Author and Artist

Allison F. Chan

Welcome to my pages of fantasy fiction and art!I hope you enjoy them! These creations are drawn from my imaginings of interactions between the physical and spiritual world with the human soul. I add new pages of my fiction, one art piece, and a blog once a month.

New Merch!

I launched a Society6 Page!
Check out the merchandise of my Illustrations and own a piece for yourself.

Bataria: Sonic Ones of the Airborne Realm - Out Now!

Eighteen-year-old Sarah Qin is flung into the immense spirit realm of Bataria and transformed into a human-sized bat to fly a gauntlet of trials, where her actions determine her ultimate destination, either the utopian city of Valle Oroia for good souls, or the barren hell desert of Griseo Vastum for evil souls stripped of their wings and demoted to rats, or something even worse.

Check out my latest

Artworks

Bataria: Sonic Ones of the Airborne Realm

Eighteen-year-old Sarah Qin is flung into the immense spirit realm of Bataria and transformed into a human-sized bat to fly a gauntlet of trials, where her actions determine her ultimate destination, either the utopian city of Valle Oroia for good souls, or the barren hell desert of Griseo Vastum for evil souls stripped of their wings and demoted to rats, or something even worse.

KaLEIDoSCOPE of GooD and EviL

Five years since Sarah Qin’s widowed father, Cayson Qin, brought them to Montreal, Canada, the safest place he knew to delay Sarah’s battle against forces of evil, but when Shadow Rats take possession of a man, Adom Machen, in a rock band called, Unter-Ssee, not only does Sarah recklessly try to save Adom, but failing to enlist her father’s aid forces her to confess to her pact to free Adom’s soul, and Cayson sees that to save his daughter from this deadly trap, he must get into the fight of his life and soul, too.

KoGEBO

KoGEBO is currently still in the works.

New Merch!

I launched a Society6 Page!
Check out the merchandise of my Illustrations and own a piece for yourself.

Explore

Novel Illustrations

Explore

Fantasy Fossil Skulls

Bataria: Sonic Ones of the Airborne Realm

About the Writers on the Moon
(WOTM) Time Capsule

This story is a part of the Writers on the Moon (WOTM) Time capsule created by Dr. Susan Kaye Quinn launching in the first quarter of 2023!

The Writers on the Moon Time Capsule contains 124 indie authors’ works collected in COVID year 2021, saved on a digital data card, and placed in the Lunar Time Capsule, to be preserved on the Moon’s Lacus Mortis! Originally scheduled to be launched by the company Astrobiotics in late 2021, rocket tests were delayed by COVID and subsequently set the new launch date for May 4, 2023. Wish everyone the best of luck and Godspeed!

[#LunarCodex – New timelines and lunar destinations updated as of 2023:This photo and information is credited to NASA, and the information was provided by Joel Kearns, SMD Dep Assoc Admin for Exploration (NASA), who recently presented this map re CLPS status. 8 CLPS missions https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/lunarcodex

NEW PAGES ADDED MONTHLY!

KaLEIDoSCOPE of GooD and EviL: Book One

Five years after the novella, Bataria Sonic Ones of the Airborne Realm.Sarah Qin and her widowed father, Caysun Qin are in Montreal, Canada, the safest place for him to stall Sarah from battling the forces of evil, but then Shadow Rats take possession of a man named, Adom Machen, in a rock band called, Unter-Ssee, and Sarah tries and fails to save Adom.She goes to her father Caysun for help but he tells her to break ties, forcing Sarah to divulge that she already made a pact to free Adom’s soul, and Caysun realizes she is in mortal danger so he agrees to help, only to get into the fight of his life and soul, too.Will all of them fall to the forces of evil?

Let's keep in contact!

COMING SOON


This website is still under construction.Please do come back to check on this page in the near future.Thank you for your patience!

June 2024

The month of May 2024 did not have a Blog post. I was out of commission from mild pneumonia, a cracked molar...


April 2024

Here is the April 2024 Blog with mere hours left in the month. I apologize for the delay...


March 2024

As it turned out, the Writers On The Moon Time Capsule had a little extra space after I saved in it my fantasy novella, the...


February 2024

Astrobotic’s Peregrine Mission One Lunar Lander lifted off on January 8, 2024 at 2:18 am EST from Cape Canaveral on the...


