Comic Have a bright and fruitful 2020!

1st Jan 2020, 3:12 AM in Chapter Eight
Have a bright and fruitful 2020!
Average Rating: 5 (15 votes)
rufiangel 1st Jan 2020, 3:12 AM edit delete
Happy New Year, folks! :D

Sorry about not doing a proper 'mid-December update' like I said I would. A part of that is because I was waiting for my job to confirm my resignation formally. It took them over two weeks, and I'm not really in the mood to get into a rant about why - but I hope that explains why it took me some time to get around to talking about it. It was a long time incoming, but I didn't want to post about it until I actually did the deed. I won't actually finish working until February, but I couldn't be more ecstatic about it. >w<*)9

Now, I plan to focus on Serpamia Flare for some time. Patreon members will know that I've been working on new character designs and updated costume designs. The last step will be designing the architecture for new locations, before I start working on comic pages again. Comic updates will begin again February 2020, but you'll be sure to hear me holler if I need to push the date back a bit. I plan to update weekly until I feel comfortable enough, buffer-wise, to start pushing more updates a week.

Please know I'm so thankful for everyone's patience and support over this whole year of mostly nothingness. I know I've lost many readers and faith over this time, but still many of you have expressed incredibly kind thoughts and concerns during this whole year, even letting me know you still read back time to time, and it has really been such a blessing. ;v;* Thank you for being the best readers even while I've been so AWOL. Actions speak louder than words, so I'll do my utmost to run a consistent update schedule once again in 2020.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has a beautiful start to the year - a whole new decade to sink our teeth into, oh my. See you folks again soon!
rufiangel 24th Feb 2020, 10:17 PM edit delete
Hey guys, sorry to have to do this, but I'm going to delay the update until next week - so the first update will go up on the first Friday of March, the 6th. I will be endeavouring to update every Friday going forward! 
Some website updates (synopsis and such) will happen over time. I initially intended to have all of it done by now but work ended up being a real butt over the past month. It's all been good in reminding me quite thoroughly as to why I'm quitting XD; While it's unfortunately taken more energy out of me than I'd like, it doesn't change my intentions to resume SF updates. However, it does mean I need some extra time to actually start doing that. 
In short - thanks everyone for your patience! Chapter 9 is on its way! >3<*)9
Matt Knab 1st Jan 2020, 3:28 AM edit delete reply
Matt Knab
Aw, Rufi, I'm so sorry you've had it rough this year, but I'm very glad things are looking up. If you are amenable, I'd like to give you an internet hug!
rufiangel 3rd Jan 2020, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
Aww Matt! ;v;* Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate that you are still here and reading so much. <3 *returns Internet hug with muchas thank* ;v;**
The Accidental Ninja 1st Jan 2020, 4:34 AM edit delete reply
The Accidental Ninja
Rufiiiiii good to hear from you again! :D

...Agh, you know.... this is almost exactly what I've been going through lately. It really sucks, and I'm sad to hear you've had to go through all that D:

I've probably said this before but I'll say it again: it was because of you and SF that I was motivated to start my own comic.
Does that mean much, coming from someone with a comic with less than 20 subscribers, very talent-less art and about 5 commenters?
Dunno, probably not.
But in hopes that it does mean something, I figure I should say it! xD (So, thank you, senpai! xD)

I can't really say much to make the reality of online comics better. It feels like throwing hours upon hours of effort into a void and hoping somebody might answer someday.
All I can say is that I've missed you and SF, and am excited to see you come back! (and I know I'm not the only one!!)


