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Offline egoraptor
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« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2008 12:10 PM »
The reason I don't explain myself is because you guys don't care what I have to say, you'll still hate me regardless. If not for what I believe, then for that comment about how you'll react, which would prove my point anyway. But, I'll give you guys some of my reasoning for which to maybe help you understand why I am who I am if you're genuinely interested. This will be long.

Most of the users here make such a big stink, and your primary reasoning is because I'm supposedly influencing artists poorly, etc etc etc. When I go to Newgrounds I see more and more well done, fantastic pieces than last year, and the year before that. As much as a pull I may have on Newgrounds I don't think any amount of influence will sway the minds of all of these amazing artists who just want to create what's in their heads. I remember a time where Adam Phillips was the bar, but you can find tons of animations on Newgrounds way more graphically impressive, creative, and a thousand times more well written than Brakenwood now (not that I dislike Brakenwood, I love Phillips and all of his work).

If we're talking about my influence here, well, everybody starts somewhere. Rtil himself started by drawing fanart from video games, and now look at him, you all respect him in one way or another, and he's a fantastic artist, but you can still see that influence he's gotten from anime and video game art in his work.

I get PMs every day and a lot of them are from kids who say I've influenced them to start animating. And, you know, yeah, a lot of them are 12 or 13, a lot of them can't draw that well, and a lot of them are going to make stupid video game parodies, but everybody starts somewhere, and I can't imagine after 7 years of animating, video game parodies are going to be the only thing under their belts. I started with writing fanfiction for Mega Man, and people ate that shit up, but it wasn't satisfying, I moved on, I have more original stories than ever and I'm always writing them and improving them.

And yes, I claimed I was working on original stuff, and yes, I still am. Those things take time. Awesome cartoons, admittedly, yes, don't take that much time. I am doing so much every single day on a regular basis, in the way of work, that I need to prioritize what I work on, what I don't, etc. I'm working on launching a website that will need tons of original content at launch and I'm the only person in charge of doing that, so none of that has seen the light of day.

But there is a lot of my original content that I still have cold feet about, and I feel like if I dive in right now, it'll consume everything I do, I'll never get anything done, and I'll end up spending way too much time on a project that I can't afford to do that with. And believe me, I'd love to do that. If I had a spare 2 years to work on an epic masterpiece, I would do that shit in a heartbeat. But I don't have money in my family, and I need to pay my own bills and save with my own money to move to a place where I can actually further my career in everything I do. I have people depending on me, I have payments to make, and that shit isn't easy to just say "fuck it" to in the name of creative expression. I wish it were easier. At least I am making some money doing something I enjoy instead of working a dead end job doing something I hate. I consider the latter more "selling out" than getting paid for something you love.

Right now I've found myself in making games, I'm working on 2 right now, and I can say with complete confidence that they both contain the best animation work I've ever done in my entire life, all things considered. One contains stories, characters and game design I've completely designed from the ground up, the other contains character designs completely by me and stories and game design I've co-developed. I've found so much passion for working on these games I've pulled several days where I'll just work nonstop from waking to sleep, and believe me I've spared no expense in the quality of the visuals and game design. Shading, outline work, it's all done to the best of my ability to meet very particular personal standards. I'm so beaming with pride for both of them I can't wait to show off even 2% of the completed work I've done for them to get people excited.

The way I see it, the awesome series allows me to do all of this. If I had started out by making all of my original ideas, and what not, I don't think I'd be in a better position now. I'd probably be working a side job that I hate, trying to pay my bills, without even an ambition to move out, being discouraged by all the negativity in my life. I wouldn't know half the people I do, I wouldn't have discovered my passion for game designing, I wouldn't have had nearly as many awesome experiences. The bottom line is that I love gaming and it is something that inspires me to a huge degree, and being able to publicly appreciate it in a manner that people enjoy is just so motivating. Not motivating to just continue to make sloppy parodies, but to further myself as an artist, as a person, and as an entertainer. People say the awesome series influences me to continue to just be unoriginal, but it's really the complete opposite. I've learned so much from this journey not just about myself but about others, the field I'm going in to, artforms, expression... just... everything.

And you know, maybe my life would be better if I had started out on Newgrounds a different way, but that's something I'll never know. My life is what it is now, and I'm extremely happy with what it's been shaping into. I've been given more oppurtunities than ever to do the things I want and express myself in ways I didn't even think possible. I remember a time where all of my original ideas were pipedreams, and I had to convince myself that finding a "real job" was the only possibility for living a decent life, but now everything that's in my head is just a tablet pen swipe away from existing, and that feeling is very fulfilling.