November 2023

As a first-time author, I had small expectations for my very first short fantasy fiction story, titled, Bataria – Sonic Ones of...

How my story got into a Time Capsule on the Moon

by Allison F. Chan

As a first-time author, I had small expectations for my very first short fantasy fiction story, titled, Bataria – Sonic Ones of the Airborne Realm, when it unexpectedly morphed into a larger-than-life opportunity to be in a Time Capsule going to the Moon in December 2023.

I am a Chinese Canadian, 58-year old disabled Artist, Writer, and single Mom of two grown kids. My name is Allison F. Chan and I live in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia.My idea for a First Person Column centers around my struggle to overcome a life altering car accident and life-long low self esteem to write a good fiction story, which led to chance a beyond my wildest dreams to join a once in a lifetime event.It was 2021 and I was already 3 tortured years deep into what started out as a humble, self-motivational project to write a light fantasy short story, when I read an astonishing online post from a well known independent science fiction writer and real life rocket scientist, Dr. Susan Kaye Quinn.I follow her helpful online page for independent writers, and that was where Dr. Quinn posted that she had obtained space for a time capsule to go in a rocket to the Moon for the first time in the new millenium. She was placing an open call for writers around the world to be among one hundred and twenty-plus authors (expanded from fifty authors) whose works would be preserved in a tiny but mighty microchip in that capsule.

