So, some of you have already noticed. Some of you haven't, and this will all be sudden and new and not a little shocking, I'm sure. Allow me to try and... make sense of it for you. A very small handful of people know something about what is going on, but they're few. For 99% of you, you're upset and surprised and... well, I don't blame you.
First allow me to apologize -- I underestimated and took for granted how perceptive, devoted, and on-the-ball you all are. I assumed it would be longer before anyone noticed the extensive "damage" to my galleries, but you showed me how wrong I was. I apologize deeply for making any of you panic over my welfare, and for not saying at the start what I was doing. I just wanted it all to be done and over with before I did, before people could try to change my mind.
What is going on, though, eh? First, to those who haven't noticed, I spent all of last night (up until 1 a.m.) moth-balling nearly my entire gallery. Very little is left publicly viewable, and it is likely to remain that way. Unless something major occurs to change my mind, it won't be coming back. I'm sorry for that. I am. I know it's a shock. It's sudden. Some question my sanity, some have gotten angry, some say they're in tears and feel like they just lost a dear friend. I know how it feels, my darlings. I know I once said that my works would always remain up for everyone to enjoy forever, but... well, life likes to make us eat our words, no matter how well-intentioned. It was a 'promise' I couldn't keep, and should never have made in the first place. That fault lies solely with me, and I apologize for letting everyone down on that.
First, allow me to assuage any fears you all have about my mental state. I was not harassed into this decision by hordes of trolls. It was not based on the rampant art-theft that goes on involving my things. It has nothing to do with boredom, loss of ideas/imagination. It is not the fault of anyone else out there but me. It is not product of insanity, and I am not depressed, suicidal, or any such thing. There was no pressure, no hate, no frustration, nada. THEN WHY THE HELL AM I DOING IT? you ask.
Because sometimes some things have to die in order for others to live.
I feel like I'm boxing up toys from my youth. Like I'm putting old letters (lord, people probably don't even know what letters ARE anymore) and cards into an envelope and sealing it shut. Part of me is sad, part of me grieves it -- but more of me is excited to see what will come of it all, where the new paths lead.
You see, the whole point of this all is that while I love my TLK works -- the stories, the art, the designing... everything! -- it IS holding me back. Everything I do on here is... empty. I don't mean it's meaningless to you, or to me, or even that it actually means nothing; that's just the best word to describe it all: empty. I look at how long I've been at this (years!) and I add up the hours and days and weeks or time spent building this world, no... worlds, and I... what is there really to show for all of that? I can't use any of it. It's a fanwork. I did it ALL -- every single piece of it -- without really considering how much of my imagination and soul went into something that... can't really belong to me. "The Lion King" is Disney's, and while that eventually comprised such a SMALL part of what I did on here, because that is what it was based upon, all of it was... not mine. Not wholly mine. All of this I built, and that you all helped me build, was on an endless loop of 'can't go anywhere'. It was just idle spinning of the wheels. Using my mind and talents to glorify someone else's work. "The Lion King" is not mine.
I have been restless and fidgety on the subject for a long time now. I didn't tell anyone, really, but that unease was getting stronger every day, and everywhere I looked, I was simply disappointed. I had let a movie become an obsession, let it run rampant with my ideas and time -- a giant leech that sucked all the imagination and glories out of me to adorn itself. I wasn't doing things for ME, that were MINE -- I was feeding IT. Some of you maybe could see it. Some of you maybe could feel the way my works were... lagging. That I seemed to be creating things... haphazardly or that I was flinging things out in seeming desperation, that it felt forced and lacked the vigorous life it once did -- the passion gone. Maybe none of you noticed at all. I don't know.
But why put it all into storage? Why not leave it up for you all?
That answer is perhaps the easiest to give, but requires the most to explain. I have for some time been playing with the idea to use some of what I created for my own endeavors. Of using what I damn well built and created and imagined for ME. I tried to write novels -- you all heard me mention that numerous times -- but... I haven't the drive, the work-ethic, etc. to do that, it seems. Maybe now that I have staked my personal vampire and removed the biggest drain on my time... maybe. But that aside, I had an idea for doing comics or graphic novels, but let's be frank: I haven't the talent to do one. Not on my own. I would need a partner for that, and who would want to? Not many would want to, or have the ability to get away from Disney-ish TLK-type artwork, and that's a must. For a bit, I thought maybe there was someone who might be willing and able, but things didn't work out there, and so that idea fizzled and went idle. But after some more frustrating about and spinning my wheels, I decided to ask another of my friends on here if she would maybe want to try it out. See where we could go. I did not expect her to go for it, but wonder of all wonders, she said YES.
We've been punting around ideas, playing with stuff, and it seems to be a real and true "go". Oh, it could still fall apart. Things happen. I get that. But for now, it's a GO, and for it to GO... all my shit has to GO.
You see, from a legal standpoint, fanwork is a shady grey area. Most companies ignore it so long as no one profits from it, but it's not exactly something most things actively like. And to use any of what I have built, getting ANY return on my "investment", these ties to someone else's works must be severed. Previously printed or available works must also go by the wayside. Same for any ties to other people's works. All of which my TLK-worlds HAD. Thus, erase it all.
What does this all mean to you all, now?
*No more TLK/TLM-fanart from me, unless it is generalized or such. Like maybe I'd draw Nala, but not add other 'fanon' crap like Nadra to it.
*Every character you guys designed for me, is out. I won't touch anyone's designs for anything. I DO however, still lay claim to it. It's mine, and that means no free reign on taking them for yourself. Same for any stories you guys wrote -- I will not use them, but nor may you take them and run amok with them. They still belong to me.
*For those character I never got around to drawing up and posting, those also belong to me still, BUT! if you want them back to use for yourself, talk with me and we'll discuss it. Everything I DID draw up, though, is mine. Sorry, but it is. They were gifts -- and you can't take back a gift once given. They are mine, although I won't be using them in anything more I do officially.
*Expect anything new I post to have NOTHING to do with TLK. I still am playing with lions, but not TLK lions any longer.
What does the future hold?
Rinja is embarking on a new pathwa, helped along mightily by that friend (whom I shan't mention by name unless she says it's alright to do so; I don't know if she wants it publicized yet or at all), and eventually, we hope you will all see a graphic novel by us on store shelves. When? Who knows. We haven't got a timetable as yet, but if and when we do, we'll let you know. But what will it be about? Something new, and something old: the Sun Empire. This was always my personal favorite of my stories and lands, and we are going to flesh that out and make a story of it all, in pictures and words. They won't look quite the same -- familiar, but different -- and their stories will change up as we go, perhaps (very similar as it stands now, but you know me and my brain, we never rest), but it looks to be a helluva fun ride to see where it goes.
Finally, I want to thank each and every single one of you who came with me along this journey we have been taking. I wouldn't have gotten this far if not for you all, and if it wasn't for the internet, dA, and TLK, I wouldn't be poised to do any of this. I never would have met my friend, and we surely wouldn't be scripting and plotting out a graphic novel. None of it would have happened. There's been so much god that's happened during these last few years, and I'd like to think I wasn't the only one who grew a little or felt a connection or had such fun. I hope it meant as much to you as it did to me, and that even if we tear up a bit to know it ended, we at least are thankful it happened at all.
Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for the encouragement, love, friendship, and loyalty you have given me. Thank you for sharing the journey with me. It has meant more to me than you can ever imagine, truly it has.
Thank you, thank you always, and I hope -- deeply hope -- you will still be here with me for what comes next, that you continue this journey with me, wherever it leads to next.
Much love and highest regards,