Saturday, November 18, 2023

completely reborn but exactly the same

This morning I pleasantly woke up, rolled over to my side and checked my phone to discover that some dude on this local Touhou discord gave me unwanted feedback on a screengrab of this in progress Mima I had posted. He said the face was 'masculine', the colors 'dull' and nose 'off centre' and ended the whopping two paragraphs by calling it all 'art crit'. It's all about art, innit? What I can produce and give to people otherwise, what worth do you have?

The 'masculine' comment is particularly well timed and hilarious given everything I've been processing in last fortnight, such as what makes a 'woman' exactly. In the end, the feedback from this dude doesn't offend me, but it does teach me something. To some dumb people, my art will never be enough. It will always be 'dull colors' and 'masculine' faces which they can't possibly fathom because it doesn't look exactly the same as every other piece of bland anime girl artwork. His feedback is wrong on many levels, such as being subjectively wrong because he doesn't like the 'masculinity' presented in this character's face. I have always known that artists put bits of themselves into their work, such as how they perceive their bodies and faces, so it is no astonishingly new news that I try to make my female characters have this edge to them because it's how I see my own face. I hardly however, consider this piece of Mima 'masculine' in the face like, what the actual fuck, so I have to respectfully disagree with his feedback.

It does emphasise something, that people are quite oblivious to my struggles with art. They will just express pity if I say I have 'brain damage', which my psychiatrist says I don't have, so this is me just resorting to a depressed outlook because years of healing hasn't shown quantifiable improvement. I have done heaps of animations in recent fortnight, coinciding with this rebirth I've felt regarding accepting I may not be entirely 'cisgendered'. I realise now that I don't have to give up this happy feeling, because I see now that I can be at peace with the traces of 'masculinity' in me without giving up this pride in being a woman. 

It has been a bit of a unneeded whirlwind blasting through my life, as I honestly crave normalcy and I didn't ask for these intrusive thoughts that were questioning my gender. I realise that people are right, gender isn't binary and I don't have to swicheroo over to new pronouns just because I spy some masculine traits in me. It isn't so black-and-white, but that is typically how I see the world, and imagining that life can be full of ambiguous grey splodges of varying lightness and darkness is a bit scary.

Anyways, I can't produce good art on a consistent basis due to this mysterious long term impairment. How do you think that makes me feel? Worthless? Nah bro. I'm beyond feeling so petty, miserly and worthless all the time. Life is pretty great and writing is a valid pastime. Not many people will get it, as to quote some bozos from a bludge-of-a-Media class I was enrolled in last year said when we we're forced to make a WordPress blog for the class: "Who the hell has time to blog? *giggle*"

Anyways, I'm thrilled school is out. I have too much time but life has been weirdly sociable lately, which acts to drastically improve my mental health, lol, as genuine community and social engagement does. I need to make new projects for myself, and I have been working on a GameMaker game which is turning out also, weirdly well for once. My code usually gets messy and nightmarishly broken really quick but this time, I've tried to focus on little changes and little concepts, chipping away bit-by-bit as to not bit off more than I can chew. This is probably how professional programmers tackle projects haha, there is a process to the logic and you don't just rush into a  new GML project trying to implement fifteen features all at once, nor do you invent some new genre of game before you can crawl. So far all I have is a character pressing Space on items to reveal flavor text/descriptions, and they can pick it up. It will show an inventory of items you toggle it's visibility in the top-left corner. I have yet implement how you can select the items, use the items and discard the items, and although that doesn't sound like much to average ears, each of those concepts take a lot of time for a (bad) hobby programmer! I'm too tired to screengrab as it isn't much to look at right now, maybe in a few days time.

Anyways, opening up a Photoshop canvas and attempting to 'paint' anything nearly always turns out miserable for me. Why else would I be blogging? Mean students from that Media class may be right, only people with no lives would spend the time to dump information out onto a personal blog. Well, I've spent the last fortnight processing, in a cyclical fashion, that I am allowed to be the gender that has always been calling to me. Being anything else because I feel forced into it is sad and the idea that many people feel dysphoria (which I don't feel) is greatly sad, I'm sorry. I realised, these favorite few skirts are damn cute and I'll wear them when I bloody feel like it

It probably seems obvious to acquaintances that I would be wishy-washy for a few days before ultimately swooping back around like a boomerang to the way I've always been meant to be. They probably peeked into my Instagram or this blog and thought: "Welp, Vela is always like that." It is how I am. I get swept away in notions and whims but the gender identity thing seemed a bit reasonable suddenly to my rigidly autistic brain. I just trusted what I felt and I felt a blossoming discontent around the day of the AnimeGo con as I was standing in line. A discontent with how I don't wear pretty skirty pink cosplays and doll up if I want a man. I felt a discontent with how I may be perceiving myself and why I present to the world as a hoodie and slackydacks girl. Perceiving myself as someone trapped within gender roles and told my face will get confused for a boy if my hair is too short. No. I'm proud of how I walk with a swish in my hips. I'm proud of having a fresh spritely haircut! I feel awesome, actually, and will keep getting it trimmed every few months or maybe even a bit shorter. 

Anyways, what was I getting at? Oh yeah, Touhou community is very nice but Touhou attracts a few weirdos, usually people that are a bit too obsessed with cutsey-pie anime gorls in fluttering skorts and feel this need to exert their dominance over other fans. People like this tend to recite plot points from all the Touhou games off by heart, yet have never played a game in it's original Japanese and actually studied Japanese to get there. It's the same with my Berserk fixation as I feel personally very proud of my solid devotion to the Japanese language over the years, in order to be able to enjoy reading some of that legendary comic. 
I realise now I may not exactly be some 'cis woman' but I don't give care about the gender nonsense enough to Google wtf I am. I am just kickass woman. That's all I have to be.

Anyways anyways, I don't know what I'm saying in this post. Nobody really reads what I have to say, I'm just killing time till dad and his friends from the US get back from their Kangaroo Island trip, and they are sailing home right now. I will try my hand at more game programming and try to understand 'structs' in order to make this inventory system actually work! If I can just make a game loop that involves reading about items, picking up items, using items and discarding items, maybe I can make a real game with good code for once! It's only taken me like three years on-and-off of GameMaker Language, pooeey. Code is pretty damn hard for me but I'd like to think I've finally started improving enough to comprehend all the core stuff: arrays, structs, for loops, switches and general assigning variables and all that jazz. At the start of this year, I couldn't process pushing to an array but I think I got it under my belt noww.

I've thankfully discarded nearly all the pissy-posts from this last fortnight because I processed gender enough to realise I'm proudly female, and don't have to be anything else. I thought I'd dump a few of the better pictures back here. Below is my 'Femto shrine' plus some animations from game jam. This Femto shrine sure makes me happy when I look at it. It's so grotesque and nasty and I'm certain many Berserk 'fans' would be rearing to argue with me as to why I would ever purchase a statuette of such a horrible villain but, it's complicated.

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