She dubbed the project, The Writers On The Moon Time Capsule (WOTMTC); it would hold the authors’ stories plus extra space for cherished materials, preserved on the Moon as a gift of inspiration and insight on the Pandemic year 2021 through the eyes of worldwide writers, for our future spacefaring generations to find.My heart beat fast as I read the news, and I thought, “What a fantastic idea, what a fantastic opportunity!” My mind raced with excited enthusiasm for the contest, “I could be lucky enough to get one of the spots if I try,” I thought, swiftly followed by overwhelming doubt, “Yeah right, out of 7 billion people on the planet, it’s so unlikely for me to get in. The deadline is just a few months from now. I’ve spent 3 years on the same little story and still not finished. With such a remote chance, who am I kidding? I’m a nobody with an unfinished story, no agent, and no publisher. Why torture myself with a hopeless dream?” I thought.I thought of many reasons why should not try; I’ve been through unexpectedly hellish events almost every year of my adult life and was used to having to work extremely hard to gain any good in life. The very worst event was a bone-breaking, brain-concussing, memory and personality-affecting car accident in 2013 that broke my little family and stole from me a once-extensive vocabulary and facility for creative English writing.By the age of twelve years old I had already accomplished first-year-university level English comprehension and already knew way back then that I wanted to become a writer of great stories some day. I wanted to be an author.Post-2013-car-accident, I had lost too much, my mental concentration was nearly zero for the first three months. It took me six months to recover the ability to write one average length sentence of common words without misspelling or missing any words, in a proper sentence order with proper punctuation. I still struggle with these things to this day.Small amounts of progress were very hard-won, boring lessons gave me headaches, no less was the anxiety, depression, physical pain, fatigue, and distress at my little family’s disintegration. I needed stronger motivation to regain my lost skills. As other things slowly got sorted out over the next couple of years, my feeble brain remembered a short fantasy story idea that I had when I was fifteen years old, about a teenaged girl who is flung into a fantasy world to run a gauntlet of scarey adventures.So many years later, I knew it was still a very good story, worthy of the challenge, the right carrot, a reasonable and relatively short, fun goal of twenty or thirty pages if I wrote a page once a week. The reward would be a stronger brain. I could give it to my two kids as a loving gift since they enjoyed reading fantasy stories. I would be so happy to make something that they could keep forever. Good, solid motivations! I’d even get to say that I am an author, even with such a small story. That was my original plan in 2018 when I finally started writing it from a nugget of an idea.But all of a sudden this new, impossible opportunity was suddenly in front of me, the chance to preserve my short story on the Moon!However, I had not completed writing it, and at some point in the last 3 years I got the awful, horrible, stupidly brilliant idea, that just in case I had not written the story well enough, then absolutely I had to include a few colour illustrated pages of the characters and locations as a way to help enhance the story.I was a cartoon animator in early adulthood, and had never lost the ability to draw even after the car accident. So, I thought it made perfect sense, “Who wouldn’t like to read a fantasy adventure story with colour illustrations?” Plus, I would feel more confident about the whole effort if I added bonus art in there.So, I got fixated on making illustrations as vivid and interesting and fantastical looking as possible, which made this effort stretch into 3 long years, as I created the images from scratch on a digital paint program, sometimes literally one pixel at a time. The project crept along at a snail’s pace also because my brain never fully recovered from the car accident; I had to work slowly for short periods of time each day, and stop when my brain got too tired to think anymore.Over those 3 years, the fantasy story had also grown to sixty pages, then to one hundred pages, by the time this amazing contest sponsored by Dr. Susan Kaye Quinn had appeared.I wondered, “Do I really have the right to put that word, author, next to my name? I’m not even sure if I’ve written the story very well. I don’t want anybody to see a lousy piece of work! I’d rather not put the story out in public at all!”With a big sigh I said aloud to myself, “Aw, that’s it then. Forget it. I can’t finish this story in time for the contest anyway. And I’d probably be disqualified even if they saw my application because I’ve never been published! There’s no way. I won’t get in.”I closed the web page and went back to work on my small, realistic goal of finishing the story and illustrations at my very, very slow pace, just for myself, and maybe as a gift to my daughters, if it was good enough to read.But, I couldn’t sleep all that night.I tossed and turned because the thought of that contest wouldn’t leave my mind for a moment. It poked and bounced around the insides of my mind like a pesky little toddler nudging and prodding its parent for attention, not shutting up, repeating over and over, “But what if you do get into the contest? What if? What if? What if!”I silently argued back and forth at the pesky thought all night long and by morning I was a hairy-headed mess with bags under my eyes, and aches and pains in every joint of my body from head to toe. I was emotionally miserable in two directions – miserable at the thought of missing the chance of a lifetime by not applying to the contest, and miserable at the thought of breaking my butt and sanity and