Author Archives: Lantiis

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Fallen out of love?

I have really fallen out of love with my art style – so it seems anyways. Maybe that is rather harsh, but I am at a spot where I want to possibly either progress or digress… Does that make sense? My style feels stale, harsh, rugged, stiff… To me anyways.

I started as an anime artist with very cartoony characters way back around 2010 (prior to that, I tried to exactly mimic anime tv shows like Sailor Moon). I felt like that cartoony style was really expressive, and I really enjoyed drawing it. My love of a truly cartoony anime style bled out from watching countless hours of classic 90s Sailor Moon with the big eyes, exaggerated limbs and facial expressions, and fun colors and poses! Realistic-like anatomy just didn’t work for me, and I didn’t really like art with realistic anything because of it.

HOWEVER, the honeymoon didn’t last forever, and in the past few years I started to move towards a semi-realistic cartoon style… Mind you I cannot do realistic, but my style started to migrate towards better body proportions, and non-exaggerated limbs, expressions and poses. I have also found myself more drawn to more realistic-like cartoons and fave the super cartoony art less and less.

The issue I am running into is after just a few years of changing things up, I already feel stagnated. I am not excited like I used to be with my art in any part of its creation. Do I work through this or change things up? Should I go back to my old style, try doing both, or stay the course and forge a new path? I don’t even really feel like my style is “my style” because it all developed off of the anime ‘Sailor Moon.’ I’d like to divorce myself of that connection in reality but a part of me wants to keep that – hold on for dear life even! And I can’t pinpoint why

My questions to myself every time I draw are: “Is this recognizable as me? Is this recognizable as my art?” Like, do people know me and my art? Is there a connection? But almost more frequently and more importantly, “Do other artists have this crisis too? And what do you do about it?” If I keep changing, will I ever find that niche where people know that I AM THAT ARTISTTHAT CHARACTER IS LANTIIS’ CREATION?

Visibility? Recognition? Am I even getting these marketable attributes as an artist without a concrete art style?? Or do I have a concrete style and just need to stick with it – screw my crisis?! And what can I change up that will help me overcome this crisis without completely changing what style I already have?

As you can tell, I have a lot of things to think about – my artistic mind is all over the place. I don’t know what the future will hold for me or my art, and I am kind of holding back any changes until I hear from my peers, commissioners and followers. In the end, I care most about what they think and have experience with since ultimately, I create for the pleasure of not just me but others too.

Introducing Sailor Taaffeite Starling… Make-up!

Celeste pulled at her black hair and darted her purple eyes angrily across the hall for the 100th time as the familiar voice of her nemesis cooed across at her. Glaring at him, a popular guy named Jacob, she felt a reassuring hand on her shoulder and looked up to see her two best friends, Sarah and Scott.

Scott rolled his eyes, “Just ignore him.” Celeste huffed defiantly at Scott and smiled.

Celeste was an unassuming young girl: mid-height, short black hair, purple eyes, and the posture of a self-assured and somewhat hostile person. Sarah was the same height as her friend with mid-length wavy black hair, brown eyes, baggy clothes, and a more self-conscious look to her. Scott was a booming 5’11”, towering over his shorter 5’7″ friends. His height, blond hair, green eyes, and towering athletic physique belied his inner sweet gentlemanly manner…

In todays high school drama, Jacob, the 5’9″ raven-haired-sapphire-eyed-boy, was throwing insults at Scott. Again. Jacob is the most popular guy in Celeste’s class, the school’s star athlete, and he was a raging homophobe. This never sat well with her. Scott is such a sweetheart; it pained her that some people couldn’t see past his sexuality…

Celeste cupped her hands just as Scott grabbed at them, “SHHHHH geez let’s just start more shit! C’mon, last period is starting anyway…” Celeste laughed it off as she jogged into homeroom with Sarah and Scott close behind. Thankfully neither of the three shared any classes with Jacob though they were all on the track team together, and Scott had the distinct privilege of being on the football team with him too…

Homeroom was happily uneventful except for Scott teasing Celeste about scratching and wiggling her nose. Celeste couldn’t help it; for some reason her nose was just twitchy and tickled non-stop! She couldn’t concentrate either on account of light birdsongs coming and going in her head. Leaving homeroom, she and her friends managed to escape outside without Jacob noticing…

Scott breathed a sigh of relief as he smiled wide, “Another day down!”

