TL;DR version: I hate my artwork right now, so I'm taking an indefinite break from it
For those that don't know, I started with this artwork hobby thing way back in 2004. The first saved image I have in my finished work folder is from the middle of 2004. Yes, I save EVERYTHING. No, you can't see any of that early stuff because it's awful...heh.
Needless to say, I've been doing this for a while...about 16 years.
Over the years, I've discovered that I go through 2 types of slumps. The first one is a creative slump, where I just have trouble coming up with ideas. Those types of slumps are fairly easy to overcome. I'll take a month or so to get away from artwork, and usually, the creative block will clear and the ideas come flowing back.
The second type of slump I experience happens every few years. It's hard to put into words what happens, but, essentially, I start hating what I'm doing. It has nothing to do with creativity...I still have plenty of ideas. It's just that the whole process of creating the art goes stale and I start to loathe what I'm doing. Making art becomes akin to having teeth pulled. It becomes increasingly difficult to sit down at the computer and go through my process. I think it's safe to say that eventually, I grow so resentful of what I'm trying to do that just opening Poser to try and set up a scene makes me nauseous. I get so filled with this sense of dread that I just can't do any work. I think it's really hard to express or understand unless you've gone through it yourself. Whatever it is...it sucks.
I think I'm at that point right now. For the past month or so, it's been getting harder and harder to sit down and focus on creating artwork. I thought maybe I could just push through it and eventually I would find the joy of creating art again...but it just got worse. I won't lie...what's going on in the world with Covid-19, and all the crap that's happening here in the United States...it's affected me more than I'd like to admit.
I don't like to delve into the realm of politics too often, but it's just too much to simply ignore. This nation, that I love dearly, is in an extremely dark place right now...and the path we're on is not leading us to a very bright future. Honestly, I don't know if we have what it takes to drag ourselves out of this pit. The last four years have shown me that, at its core, our society in this country seems to be really, really awful...and really, really stupid. It's one thing to know that there are corrupt people doing corrupt things in the shadows...it's something else entirely to see that evil operating in plain view for the whole world to see. It is soul crushing.
So, for whatever reason, the enjoyment I normally have with my artwork is gone for now. Because of that, I need to step away from it for a while. I wish I could just wake up tomorrow and be back to my old self...but that's not going to happen. If I tried to keep pushing through this, I know (from experience) that the quality I strive for would suffer, and my work would not be at a level I find acceptable. The only thing that fixes this is to just stop completely for a while.
I wish I could say how long this pause will be, but I can't. It might be a few weeks, a few months...or even longer than that. In the past, when I've reached this point, my hiatus has usually been more than a year, so take that as a point of reference. I don't want to do this, but I can't keep forcing myself to do something I hate doing right now. That's not fair to me...and it's certainly not fair to you.
So, this is me hitting the "PAUSE" button, not the "STOP" button. I know that eventually, I will find what I've lost. It's just going to take time.
What does this mean for fans, followers, and patrons?
As far as commissions are concerned, those will stop for now. I will be taking NO new commissions from this point forward...indefinitely. If I owe you a commission, or if I've already committed to doing a commission for you, I will finish those up as quickly as I can.
I am in the middle of doing a comic right now, so I'll try and get that finished up as soon as possible, but I will not be starting any new projects after that for the foreseeable future. The full res version of this current comic will posted on my Patreon, but I will also make a low res version that will be available to everyone.
I will leave my Patreon up (because leaving it up is much easier than trying to manage it during a hiatus), but I will not be posting anything new. I will continue to re-post older work at the $1 support level until I have nothing left to re-post. Please adjust your pledges as you see fit.
I really wish I didn't have to do this, but my head and my heart just aren't where I need them to be for my artwork. Coming to this decision was agonizing to say the least. Wrestling with this has caused me several sleepless nights recently, but I think this is the only solution that works.
For everyone that has supported me over the years, I thank you dearly. If you managed to find a little enjoyment out of my work, then it was all worth it. I hope that this hiatus doesn't last too long, and that I can find that level of happiness in what I do again.
Thank you. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Be kind. Rock on.