health to get the story submitted in time – only to get crushed by rejection!By noon, the misery of missing out on the contest, loomed the largest, and I conceded with a grumble, “Alright, I’ll do it just to get this darned idea outta my mind! I won’t expect anything. I’m too exhausted to worry about my dumb old feelings anymore, anyway.”I opened my laptop and applied to the contest, and proceeded to torture myself the rest of the day with the thought that I was a fool for thinking anybody would ever accept an unpublished first-time writer of a short story that nobody has ever seen.Over the next two weeks, posts began to show up on Dr. Quinn’s page from lucky writers excitedly posting their gratitude for being awarded a spot in the WOTM Time Capsule.Out of interest and curiosity I looked up their names and the titles of their books. Some authors had written a handful of well reviewed, award-winning books. Others had written many, many dozens of books. And more!My jaw dropped and my heart felt like it had plummeted into the pit of my stomach.“Oh my god, what was I thinking,” I wailed, my hands over my face with my eyes peeking from between my fingers, “Aaah! I’m so embarrassed! These people are too good. They’re gonna laugh at my application!”I was bawling to nobody, since I lived on my own, “They, they’re all real, real authors! Their book covers look so GOOD. Of course they are! So are Dr. Quinn’s! They’re. All. Professionals! None of them have a homemade cover. Only I have a homemade cover made in a digital paint program. I am a crazy nobody peewee person, like, like, a clown at a black tie event!”I sank down in my chair, feeling smaller and smaller as I stared at the screen. “This is too much! It’s exhausting to be such an idiot! O my brain hurts. I need a break. I’ll go hide in my bed, take a nap. When I wake up, I’ll start over and pretend none of this happened.”I got up and with a shake of my head, muttered, “Anyway, I won’t get in! I have nothing to worry about. Nobody will know. Because I am not worthy anyway. And actually, that’s a relief right now.”With that I went to my bedroom, buried myself under my bed covers, put the pillow over my head, and took a big nap of denial.At some point later that week, having finally gotten to the point where I was perversely comfortable with being a total nobody, I was checking my emails as usual, and came across one addressed from Dr. Susan Kaye Quinn.It didn’t bother me. I chuckled and nodded, “Oh, here it is, the rejection letter. That’ll be that.”I opened it and read a lovely email from Dr. Susan Kaye Quinn saying something to the effect of, “Welcome aboard, Allison, you got a spot in the WOTM Time Capsule!”Plus there were a bunch of other lovely words.I nearly fainted. Good thing I was sitting down.So excited, yet I was frozen motionless like a deer in the headlights. Breathless, eyes as big as saucers, unblinkingly staring at the laptop screen at the words, poring over one word at a time in proper order, reading the whole thing over and over again to make sure those were real alphabet letters, with correct spelling and unmistakeable meaning.My heart pounded so hard that I felt the arteries and veins pulsing around my skull, my face was hot and flushed. Finally, I remembered to breathe as the rush of shock and excitement stabilized but my fingers still trembled too much to type a reply. It took ten minutes for my fingers to stop shaking, by which time I had gotten up out of my chair and was floating on my arthritic tiptoes around the room with joy, the collar of my knitted housecoat bunched in my fists and scrunched halfway up my head so that only my eyes peeked out in shocked disbelief as I muffled my screams into it, unable to stop celebrating until my head hurt from clutching the garment so tight around it.“I can’t believe it! I can’t. This. Is. Amazing!” I exclaimed as I let go of the collar and steadied my sore head with both hands. “I don’t know why me! But this is what success feels like?! Oh, wow!”A few minutes later I calmed down enough to write effusive and heartfelt thanks to her, and after a couple of more emails back and forth with more details, at some point she insisted that I address her as, Susan.And then my internal dialogue went nuts, “Omg-omg-omg! I get to call her, Susan? Really?” I thought, as I fanned my face with my hands, “Reaaaally? I mean, okay we’ve commented on each others’ posts online before - but this, this is real-world email, like talking out loud directly in person to the actual person! Oh. Geez. Okay, okay. I am okay. I can do this.”I wiped my sweaty brow and sat back down in the chair to work on a reply email, and spoke aloud to focus my overwhelmed self into action, “Here we go, put fingers on the keyboard. Steady, type out, ‘Well gee, thank you, Susan.”I paused for a deep breath and typed further, something to the effect of, “Thank you so much, I know we only know each other via text online, Susan, but I thank you so much!”And after that I wrote, “I will do my level best to finish my short story and illustrations on time for submission!” I coached my fingers, “Type, and hit ‘Send’!”Next, Susan informed told me that I had enough file space to download dozens of books if I wanted to.I cringed with clenched teeth as I typed back to her, “I am so embarrassed to confess, I only have this one story, and I can only guarantee that my latest draft version of it will be ready. There are some story points that I might not be able to finish in time, same for the artwork, the whole thing is at 85% of final form right now.”She replied that it wasn’t an issue and that she was glad to have representation from a full spectrum of writers.I could make a joke right now that I was likely at the lowest end of that spectrum, but honestly I was too bowled over with wonder at her answer. I thought, “How could some nobody like me be this fortunate, with this kind of luck? I am not going to take it for granted!”

