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11 February 2013 @ 01:57 pm
Personal (yet public) Post  
Over the last year or so, I've been noticing an increased amount of awkwardness or hurt feelings or even drama in regards to me as a person. Despite my openness with topics that most find private, I AM ACTUALLY a very private person. I'm making a (scary) public journal to hopefully stop these awkward situations from happening, or at least prepare people with a bit of who I am.

Most of you know me as Sigil. Sigil is a persona. Sigil is my furry-centric business name. Sigil is not -me-. It seems more and more now that people want to get to know me, but they really want to get to know Sigil, and once they start to get close to learning about the real me, or my actual self starts to become apparent, they feel betrayed and disappointed. This is most certainly not my goal at all. My goal is not to lie or deceive anyone.

Please understand that through the internet I conduct my business, make a living, have a social life, talk to people and live the majority of my day. However, due to the nature of the internet, I have to maintain a public and professional face that's DIFFERENT from my real one. It's not conducive to business to talk about myself. It's not good for sales if I post about how sad I get, how lonely I feel, my struggles with my mental health, my dislikes. I have to stay positive publicly at all times, and that's incredibly draining.

"Friend" is not a word I throw around lightly. I do not have many friends. I have a large number of acquaintances and colleagues that I love, care about and talk to, but FRIEND is something that very few people fit in to. I don't understand the negative connotations that 'acquaintance' has to many people. To me, an acquaintance is someone that I chat with, talk to, maybe even draw for. We can have fun and pal around, but there's no emotional responsibility there. I don't go to my acquaintances with my woes and fears or when I'm feeling particularly unstable. I also enjoy my working relationships with my colleagues; other artists who I can commiserate with, ask questions to, get critique and artistic advice. We usually also end up sharing parts of our lives, but for the most part, it's a business based relationship. I have many customers that I enjoy chatting with and we're also able to share, but in the end, it's a working relationship as well and I expect no more out of them than I do another customer.

When someone comes to me saying they'd like to get to know me better, it sets me on edge. Is this person after free art? Is this person trying to get in my pants? Is this person trying to get lulz fodder? Is this person going to become an emotional leech or try to pry into my life too quickly? This is what runs through my head when I'm approached this way.

I don't want to dissuade people from being friendly with me, or wishing to become closer to me, but I do want people to be prepared for what they're in for. If we don't click quickly, it doesn't mean I think someone is uninteresting or unlikable, it just means we don't click! It happens all the time in the world, and I don't take it personally.

If you want to be sensitive to these facts, here's the best way to get to know me:
-Add me on my public AIM or twitter and send a few messages. I'm usually busy working, but if I'm free, I'll answer.
-If I'm engaging you, ask me something interesting, or tell me about yourself. Please don't ask "So tell me about yourself." If you don't already know something about me OTHER THAN MY ART that makes me seem like someone you'd like to get to know, there might not be anything.
-Be patient. If I wake up to seven "Hey, you there???" messages on my computer, I'm already on edge.
-Don't treat me like a therapist or a hugbox. I do my best to keep my emotional stuff out of other people's business, and I appreciate when others do the same.
-This should be common sense, but don't talk sexy to me. Do I occasionally RP? Yes. Is it with people who have made it abundantly clear that's the only reason they talk to me? No.

Anyways, this article is also a good read, in regards to niche/geek/nerd/fandom social interactions - http://www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment here or on FA if you have any questions or whatever.
Korthiekorth on February 11th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
I think you sum things up pretty well! I actually rarely interact with other people outside of conventions.. I get really nervous about others intentions and overwhelmed when they start coming to me with problems. There's nothing wrong with liking to stay a bit more personal in the background. And I think a lot of artists come off differently to the general public to keep up a certain "face" for customers and such. I am not quite as outgoing and aggressive as Korth very much is.. XD
sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 11th, 2013 07:28 pm (UTC)
I do like being fairly accessible, especially for my customer's ease of mind, but it does have its downsides. It's a hard balance!
Korthiekorth on February 11th, 2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
I'm always very readily available for my customers of course, I wouldn't want them to worry about anything c:
Cajun Foxcajunfox on February 11th, 2013 07:26 pm (UTC)
Everything in this post seems more than reasonable, it's almost unfortunate that some people out there are so socially awkward that you actually need to make a post explaining to them some very normal personal boundaries. I've made a post or two outlining very similar things (except for parts that involve artistic talent) before going to cons otherwise people just assume that I WANT a hug and want to be immediate friends because we spoke online once. :P
sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 11th, 2013 07:34 pm (UTC)
I can say for the most part that my social interactions have been favorable since becoming a mostly-online-businesswoman, but I still feel sad whenever things go sour and wonder if I could have done something differently...
ff00ffff00ff on February 11th, 2013 08:44 pm (UTC)
Someone really should come up with a simple guide to dealing with internet popularity of the furry artist variety. I see posts like this so often.
sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 11th, 2013 08:46 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping that if ENOUGH PEOPLE keep posting this stuff it will magically become common knowledge 8D