If there's one thing I've learned above all others is that actions speak louder than words. I really don't like explaining myself in general so much because things change, people change, words change. You know, I've said before the awesome series is "over" but... things changed. Everybody isn't a character in a novel, people have bad days, good days, things influence you. I am continuing to make awesome movies, but it's not the only thing I'm making anymore. I've prioritized my time to continue to make them among other projects.

And yes, there is obviously a sense of obligation to the fact that fans want more, there is money involved, etc etc, but at least it's not something I hate doing, and at least it's something that several million people enjoy. I can think of much worse things a person can do than entertain millions of people for money. Through it all, I've had my ups and downs, but it's something I seriously do not take for granted. During the time I worked for MTV, the awesome cartoons to me were fleeting and vapid. It was a job, and I was unsatisfied with what I did, and I just wanted to get it done. After it blew up so much, it just opened my eyes to how important it is to people, and that is very meanigful to me. I feel it's a duty to continue to entertain them, and you know, maybe that's wrong, but it doesn't consume me, it's simply one part of me, and it's a part of me that dosn't conflict with my other ideals. Everybody has duties, even if it's something as simple as washing the dishes, but those kinds of things don't stand in the way of your integrity, it's just another part of your life.

Above all I think some of you just need to look at things from a different perspective. You say what I do on Newgrounds makes people think that they can just bank on video game parodies or something, but the countless PMs I get tell a different story. Some fans see the awesome series as something they could never obtain... a level of quality that they only wish they could rise to. And yes, I'm sure to you all that sounds incredibly stupid, but just think about that feeling these fans must have... it's the complete opposite of what you're saying I'm influencing people to do... it gives them goals, hopes, and the motivation to create. I really don't wanna sound like I'm talking myself up to be a God or something fucking stupid like that, but I'm just saying that a lot of you are looking at this whole situation from an incredibley one sided perspective. Just because you see something in my movies doesn't mean somebody else isn't seeing something completely different. And I'm not just being airheaded about this, the kind of feedback I get on a regular basis supporting what I'm saying is astounding.

I said before I hate explaining myself which seems pretty contradictory to this entire post, and honestly I don't know why I felt the need to finally come out and say something. I know most of what I've said will either be lambasted or misinterpreted or ignored, and I fully expect that out of anything I say defending myself. I guess I just did this for me, because all this stuff you guys say does get to me sometimes, and I need to reassure myself that if I just need to keep working hard at my dreams. If I may be harsh, here, you guys say things about trying to save animation, or improving the quality of Newgrounds, but by constantly spamming, complaining, bickering, and generally spreading negativity, you're just furthering the idea that everybody can't get along, and so many relationships, friendships, and projects fall apart because of shit like that. I have worked with some incredibley talented people, and I have learned so much from them and they have learned things from me. It's just a good feeling seeing and experiencing artists helping artists, but the kind of rude things some of you say and do have absolutely no positive influence on anything aside from making people angry and spiteful. I've wanted to be a regular contributor on this forum for a long time, and yeah, I lurk it a bit, but I've decided I would never contribute, because I know anything I ever do here in the way of expressing myself or learning would not even make up for the negativity I would be soaking up every second. That kind of shit gets to you, and starts shaping who you are. I don't want to be an angry, judgmental person. I just want to create what I want to create, smile, laugh, and have a great time with life. Sometimes that kind of stuff takes a lot of work to do, but it's something I'm willing to work hard for.

And maybe that last paragraph is being judgmental, but from what I've seen here, a lot of the users here haven't given me a reason to believe otherwise. You may all be saints, but I haven't seen any of those traits come out publicly.

When it comes down to it, it's just a measurement of ideals. Some people believe in fucking... sacrificing virgins to the Sun God or some shit. I don't, but I'm not going to crusade around trying to convince people it's wrong just because I believe it is. My beliefs and my ideals are something I choose to live by and it helps make my own life good. My decisions and my mistakes are my own to make and live with. I've said I don't believe in being so negative about things, but if that's your way of life, then feel free, I'm just going to choose not to associate myself with you, you know? This is another reason I'm not too caught up in trying to convince you guys of me being right because it's just a waste of my breath (or finger strength, I guess lol) to try to push my belief structures on another person. If you don't like it, you don't like it. This has nothing to do with criticism. I am always open to criticism, but when the criticism is "Egoraptor is a faggot" I'm usually inclined to ignore it.

If you got this far, thank you.