So after further detailed emails back and forth (see image above)I pulled together other things to include – I asked several artist friends if they would like to include some artwork. I also added in the family trees and maps from my parents and from my kids’ Dad’s parents so that they could get to be symbolically on the Moon, too.It was my way of honouring our ancestors’ immigrant experiences which had succeeded in bringing our generations this far into new countries, by sending their names and stories into the future where new space emigrants might find some common bond, a kinship of experience, in these expatriate stories of a previous time. It’s a testament of encouragement from the past and present to the future.And so, I sent off these cherished materials to Susan. This effort has been so much more rewarding than I could have ever anticipated when I set out to write a little short fantasy story.It only goes to show that it was worth fighting against my worst fears to do something altogether new. I had already created the worst case scenarios in my own imagination, and the reality was only as bad as the degree of my reactions. I created the rollercoaster of emotions over every little thing, nobody else had put me through that nonsense, not a soul had a clue about these fears other than me.So I realized it was totally worth the experience to try for something new, because you never know, you might grow because of it. I sure grew out of my fear. I even learned that sometimes the most amazing things beyond your imagination are waiting to happen when you try.I am forever grateful to Dr. Susan Kaye Quinn for this wonderful, amazing opportunity, it pushed me past growing pains as a writer, but moreso it has meant more than the world to me to include a family legacy in the time capsule as a way of gifting the past and present to our future humanity.

