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50 First Reasons Why I’m Autistic

It’s hard to express the traits that compose ASD without a very large list, yet most sites resort to 5 or so clinical bullet points. It is not one or two things like ‘shyness’ or ‘rambles a lot’. It isn’t just 10, 20 or 50 experiences, but every moment of someones life. My agonizing and intense experience navigating through adulthood is NOT THE SAME as most people who aren’t on the Autism Spectrum. I need to get sh*t off my chest and typing is the easiest way I can do it, so here are my 50 first reasons I’m autistic right off the top of my head….

  1. The fact I said ‘lovid cockdown’ the other day.
  2. Can’t give a fake compliment to save my life. If you don’t do stellar work, I wont say it.
  3. Went to speech therapy at a young age. Still can’t enunciate clearly at age 26…
  4. Couldn’t stand being lightly cuddled as a kid. Now I hardly initiate a hug. 
  5. While I was lying face down, I asked my friend to sit on my back. Deep pressure is the most beautiful and calming feeling.
  6. Being asked daily “Can you say that again?” and “can you say that louder?”
  7. Running down the hallway in sprints of joy only to get yelled at. I do my best creative thinking when I leap up from by desk to pace.
  8. Pacing through the hallway for solid hours at night, lost in my favorite songs on repeat.
  9. Been told my voice is either monotonous or fluctuating and erratic. I have little volume control if I’m stressed.
  10. I get goosebumps from music even with returning to a old classic song. I’ve listened to many on loop 1000 times over. I sing out loud on a daily basis to soothe myself.
  11. Ask me a question. I will start rambling and completely forget what you have asked in less than 2 minutes.
  12. Do I have my phone/keys/wallet on me? *Starts to melt down*
  13. Twirling hair rapidly when I’m bored. “stop doing that, it makes you look nervous”…uh because I am?
  14. Is this the right time to say hello to her? Oh no, too much time has passed now it’ll be weird.
  15. ‘I think you should get Vela diagnosed for ADHD’  Said my preschool teacher. Imagine how that offended my mom. ‘Shes too disruptive in the class and wont even try to be still’.
  16. My rigid thinking is my life. I tend to see things as success or failures. Unfortunately this extends to my sense of self worth.
  17. I didn’t find the game Stardew Valley fun until I sorted ALL my items, from red tomatoes to purple eggplants, by color into their respective colored storage chests.
  18. I really don’t remember some of my times tables? Math sux.  
  19. It’s late at night. My bus is late. I start to break down.
  20. Childhood: easy! Highschool: extended childhood where I ran off to the art room alone. College and navigating adulthood: shit hits the fan.
  21. I work at home in a dimly lit room with twinkle lights. Fluorescent lights are evil.
  22. If someone lightly touches me I will flinch or jump. Doesn’t matter if they are a nice friend, my body may respond this way.
  23. My home is a pigstyle at its best. I let food go bad, I have hard time caring enough about cleaning. I have things I wanna do! Even my most patient friend will tell me off for how disgusting my kitchen gets.
  24. I’m more curious about the intent and context behind the questions on online autism ‘tests’ than actually answering the test. Overthinking is just normal thinking for someone with ASD.
  25. I can’t lie. I don’t understand why anyone would. I can’t understand cheating and copying anothers work for your own gain. Dishonesty is repulsive.
  26. Dating is the most horrifying concept in the world to me. Especially online assumptions based on a photo. It’s can’t explain how unpleasant I feel being expected not only to small talk, but am expected to enjoy dealing with someone with an ulterior motive?
  27. “You are always interrupting.’ when I genuinely never intend to.
  28. Countless colorful soft plaid shirts. Mom commenting that look was ‘not very sexy, at-least unbutton the first button!
  29. Plaid is a drastic improvement from the badly fitting sweatpants and daggy shirts I wore as a teen. I was saved by having to wear a uniforms at high school in Australia.
  30. Gets overstimulated babbling in social situations and then suddenly losing all power, needing to go home before I cry.
  31. If you have started me on an interested subject matter and don’t find a way to stop me talking, I will talk forever.
  32. It may take us longer to connect to someone, but we can be empathetic to the detriment of our own sanity. We can take on the suffering of living things so deeply it brings us close to madness.
  33. Working at home feels like a guilty pleasure.
  34. Sarcasm, manipulation and mind games are deeply scarring.  
  35. Carrying a small sketchbook isn’t a casual artist thing, it’s a necessity to help me keep my fidgety hands busy and mind engaged visually.
  36. Being told to stop drawing when I was out at restaurants or social events growing up.
  37. Needed a white board chore chart with smiley face magnets I made myself to get any chores done.
  38. I will wake up, start doing an activity like fixing CSS on my site. I blink and suddenly it’s 3pm and I’m smelly.
  39. Skin picking when anxious, only really when I get acne but it’s so hard to fight.
  40. I try to fix the thought by thinking and then thinking more and then I think…I can’t fix the think! I want to cry! And then I shake my head and rock and find my calm.
  41. Taking other people’s rude, mean judgments and spite to heart. I have been told I have ‘low self esteem’ but really this is my lack of a filter. I assume people are saying something truthful.
  42. I can visualize a tragedy someone tells me verbally, like someone getting hit by a car, extremely vividly. Like its a film playing in my brain, I feel it, hear the crunch of bones…etc.
  43. Kids bullied me for willingly sitting alone in high school. I didn’t quite understand they were making fun of me.
  44. I am obsessed with fictional characters and usually ones with extreme emotions. Delirium, ecstasy, despair and rage are easy to understand. I also love characters with blank mysterious expressions.
  45. My default emotions are confused and curious.
  46. I get emotional and churn over things every night. My poor mom would tell/message me to go to bed. I can’t tell apart being tired from being upset.
  47. I messaged my mom obsessively for life guidance. All through college and right up until cancer took her ability to read this January. I am not conveying how much I depended on her. I was connected deeply to her in maybe a ‘codependent’ way, but I am starting to understand autism is why now.
  48. I realize too late when someone doesn’t wan’t to discuss something interesting with them. I always let my guard down because I crave deep discussion. They seem so strained to find a way to escape.
  49. I give too much vulnerable and often ‘unprofessional’ information. It hurts to constantly hold back from telling someone; ‘No, I’m not having a great day!
  50. Lists, lists lists or else I will forget what I should do next!

