There used to be an unbreakable connection between myself and my desktop computer during my college days. My computer was an extension of me, a mech of sorts and as I started getting better at creating and using programs like Photoshop, SketchUp, AutoCAD, and Revit, I needed to constantly upgrade my computer with RAM and hard drive space, and sometimes purchase a new computer all together.
My first graduation present from my parents was a Bamboo Fun tablet because they saw how involved I was in creating and making a comic on a daily basis. Having a tablet helped elevate my current state of art because the precision of coloring within the lines was largely improved with that device.
This all dates back to the Spring of 2008, the days, weeks, and months leading up to the Housing Market Crisis that negatively effected stocks, incomes, futures, and much other best laid plans of Mice and Men. I did not realize what was happening at the time, or that the singular event was going to become a paragraph in a sixth grader’s History book a decade later. What I did know was that was the moment I began tightening my wallet, spending less frequently, and opting to spend my free time on money making endeavors in order to stay afloat in a two bedroom apartment in Los Angeles’ Koreatown neighborhood for a few years while I waited out the economy. One of my biggest regrets from that period of my life? Losing the motivation and drive to update my webcomic on a regular basis because food, utilities, and various bills took centerstage compared to the things I loved to do most in my free time.
Twelve years later, and a pile of boxes stacked to the ceiling have overtaken my room, making it resemble a storage rental unit rather than a habitable space. The pile comes from the many, many moves during my twenties, and I never felt like I could be comfortable in one place, so everything remained in boxes because I was constantly in a fight or flight mode from one location to the next.
And then 2020 happened.
I have a dark sense of humor, it is no secret to anyone, not even myself. I find beauty in sadness; justice poetic; darkness sexy. So when the universe decided to bring back every cataclysmic event from the 1900s and play them all back-to-back, I thought, “Wow, the Universe must have a sense of humor and it is REALLY dark!”
The last few weeks have challenged me to take back control of my room and pare back on all the material objects that have been cluttering up my room and headspace for over a decade. I studied art history, so excavating archeological sites has always been an interesting pursuit to me. The first important items to come out of the rubble were: my 30” monitor, my Bamboo Fun Tablet and stylus, old cutting mats from when I studied color theory, and my old iPod Classic with every song that was sentimentally important to me and encompasses 2004-2009.
It is a little bit funny how much I prioritized my seven to three job and put comic making on the back burner in order to survive and make enough money to feel like a human being, but at the end of the day, reclaiming my desktop computer and listening to all the songs that I used to listen to before the storm are what brings me the most happiness.
I am not tethered to my computer anymore, but it is a time capsule, an outlet, a window into a world that is not crowded with sadness and death and whatever is going on in the world at the moment.
I love the digital memories I have made, and I love Drunk Duck for allowing me to create and store those memories over such a long time.
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kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, June 29, 2020
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