J-pop, fan art and *GUILT*

Do you also feel guilty every time you do something for fun? Is it a problem of many? Or only of freelancers? Or only of me??

I struggle with guilt almost every minute of the day. And to be honest, it is not only when I do something for fun. It’s whenever I do whatever, even if it’s something that I actually SHOULD do.

For example, when I create new vectors for my microstock portfolios, I feel guilty for not working on my next coloring book.
When I work on my coloring book, I feel guilty for not editing my awaiting children’s books; What I edit my children’s books I feel guilty for not reading pending emails; When I read emails, I feel bad for not doing the dishes; When I do the dishes I think about buying groceries, when I buy groceries I think about treating the cat for fleas and so on and so forth.
Terrible, isn’t it? I am probably the most restless person I know.

Hopefully you didn’t relate too much to my grim description. I just felt the need to share this so that you can understand how guilty I felt yesterday, when I put my tasks aside and immersed into creating a piece for pure, immature fun:


This is a drawing of two J-pop (Japanese pop) musicians – Kimeru and Yunah. Their photo was published on Kimeru’s Twitter page and felt an urge to recreate it as a cartoon. I actually don’t know much about Yunah, but I am a Kimeru fan, so I often see photos he shares and some of them are just begging me to drop all of my duties and cartoonize them.

Imagine the guilt!! I have so many things to do in order to earn money, take care of the house and be a good girlfriend and cat owner, and also to plan three different trips abroad and to collect documents for the annual visa-extension for my foreign boyfriend, and instead of doing all of these I freaking sit here and draw fan art like a careless teenager!

Oh, and did I mention the guilt of borrowing those guys’ photo and using it for my own creepy means? Gosh, I hope they don’t yell at me.

There you have it, a sample of my mental disorder encapsulated in this illustration.

I have one comfort here: drawing things for fun are still somewhat beneficial for my career. This drawing, for example, helped me practice a few things:

  •  How to draw the right amount of details – just enough to make the image resemble the original photo, but not too many, so the result still looks like anime style cartoon.

  • When to put the reference photo away and start working on the illustration as an image that stands on its own.

  • How to choose the minimal features of the person’s face, in order to make the drawing look like him, and what features I should ignore so that the drawing doesn’t get too realistic.

Of course there is more, but I’ll stop now because, you guessed it, writing this post makes m e feel guilty for not doing other things.

I hope I helped you feel that your own mental scratches aren’t really this bad 🙂