"Why are you against Cryptocurrency/NFTs/Blockchain/Web3?"
i am tired of explaining this. if you asked a good-faith question about why i hate and reject all this stuff, here you go. if you asked a bad-faith question and have more to say, please see Section 4: Answers To All Your Bullshit. you are dreadfully predictable and i guarantee your objection has been covered.
i'm going to try to use this blog more instead of being long-winded on social media quite so much lmao. or maybe i'll just do both.
BAD SHIT THAT HAPPENED IN 2021
✖ end of my 14 year relationship (because i did no want to ruin my mental and physical health to have a baby that would likely live to see drastically worsening climate change)
✖ still working retail in a fucking pandemic lmaooooooo
✖ still had plantar fasciitis
✖ continuation of big fiasco where i had to fight my employer's stupid third-party administrator for disability accommodations
✖ a lot of Stupid happened in my online communities (NFTs, patreon fucking up, etc.)
GOOD STUFF THAT HAPPENED IN 2021
☺ terrible boss left my workplace, replaced with actually good boss
☺ made new friends and reconnected with some people
☺ got myself back into therapy and found a good therapist i click with
☺ physical therapy helped with plantar fasciitis... A LOT
MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2021
🟊 rediscovered my passion for art
🟊 experimented with new crafts (mostly shrink plastic ones)
🟊 OPENED! A! SHOP! AND ACTUALLY SOLD THINGS!
🟊 got to buy cool stuff like a nice new printer and a die cutting machine
🟊 improved my art A LOT
🟊 got into streaming (a little!) and had a lot of fun!
🟊 ditched Ren'Py for Visual Novel Maker and made progress on my VN finally
🟊 finished OC-Tober, my first actually completed monthly art challenge
🟊 put my tablet on an ergo arm for better efficiency
🟊 a lot of self-discovery and self-improvement (thank u therapy)
GOALS FOR 2022!
🟆 work smarter, not harder
🟆 release CH1 of my VN
🟆 make! LOTS! OF MERCH!
🟆 improve and attract more people to my ko-fi (and ditch Patreon!)
🟆 improve efficiency and reduce waste re: my etsy products/shipping
🟆 reduce dependence on Amazon for shop supplies
🟆 stay organized!
🟆 get into some sort of extremely baby exercise routine!
i've been keeping research notes about how i make my shrink plastic charms. it's a Google Doc, and you can read it right here! it'll be updated from time to time. i've been experimenting with cutting them with a die cutting machine, so that'll be the next order of business.
i bought an xp-pen artist 15.6 tablet in early 2020, and i LOVE it. after a year of drawing with it on a desk stand, though, i was starting to Feel some of the things it was doing to my neck and back, and i wanted a better ergonomic solution. i was also just tired of how much space my tablet took up on my desk-- blocking part of the view of my main monitor, forcing me to keep my keyboard in my lap or on a folding table off to the side while drawing, etc. i just needed a change! i found myself wishing i could somehow position the tablet in mid-air where it'd be easy to draw on without having to choose between arm or spine pain, and then i realized, oh, THAT'S A THING. that's what ergo arms are for!
i looked into ergotron arms and stuff and the price tags terrified me. the artist 15.6 also doesn't have a built-in VESA mount, so for a while i thought my tablet was unmountable, until i came across some info in a reddit thread that CHANGED MY FUCKIN LIFE. it's the next-best thing to actually being able to turn off gravity. i really can "float" my tablet over my chair. i've reduced both arm/shoulder and spine-related pain!
anyway. you can do this. for pretty cheap, and you don't even have to be a supergenius. i am HOPELESS with all things mechanical and i managed this. i believe in you.
the fuck is a VESA mount?
first of all, if you don't know what a VESA mount is, it's the Standard Doohickey For Mounting Monitors. the acronym stands for "Video Electronics Standards Association." if your dad once spent an afternoon swearing and screwing an adjustable tv mount into your wall, or you know any nerds with adjustable monitors on arms, those are probably VESA. it's also called a FDMI (flat display mounting interface). these are useful acronyms while hunting for products.
do i need an ergotron arm? do i need to buy one that says FOR TABLET ARTIST DIGITAL ART WACOM? what if my tablet doesn't have the mount?
so here's the deal. you do not need an expensive tablet with a VESA mount. you do not need to drop almost $400 for the wacom flex arm, or whatever the fuck, and you don't need to be looking for refurbished or used specialty ones for slightly less painful prices. you can just find one that is a not-painful-at-all price!
what do i need?
★ a small budget (i did this for a bit under $50)
★ to know the dimensions and weight of your tablet
★ a VESA adapter that's going to hold your tablet snugly without blocking buttons or your hand
★ a standard monitor arm that will fit on your desk and hold that size and weight of tablet (plus a little extra weight since you're gonna have your arm on it).
remember to always check return policies (and find out who pays return shipping) before you buy anything. if you get something that doesn't work out, you don't want to be out money.
you have a LOT of choices. there are a lot of different brands/styles of monitor arms out there, and lot of different little grabby friends that will hold your tablet and attach to them. make sure to also look at VESA mounts intended for laptops and larger android/iPad tablets. i recommend looking for something that's "quick release" so that you can easily remove your tablet for cleaning or travel.