Sarah, in her miniscule whisper of a voice, “Tomorrow is Wednesday.”

Celeste and Scott both looked at Sarah in mock rage and clapped their hands onto her back, causing her to catch her breath and cough. Celeste laughed at Sarah though karma was quick to intervene, and Celeste missed the last step at the foot of the school entrance and went tumbling over, barely catching herself.

Scott and Sarah laughed until they were doubled over. Celeste stared at her friends in slight anger and a good deal of embarrassment until something caught her eyes… A twinkle in the grass under a tree. Her friends still laughing uncontrollably, Celeste decided to investigate.

Kneeling down in the grass, she saw a purple crystal set in gold. It wasn’t too large though, fitting snugly in the palm of her hand. It sparkled brilliantly in the sun. Up above her, a starling started singing, surprising Celeste since it matched the singing in her head. Listening to the song of the sleek black bird, Celeste decided she would keep the crystal. Discreetly sliding it into her pocket, she ran to catch up with her friends as they embarked on the 15-minute walk home…

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Back at home, Celeste plopped down onto her bed. Her mother had left instructions for dinner and a reminder to do her homework. Being a latchkey kid had its perks although with both of her parents working at the school, it left her with little wiggle room to let her grades slide.

Celeste knew that the casserole wouldn’t take long to reheat, and she didn’t have anything difficult to do for homework… ‘Should I call Scott and we walk the mall for an hour? Or… wait…’ The song of the starling started bouncing around in her head again, interrupting her train of thought, and a strange warm sensation permeated her left thigh…

Celeste had forgotten about her prize she found from earlier. Pulling it out of her jeans pocket, it was warm and pulsed slightly… It was as if it was alive. She ran her thumb over it lightly, following its edges… A voice cut through to her, *They might be born again. Because this is the place where stars, and possibilities, are born…* She recognized that; she had heard it in her dreams before. Now it was muddled with the call of the starling too and a new phrase, *Flight of Heaven’s Starling, Make-Up!*

Celeste sat straighter on the bed, a perplexed look on her face, “WTF IS FLIGHT OF HEAVEN’S STARLING MAKE-UP?!” Instantly, her body felt hot, and she was blinded by white light. She could feel her body moving against her will, the wind whipped through her hair, and she saw the dance of a swarm of starlings all around her. The heat started to fade as the starlings flew back into the sky… the white hot light fading with them…

She could see her bedroom door again and looked up to find her arms crossed. She was wearing some strange gloves in purple and black. Looking down, she could see a bodice, bow, skirt, thigh-high boots, and two of her gems laid in gold trim. The theme seemed to be purple and black…

Her stance was odd and uncomfortable. Straightening her body out, she turned to look in the mirror. Crystals adorned her body, her hair was differently colored, and her outfit was cute but strange. In her head were murmurs of more phrases … but Celeste wasn’t about to repeat any of them now, certainly not after this fiasco…

Celeste had a sudden terrifying thought; her parents would be home in an hour! How would she explain this?! The panic and urge to return to her former self caused all the heat she felt escape her body suddenly, and she found herself staring back at the girl she recognized: 16-year-old Celeste, plain and simple…

Celeste lifted her hands and watched them tremble for a moment, “What am I?” Needless to say, she found a way to discreetly hide her magical prize as she set out to make sure dinner was delivered on time…

Pee-Pee in the Potty? (TMI)

So this will be a bit TMI (means too much information for the uninitiated lol). It is basically me coming clean about my pooping habits the past few years and where I am at now…

For those who don’t know, I have some GI issues. I have struggled with poop and pain issues for years. In 2018, they stopped poking, prodding, and testing…. They diagnosed me as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Basically I will have pooping and pain issues for the rest of my life that will probably get worse the older I get. Super exciting stuff.