I can go on forever well into 400 reasons, but running on 4 hours sleep really is keeping me from being focused on my work the next day. Thanks for reading my vulnerable and tmi content. 🙂

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honest thoughts on improving

Hello again, a few weekends ago I went to Madman Anime fest in Melbourne. The con had a lot of interesting moments hearing from voice actors and anime producers. I think a memorable moment was seeing a pencil animation test from Ufotables’ Demon Slayer. I love getting to see an animation without the final colors, it strips back the layers and you can really focus just on the drawings. I wanted to ramble about some thoughts I’ve had growing as an animation artist. I think the core element is, if you don’t connect with that fiery feeling I just mentioned of how beautiful animation can be, you will probably struggle to improve at all.

You have to critically question the way you are thinking and talking about drawing. Often someone will tell me they feel their ‘proportions’ or ‘anatomy‘ are wrong in comparison to mine.  Instead a bunch of other ways you could talk/think about drawing is; ‘do I really understand the form of this exact part before I put down a line? How does this mass relate to the torso/head/rest of the body as it balances, what sort of balance is going on? Is the silhouette clear? What is the best way to caricature this persons nose? Is that a thumb or a forefinger because I’m having to squint at the model to see it properly? Ah just make it up” My point is…good drawing is never just one element. Having an open, honest critical eye is the only way I’ve been able to grow. Perspective, anatomy, balance, solid form, are all elements of draftsmanship that need to be faced head-first.

I want people to know that many storyboarding jobs have become like 2D animation. I just speak on behalf of my experience making episodic animatics. It involves many drawings yes, but whatever amount you may be envisioning, imagine way more, and heaps of unseen drawings tossed out because they didn’t serve the exact vision your directors had in mind. The concept of heaps of dispensable drawings is something that breaks a lot of artists. Mustering enthusiasm to embrace every new drawing is an attitude you either have or you don’t.

Hina Kagiyama (Touhou Project)

Another thing is understanding good animation isn’t always about fluidity. Animation should be about creating some intensity of motion/emotion with the timing of whatever you are drawing. I wish people reacted to my animations with more than ‘smooth’ but…internet right? You can see whether animation is strong of weak even in bouncing balls. With newbies you’ll often see just a plain simple circle floatily moving up and down. To the viewer, this says nothing. You need to think way harder about the acting, physicality, everything!-before you even start to animate.

In the end however, what matters more than drawing skill is always a love of art. Specifically, I don’t think you can teach a love of characters and their stories. This is where my draftmanship argument falls apart, because I can’t explain to people the wonder I felt discovering Inuyasha on early anime streaming sites. Alright I’m done for now. Thanks for sticking around.

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Roy G. Biv’s Hyperdimensional Journey

I took a class at CDW this last semester called Advanced Projects which was basically let us do whatever sort of project we wanted. I will admit, this concept had it’s roots as a simple schmup game I had been painstakingly learning how to make in Game Maker, but the whole thing got a bit messy so I resorted to just boarding something vaguely inspired by the game. Here’s some vis dev as well as the final sequence. Moral learnt: freakin’ define what you’re making and make a THING. I might go back to this idea in time…who knows.

 

 

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