make sure you take and compare measurements. my arm is clamped to my desk and it BARELY fit the lip! you may need a board or something to extend your desk so the clamp will stay in place. i didn't think about this part beforehand and almost didn't get away with it, but it fit my desk with a couple of millimeters to spare:
first of all: it's gonna wobble. wobble will happen. especially if you have a lightweight desk and not some sort of heavy wooden monster that stoically absorbs all your leg-bouncing and chair wiggling. if you're used to drawing on a sketchbook one-handed on your knee while eating a sandwich you'll probably fine-- if you're used to something that stays put a little better, or have a really heavy hand, you might struggle with this. here's the thing, i read the reviews on the fancy expensive For Artists ergonomic arms and those also wobble, so i don't think this is something worth spending extra to try to avoid. i was really worried about it, like i-have-an-anxiety-disorder-worried enough that i could have very easily made a problem out of it just by psyching myself out, and i got used to it in a day. a friend tried the same setup and couldn't deal with the wobble at all and just went back to the desk stand. again, check return policies, and be prepared for the possibility that this might take a few tries to get right, or just not work for you.
the VESA adapter i bought is a little too deep-dish for my thin-crust tablet, so sometimes when i'm adjusting it, it does slip around. it's never been a problem while drawing.
the main thing to watch out for is accidental cable/port damage. using the arm does put you at higher risk of this, especially if your port is off to one side. make sure you understand well how the arm moves so that when you move the tablet around, you aren't yanking hard on the cord. make sure you have a firm grip on it whenever you move it, like it's a steering wheel. take care not to leave it in positions that may strain the cable. by this point in your life, you've probably had a phone or some other device where the charge port got all loose and had connectivity issues-- not what you want for your tablet.
most arms will have somewhere to thread cables to keep them contained and out of the way but it might not be set up to accommodate your tablet very well. depending on your setup, you may want to get an extension for your cables or move your computer so you can give them more slack. EVERY time you move the arm, you need to be staying aware of your cable and port. when i'm about to make a major shift in position (getting it into or moving it out of the Drawing Zone) i just unplug it. i also try to remember to unplug it when the computer is off, in case it gets bumped or certain animals whose names will not be mentioned decide to do little crimes.
additional tablet safety tips for the paranoid
keep your tools handy, set up a google calendar reminder, and tighten any joints/clamps/etc. every month or so. i don't think it's very likely that you'll wiggle it all apart unexpectedly, but better safe than sorry. i also have a baby blanket (like literally a receiving blanket like you'd wrap a newborn in) that i toss over my tablet if there's Liquid Danger Afoot, like i've decided to eat soup at my desk. (pre-arm i used to just take it off the stand and put it in a laptop zip case.)
i spent a little less than $50 on my setup, i've been using it for two months, and i'm extremely pleased with it. you could probably do it for even less if you found a used arm on eBay or at a local secondhand store. even if you're not having any pains YET, i can't recommend this enough. it's a preventative measure that protects your future health, it's fun, it's convenient, it's luxury. you deserve this. even if you're just a hobbyist or a beginner, if you can make the investment it's 100% worth it imo.
enjoyyyyyy!!! share this info with your art friends! and feel free to share your tips and experiences in the comments.
welcome to the doodlemancy blog. it's new as of today.
2019 was rough. i made a few pieces i was decently happy with, but this Fina one is the only thing i was really that proud of:
...and it felt like a fluke. not to be dramatic but for quite a while, i’ve been feeling like my goals are impossible, i’m never going to finish any project ever, and i am probably the worst artist in this universe and also all parallel universes in which i exist as some kind of artist. drawing has been A SLOG. just thinking about it made me feel tired and frustrated. lately, most of my drawing time has just been my patreon sketch requests, because at least that gets me paid and makes someone happy, cue sad violin and handkerchief honk. and then while doodling on my samsung galaxy tablet (a very fun rectangle, but small and not suitable for serious drawing) i thought, "i just want this, but bigger".
i had outgrown my tools. i got a bamboo 9 years ago and learned to draw digitally on that, then switched to an intuos 4. i’ve finally reached the point where the visual disconnect and small drawing area is causing me problems i just can’t solve. detailing feels like playing pool during an earthquake. the small drawing area strains my wrist and stiffens my drawings. my skills and needs have surpassed the capabilities of this rectangle.
i've been using non-monitor graphics tablets for as long as i've been doing digital art. 10 years ago, wacom was basically all their was, and the price of a cintiq was so astronomically high i had to convince myself i didn't want/need one so i wouldn't feel sad about it. same deal with the iPad when it started getting popular with artists-- it was out of my reach. i bought the galaxy tab last year because i wanted an iPad, but didn't want to give apple money (and didn't have enough money to give apple anyway).
the next morning, i started "casually" browsing tablets. a few competitors (namely monoprice, huion, xp-pen) have been making affordable graphics tablets for a while now. 5 hours of researching and feverish livetweeting later, i had purchased an xp-pen artist 15.6, because my roommate happens to have an xp-pen monitor tablet and let me try it for a minute. it took about 3 strokes of the pen to convince me. i was going to wait until my tax return showed up but i realized i was not going to draw until at least march if that was the case. i was in too deep. i had tasted the food of the fae and would never go back through the hedge. so i paid off my credit card and slapped the tablet purchase on it. then i thought and talked about nothing else for 3 days (i assume these 3 days were probably pretty excruciating for everyone who knows me or follows me on twitter).
4 days in: i'm enjoying drawing again. the thought of drawing makes me excited instead of exhausted. it's not a slog anymore. i was going to bed most nights night thinking "i didn't draw again, i'm a failure" and now i wake up excited to turn on my tablet and draw. i feel good about art for the first time in at least a year. i actually probably haven't felt this good and this optimistic about drawing since i was 13 and had just obtained a copy of How To Draw Manga: Compiling Characters from Powell's bookstore on a field trip.
the faulty carpenter blames his tools; the wise carpenter knows when to replace a hammer. especially if the hammer is really outdated, has a terrible driver that crashes constantly and is greatly impeding his ability to draw anime girls.
here is my first finished piece in CSP. it is a little awkward, and imo it doesn't look like my usual art style. but it contains more joy than anything i have drawn for a long time.