Letters from Somnolescent

 

Category: Retrospectives

The Somnolians waxing about the events and personal works of their lives so far.


December 29, 2023

Happy Five Years: Further Down the Artsy Rabbit Hole

mariteaux

Happy extra image that didn't make it into the proper post!

January 2024 marks two whole years of me taking art seriously. I read back through last year’s art retrospective, and I’m guessing it was partly that one year of progress isn’t a lot in all reality and partly that what progress I did make in 2022 was bumpy (as tends to happen when you start learning a new skill), but I was surprised at how tentative I sounded. I ended off that post with a big fat “pretty good for a first attempt ^^”, if you catch my drift:

It’s good to appreciate how far you’ve come though. In one year, from practically nothing, I’ve made some pretty damn good progress. I think by next year, I’ll have something really special.

Thankfully, if 2022 was the year of trying to draw anything at all, 2023 has been the year of learning to draw confidently. I used to get plagued by a feeling of every drawing being a fluke, that it was just because I had someone’s actual art off to the side while I drew that I made it look anything like what it was supposed to, but I don’t get that anymore. I actually really like what I draw now! It still looks amateurish in spots, but that’s starting to taper off, I think.

Not to say I don’t still have a long way to go, but for actually properly enjoying what I do and feeling confident in it, this year has been very good to me. I understand eyes and snoots now, for one thing… Let’s go back through some highlights of this year, like we did last year, and have a bit more positive to say this time around, shall we?


May 6, 2023

Five Neat Things From the Somnolescent Archives

bulb

If you were to ask me my favorite part of the Somnolescent site network, archives would be it. archives started back in 2020 as cold storage for file hoards, but more and more, it’s become my obsession to use it as a living museum of all the websites that the Somnolians have built over the past six years or so. We’ve had so many cool ideas for pages, so many memories around our sites, so many neat looks and layouts for them, that I feel personally responsible to keep it all intact. I want it all as browsable, speedy and functional as the day we unveiled them.

archives has been eating tremendously well this year. All of Caby and dcb’s sites from the Neocities days are finally present on there, patched, restored, and usually fully functional. I just finished restoring dcb_v2, a BeOS-styled site that used an embedded Gopher proxy to display Gopher menus in lieu of pages, last month. Now that’s fully functional again, using locally-stored copies of the proxy’s output back when our Gopher looked like that. I’m supremely proud of it–and just happy to have it to click around again!

Only counting full sites (not components of sites or subsites), we’re up to 54 of them. That’s a lot of sites! And I built half of them, probably! There’s so much on archives, you might not know where to start, and that’s what I wanna spotlight. Here’s five cool, nostalgic (if you’re of a certain age and web background) sights from Somnolescent’s past you can go visit on archives right now, just as if it were still live on our sites today.


April 1, 2023

mariversary 4.0: Revisiting Nostalgiamining

mariteaux

To be honest, I didn’t think I’d have enough to talk about for a fourth Neocities retrospective post. I was only on that site for about ten months, for God’s sake. I covered the year afterwards, I covered all my old Supporter’s sites, and I talked about my very first site design in years past. What else could I possibly revisit?

Passion. There’s two essays I wrote back then that somehow, somewhere, continue to get found, circulate, and stir people up. They’ve taken on a life of their own separate from me. People I’ve never met somehow find these buried deep in the Somnolescent Archives and pass them around, sometimes agreeing, sometimes arguing. I’ve yet to retell the story, so let’s return to nostalgiamining, forging the future, passion, Neocities, and why all this shit still matters to folks.


February 3, 2023

Four Becomes Five: My First Year in Art

mariteaux

Leaning Wyn redraw from February 2023

I’ve been fooling with the idea of doing art since early 2021, but January 2022 was when I officially started. That’s when I drew some scrunkly Wyns for Caby and tried my best to sketch out a whole ton of the ideas I’ve had lying around for, I dunno, years at that point.

It’s taken a lot of nerves and a lot of personal growth to get here (plus practice), but I can pretty confidently say I’m getting somewhere with it now. For the big one year (give or take a month), I’m gonna show off five (or maybe more?) drawings from throughout 2022 and mix memories and art critique. Everyone gather in a circle now.


December 30, 2022

Four Becomes Five: Find the ones that get you

caby

As the year draws to a close once more, it’s the perfect time to get all retrospective about it. How the last year has gone, what I’ve enjoyed, what I’ve not enjoyed, and just how things have changed, hopefully for the better. I’m currently laying in bed with a wicked case of acid reflux thanks to far too much Christmas food, so what better time to ramble?


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