Hello! Happy new year!! ✨ ヽ(⌒▽⌒)ﾉ
Behind the Scenes is a year old!! Wow!! So far I'm loving it, having a place where I can share just anything I want without worrying about judgements (>_> staring at some platforms with very strict terms) it's been good!
The thing is that it's a bit quiet haha, but fret not! I think I want to be more active on Twitter as well! Um, I mean X!
I think I wrote like 2,000 words initially for this post but I tried my best to trim it down to be more compact. Let's go!
How was 2023?
It's been quite an interesting year for me. Super productive! Countless new things to learn! I also kickstarted VN dev activity, it's probably the highlight of my year! It feels like a life-calling, it's super fun!
I released two tiny things:
A super fun little project about cute encounter that was done in around 3-4 days!
Two-month long project about a precious and soft romance on a very cold day!
While making these was a mix of stressful and fun (it's more fun towards the end so that's what I will remember, yay!), having it released – especially Mrs Peregrine at the end of the year – felt very very satisfying!
It's as if I fought my weakness of jumping around projects and sticking with these two till the end.
It's the first time I made things that are purely indulgence, or in other words: it's everything I like and appreciate. It's very fulfilling and rewarding! Lovely connections between people, soft and kind humans, cute animals, pure love...
Pure art wise, it's a growth at a much slower pace because development took almost all of my energy that I can spare of each day. I worked on everything everyday without weekends (well, it's almost accurately documented here in BTS anyway), so it's hard to keep track of the actual work hours that I spent on this.
Although I ended up not drawing many full illustration for myself this year, I was able to did some very fun art commissions and that was something I'm very proud of as well. It feels really good!
It's also the year I met new super fun people from dev world and being able to experience their creations is extremely heartwarming for me... (crying)
You are all so talented and precious... I'm extremely happy that we all exist at the same time... I wouldn't want to trade this with anything.
2023 art goals review
I thought I'd forget about it completely, but not really... The list floats on the back of my mind, hovering every now and then.
To recall, have a look at the 2023 art goals post.
Illa Café soft publish! (result = ❓)
My co-writer whom I talked a lot with to write Illa Café together told me to treat Illa Café as the hub of all my characters in Konaverse haha. So, I think I can put it aside and focus in Blooming Chimes first. As its premise is a café with lots of unique visitors, I can reuse many of my other characters in my other titles to come to the café and interact with each other. I think it will be crazy... (Imagine, so many Cali-like characters meeting each other. He's like a blueprint of, I think, all(?) of the protagonists of my stories lol...)
So, this point is a failure! I'm happy though, because I made two little lovely things instead. They're good foundations for Illa Café in further future.
A new mini comic! (result = ✅)
I don't know if this counts, but I did do a mini comic to accompany Tuna Rice's afterwords here.
See it in this post.
Then only with this I realised why I decided to go after VN devving instead of pursuing comic which I attempted in 2021-2022. I'm extremely, super duper jumpy in working on stuff. I cannot work on one thing for long which I unfortunately suffered a lot with comic making. Also, I have never-same face syndrome lol so that makes comic-making extremely frustrating for me...
With VN devving, I'm able to jump between drawing - writing - coding anytime I want and it's perfect for me personally. I'm a terribly fickle-minded person... uwu
8 pieces of illustration that I'm happy with! (result = ✅)
I'm unsure when did it start – probably this year – but I actually don't have any single drawing that I wasn't happy with. I probably had some of them in 2022, but not in 2023. I consider that a huge improvement! Yay! (pat self)
Anyway, let's compile all of my full illustration drawn this year:
Colourful things~! They're super fun! ;w;
I was constantly making around 2-5 illustration a month until March. From April onwards I shifted most of my focus and energy in development, so the art quantity decreased by a lot.
Leisurely draw proper male figures. (result = ✅)
I remember making this goal because I want to get out of my comfort zone from only drawing cute female characters. I think, being able to leisurely draw male figures would help unlock so many awesome opportunities!
In the end, I don't know if it was leisurely, but I drew many male characters this year. More than ever!
Looking back, I don't remember how I got to name them... They are quite random, aren't they haha! My only guide is that I love cute and short names!!
More solid personal art style. (result = ✅)
Even when I didn't draw as much as 2022 because of development activity, surprisingly publishing 2 VNs actually solidifying my art style! I don't think I will drastically change it anymore, if anything, it's just more details, which I hope can improve the art overall instead of shifting the style and feel.
Here are some drawing of Bell from 2022 - end of 2023:
She changed a lot! Wait, no... My art style of her changed a lot! Yeah!
Also this difference (swimsuits outfit!):
Also, as I started to dwell into background drawing, this is actually a chance for me to be able to incorporate my art style on both the character and the background. I think if I'm able to find comfortable flows in background making, I feel so much more powerful and I feel like I can do anything! That sounds fun, doesn't it?
Besides, being able to draw both character and background is very efficient for me and my projects, be it VNs or comics (although the former is the most likely, it's just so much more fun!). I only have myself to rely (and blame on if something goes wrong lol), and I can do my own quality control of the art outcomes.
2024 art goals
Let's see... This is a wishful thinking, but I'd like to:
- release Blooming Chimes (demo?)!
- open a Steam page!
- draw 5 pieces of "push-my-limit" full illustration!
- learn Blender, probably?
- have fun!! It's the most important!!
It's a short list as I don't know what else to write down there hahah. Well, I'll add one more thing, as a back-up:
- join a jam or release a tiny VN again, perhaps?
Just... to give it a room to happen!
In addition to those self-goals, I also want to:
- discover more indie artists and writers and enjoy what they make!
- read more! I've been slowly buying VNs and I want to buy some light novels too!
- be braver! (in many aspects)
- visit new places!
In relation to that last point, I have a news to share in relation to my art activities:
I'm going to have a long trip in April - May. It's a long-awaited trip after years of, um, working non-stop? I'm excited!
Realistically, I won't have time to calmly sit and draw at all, so I'll finish the rest of my commissions by March and I'm going to pause drawing any commissions until I'm back in May. I'm still open to hearing any commissions discussions if you're interested! Just to note that I'll only return to work after I'm home: sometime around mid-May?
With this, as much as I'd like to schedule all BTS posts for those entire 2 months, I don't think I can do that without stress...
I have bought a sketchbook and a drawing pen, so I will have them in my bag all the time. I'll probably do a lot of doodles in flights since they will be pretty long... D:
I will only share them in batches, like every two weeks or a bit longer, since I won't have my devices more than half of the trip. I don't own an iPad tablet or anything like that, and my smartphone is really, really old so I will have limited access to BTS and social sites to share my creations too. Besides, it's a good opportunity to touch paper and pen again!
Oh and I also plan to take many, many pretty photos on my trip with the mindset of background drawing materials hahaha (omg, I still think of work on my holiday...) I think I can share some of them too, I wonder if that's interesting...
I think that's all for this post. It gets really long hahaha.
So... I wish you all the best, and let's do our best this year too! '-')99
Stay healthy and happy. See you!