To be clear, I have always had diarrhea. I have always had pain. But eventually the pain took a backseat and the diarrhea became water and uncontrollable – the bane of my existence. That was the point when I went to try and get help. I kid you not, I lived through hell for years before getting help because the people around me and my doctors minimized my pain and the toll it was taking on my everyday life.

The toll on everyday life…

My bowel movements were sudden – like lightning strike sudden – no uptick; no warning! And they were water – pure sparkling brownish water! If you have had diarrhea of any kind in your life (and I know you have), you know that you CANNOT HOLD IT BACK. It is go time; you become a marathon runner with every step putting you closer to sudden and extreme embarrassment.

With that said, imagine going grocery shopping – never knowing when a movement would strike – but knowing you will have about 7 to 10 that day alone, not counting overnights… Having to fast starting the day before – no eating or drinking at all – just so you can go grocery shopping and maybe have just one or two trips to the bathroom (and make it there without incident too I might add). I couldn’t get into my car and drive for any length of time without fear that a movement would hit suddenly – there is never a place to get quickly enough when you have a sudden bowel movement in your car.

I learned to pack an empty ice cream bucket in my car for sudden movements. Explain yourself to a cop at your window as you are casually pulled over on the side of the freeway spilling your innards into an ice cream bucket. Wet wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, two large bath towels, several washcloths, a bucket of water, hand sanitizer, and extra clothes are all part of my self-care car kit. Imagine packing that just to get from your house to your work, and you only have a five minute drive.

I couldn’t go places. I couldn’t hang out – everyone had to come to me just so I could tend my GI issues in the comfort of my own home. The sounds were horrible. The smells stacked embarrassment upon embarrassment. And the misses were basically life-altering… I always had candles burning or incense or wax cubes going… JUST to blot out the smell of the constant in my house: shit. If I said UH-OH, my kid helped look for a restroom or ran out of the path between me and the bathroom. She knew what was about to happen. My pooping even screwed with my kiddo.

Then VS Now: Change is mostly Good!

So all that is then… Do I still keep my car packed with some stuff incase there is an accident? Oh lord yes. Do I still have pooping issues? Unfortunately. Is it still a mad dash to the restroom when the urge suddenly appears? OMG YES. (I am pretty good at it now tho haha!)

But it is better. I finally got a doctor that listened, and while they have stopped looking for the causes, they did find me a medication that takes me from 7-10 diarrheas a day down to 1-3 diarrheas… MUCH BETTER. I can also control myself better because they aren’t that glorious water of the past. That makes work so much better (I have amazing co-workers and an amazing boss who worked with me through some of the worst of the diarrhea hell!).

What gets me though is that I used to just HAVE TO GO. Now, with these meds, I start getting all crampy and painy – and can be in this state for hours before the urge to go actually hits me. I talked to my doctor about it because it can sometimes double me over the pain is so strong, and she says IT’S NORMAL. Seriously? As she explains it, apparently everyone has pain preceding a bowel movement to some degree to let them know they are going to poop. Mkay, wtf kind of shit is this? I never had this before but now have it magically appear upon taking a pill?! I think something isn’t right here, but if the historical pattern holds true with my doctors, I will have to wait about 5 years before anyone takes this seriously and starts investigating it. I’m not dead, so I guess I will ‘whatever’ this situation and move on.

The Future?

I think it is looking bright minus fighting for 5 years to be taken seriously about this stomach pain. I am okay with having diarrhea so long as it doesn’t rule my life, and right now, I am going out and doing things with friends and family. It is pretty damn glorious what I can do now because of a pill versus what the past 3 to 5 years of my life has been. Hell yes. I’ll take this ride and keep moving forward!

Do you have pain or GI issues? What do you do to help yourself? Did you have to do a diet change (one thing I never had to do as I basically stopped eating and still had diarrhea)? What, if anything, finally helped you out? If nothing yet, is anything in the works to try and figure out what will?

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