guess who got some fidget toys

Just the usual mish-mash blog post where I dump some art and talk about life things. I animated Ryuunosuke Uryuu and Gilles de Rais (Caster) from Fate/Zero again. I was in process of rambling about them in a blog post, but am putting that aside to ramble about more recent things time…

I got some autism friendly toys!!

It’s too irresistible to buy a lot with online shopping, but I urgently needed to get some stimming toys in my life the second I saw videos showing autistic toys existed. I impulse bought a few toys, some of these are recommended for children in general but the ones I got are pretty specific to autistic needs. For starters I got 4 chewy toys on necklaces.To explain why, they are a nice zero-calorie alternative to the sensory appeal of burning through packs of gum. I used to chew multiple pieces of gum at once and long after the flavor ran out and it became a grey unpalatable lump. That’s what calms me! I realized the only reason I grab at snack foods at parties is because I’m agitated out of my mind by the mere idea of having to break into conversation. I always confused myself how I won’t stop chomping down gummies if they are readily accessible.

These necklaces are already super satisfying my need to chew to get tension out of my jaw. Obviously I’m the type of autistic that craves deep pressure. I had to get a plastic plate to prevent me from grinding teeth at night, the dentist had said it was due to ‘stress’. I am assuming the only reason I was grinding while sleeping is because I wasn’t getting in enough deep pressure while conscious and was repressing autism my entire adult life up until now!! Alas, if dentists knew jack-sh*t about autism…wait, let me rephrase that…if anyone I’ve ever interacted with even knew jack-diddly-dang-about-autism, I maybe I would have had some leads towards pursuing a diagnosis way earlier on. Anyways, these chewies are fairly big and my molars are the ones that crave to bite down on things. I look like a bulldog trying to get my jaw around these things. Who says grown women aren’t allow to feel like a dog with a chew toy? Who has any right to determine what is permissible when there are people out there doing much more violent and atrocious actions that harm fellow humans? I chew on non-toxic plastic to get rid of nervous energy and focus better. Bite me.

I got the toys in the second picture from another Aussie site called Sensory Tools. Out of all of them the Tangle Jr. is the most insanely satisfying, I like how it wraps around my wrist like a bracelet. I want to keep an emergency pack of one of each of these toys in my backpack in order to prevent getting stressed when I’m out and about. I’m still trying to finish off the dragon sculpture on the right, which has been yet another project I started a month ago. That’s all I have to say for now, I just want to blog about art and little things that are helping me survive day by day.

survived till may + rediscovering repetitive habits

Hello readers. So something interesting has happened lately. Before I started taking autistic mental health seriously, if I started feeling upset, I would berate myself and make it worse. It’s so hard for me to pull myself out of moods once I’m stuck in the swampy muck. Shame also stems from the fact I even have triggers in the first place. ‘Why do I get like this?’ I berate myself repeatedly. As I take mindfulness and autism seriously now, I try to find solutions for these pangs of emotion.

This morning I went for a jog to try and clear the stress in my mind and set myself up for a productive day. It feels like emotions welling up (and boy, I have a lot of emotions) Even after exercise, I still feel the tension welling up in my head. It is something far different than a headache, just stress and emotion needing to escape. Just in any attempt to stop feeling terrible, I begin shaking my head. I keep it up.

Sh*t. It feels good! I keep doing it. Almost like magic, I realize the emotion that was previously throbbing in my head has entirely dissipated. Only the joy of that addictive simple movement remains. Did I fix that through something as simple as just moving? Moving for the joy of moving? To sway, rock and spin and the thinking and pain all fades away. I am realizing that on the road into adulthood I sadly suppressed the part of myself that needed to bounce, spin and sway. 

I used to get the word ‘ADHD’ muttered around me in childhood, but mostly my behavior was typical of a energetic kid. This energy began to fade away as I lost hours in cartoon worlds, and anime and art kept expanding to be more and more pivotal. Drawing is an acceptable habit…video games, fictional characters too, sure! Bobbing your head or pacing down the hallway repeatedly…that probably isn’t gonna help ya much in the adult world. It’s comparatively easier to forge repetitive habits with drawing, music and misc. cartoon obsessions. However, they can’t help you work through everything. Cartoons seem to represent that joyous bubbly passion of movement, that’s what drawing feels like to me. That burst of emotion is in drawing but also a feeling I get from movement.

 

I used to run down my family’s hallway for no real reason, just burst into a sprint. It excited the dogs too much so my family told me to cut it out. Same with pacing, pacing at 1am when my family was asleep was heavenly. I miss that long stretch of hallway in the dead of night, free to listen to music. It’s walking in the landscape of my mind, not walking with the intention of looking around me. I also happen to do my best creative thinking while jogging, rowing, moving in any way, the ideas just flow into me then. My other common stimming habits are obsessively touching my hair, swaying (on rowing machine too) pacing or scratching my skin, but yeah I try not to do that last one.

I realize now that returning to repetitive movement brings me closer to my unmasked true self. If you have the impulse to move, to JUST DO IT. Especially do it now you’re stuck at home with nothing but time to yourself. I am trying to navigate a world that isn’t made for me, and need to find the coping mechanisms that work for someone like me. This joy of moving is the reason I am the artist I am. I talk about autism so much lately because it is new to me, the traits I have thought made me just ‘neurotic’ and ‘sensitive’ are actually my superpower. Treating these as autistic superpowers is the only thing that can guide me through more than COVID but also horribly complex grief, because I can’t rely on other people to help me through it. Going into the future I hope that other people will start to see the unique approaches and skills that the autistic mind can bring to the world. Although it is a bit of an enigma to understand, it is a special gift for me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

Global Game Jam 2020 // Repair

It was just that merry special time of year, the Global Game Jam time of year. The theme was “repair” and me and my best programmer buddy Andrew made “Mind Repair Solutions’. No idea why the site added the number ‘5’ to the URL since I’m certain we are the only game with that name. The resulting game should show how much fun we had! We made this not by pulling all nighters but instead summoning years of consistent hard work and experience in art and code.