Writers On The Moon Launch of 2024 - Update

by Allison F. Chan

Astrobotic’s Peregrine Mission One Lunar Lander lifted off on January 8, 2024 at 2:18 am EST from Cape Canaveral on the ULA Vulcan Centaur Rocket, and successfully flew independently on target for its first lunar orbit, but seven hours later a slow propellant leak was reported that deprived the lander of needed power for a controlled-burn soft landing on the Moon.The Astrobotics team worked sleeplessly overnight and into the next days, pivoting to conserve remaining fuel and collecting optimal solar power to regain flight control of Peregrine, creating a new mission of operating it as a spacecraft instead of a lunar lander.They kept it in space six days past expectations since the fuel leak and forged a new record as the first and farthest commercial US lunar lander to ever operate in space, still achieving some original test goals and collecting new data about our Earth-Moon near spaces.The team then tested and manouvered Peregrine with this reduced power on a new trajectory that would still allow it to successfully reach the Moon, proving that it was still possible against unbelievable odds, and contributing immensely to future missions.However, the loss of fuel still meant a hard landing and a large debris field to mar the potential of using the landing area in the future, and Astrobotics determined that the best decision was to bring Peregrine back on return orbit to Earth and safely crash it into the Pacific Ocean.It reached the Pacific Ocean on January 18, 2024 at 3:59pm UTC (10:59 am EST).The WOTM Time Capsule didn’t make it to the Moon, but it did get to travel the farthest that any commercially-launched time capsule has ever gone into space, and all the participants can be proud of this new record.At this time, Dr. Susan Kaye Quinn has graciously obtained a space for the WOTM Time Capsule to try again on a future Astrobotics launch.Every WOTM participant is already so proud to be a tiny part of Astrobotic’s valiant space venture in early 2024, and so grateful and excited to look forward to this precious second chance at reaching the Moon.

About My Kids’ Family Trees Going in a Time Capsule to the Moon:

by Allison F. Chan

As it turned out, the Writers On The Moon Time Capsule had a little extra space after I saved in it my fantasy novella, and the poetry and art from artist friends and family members.I could include a few more file documents, and so I decided that the most important and meaningful material that I should include, is the file with the family trees of my children's ancestors. With any luck maybe one of our descendants will get to see or hear about the time capsule, I would love for them to have a link to their past.I am not going to share the actual personal details of these particular family trees in this specific article that you are reading right now, because the family trees are only saved for the Time Capsule itself, and in hard drives in a secured location for family eyes only.I am telling you about these documents moreso to explain their importance for existing – their details are not as important at this moment, in March 2024 – the point for you in reading this article, is to know why they exist at all.Whether the Time Capsule gets discovered, depends upon someone with the means and time to go exploring on the Moon to locate it. The general location is known by latitude and longitude, but I might just as well tell you that I hid a time capsule in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, and that is a lot of area to cover. Even professional treasure hunters can take decades to find their prize.So, just in case it takes longer than written history to find it, I am dedicating the document of family trees to all of the people of the future, whomever they are and where-ever they come from.I want those in the future to have stories that hopefully will give them a glimpse from the past, of what it took for people to make lives in challenging circumstances, especially if they are having struggles with life in the future too.I want to give them true stories to prove that humanity has the ability to endure all sorts of unexpected hardships and live to see a better day. I hope these can inspire them, help them realize that it is possible to eventually, ultimately succeed in creating a safe, stable life despite even the most unimaginable and tragic losses and difficulties.The story of going far away from one’s ancestral home, whether it was a thousand years ago, or today, takes just as much effort and risk now as it did in the past. And it will probably be just as fraught in the future for so many reasons.Human emotions and virtues are still just as keenly felt and keenly needed nowadays as they were hundreds of years ago in the past, and they still will be needed centuries from now.It is my hope that by sending the family trees of our ancestors to the Moon, I am offering the experiences of these long-ago families as a blessing to the people of the future.May the people of the past with their vast challenges, experiences, and hard-won wisdom, be an inspiration of tenacity, virtue, hope, and love to the people of the future.May the people of the future know that they are the means by which many amazing things are possible, just so long as they never give up on their efforts at any point along the way - most especially to not quit when the time is at its darkest.Because that darkest moment is exactly when your life matters the most of all. You there in the future, please just know right where you are in your moment, that you have tens of thousands of reasons why you should go ahead and keep on existing for as long as you possibly can, because you absolutely do matter without a doubt.You matter the most in this moment to all of your ancestors who gave you everything they had to get you here, when they could not go on anymore.And, you matter the most of all to your descendants who don’t stand a chance without you.Just maintain faith in the thread of life that runs through all of your past people and straight on to you, and know that this thread of life continues forwards beyond you so that all of your own experiences and wisdom are going to matter for everything to those people in your future.Give your best efforts time and again even if you have lost everything, because there will be an afterwards after the loss and you are still here beyond the loss to rebuild something new from whole new experiences, with new hopes, with new possibilities.The lowest moment is only the halfway mark, it is only the point where the new beginning starts.Never quit halfway, there is something better than this and it is just beyond your sight, just ahead of you, you can get there.These true stories from the family trees, of the people of long ago, prove that those who do not give up, can prevail and succeed, the proof is in my ability to share what they mean, with you, even without telling you in this article about the actual details.I just want you to know because you are reading this, that you can succeed. I know you can. I believe in you. Keep going.I hope that the people of the future will enjoy reading these true stories. Many honest, hard working, good people of the past give their experiences to you, to show just a few examples of the lives that they made worth living, to inspire you to make your own life worth living too. This applies to every time period in which you exist.I also dedicate these family trees to my 2 daughters, Ambrose and Nicole Beaulieu, and to our extended family members of the future, may they enjoy having a reunion with their beloved ancestors each time they read these stories.Lastly, it is also my hope that by sending the names of these ancestors to the Moon, I have given them one more opportunity to be a part of a brand new place with brand new people full of hope for their own futures too. By sending these family names to the Moon, in a poetic manner our ancestors get to leapfrog into the future inside of these records, to feel an experience that I, in the present may never know.My Best Wishes to one and all for Love, Joy, Happiness, Peace, Safety and Prosperity,- Allison F. Chan