A'ight, this is getting long xD Happy New Year, and I hope this decade is really great for you! ^^
drealm2459 8th Jan 2020, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
When your passion becomes your bane. and then your job is the type that sucks your brain and soul out though your pores. All you can do is ride your life over the cliff and hope you bounce like bumbles. (rudy the raindeer refrance) it looks like you did that and are coming back strong and better for the wear and tear. SO congrats. And we missed your story and your art. we knew what you dod here is awesome on every level. Now so do you. so again congratz! Now we wait with bated breath for you to weave your magic for us and revel in all you show us here. thank you for sticking with it.
rufiangel 13th Jan 2020, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
@drealm2459: 'Sucks your brain and soul out through your pores' is some great wording XD thank you so much for your kind words. ;v;* I feel that SF is definitely a very personal project that has grown alongside me, and though we still have far to go, I am so grateful for kind readers like yourself that remind me how far I have come so far. T_T** Thank you so much! I really hope people enjoy Chapter 9!
Guest 16th Jan 2020, 12:48 AM edit delete reply
you are very welcome. I know personally about a job that sucks your brain and soul out though your pores. Been there done that. so when you told us all of the job issues I knew just what you were talking about. just take joy in that you saw it before it crushed who you are forever and got out of there. Cash flow VS. mental health your health should win every time. don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
rufiangel 13th Jan 2020, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
Aww geez Kat... ;v;* It means so much to me to know that SF was a part of what motivated you! You sweetheart, you ;v;** <3 I'm glad and super honoured if other people get to experience your awesomeness from that spark <3 thank you for sharing that. *muchas love* <3

(Also away with you and your 'talent-less' wording XD you get that far from you, understand? Your art is wonderful and trust me when I say: you're doing really well!! :D)

I am definitely looking forward to finally posting again, though it'll take some time to ease back into the saddle. Like you said, it does sometimes feel a lot like more effort than reward, but sometimes you come away and realise it was all the friends you made along the way that was the real treasure... XD (Max cheese award goes to...)

Happy new year dear Kat, I truly hope this decade treats all of us better - we could all use it, I'm sure! <3 Thank you for your lovely, kind words ;v;*
pkrankow 1st Jan 2020, 4:58 AM edit delete reply
A toxic job can kill you. It dosen't matter if it is deadline stress, toxic co-workers, not enough down time to recover, or any combination or more.

Glad you put in notice, and you feel relief.

I hope you find stability and success.
rufiangel 13th Jan 2020, 5:00 PM edit delete reply
Thank you very much for your well wishes, pkrankow ;v;* I really appreciate it.

I also believe that it is for the best that I quit, for both myself and my workplace. Hopefully they'll find someone better suited, who doesn't get as stressed with the crazy deadlines, lol.

I hope this year treats you better too, pkrankow :)
megados 1st Jan 2020, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
First, I want to point out that I'm sorry that 5 is the highest I can rate this update. It deserves more.

It goes a long way toward, (at least for me) understanding the circumstances you have been trying to make work. I haven't walked in your shoes, of course, but your description, combined with events that had happened in my own life, puts it in a sort of context.

I'm glad you seem to be working with a hope again as you move forward. I'm glad you haven't lost that. I'm glad to see you know how to recognize it.

TL;DR? No I read every word. I'm optimistic for you, because that's more important. Without a sense of your own wellbeing, well, you already know what it does to your creative endeavors.

I have been in stressful and/or toxic work environments, and I did exactly the same thing. :D

Take your time; I'll wait, because a person's wellbeing is more important. Just nice to know you're OK, and on the upswing. I hope 2020 turns out awesome for ya! *Hugs*
megados 7th Jan 2020, 10:27 PM edit delete reply
Also: New Avatar? It's cute! :D
rufiangel 15th Jan 2020, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
Re: Avatar: it's actually a bit a dated one, but one I wanted to use because it suited my mood and it felt appropriate given it's a new year XD Cici-muffin drew it in FD2R at some point when she included mini-Rufi (and mini-Jaarvi) as cameos. I'll go find a link for you later XD
megados 17th Jan 2020, 9:14 PM edit delete reply
Yes, I would like that.
mjkj 18th Jan 2020, 1:36 AM edit delete reply
This is the link where lil'Rufi is from:
megados 18th Jan 2020, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
Oh, that's Great! Thanks, mjkj! :D
mjkj 20th Jan 2020, 11:33 PM edit delete reply
You are welcome :)
rufiangel 21st Jan 2020, 2:03 PM edit delete reply
Aww, I was gonna link that! ... Eventually XD I know, at the rate I'm going I probably might have gotten around to it in March, lol. Thank you Mjkj!
mjkj 23rd Jan 2020, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
You are welcome, Rufi *hugs* ♡

...and no worries, you do your own pace =)
rufiangel 15th Jan 2020, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
megados, so many kind words!! ;v;* Let me start from the top, lol. I am really glad if this update was actually helpful, and the fact you found it even relateable (to an extent?) is somewhat reassuring. It's been hard to articulate these things in words properly!