I love getting making every piece of art in a game. Whether it’s logos, icons, character animation or backgrounds; being a solo artist for a game you are able to make all the little elements tie together. To me’World building’ isn’t wasting time writing a 6 page game bible pontificating on things you aren’t actually creating. It’s all about brainstorming visually, making solid decisions and just bloody making it. For the clinic staff we named Clara, I attempted speed cell shading in Tvpaint. Although it’s impossible to do good hand-drawn animation fast, TVpaint 11 has a way of making Color layers respond whatever you draw on lineart layer above so you can edit and fix colorable areas super easy.

TVpaint cell shading process!

I had zero experience using Godot Engine before this jam. My teammate Andrew only had a little bit of practice beforehand. We both value letting ideas flow between us therefore atmosphere, visuals and humor take shape in a natural way. I love Global Gam Jam because I learn so much about managing a production, communicating with teammate(s), realizing where my strengths and weaknesses lie. My artistic spirit, often chained down by storyboarding, goes wild when I get to be the sole artist on anything.

We’re calling this game a perfect blend between Steins;Gate and JumpStart 3rd Grade. You can play the game in your browser here! It even works well if loaded up on a phone, so don’t be shy and test it for us!!~ The page on the Global Game Jam site is here.

Delusion Eater

Happy first new post of the new year! I went on an epic Tokyo trip from mid December 2019 through into New Year 2020 with friends. Instead of writing stuff and sorting through 400+ photos, I just had to summarise the trip by making some comics to express express the weirdest and most memorable things. I printed some limited copies for a local Adelaide ‘Zina Warrior Print Fest‘ which I participated in for the first time. It was a great weekend and I will definitely try to table again. During the trip I only did a handful of travel sketches since I was too preoccupied with loving Japan. Sitting in a Shinjuku cafe having a nice ‘ブレンドコーヒー’ and listening to the bustling sounds of life was the only time I really drew.

To respect the people who bought my zine this weekend (you are the best! thank you for supporting my art) I probably wont ever put it up for free. If you want to read my comics as a PDF maybe follow me on the Gumroad I made.

I also just ‘finished’ an animation that was kicking around before I went on break.I invented this guy from the concept of being an ‘Eater of Delusion’. You can only survive him if you’re learnt to cast aside ego, (or maybe just have a rank hermit stank. either or…) It’s loosely inspired by the yoga psychology and stories I have heard,but I also felt like animating it because Hindu and Buddhist demonic art is rad.

Animation can express the flush of adrenaline when you’re jogging and a fave song kicks in. It can convey all sorts of chemistry between people. It can make clothes clinging to a figure become something precious and sensual. It’s only through the aware experience of mundane transient moments that we can start to channel it into art that feels truthful to life and full of ecstasy. I’m maybe making readers uncomfortable with that, maybe it’s my gender speaking but I have a need to communicate real intimacy with art. That’s why I’d rather see lumpy, impulsive and fleshy art than something clinical and copied. For once it feels like it should be 2020, and I’m excited and trusting myself more now than ever. I surprised myself last year as I have started to learn to stop looking backwards and forwards so much. Ah wait, I have a storyboard deadline tomorrow…

So I splurged on TVpaint 11 pro…

In terms of recent things fresh in my mind (before I completely forget this year); I went to a yoga sutra talk this last weekend and had an amazing friend give my work computer a massive hardware boost. I also caricatured myself a new avatar. Staring at old art is the biggest of all pet peeves of mine. The way other people perceive me is probably varying, but long features, scraggly hair and naturally furrowed eye brows is happily how I will see myself.

I bought TVpaint 11 Professional edition and am transitioning over into using that for my animations. I still have a long way to go to before I feel confident in this program, but I definitely see how it speeds up colouring heaps. I always want to preach about how much bravery it takes for anyone to attempt animation. Especially doing full hand-drawn where every decision for every micro-movement has a consequence as it flows into another.

It’s one thing to be an animation fan, or maybe dabble in copying drawings of characters, but it’s a whole different level of intensity to to put in the hours of trying to create a performance out of nothing. You can put labels on whether something is ‘limited’ or ‘full’ animation, but I always aim to better understand movement, acting, the constraints of a character design… it is absolutely infinite. How can you not get addicted to an art form that has a power to entertain and transmit emotions to whoever is watching?

One of the things I learnt about yoga philosophy is how doing things that ‘create fire’ are the things that are so good for you in order to grow, this means things that aren’t in your comfort zone. This absolutely is animation for me. My philosophy on art has expanded the more Iv’e learnt about Yoga philosophy and apply it in the (gruelling yet enjoyable) classes and in daily life. I am not specifically an intellectual person. Instead art for me is an expression of love, love of spontaneous, subconscious movement, like a change that is part of nature. In short, wanting to communicate some sort of energy; emotional and/or physical, is important to me. You can read any animation book to hear about drawing principles, but feeling the joy of movement is special.

I just want to draw more like me, no matter what.

Attending well past 100 Vinyasa classes since being back in Adelaide a year has had it’s affect on me. I may sound loopy, however I have actually always been like this, only I just found a 2500+ year old philosophy to back up my beliefs. Bye for now!

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