Dr. W's Space Travels
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2021-09-19 12:40:30 (UTC)

Space Cadet Steals Credit for Artwork

Dr. Wood LXXI

Well the weekend was going stellarly, and then I embarrassed myself. It’s probably way, way less embarrassing than I actually feel about it, but I have been audibly saying “I feel awful…” ever since. So yesterday I finished making this pretty neat picture for my MAL, using Microsoft Office autoshapes and stuff, as well as the anime character faces I’d been making. I was really proud of it (and still am, I guess)! I then decided to change my avatar picture to the artwork that one of the AstralShift game devs made for me during one of the calls. It was a nice, refreshed look for my profile. Today I received a comment from a friend in The Friends Club server commending the artwork and asking if it was commissioned. Dumb butt that I am… I thought he was referring to the thing I made, as I COMPLETELY forgot about the artwork made by the game dev that I’d been using for my avatar. So I proceeded to say that I made it, and thereby received praise from the friend commenting as well as another friend. But it hit me, when they were talking about the shading and stuff like that (which I hadn’t incorporated into my artwork), I realized they were speaking to the quality of the avatar artwork, not the artwork I’d made. In other words, I’d basically just claimed the avatar artwork (done by the game dev) as my own. So as quickly as I could, I clarified that the avatar artwork was NOT mine. I wouldn’t say they were visibly disappointed, but it was more like “ah, okay I see” followed by them asking if the artist had a page (which I did share).

So that jumbled recount of an awkward situation is to say that I 1.) felt like I had just taken credit for someone else’s art, albeit accidentally, and 2.) the artwork that I was so proud of wasn’t as good as I thought it was. Don’t get me wrong – objectively speaking, I’m a mediocre artist, and my art does pale in comparison to the stuff the game dev does (I mean he literally makes artwork for video games – competition isn’t even on the table). But me being me, this whole weekend I’d be working on this thing and then admiring it from time to time, feeling good about it because I’m a prideful motherflooper. And because of that, I subconsciously thought that people would swoon over my cool new page look. But I foolishly also coupled that MAL page picture with avatar art from someone else, not realizing that THAT artwork was gonna be the swoon-worthy one. It all just made me realize that I think too highly of myself sometimes. This is how it is with quite a bit of stuff, actually. Just yesterday, I was playing Anime Music Quiz with a good friend of mine on the server, and another person, whom I had not talked with before, joined us. I take pride in my level of experience on that game, so it’s no exaggeration to say that when I lost to him twice in a row at it, I was slightly downcast. I notice this too when I play Splitgate (I’m a little bit addicted to this game BTW, yikes…) – I get frustrated when I do poorly. I just really like to feel cool, as shallow as that sounds. Yeah, it’s RIDICULOUSLY shallow-sounding, I know. But I can’t seem to get enough of me thinking people are thinking that I’m cool. Because – mind you – the reality is that I am on people’s minds less than <0.01% of the day. The friends that commented on the artwork have already moved on to other stuff. And here I am, dejected that I just disappointed people whom I think think highly of me the way that I think highly of me when in actuality I’m just being incredibly self-centered.

Yeah, I’m self-centered. And I’m embarrassed by that. I feel like lately that’s especially been the case. The rush I get when I’m complimented is just simply delicious. And of course, I do that thing where I try to be humble in the face of praise, so that it’s like I have yet another good quality… but I can’t lie to myself, I revel in it. This is not to say that I don’t try to elevate myself above others. I love lifting up other people, and prefer to do that over trying to lift myself up. But I guess there’s a very subconscious thing where if I put others on a pedestal, I’ll be further seen as someone who is kind, or something like that. Ugh, what a wakeup call this has been. I’m very much catastrophizing that silly exchange about the artwork on my MAL page, but that’s kinda just what I do. I feel like Michael Scott in Scott’s Tots, where he finally admits that he can’t uphold his promise to pay for the high school students’ college tuition, and the artwork that I made for my MAL page is like laptop batteries he said he’d give instead. Excuse me – lithium laptop batteries. I DEFINITELY didn’t disappoint anyone with my artwork like Michael did with his meager counteroffer, but I’m just describing how it feels, because I’m totally one to blow stuff up when it challenges my pride. And, in no way am I faulting anyone who had commented – that’s COMPLETELY on me. Really, I didn’t do anything that bad either – I just made a small misunderstanding and that was that. But the implications run deep, because I am such a self-conscious son of a butt.

This feeling will come to pass. I had a really great weekend nonetheless, it was about as fun as I had hoped it’d be. Made my gourmet grilled cheese and my tonkatsu, played a bunch of games, watched a bunch of anime, didn’t do any housework – it was lovely. I even went for a run on Saturday morning, which is something I hadn’t done in months. Wore me the heck out and I’m paying for it today… but it was great! My perception of what happened today put a bit of a damper on things, though. I’m trying not to let it get to me. I think I need to relook at my values or something. I’m way, way too prideful, even if I don’t show it. I would like to learn true humility at some point (yeah, I say “at some point” because I know darn well that I’m gonna forget about this and go about my jolly ol’ days like usual). I get WAY too excited when I win competitive stuff. The selection of candidates for the underwriting position I applied for will be very telling of that. If I get the job, I’m gonna be over the moon; if I don’t, my self-worth is gonna plummet, even though I’ll bear a resilient façade nonetheless. I really let praise get to my head. Guh. I wouldn’t mind if this pit in my stomach would just go away forever. I feel really embarrassed.

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