I think a positive view is pretty much required if I want to weather out most of the teeming negativity of this day and age @-@; I'm not a very cynical person when it comes down to it, even though I *can* be... I don't like being one XD; so this is something like going back to form for me, albeit with some rust to dust off.

Thank you so much for your optimism ;v;* it really means a lot to me!

Also, I'm very sorry you've had a toxic work environment D: though knowing you quit out of it is relieving LOL. Sometimes people can withstand awful work environments for far too long and it can be a bit heart-breaking.

Thank you for all your very kind words, I will take your well wishes to heart <3 I hope 2020 turns out great for everyone! >w<*)9
megados 17th Jan 2020, 9:18 PM edit delete reply
You articulated it quite well. I understand the balance you have to strike here, for the reasons you already know.

"Negativity of this day and age" <-- again, spot on. It's as if to add insult to injury at times. I'm glad you recognize it. :) Just don't let your own well being take a back seat to it!
HeSerpenty 1st Jan 2020, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
Aw Rufi I'm sorry it's been such a rough year! I'm glad that things are looking up though and I'm glad you're gonna get back up on that horse! I had a similar though MUCH LESS intense experience with SoO and it was a chore to even think about it but after making a couple changes... it helped rekindle some passion (smaller pages for example--you guys always tried to tell me XDDD)

Anyway I've always admired you and your work ethic and I know that when SF starts backk up again it will be worth the wait! Keep up the good fight, my friend!
rufiangel 15th Jan 2020, 2:47 PM edit delete reply
Thank you Serpyyyyyyy ;v;*** *hugs* I think my emotions were stretched to every point last year while wrestling with this LOL. But honestly I'm so glad you're still here and reading!! What an inspiration you are, I know how much life changes you've been going through yourself <3 ;v;*

(And LOL your monster pages will still always be there as a solid reminder of your crazy awesomeness though XD but yes, smaller pages for sustainability!)

I'm looking forward to getting SF back up again - doing my best to make sure I've got all my prep work done proper~~ >3<*)9

Thank you Serpy-kins <333
mjkj 1st Jan 2020, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
*hugs Rufi* ♡ ♡ ♡ *comforts* ♡ ♡ ♡ *head pats* ♡ ♡ ♡ *more huggus*

...thank you for sharing your troubles - and glad to have you back =)

(...and it is nice to see your cat(s) took good care of you) ♡

...happy new year =D
rufiangel 16th Jan 2020, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
Thank you Mjkj always for your kind words and support. <3 It is really very much appreciated. ;v;** I hope you've been having a great new year so far!

My cats are warm and fuzzy company, good for cuddles when you're feeling in need of one for sure :)
Proxy170 1st Jan 2020, 11:58 AM edit delete reply
Rufi, I'm glad to hear you're still charging ahead and trying to balance work and life. It can be so easy to give up, but you've got determination! Work should never suck your soul out, and we should never lose ourselves in our wants that we forget the reality of the world we live in. I hope that while you continue to take a hiatus you find out why you keep coming back to SF, and drawing in general. It's probably more than just "I like to draw"...maybe a sense of purpose, a way to feel heard, etc. Because then you've got something far more concrete to pull motivation from and find other ways to supplement your wants that don't fully rely on art (in those moments of self doubt). Basically, don't put all your emotional eggs in one basket :) I hope your travels help you find these other wonderful paths in life, and maybe even find a job that recharges you rather than "pays the bills"!
rufiangel 17th Jan 2020, 4:20 PM edit delete reply
Proxyyyyy ;v;** <333 *hugs* it is so good to hear from youuuuu <33

Definitely agree that balance is a very important thing to have to learn for a healthy emotional state of being. It's very hard to swing back if you go too far one way or the other, I've found @_@; But I do hope to strike a far better balance this year. Thanks for the reminder that I do have many spiritual reasons I work on SF, besides the usual passion for the craft :)

