Rowing off to my own digital island aka Better Online Boundaries Project (art dump)

So it starts tomorrow.

I know I have been yakking on about “Getting Away from Social Media and Building My Own Island on the Internet” since the early and not-so-long-ago days of this blog — but this time, I finally have the opportunity to walk the talk.

I just wrapped up the last of any outstanding Professional Obligation that required showing my face and using my voice and promoting something. Note: My third and final book for 2020 was released two weeks ago, and the response was encouraging and lovely. ;;

I’m happy to close up shop for the year and hermit into my art cave. Or rather, my art jungle. If all goes well (meaning, if my country doesn’t self-implode into a second full lockdown due to political stupidity), I’ll be sojourning at Rimbun Dahan in about three-ish weeks. I am looking forward to spending that time intensively improving my craft and focusing on completing a draft of Alexander Comic, when I’m not battling monkeys and mosquitoes.

I’ll be sharing my time at Rimbun Dahan here, of course. In fact, this blog will be the only place. I’ll be hiatusing from Twitter until November, conveniently avoiding the hellfire that is American Politics. Which by itself is “fine” (in the I’m Fine dog way), but is made worst by other people’s doomscrolling and doomtweeting in real time. Though it’s tempting to participate in dooming, unfortunately it is a parasite to creative and spiritual energy. People are not built to be exposed to so much horrible news at once and repeatedly and remixed in different ways, especially on a platform where play, work and News mingle and where the user has no control in demarcating boundaries.

what’s dangerous about doomscrolling is that repeated emphasis on the importance of staying informed can easily trick you into thinking that endlessly consuming bad news on autopilot is a progressive moral duty, when in actuality it’s the digital equivalent of emotional self-harm

Sarah Z (@marysuewriter) July 24, 2020

Anyway, I think I can still get my news and take part in the campaign for progressive futures, without subjecting myself to the algorithimic stress of Internet 2.0. The most important thing is to not burn out and still be here to do the work for years to come.

Monster Aunt is progressing. Which is a relief considering how difficult it is to be creative during a time of madness and disease. I finished the inks for Chapter Two, and so far I am enjoying the art direction of the book. It looks like how I used to draw when I was 15 – 16: bright, super stylised, very European.

I’ve given myself the task of sketching (not inking) the remaining 200 pages before Rimbun Dahan. Which is a terrifying effort, haha. But it’s necessary if I want to devote my jungle hermiting entirely to craft and Alexander.

So about the Better Online Boundaries project. What it is is a gradual moving away from corporate social media and reclaiming my space, by establishing professional boundaries, seeking deeper connections with community and online friends old and new, and returning to long-form.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. Wrote most likely response hours and days in my email signature. Email is not my biggest enemy in terms of attention stealing, but I need to manage other people’s expectations (especially now that many of us are working digitally). Plus, I have to handle my workaholicism.
  2. Blacklisting Twitter on the laptop during certain hours. This is my biggest enemy. Twitter eats up my time because it’s my go-to social media to procrastinate and relieve boredom. I’ve tasked a browser extension the job of slapping the site away from me.
    (I haven’t gotten rid of it on my phone because putting my phone out of sight is a much easier job than hiding my laptop)
  3. Set up a Notion for to-do lists and other nonsense in my laptop, mostly so I don’t have to grab my phone or switch out of apps in my iPad to access my task.
  4. Using a WordPress RSS Reader (thank god at least one good free reader still exists) to follow blogs.
  5. Set up a Discord server to bring my closest friends in comics and art together. Mostly so I don’t have to access Twitter to talk to them.
  6. Something about work-life schedule? Well, this is something to work on during the jungle hermiting, when I am less obliged to deal with anyone professionally.

Future tasks are:

  1. Find a social media management app that allows me to schedule posts and artwork ahead of time without accessing the actual interface of social media.
  2. We will see.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to some new life on this blog. I’ve been meaning to be more open about my hobbies and interests, but ironically social media has actually made me less ready to do so (the format isn’t compatible for rambling and wandering. Not to mention the data harvesting it engages in.).

Will talk more soon.

Hello, hello

    • catato
    • October 1, 2020

    allll the best with jungle hermiting!! jia you with the sketching before residency omg..

Reimena Yee is a graphic novelist, artist and flamingo enthusiast.

She writes and illustrates quite a few webcomics and graphic novels. When not making books, she lulls away her time with essays on craft, life and experiences in the publishing industry. Some of her thoughts of art and life are rather unstructured and will evolve over time as this blog matures, as they should be.

Currently committed to being Alexander the Great's death doula. Is a nerd for all things spooky and historical.

Melbourne / Kuala Lumpur

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