Work Behind The Scenes (Mostly In My Brain)

by Allison F. Chan

Here is the April 2024 Blog with mere hours left in the month. I apologize for the delay.It has been a month of aspirations, attempts, and failures, resulting in a couple of really good successes.Success #1My excellent designer, Cyville Castro, revamped the website!It is easier to navigate and the new colours and fonts reflect my brand, which she also designed in consultation with me.Months in the making, all the credit goes to her, because behind the scenes, I had limited energy to meet, due to my RhA disability.Yet, with her clear, meticulous, and patient manner, she is wonderfully honing my website into the vision that I wanted, one that I could not get across on my own.To share the above process with you, I have condensed it down to a related experience, the making my business card, so please read on, below.Success #2Pictured with the April Blog, is my new set of business cards, designed and delivered by Ms. Castro to me last weekend.It is everything I wanted it to be and it feels great to have these in hand ready for the next time that I can get to an event for artists &/or authors.It is also a lesson in patience because a lot of work goes on behind the scenes in order to create a well-made business card.Although not a stranger to graphic design on my own, I definitely needed an objective pair of art-trained eyes to whittle away extraneous details and distill the elements.My uncle once told me of an old Chinese saying, of which I am totally guilty, "putting legs on a snake".It means, adding completely unnecessary things to an item that is already fully executed on its own.I love colours, designs, and details and if you don't stop me I could wallpaper a whole room with patterns and colours.So the process of making one business card has been a series of acts to gently pry my brain away from holding on to too many darling things.Having great communication with the people you work with, is one of the keys to success, and I am very grateful to every single person who has helped along the way, to bring me to this level of competency.Putting aside one's ego and fears, being willing to learn new perspectives, to learn more efficient ways of creating things, are more keys to success.Embrace them.By working with my designer, I learned a clearer, cleaner thought process without losing the essential meaning of my vision.Although I felt tiny twinges in my heart while letting go of each little lovely thing, the end result was completely worth it.I love this card!So, instead of living in my cozy creative nest of clutter, growing as a creator of art and words requires moving out of my comfort zone and engendering a more streamlined mindset.Behind the scenes, I am swimming furiously but invisibly like a duck on water.