I will be literally travelling for a bit after my job ends (always best to take advantage of it between jobs XD) before I go on to hopefully do as you bless: find a job that doesn't destroy my motivation just to pay the bills XD;

2020 has only just started and it's already looking crazy globally @_@ but I intend to do what I can, hehe. Thank you Proxy so, so much for your very kind words and encouragement <3 it means so much to me to know you're still reading ;v;** ganbarimasu
Zor15 1st Jan 2020, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Happy New Year! Also I hope it is better than the last for you.
rufiangel 17th Jan 2020, 4:22 PM edit delete reply
Zor15!! <3 Thank you for still reading <3 ;v;* Happy New Year to you too! I hope this year brings blessings to you, too!
navegar 1st Jan 2020, 1:04 PM edit delete reply
Thanks for the update. Likely hard to share but appreciated and best of luck to you. I love your story, your characters, and your art...
rufiangel 17th Jan 2020, 4:23 PM edit delete reply
Thank you for reading, navegar! ;v;*)/ It was a bit of an emotional update for me for sure... but I wanted to get it out, and it was helpful to kind of process it this for me as well. >.<)9

Thank you very much for your kind words, they are much appreciated ;v;** I'll keep doing my best!
KAM 1st Jan 2020, 6:39 PM edit delete reply
Sorry to hear about the art trouble (suffering from a similar one myself). Hope you find a good job.

Good to see you back drawing. :-)
rufiangel 21st Jan 2020, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
The loss of motivation to do creative things is pretty hard-hitting when it chooses to be >.< I'm sorry to hear you've been going through it too, KAM.

And thank you kindly for your well wishes ;v;** Getting back into the saddle has its ups and downs but I am slowly getting there. I hope you're managing to punch through your art block, too!
CiciEnixa 1st Jan 2020, 7:53 PM edit delete reply
*wraps rufi in a huge burrito squush* <3<3<3

Above everything, I want you to know that this was terribly difficult and I'm sorry you had to go through it at all. I'm sure there's still quite a bit about it that has made the whole ordeal painful.

But you're still pushing through, and you're still trying and doing the best you can. You're gonna find a better job, one you will be happy with and won't make you into mashed potatoes. And more importantly, one that will let you do the things that make you happy, which is all we really want for you, rufi <3

Happy New Year, may this year be the year! We love you always <3<3<3
rufiangel 21st Jan 2020, 2:21 PM edit delete reply
*enjoys the warmth of big burrito squush* ;v;*)/ Thank you Cici-muffin <333 you know that your incredible support and luff has been so dearly appreciated, I hope ;v;** <3 I am so blessed to know you <3 *squushes you*

I certainly do hope to be able to find a form of sustenance that does not involve as much mashing of my motivation into mashed potato consistency XD;;

Happy New Year!! I hope it's been starting off well (despite the random volcanic explosion) for youuu and your family <3

(P.S. Pls be forever safe from the volcano stuff ya hear)
A. Moose 1st Jan 2020, 10:28 PM edit delete reply
Good on you to quit. I didn't quit in time and so many years on I'm still paying for it. Expect for recovery to take longer than you'd want it to. I wish you a better year than the last one. At least things are looking up, and you know now what to watch out for.

In fact, if you'd like to get back into project management, you may want to read up on some stuff I ultimately dug out of but that can be had elsewhere, search for "thinking about thinking" and "the programmer's stone".

The tidbit most relevant to you is that (expectation of) a certain amount of stress can become part of "company culture" and the workers will actually try and maintain that level. The potentially most productive programmers need a relaxed state to be productive in, so they cannot do their best work in a stressed company culture. You'll want to shoot for a relaxed corporate culture for your own sake already. But not just for that, also, since it's not just programmers but knowledge workers in general that need that state to do their best. If you've been dug into something and you got jolted out of it, and that left you feeling drained, that's the state I'm talking about.

And on that note, I wish for everyone's year to be better than the last.
rufiangel 25th Feb 2020, 11:21 AM edit delete reply
Sorry about taking an age to respond, A. Moose!! >.< Thank you for taking the time to share your kind words and advice. I'll try not to overestimate the recovery period, which I admit I tend to do. I looked up what you mentioned, and accidentally just read up a whole bunch of stuff about 'Mappers' XD; but thank you for the great insight. There's a mix of factors causing my post-work braindead...ness (lol I'm making up words now, me good English) but what you said makes a lot of sense. Corporate culture can be very toxic I find.

