Expressive Realism" where I'm less interested in the very technically accurate fautographic anatomical realism (which is still important), and more invested in making the artwork look alive and emotive.


Finally, speaking of suggestions, I want to start sending out e-mail newsletters to people interested in my art. If you want to join any of my mailing lists, let me know in an email to uncannyvalleystudios@gmail.com. The mailing list options are as follows:


Uncanny Valley Studios News- an aggregate of progress on everything I'm doing. It will probably be reflected on my tumblr, and will be a no-more-than weekly newsletter, possibly monthly, at the very least Quarterly.


The Chronicles of Matri Production Newsletter- Exactly what it sounds like, news and updates on my progress in preparing this series for realization, it will include sneak peeks, exclusive contests, rare art, rough drafts and general production and casting details. So if you want to be a part of this project, or just would like to follow along to learn and/or offer suggestions on how to take a story from a seed of an idea to a fully realized universe, this is the one for you.


Anthropomorphic Ball Joint Doll Production Line-This will have a much shorter and sweeter name in the realization, but I have not yet decided what to name the doll making portion of my studio, as I am still so early in the process.


Fursuiting Shenanigans- Fursuit building and outings, picture and progress heavy, technical, as well as silly.


Lost Paradise Plushies- I don't expect I will have too much to say on the plushies any time soon, but who knows how quickly that will change


The Shade Writing Club- After dusting off my files of 60+ tales I wish to tell, I need to get to work on sharing them. I should be uploading some of it to the appropriate online art galleries I'm already a member of, but this will be more of a workshop for input and collaboration. The first things I'm going to share are the incredibly embarrasing, but often amusing things I wrote in high school, mostly for the IRL writing club I was a member of at the time(I was the youngest member by about 20 years and the other writers were often astounded by me). I also have the rough draft of a script for an exciting new graphic novel that should be ready for publication next year, along with everything else.


Basic Drawing Mentoring Group- In the years I've been drawing I have tutored and been tutored by a number of fellow artists. I'm not sure as I will go so far as to assign specific mentors and mentees, although I would not be against the idea, but it would be nice to have a workgroup again.


The newsletters may be subject to revision or deletion based on my feed back, and I might even be convinced to make additional ones where appropriate (for example, I'm not going to share ALL the production details with people outside of a project).


After all of that I am ending with a plea for help, I am competent with basic computer functions, but I have no idea how to make any of the following and feel like I really need to learn: Spreadsheets and forms; Simple flash applications(I want to make a dress up game and dating sim style adventure); Basic Web Design; Email groups and RSS feeds; Kickstarter Campaigns; Film and Animation Production, Budgeting and Editing; Sound Engineering; Basic Music Composing Software. If you are knowledgeable in these subjects and have advice to offer, want to promote your favorite free shareware programs, or want to volunteer in the preproduction phase of The Chronicles of Matri and Uncanny Valley Studios email me at Sabelfukaimori@gmail.com with an appropriate heading in the subject field. PLEASE note that this is not the same email that newsletter requests should be sent to (and neither is my personal email). Although I will be checking messages elsewhere, I have limited internet access and I check my email first. I plan to cross post this message (or something very similar) to my twitter, tumblr, facebook, G+, DA, FA, IB, Nabyn, PA-Furry, livejournal, etsy, blogger, FIMfiction, Fanfiction.net.


TL;DR I'm going to do a bunch of stuff, plz halp me lern how does computers work, let me know if I owe you anything, Meme Badges Soon™. OkladyIloveyou bye bye.