Illegal Gen AI Scraping of Original Art - Flaws, Fallout, & Possible Options to Escape From It

by Allison F. Chan

The month of May 2024 did not have a Blog post. I was out of commission from mild pneumonia, a cracked molar, & MSG food poisoning.During much of that time, looking at my pet fish in this aquarium helped me to minimize frustration and de-stress. Having pets really does helpNow, this delay means you get to read a HUGE June 2024 Blog with my take on -1) The destructiveness of generative AI scraping of original art2) What I did after a creative nervous breakdown- It is a lot to read, so if, at any time, you need a break, return to the top of this blog for a refreshing look at this picture of fish relaxing in an aquarium  -So here goes:1) The destructiveness of Generative AI scraping of original art:I know so many artists whose works have been outright stolen and continue to be stolen by AI scraping, and used by AI to generate images.Many artists have no more work in graphic design since the beginning of this year. Some of them have genuinely become suicidalWorse, the servers use massive amounts of water and energy to calculate their pictures, using fifteen times more fresh water, than for posting an original piece of art online.Twenty percent of all energy consumption for online services is from servers generating AI images in 2024, and this is forecast to increase by another 30% in 2025.Green energy sources are not able to increase fast enough to feed that demand.So, coal plants that were slated to be shut down, are instead staying in operation and burning increasing amounts of coal to make electricity to feed these servers, resulting in more global heating and more acid rain.This energy consumption is worrying the US feds because by next year it may destabilize the energy grid.They wrote a cautionary letter to Microsoft about these impacts, but MS has done nothing to improve energy or water consumption.If the fragile American energy grid breaks down unable to run air conditioners for people's homes in the peak of summer, blame increasing Gen-AI energy consumption, that is a real possibility.The countries that host the servers are complaining that their potable water for their populations is lowering to drought conditions due to the amount of water being sucked up by these machines to keep cool enough to function.I humbly ask, please do not use AI-generated prompts, because even using them casually, is wasting huge amounts of water and fuel, is destabilizing our climate, and threatens to break the electrical grid2) What I did after a creative nervous breakdown:I understand the cruel pain that a lot of artists are going through right now.Art is firstly a pursuit of passion, and secondarily it can become a career.To have that passionate pursuit uprooted and stolen all of a sudden by Generative AI scraping, is like waking up one day to discover that someone stole your arm, a lung, a kidney, and one of your eyes.It is worst of all for those who have never experienced this level of upheaval before, most of all younger artists on the verge of making this into their career.I experienced this degree of crisis in my 20s too, albeit from different causes, but maybe sharing what happened to me, can help younger artists gain some emotional perspective on this Generative AI crisis.The first upheaval was a family disaster in which all of my art & writing up to the grade 12 year were destroyed. I was numb with shock, devastated at the loss for over a year. But faith in my existing ability was still strong, so I was able to eventually push past that loss and keep drawing.The second upheaval was much worse.It happened when the career I had invested so much post-secondary study into, and had worked at for a few years - commercial television animation - became a life-sucking grind, chewing up creative energy until no juice was left in me for my own artwork.I had a nervous breakdown by the end of that, suddenly vehemently hating drawing because of being stuck in a cubicle 5 days a week staring at drawings on a fluorescent light box which was also wrecking my eyesight.None of my fellow animators knew, I just tried to keep on a brave face while my eyes got drastically more nearsighted year over year, with increasingly worse headaches, which ultimately forced me to quit.Following that was an identity crisis - I wondered, "What the hell am I now that I hate what I used to love?"Meanwhile, I had to earn a living, so the economic need forced me to eventually talk to friends, at first just asking about any kind of job, but then looking for advice.They suggested that I use those skills in a related field instead, to cross-train and strengthen my artistic skills. I didn't have to leave it behind, art was not a lost cause.It still hurt a lot to consider, since I was so burned out and sour on drawing at all, but rent & groceries required money.So I picked up the pieces of my fractured identity and, with my prior training in drafting, I went into a drafting job for a construction company.Doing that work helped to regain a sense of self-worth at least, but I was by no means out of the woods yet. In fact, a psychosomatic rash on both of my wrists started and lasted for over a year while working there.Unresolved emotional trauma and anger were trying to tell me that this drafting job was not my lifelong career either.It paid decently & was a much better work environment, but the rashes started up once I understood the job - materials specifications, calculating angles, slopes, curves, and volumes, et cetera.Once I got that, the challenge was gone, it became formulaic, and I felt dead inside again, sick to death of drawing.My major consolation by that point was that everyone in the company were solid good & intelligent people & I really liked them. But I had to leave.The next potentially creative job I got was in the offices of a factory for high-end clothing. I started out as a receptionist to get my foot in the door.The designer, a portly elder man, looked at me like a niece, and he was like a long-lost uncle or grandpa to me, we hit it off like that right away for some reason, like family even though we were totally unrelated.He offered to take me under his wing and teach me clothing design. I happily agreed and started drawing sketches as he instructed.Unfortunately, this was not my thing, I had barely adequate, practical design sense for clothing, but I had zero sense of fashion style, it just was never meant for me.I had always drawn people doing things, I loved drawing landscapes, people, animals, cars, and even still-life fruits and flowers. I didn't realize until then, that my strong suit was more in drawing movement, situations, and scenes.So, he sadly told me it wouldn't work as I wasn't a good fit. I understood and agreed, and simply appreciated so much that he had offered to teach me in the first place. I didn't feel a passion for it so I felt no big loss.On the upside, my psychosomatic rash disappeared during that time, and the people working there were great. But this job wasn't going to go any further, I had to start looking for something else.The good of those 2 jobs, was that they had bought me time to recover from the worst of the burn-out, and they showed me that if one career did not fit, I should just keep trying other ones until I found the right one.I even started drawing a little bit again, small random quick doodles & whimsical sketches on the corners of unimportant papers.I was afraid to commit to drawing anything more involved and was tiptoeing back into it, still bruised in the creative-emotional sphere of my brain. But it was also a relief to accept that I was not a failure as an artist, and did not hate art after all; I was just going to take a while longer to find my creative fit.And as a result of these, I was beginning to get a sense of what that creative fit might be.Storyboarding would have been a great career!That would have been the perfect thing for me to try next - if the early 1990s recession had not suddenly hit just then. There were no storyboarding opportunities to pursue - no work of any kind at all for nine months.I lived in Montreal at the time & it turned into a ghost town, comparable to what happened when COVID-19 hit & city cores were deserted, and jobs died everywhere.Instead, I had to leave Montreal when the money ran out and returned to my hometown for better job opportunities.Back home in Vancouver, I tried for a bit over a year to check some local animation studios, they had work but mostly just animation, not storyboardingI would either have to build up my storyboarding portfolio first or try to work my way up from within while doing animation.So I tried to make myself do some animation samples to get back in, but every single time I tried, my brain seized up. My hands began to shake, too.It took several attempts over weeks and months before I remembered about my eyes & potential further damage,I literally had forgotten over a few short years, that the ophthalmologist had warned me that working with light boxes would make my eyes go blind.He had said that I was just predisposed with eyes too sensitive to that wavelength.Staring at an old tube-style TV screen from 2 inches away can wreck your eyes in the same way.I had forgotten because I think I was so traumatized by it in the first place, that I couldn't let myself think about it at all!So I had to let that plan go and try to build up a storyboard portfolio on my own.But I also still had to find work & feed myself & pay rent, so I took whatever other jobs were available instead.As I healed, I revisited the things I loved to draw, and my art also slowly improved & strengthened, and I learned to close the books on past painful experiences & shelve them in my mental library.Maybe someday when I'm really old and have accomplished as much as I can, I will look back at that time and it won't hurt as much. There will be more good accomplishments since those traumatic times, to compare them to and be past.As it is, I had a very convoluted journey from there which I do not recommend to fellow artists - I do not regret my trajectory for the skills & experiences I gained, they all have informed my creative identity - but I am 100% certain that any of you will get to your destinations sooner with way better choice-making than I did.So bringing things up to today, things are where they ought to be artistically, doing what I love, making art and writing original stories.I chose to focus on developing my personal creative projects on my own time instead.I did not pursue storyboarding as a career in itself, because, to be honest, I was terrified that if I did it as a job, I might burn out on that too, just like I did with animation, except without losing my eyesight.I didn't want to risk that hell of losing my creative juice just for the sake of the job. That was what worked for me.I hope that sharing my art crises with you can help you gain some perspective, too.Each person's journey is unique, but you have many choices. Don't be hard on yourself after one or two calamities and disappointments.Instead, take time to regroup and try again.