Man, not sure how to start this, other than
What a year its been. So much has happened in just a year it feels like I've been here for far longer.
Last year was a bit of a strange year, no surprises, but covid completely fucked up my post college plans. I had been working on my portfolio and networking skills, I had just hit PAX East and I was super ready for GDC in 2 weeks, I was gonna network, meet some new people, figure out if I was hire able, and maybe score a job. And then PAX weekend GDC 2020 gets cancelled, and I don't know what to do. I had a whole timeline planned with backup plans, and covid annihilated every single plan I had. I was extremely lucky and scored a part time remote game dev job making UI art for this platform fighter called Vortex Rising: Mercy's End (now known as Rushdown Revolt), so I had some extra income coming in. But as the first month of covid passed, I started thinking about my future and what I wanted to do with my life, now that I was mostly done with school. I've always been creatively oriented, and I realized that UI work didn't fully satisfy that craving to create. And then one day, I was chillin in my friend and then roommate @JasoonMargoon 's room, and he brought up Smiling Friends. I had never heard of it, but as soon as he mentioned psychicpebbles, my ears perked up. We sat down and watched the pilot, and right then and there it clicked.
I wanted to do animation. It made sense, I've always had ideas for skits, always wanted to draw and make videos, but I never had the actual resources to do it. But I just turned 22, I had 2 jobs, and so much more freetime thanks to covid, I could totally make this work. So I spent that summer coming up with ideas, overscoping them, abandoning them, and just getting an understanding of what went into making an animation. and the first result was this animation here:
Don't have much to say about it, but I still think this is the funniest animation I've made, even if its a little barebones.
I was also saving up all summer to buy an iPad Pro so I could have a portable art device, and almost instantly I saw huge improvements in my art. Right around this time I also made a Newgrounds account, it made sense, all my favorite creators got there start here, why am I not on Newgrounds? It really didn't mean much to me at the time, it was just going to function as another art dump.
But then October rolls around, and the Among Us Animation Jam gets announced. I was hypeddd, I kept abandoning all my animations, but having a set deadline gave me the motivation to actually make and finish an animation. Not gonna lie, I was hella lazy with it, i procrastinated until the last 3 days and then crunched up until 30 minutes before the deadline:
I did actual lip syncing, and I kinda colored it? But I attended the watch party on the NGP discord server, and from that point on is when I truly joined the Newgrounds community. I stuck around, got to know @Xinxinix a little, he invited me to another server, where we played Jackbox games and among us regularly. And slowly over the next few months I stuck around, and became friends with everyone there. That's when I realized I had finally found the community I have been looking for my entire life.
I've always kinda been an outcast most of my life, even with my closest friends there's this disconnect between us with our interests, the way we carry ourselves and blah blah. But here, I didn't feel judged, I could be as weird as I wanted to be, for the first time I felt confident and comfortable to actually BE ME. That meant, and still means so much to me, and I totally understand why the community here is so tight knit and so strong. I've grown so much as an artist and as a person because of this site. The dream of becoming an animator, writing for television, its not just a dream anymore, I have an actual path there! And the PEOPLE, the PEOPLE, they are what make this site. Just name dropping a few people, but @PsychoGoldfish, @Xinxinix, @Jacob, @Spadezer, @Bill @Oddlem, @TheDyingSun, @VoicesByCorey @therealmrsnuggles @shitonastick @AlbeGian and tons of others that I'm missing/forgetting.
Yall are fucking awesome, crazy talented motherfuckers and I'm so damn happy that I've been able to become friends with you all.
But yeah man, In just 1 year, I've made 6 animations, made tons of sick friends, became a regular on NGP, and most recently I placed 5th place in an animation jam????? I never in a million years would've predicted this is where I'd be.
Newgrounds fucking rules.