With all the coronavirus shenanigans going on, I find myself truly hoping everyone is safe during this time. What a way this year has been starting off, eh? >_>;;

Thanks so much again for your kind words. >3<*)/
Kyrinthic 2nd Jan 2020, 4:07 AM edit delete reply
Get better, find your place, take as long as you need.
I'm sure we'll see it when you get the comic back together, but you do what works right for you, for as long as it takes. And it sounds like you are.
rufiangel 25th Feb 2020, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
Thank you Kyrinthic <3 I appreciate your kind words and patience with me during this downtime ;v;* Really truly.

It's always hard to get back in the saddle but in the long run I just gotta bite the bullet and do it!
lirvilas 2nd Jan 2020, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
Stay strong, Rufi.
rufiangel 25th Feb 2020, 2:45 PM edit delete reply
lirvilas!! >.<** Thank you for your kind words. ;v;*

Sorry I'm replying like... two months later OTL but please know that I read all responses as they came, and felt bolstered by it. ;v;*
Wido 3rd Jan 2020, 1:30 AM edit delete reply
I've almost...ALMOST forget about this wonderful universe. And with the dawn of a new year, a shy humble things appear...a number, just a number: "1".

That's the RSS feed I have for SF. Feed that's been lost in bits and bytes. Feed that after a long drought finnaly got a sprout.

I can't imagine how things must be in HK with all recent events, but I wish you the best. May this 2020 brings you joy, and may your joy bring new life to your universe, which in returns gives joy to your readers. We're here when you are ready =)
rufiangel 25th Feb 2020, 2:53 PM edit delete reply
Thank you for your very poetic response, Wido XD it was beautiful~ ;v;*

Hopefully another '1' will hit your RSS feed soon! Apologies for the long, long drought. I'm hoping to keep that sprout fresh and growing soon enough!

This year has been reeeeeally crazy for Hong Kong so far :'D but you know, I'm just glad you guys are still here and reading. Thank you so much ;v;*
scylla 3rd Jan 2020, 4:52 AM edit delete reply
i've had times like that before, too, where you just are totally drained of motivation/interest. it gets better, just be patient and keep going! try scheduling a set time each day to draw if you find yourself struggling again.
good luck with the job search, and all the best to you in the new year!
rufiangel 26th Feb 2020, 9:27 AM edit delete reply
Sorry for taking forever to response scylla! >3<;; Thank you very kindly for your words of understanding ;v;* Drawing discipline has been sorely lacking with me ever since I started this new job, not gonna lie... setting aside time deliberately to flex the drawing muscle sounds like a good plan :)

Thanks for your well wishes, and I hope your year has been going smoothly so far! Stay safe please! ;v;**
DLKmusic 4th Jan 2020, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
wow! Page only up for a day, and so many comments from well wishers that I feel like I missed a party being down here at the bottom!

Whatever work you wind up doing after leaving this, it is my sincerest hope and prayer that you will find something that you enjoy doing! I know all too well how much a job you don't like can drag you down both spiritually and emotionally...

As far as your art and story telling goes though, I never had any doubt in you, and I never will
And all the love you've gotten on this page from everyone means that I'm not the only one!!!

We all Love you Rufi! now get in there and beat up Rocky Balboa... wait, wrong movie... errr.........
rufiangel 6th Mar 2020, 5:21 PM edit delete reply
Sorry for such a late reply, DLK!! >.<; But thank you so much for your very kind comments and well wishes. It's a journey finding the 'right job', so to speak, so I appreciate your kind words. :)

Also, thank you very much for your support. ;v;* I am very blessed, and I appreciate it more than words can say.