CockatriceKINGchronidu on February 11th, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
I'm always up to getting to know you better and vice versus :O No clue if you'd consider us being friends or acquaintances or what not, but I really do enjoy talking to you. I want to say though I seriously enjoy that I can just be upfront and myself with you, and that we can completely disagree on things and still be fine with each other. Like I love that not once have I felt like I was treading on any sort of eggshells around you. I could just speak what I really feel or believe and not have to worry about it being taken as something personal or worrying about it ending in some sort of stupid drama.

I guess overall I really appreciate the lack of any drama you have about you, and that I can just have fun and be myself around you. I also seriously appreciate that when I ask for help on stuff, you'll be straight up and honest on how I can improve myself and my work, and tell me what I'm doing wrong.

Simply put I consider you a friend, and would love to be a friend to you in turn. If you ever need someone to talk to or help with anything I'd be happy to do what I can.
sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 11th, 2013 11:04 pm (UTC)
I really enjoy talking with you too! I really appreciate the insight you've got on stuff, and even when we've had differences of opinion, it's been maturely handled and it doesn't ever get hostile <3

You're great <3 mwamwamwamwamwamwa I'm seriously so grateful that we're friends <3
CockatriceKINGchronidu on February 12th, 2013 03:50 am (UTC)
Ffff I am too like you don't even know ;u; <3
Cloudcastlestoclouds on February 11th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
enjoyed reading this
hey ^w^ i enjoyed reading this, i love seeing people open up more and just kind of put themselves out there, id love to chat about life and stuff with you (not trying to put you on edge or anything) i just love meeting new people and you seem interesting haha. im the same online, i talk to people all the time and put on a face but thats not me and people dont get that :P
Aliseaalisea on February 11th, 2013 10:18 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way xP
ciderfoxciderfox on February 11th, 2013 11:04 pm (UTC)
This is stuff I am starting to experience. Some people approach you in really weird ways...I've gotten a lot of odd messages and people trying to get free artwork from me ._.
I am quite wary when it comes to interactions from FA now as well. Hopefully I can deal with this stuff okay when I get more of an audience. I am super nice/cheerful online (and irl) and I have a problem of people thinking my niceness means I am digging them. :/ or thinking that because I am a porn artist I am a big perv...while I am barely sexual irl, ha.

I'd like to talk to ya more sometime, however I don't have much time to chat while I am in a semester. But you've always been quite kind and given me great advice.
Do you have a facebook at all? It seems that I get to know online people best that way right now! Unless its a really personal account or whatever, which I def understand.
sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 11th, 2013 11:10 pm (UTC)
I do have one! search for Melissa Fox and I'm the one with pink hair ;D I only add people I know pretty well (and you're obviously someone I know! <3)

Protect yourself from those types, they'll start to guilt you if you change your mind later :///

ALSO i have had your ref on my chrome tabs to keep reminding me to draw your bird <3 i will not close it until it's done!!
ciderfoxciderfox on February 11th, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
Yay sent one :3!

I'll keep that in mind D: someone got offended that I only take very general free requests that aren't specific characters. They were like "y u not draw for me, I am giving you permission to draw my characters!" lol like it's some kind of special honor xD
But yea. Kinda hard to be nice and firm at the same time.

