Leaving LJ

I really don't use this blog as much of anything anymore now that I'm leaving A_B.

Good job LJ, you kept my interest off and on for about 15 years (8

See you guys on Tumblr, Twitter or Weasyl!

It's OFFICIAL - This now an art/illustration/art director/freelance artist blog/advice column~

Considering the support I got for it, I've decided it would be a really good use of my time vs. using FA journals which I tend to clear out from time to time.

SO in order to get started, I want to ask you guys what art stuff you'd like to know about! Things I am familiar with/do are the following:

- Furry Commissions as full time job
- Self Promotion
- Freelancing in the game industry (medium experience)
- Self Improvement
- Dealing at Furry Cons as an artist (limited knowledge as a merch seller)
- Things Art Directors look for (medium experience)

I know about other things too I BET but this is a good start c:

Feel free to either ask questions or suggest topics, and my first topic is going to be - DEALING AT FURRY CONS AS AN ARTIST - which i'm going to post an entry about in one sec....

Still trying to decide what LJ is FOR for me

It used to be whine blog, but now I have a private twitter that condenses that shit down to one or two forgotten sentences.

Maybe I don't think people care that much about what's happening in my life, or that some ass from Lulz will post it?

Should I just start blogging about Art Directing and Life and Shit? LJ feels so outdated, but I really don't want to move that to tumblr or facebook or my website for the love of goddddd

SO DEAR PEOPLE WHO HAVE KEPT ME ON YOUR FRIENDS LISTS FOR YEARS - should I make this an art blog, more talking about the "fun" of art????

you tell me

a short story by sigil

The scene is 1999
A 14 yr old me is browsing Elfwood after creating some art of my own for the first time:

I stumbles upon this:
and this
and this

and my world is changed forever, thanks to Ursula Vernon~
I read Black Dogs probably before I'm old enough to really appreciate it, but there's scary unicorns and sex in it and that's pretty great.

Life happens for over a decade, and all these things are kind of forgotten, though filed away in the inspirational images I lock down while going through a loss of faith, dropping out of college and a divorce.

It's 2011 and I'm at Anthrocon, sharing a dealers table with a friend. The name on the banner at the table next to me is suddenly familiar. Ursula...VERNON and it ALL COMES RUSHING BACK. Black Dogs has been published, I run and immediately buys my copy of the books and have URSULA FUCKING VERNON sign them. Ursula is nice and friendly and has a great smile. Ursula likes my watercolor pieces and says I should try the non-furry con circut too. I go home and process this all with some level of disbelief.

Fast forward to 2013. I follow Ursula on LJ and twitter and we've talked some. I've made colleague/acquaintance with other amazing folks like Miss Monster and Charles Urbach and am now an Art Director at a company I really believe in. I paint some of Miss Monster's masks from a project I abandon, hoping that maybe someone will take them off my hands. Up they go in the art show and Ursula V buys them both. In addition, I bid on one of Charles Urbach's prints, and he tells me later "Why did you do that, I would have traded with you!"

So in short I don't really have a lot of celebrity worship but I kind of flip out in my head a lot when the people who inspire me ARE INSPIRED/ENJOY MY WORK BACK. and it's happening and they don't teach you ever what to do other than "not be weird", which I hope I'm not being!

It's weird knowing that I am now having this effect on other artists, when I say I will do a trade with them, or say I like THEIR art! I'm just melissa/sigil/whatever, come on now!!

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 -

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment here or on FA if you have any questions or whatever.