Would it be bad to admit I've never watched a Rocky movie? >_>a I know I should some day!!
Eren 4th Jan 2020, 4:21 PM edit delete reply
Lady, you are badass. I'm so glad you could turn things around, and I wish you the absolute best luck in getting to where you want to be. Take care, and here's to an amazing 2020.
Eren 28th Jan 2020, 12:43 AM edit delete reply
PS: I know that absolute-lack-of-motivation, talentless-hack, art-switched-off feeling. It is the worst.
rufiangel 6th Mar 2020, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
Eren ;v;*** <3 thank you so much for your kind words, and understanding this whole anti-motivation fog thing... it means a lot <3

It really is the worst, and getting back into the saddle has been a very creaky process >->;; I'm still trying~~

I hope everything has been going well for you so far this year, Eren. It's been a crazy time so far overall >.<
Eren 11th Mar 2020, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
I am... working on that getting-back-in-the-saddle thing, too. It is definitely creaky. Reminding myself that slow progress is better than none, especially if taking it slow is setting things up to be better for the long run. Take the time you need to take, and don't feel bad if it's more time than you feel like it "should" be. Small steps are still good steps!

Thanks for the well wishes. Things've been up and down, here - but moving forward. (Slowly, again, but forward)
I hear you about the "crazy." Hang in there.
rufiangel 13th Mar 2020, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
Eren ;v;* thank you, that is good, strong advice. I get impatient at times and so mad at myself when I can't get back to my normal speeds, which... kind of makes me even slower 'cause I feel so bad XD; But you are right, small steps still count! I love your art ;v;* let's do our best in these crazy times \o/
Eren 15th Mar 2020, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
I do the same thing. Trying to counter it by making goals that are so small they're hard to fail at and then using the victory momentum to build from there. It's working for my daily writing habit so far - we'll see if it works for comics, too. :)

Thank you for the compliment and the encouragement. Let's fight the crazy with art! XD
Crestlinger 5th Jan 2020, 3:43 PM edit delete reply
Just remember to tie some fishline to the fire alarm pull and a closed door's doorknob on your way out if you have already gotten a letter of reference to photocopy and don't plan on referring to them beyond that in your next resume :>
Two webcomics come to mind:

Have a read and a laugh and make sure to read the authors notes as both of them seem in a similar boat.
rufiangel 6th Mar 2020, 5:32 PM edit delete reply
Crestlingerrrr~~~ ;v;*)/

That's actually a fun idea! XD I left without too much fuss though, since I *might* need references later down the road, lol... maybe another day I ever need to visit the old office ;P

Those links definitely drove the point home again btw. Thanks for reminding me I'm not alone in this struggle~

I hope you've been doing well Cresty ;v;*)/
Nico 17th Jan 2020, 4:13 AM edit delete reply
Hi, Rufi! I've been a quiet reader since 2015, when Serpamia Flare was first posted to Tapas. Since then, I've watched the story unfold, and loved every second of it.
The years have been rough on me, but your comic has always been a reprieve for me. I am glad you are back, and I hope that this coming year is nothing but kind to you.
Thank you, Rufi, for all of the work and love you put into this comic! See you again soon :)
rufiangel 6th Mar 2020, 5:37 PM edit delete reply
Thank you Nico for your very kind words and support! ;v;* I'm so glad to hear that SF has been able to provide a reprieve for your during rough times... it really does warm my heart <3 I truly do hope things get better this year for you, even if it has been a bit of a crazy start so far. >3<*)9

I think I haven't been very good at updating Tapas lately orz;;; so thanks for the reminder that I should!
Zane 11th Feb 2020, 4:57 AM edit delete reply
And now we wait *smug*
rufiangel 6th Mar 2020, 5:37 PM edit delete reply
:D Update coming soon!
mjkj 24th Feb 2020, 1:03 AM edit delete reply
Wow, the last week of february is starting...

...looking forward to the continuing of SF =)

EDIT: Take your time, Rufi - first week of march is also fine =D
rufiangel 6th Mar 2020, 5:38 PM edit delete reply
Thanks you mjkj! X3 I'm excited to get things back up and running too. Well, walking I guess first, before running XD;; but I hope to warm back up into things at a good pace :3
mjkj 6th Mar 2020, 5:49 PM edit delete reply
Centcomm 11th Mar 2022, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
oh man i totally missed this.. and yes i know the feeling well. i still havent recovered from my heart attack. and yes i do check in but im sad i didnt check in enough. get better woman! you are awesome!