Hey take however long you need ;u; <3 excited to see though!
Zippiner: Barkzippiner on February 12th, 2013 06:38 am (UTC)
I may attempt to FB add you!

sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 12th, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
IF YOU ONLY POST BABY PICTURES I WILL UNFRIEND YOU and dont take it personally hahaha
Zippinerzippiner on February 13th, 2013 02:14 am (UTC)

I tend to do like. An upload of a bunch of pictures per month. Because after a month family starts getting on my ass about that shit.

rmoorcat many facesrmoorcat on February 11th, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
I agree with what youve said, its all reasonable. your distinctions between friend ect is just right...Im sure Ive met and chatted with you at some con or other before, thats not really even an aquaitance yet. *waves at Korth* even I have been aproached in creepy ways, and I try really hard NOT to seem creepy to people like you...doesnt always work tho.
Peggyshatterstripes on February 12th, 2013 01:08 am (UTC)
-Don't treat me like a therapist or a hugbox. I do my best to keep my emotional stuff out of other people's business, and I appreciate when others do the same.

Oh man that is the worst. Some years ago I had someone who regularly IMed me start going on about how miserable she was for being dumped... while I was in a deep depression, and quite aware of how completely alone I was, with no idea of how to even begin TRYING to have romantic possibilities.

I got a nice drawing out of that, at least.
sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 12th, 2013 09:02 pm (UTC)
that is some amazing art
i'm still working on finishing the vent art from the fall drama I think turned out pretty interesting, though very not-my-norm and hard to follow.

When I used to be that person seeking validation I never thought of myself as that desperately selfish, but now I'm so embarrassed looking back at the person I used to be, bringing everyone down. I don't ever want to do that to people again, AND i don't want to put up with it either! ;__;
GingerMcopper_curls on February 12th, 2013 01:09 am (UTC)
Huzzah! Well said, Sigil. This should be required reading for everyone who wants to be insta-friends with everyone.
*leahtaur on February 12th, 2013 06:39 am (UTC)
I've greatly enjoyed talking with you in the past and hope you're up for some more in the future (I realize that me actually being available to talk may help.) I totally get the acquaintance/friend thing myself, I get strangers asking permission to become friends too, lol. It... doesn't work that way. :P But yeah. Don't stress, hope your interactions go better after this journal. Some people really need a how-to guide on social graces.
sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 12th, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
yes i love talking with you too! if i see you on skype I will do my best to throw you a HELLO <3!!!
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ! (Molon Labe!)skanrashke on February 12th, 2013 10:36 am (UTC)
Everyone has different standards for who or what they consider a friend, versus acquaintence versus whatever. I give 0 shits about the labels and all the shits about the content of the relationship.

PS Sorry for sending you IMs while you are asleep, I never know what other artists schedules are like. FEEL FREE TO IGNORE THEM. By the time you wake up I will have forgotten what I wanted to say anyways.

sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 12th, 2013 09:04 pm (UTC)
naw it's okay to get a "hey by the way blah blah" or a "hey you there?" once while i'm asleep but when i get a
tail plop

Leafyyfael on February 12th, 2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
Amen :\ I do the same thing, keeping up the veil of cool confidence and tolerance is a job unto itself!

I also don't find the word "acquaintance" a bad thing either, it generally means I like you, find you fun, and accept you as you are. But it doesn't mean I'll trust you as far as I can throw you, come to you with my personal baggage, or get close to you on an emotional level.
sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 12th, 2013 09:05 pm (UTC)
Yes, Acquaintance to me is someone who doesn't have to deal with my bullshit, and i don't have to deal with theirs! we can both have FUN together without all the responsibility of closeness.

Jonesy "DrJones" Tawnerjonesybunny on February 13th, 2013 07:54 pm (UTC)
I agree and understand.

As a customer and acquaintance of yours AND having dealt with people in a similar way (despite not selling anything) over the past decade in the fandom, I can relate to this.

I did enjoy meeting you at FC, even though that was in a more business kind of way, I imagine?

I do have to commend you from a professional standpoint, as a customer, I feel I am in good hands. :)

sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 13th, 2013 08:03 pm (UTC)
Aw thank you Jonesy!! And it was a pleasure to meet you too!

Cons are such a different setting than real life, but I really love all the people I get to meet! 8D
Jonesy "DrJones" Tawnerjonesybunny on February 13th, 2013 10:26 pm (UTC)
So do I, it's a lot of fun!

While I love making friends, I admit I'm a private person.
I'd love to become your friend someday, but I'll just let things move naturally and see where they take me. :)
sigilgoatsigilgoat on February 13th, 2013 11:20 pm (UTC)
That's the perfect thing to do!! If it happens naturally, that's the best XD