Random Acts of Love

Hello fuzzbutts!

Tonight I wanted to talk about something I’ve been doing recently. Lately, I finally decided to take the pressure off myself as far as dating and enjoy my own company more while spending less time stressing about romance or being on the numerous apps I used. I noticed a shift in myself as I actually felt much more relaxed than I have in a while. More than that, I’ve found myself spreading this energy out to those around me and I feel like it’s been good for me and the responses I get make me feel even better.

Know anyone who creates? I happen to have friends who make a lot of art and also follow a ton of talented artists I’ve never spoken to. I happen to like their art. So why not tell them it’s great? Heck, if I get more than 20 favorites on a piece of art, I feel awesome. I feel even more awesome when people actually comment something positive on the piece. So how would they feel if I sent them a direct note? So that’s what I’ve been doing- Emailing, direct messaging, or noting the artists and creators once in a while that I appreciate their work and just how I think they’re so talented and amazing.

It’s a small gesture. It’s extremely small for something in a fandom where the content creators are really what drives the furry fandom. I feel the love of furry art, fursuits, and other media is what bring us furries together. The artistic world is full of self-doubt so you never know when an artist is feeling a little self-conscious or down on their abilities. So let them know you appreciate their work and how you feel about what they produce.

As a disclaimer, do not do this AND THEN ASK FOR SOMETHING. Nobody likes feeling manipulated and it undoes any good feeling the artist was getting from your compliment. It’s just a bad move and it’s not cool. Send a genuine compliment and just let them know you like their art.

Wednesday Tailtip: Breathe Better

Hello fuzzbutts!

Lately I’ve been having some really stressful days, primarily caused by my work. I could list off all the ways I’m having trouble keeping my cool but I discovered a way that genuinely seems to help. Take a deep breath.

Do I mean meditate? Well that would be nice but I have a hard time keeping up that habit. Maybe that should be a goal for 2019. However, I just mean to breathe. When you get all stressed out, your breathing becomes shallow which then keeps you stressed! It’s like kicking yourself when you’re down. You can see it when people seem to be in a panic and you just want to go and say “Slow down, take a deep breath.” All my life I assumed it’s just to get people to stop rambling but it actually has a real effect in your body.

It’s hard to meditate in the moment because the thoughts are fresh and the problems are usually swirling around you. However, you can still take a breath. Take a few. Don’t make a big show of a noisy gasp of air. Just make sure you take a deep breath. Then take another. Do as many as you need until you feel your stress dip a little bit.

I hope this helps.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

 

Wednesday Tailtip: Drawing better with art studies

Hello furries!

Want to get better at art? Found enough general tutorials to get you going so you have some of the basics down? Got a couple of characters you can draw well?

Chances are you’re good at canines and felines. How about drawing horses or deer? Can you draw a species different enough that people recognize the difference between a fox and a wolf by you? I’ve seen plenty of great horses drawn but I’ve also seen some that look almost like wolves without the scruffy fur. So how do you work on that?

Well take out a page and download a mess of reference images. Then just draw what you see. It’s practice! You focus on the imagery and draw it up as much as you can. Draw a drew practice heads or poses and then step back and try to notice the details. Where did you go right? Where did you go wrong? Are there common features that you see are useful for you to convey the image? Are there spots that you can’t seem to get right and need to work on deeper? Keep going!

So if you’re working on doodling up some furry art, take the time for deliberate practice and drawing things you’re not experienced or skilled with. Aside from just drawing a ton, deliberate practice will be one of the best ways to improve your skills!

 

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: The reminder notes

Good morning fuzzbutts!

Even if you know what you should be doing, keeping that part in your mind when the tests come up can be difficult. An example is I’m trying to cut down on sugar. However, if somebody brings donuts to work, I forget about my sugar diet until I’m most of the way through a delicious chocolate-covered donut. So, rather than forget next time, I take a post-it note and stick it to my monitor that says Eat Less Sugar.

Since then, it’s been way easier to resist the temptation and stick to my reduced-sugar plan.

Also, I tend not to check the position of my arm/wrist when using a mouse at my computer. After having our safety person make sure my desk was ergonomic, she drew a frowny face on a post it now and put it above my mouse. Every time I see that goofy doodle, I’m sure to double-check my wrist is straight when at my computer.

Sometimes we need something external to remind us of the obvious. Somethings as simple as a post-it now might help you make the long-term habits and changes you need to keep improving your furry life!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Even More Online Courses

Hi fuzzbutts!

I’ve mentioned online courses before. There’s things like Coursera which aren’t accredited courses but will teach you a variety of skills. I like Coursera since just about every single class is completely free (unless you want to pay a fee for it to show up on your transcripts and your LinkedIn profile). There’s also lots of stuff on youtube from a wide swath of people so you can try to find somebody who trains well. The only disadvantage to Youtube is that ANYONE submits stuff and some teachers are much better than others in terms of both content quantity and quality.

One site I recently discovered is Udemy. I had heard of it before but I decided to check it out yesterday and saw some courses have dozens of hours of content, lots of positive reviews, and were dirt cheap ($12 for a 70 hours course). Then I realized this was a site-wide sale for yesterday and today. What luck! I bought like 9 courses, some related to my professional development and others related to my personal goals like drawing and singing (Did I ever mention I’d like to get better at singing? Not a specific goal but an overall thing I like I try sometimes). I assume the majority of people who read my blog might not catch this particular sale by the time they read this but I wanted to put this out there as an option since I’m now going to keep Udemy on my radar for future sales and courses I might want to take.

In other news, it’s a week late but I’m happy to report that my latest digital artwork I submitted on FurAffinity reached 34 favorites, finally reaching my goal of reaching 30 faves with one of my art pieces. Heck I also got 4 watchers after posting that one too! I want to keep improving my art so I’ll set up a new SMART goal for my drawing goals!

Wednesday Tailtip: Remembering from the Beginning!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Today I wanted to let you know that it’s important to go over your goals and why you’re going for them even after you’ve been working on them for a while!

On my last post, I put up an example of sorting myself out with RP. The thing I didn’t actually expect was the sudden rush of motivation and a renewed sense of “Finish those darn tails!” That inspired this post!

Sometimes, as you work real hard on something, you might remember a little bit of the why but the negatives start to outweigh the positives. This is the resistance that starts to slow you down and makes it tough to finish. When it starts to get pretty heavy and you have trouble finishing these tasks, you should pause and review. Imagine you quit your goal already and now you’re reviewing whether or not to make it a goal again.

If you were to continue working on this goal, weigh your why against the actions you need to finish and what the problems are that you’re going to have to overcome to finish the goal. In the tails example, I already put a lot of work into it so there’s definitely not as much work left compared to when I first started. I also wanted to finish just from the sheer amount of work I already invested into it (not the best reason), and the money I can make from selling the finished tails. I also realized I was actually putting off my own goal by focusing on other stuff but still feeling guilty for putting it off at all. Actually writing this out and getting my head on straight again was like breaking through a wall I had unknowingly built. Once I was through that, the work came easy again.

So try it with your own goals if you notice you’re not doing as well as you can. Maybe you just need a refreshing on the pros and cons of your goals to get you moving again!

Good luck fuzzbutts!