Several years worth of cheese
Somehow, this silly page has hit 9 million views!
Just to be absolutely clear, I do not think the views make me any better than anyone else. I mean, I'm sure some of those are from people who don't even like me.
But I guess my point is that it's crazy to imagine that this page has been opened up that many times, and I can't help wondering where all these hits have come from. And I just feel so grateful that a select few people in those millions have come to be irreplaceable friends to me.
It's been a wild ride with all of you guys through all this time. To me this isn't just a page where I simply showcase my artwork or the cosplay photos my friends and I come up with. This site has opened up so many opportunities for me, and has introduced me to some of the most wonderful people I've met in my life.It's been a journey, and my interactions with the people here have taught me more than I can express.
Apart from that, one thing I absolutely did not expect in my wildest dreams was that this page would help save some people's lives.
How could a page that mainly revolves around cosplay with some photography and illustration do that? I myself could not imagine how at first. In all honesty, every single time I receive a note or an email from someone just thanking me for sharing bits of my life on my journal and how much it helped them, I break into tears and it takes me forever to respond because I feel like nothing I write would be enough.
I've got a lot of things running through my head, and I'm going to try to articulate them with the help of words from someone who is a hero to me, Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance. The indescribable things I feel in my heart, he just has a way of perfectly putting them into words.
The fact that so many you saw something in my work, in my writing, in all the silly things that my friends do It strengthens my belief that anything can be art. Anything can have meaning. Anything can be a source of inspiration. You also made us feel an additional sense of purpose and keep giving us hope that the world is a nicer place than we thought.
With illustration and photography (though I feel I need to produce more) is something that's more relatively understandable. But I'd like to talk about the aspect of cosplay so many people will say that they don't understand what the point is, or what good it can do.
Here are some of the things it has done for me:
Wanting to create proper tributes to series that I love has motivated me to improve my skills as a photographer and visual artist, and keep learning. That driving force is just so much stronger when you're working on something you really love, with people you love.
It motivated me to do my best to create images that pull out emotions
and encourage others to feel them. The series I like best (and choose to cosplay) earn their place in my heart by making me feel something deeply happiness, sadness, determination, inspiration, and much more. Often I hope to share these feelings with my viewers, to remind them of why they share in the fandom, or to persuade them to pick up the series at hand so that it might do some good for them them too.
Writing descriptions that accompany the images I post lets me reach out to people. For example, my Le Petit Prince photos allowed me to share why that book has changed me significantly, and encouraged other people to pick up the book. Many have written back to me to thank me for introducing that story to them because it changed them forever too.
Simply sharing the silly things my friends and I do during photoshoots or conventions has made people laugh when they need it. To be able to laugh and smile is a precious thing that others take for granted sometimes, but I'm just thankful that we're able to evoke that from our readers.
I've learned that just because you're doing something for fun, doesn't mean it's automatically meaningless. I think you just really have to dig deep and figure out your reason for doing things, and it'll lead to other life lessons which piece together to make a big beautiful picture.
Through it I have met the most amazing individuals I otherwise would not have encountered. I'm thankful for them everyday.
One of the things that gets to me the most is when people tell me that my friends and I make them believe in true friendship, reassure them that they deserve to be happy, and make them feel braver to be themselves
. I hope everyone will keep those thoughts in their hearts.
Me and my friends in Tux Team, we always ALWAYS find it so unbelievable when people come up to us to say how much they admire our group. Our usual reaction is to look at each other and jokingly ask, "Why?!" We're the first to admit we are far from the best when it comes to craftsmanship. But that's not really what's important to us. If we are to be looked up to, we always hope it's for our spirit and friendship and what we stand for.You make me feel that as long as you hold a strong belief for something, carry a lot of love in your heart, and go out and sing that to the world, people who feel the same will be drawn towards you.
For anyone who is feeling depressed or hurt or rejected
A lot of you have written to me to say that you open up my journal especially on days you need cheering up. Apart from making you laugh, I want to share something that will hopefully stay with you whenever you feel like you're at a low point of your life.Some of Gerard's words from the video
Nothing is worth hurting yourself over. NOTHING is worth taking your life over.
The difference we wanna make is, number one, to make these kids know that they're not alone, that they're actually not that messed up and that they can do whatever they want
And really just to get people to get over their stuff so they can live
It's more important to keep yourself alive, there's nothing worth even hurting yourself over
It's normal, it's completely normal to be depressed.
I mean, we started this band thinking the world was extremely ugly. And I think now we realize that it's more beautiful than we thought.
So if anything, you can take it from a guy and his band who used to think everything was shit. And we've found that it's not.
And from me:You are never, ever alone.
There are people out there who will understand you. You just have to reach out. Don't shut yourself out, don't take it out on other people by hurting them, and definitely never take your own life. You just have to keep living, and be kind, and be yourself
and you'll find that despite how terrible the world can be, it can be really beautiful too.
Open up your heart. You might get hurt along the way because it's a fact of life that bad people exist, but eventually you'll find at least one true friend who will make it all worth it.
As I've said before: It's okay to be you.
It's okay to be weird.
Other people's opinion of you shouldn't matter. Don't miss out on opportunities to do things you love just because you don't want other people saying mean things about you.
It's your life and your time, and it's YOU who has to live with the consequences of your decisions so make them for yourself. You should always strive to make yourself happy over all others.
The fine print on the above quote is that you should also be able to differentiate when people are just giving you shit to bring you down, or if people who actually care about you are trying to give you advice to be a better person. You don't give your friends the middle finger. You work on issues together. Sometimes it can hurt to hear what you've been doing wrong, but real friends stab each other at the front, and with the best and purest of intentions.You will find people out there who will love you for who you are.
They will accept your imperfections, your shortcomings, your mistakes.
Be yourself and be kind. Things will get better. They did for us, and they can for you.
We also owe you our thanks
Some people seem to see me and my friends as a group of happy-go-lucky miscreants without a care in the world.
But I think the reason my friends are so kind, and the reason we embrace having fun so much is that we know all too well what it's like to be hurt, and what it's like to be depressed
. We've been there. Some of us are still dealing with it. Our lives are far from perfect, we're still human and make our share of mistakes, and we continue to work on ourselves one day at a time. Life doesn't have to be perfect for it to be beautiful.
The reason I share the things we do with you guys is to remind you to laugh, and to give hope to those who need it that you can make things better
A lot of you have come to know me through this dA account, and through my journal posts particularly. One of the reasons I started blogging was just to remind myself of the things I have to be thankful for the wonderful people in my life, and how much our silly adventures make me smile and laugh, and how they make life worth living. I needed that to look back on whenever I'd feel teetering on the edge of depression.Something that came as an unexpected blessing was how I received letters from people saying how somehow I had saved them. That my friends and I had given them something to believe in.
To hear that is more than I could have ever hoped to get in return for blogging. On behalf of my friends, I'd also like to say THANK YOU to you guys who have stuck with us and believed in us and inspired us to be better human beings
. Your faith means more to us than you know. More than I can express. From the bottom, the top, and the rest of the mushy insides of my heart thank you ever so much.
For what it's worth, I'm here
If you think I might be able to help you with something related to this post, send me a note, or send me a message through Tumblr Ask
. (On Tumblr you can ask anonymously, or I can answer privately if you request it.) It takes me a while to reply sometimes, but I will do my best.
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