Mulder, not everything is a labyrinth of dark conspiracy, and not everybody is plotting to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate. -Scully · Teliko

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Remember When

04/2005 Sandee

thumbnail The story is just CRAZY. I had began watching when I was 11, in the summer right before sixth grade. I was bored to pieces, so on a whim (and a vague idea of the existence of the show because of this cousin of mine who was already into it) I rented the movie. Honestly? Hallway scene. Really. Shipper right off the bat. Pathetic, but when you're 11, your brain is like a sponge isn't it? All the usual things apply: it was smart, exciting, the guy was hot and the lady was pretty. Things like that.

I did what any normal 11 year old with a mind completely blown to it's roots would do: I looked on the internet for it. At first, I confined myself to the Official Site but I think we're all aware of just how square THAT is ey? ;) I'm sure we all know what this part of the cycle is like: download all the videos, read all the spoilers, hard drive becomes saturated with photographs and cartoons and other people's digital art, even the tiniest 15 pixel images are saved; music videos, the soundtracks, interview transcripts, cast bios, official sites and message boards are visited daily just because they ARE updated daily, fans who are proficient in their selected field (web maintenance, digital art, fanfiction, etc...) become celebrities overnight, e-mails and snail mail is exchanged, friendships are forged. I'm sure we're all aware and we miss it to a certain extent. I know I do.

But the fanart thing... I discovered Photoshop when i was 13, and vowed that I would be good at it. It was with one erroneous stroke of the mouse that I figured out how to combine images in a single canvas and that was my eureka! moment that has since transformed my life. Dramatic, but true. Fanfic fell to the wayside (but not completely. I was still crazy about it but the excitement was different from what I got from digital art), and I began to create collages and stuff my hard drive with them.

I got my art site started when i was 15, and by that time I had more collages than I can even bear to recall (EVERY SINGLE ONE of my psds was destroyed in a hard drive crash that ruined my LIFE.) So I selected my favorites and put them up. And let me tell you, I thought I was hot sh*t. OH GOD, looking back though? Everything is just horrible and disgusting and you want it to die. Cliched lyrical choices, GODAWFUL screen captures; if i didn't use blindingly bright colors there were grayish spots where the blending FAILED, not to mention off-kilter blending... ew ew ew. Disastrous. I didn't know what the H... I was doing; I was just making crap for the heck of it, which I suppose is the appropriate motivation, because now it's all about prettying up your reputation or whatever. So I guess you could say that despite the loathesome physical characteristics of my work then, it was at it's purest level. Good honest stuff.

I think it was around that time that I discovered the Creative boards, where I met even more artists and made even MORE friends and my obsession ratcheted up a couple hundred notches because, oh my god, these were people that were as crazy about the same things and we were expressing it IN THE SAME WAY and it was just crazy, insane HAPPY. My site expanded, I made a heck of a lot of friends, I even managed to push a couple of projects forward. Awards, newbies, techniques, contests; a scuffle here and there but nothing too abrasive. Good times at the Creative boards. I felt like I had more friends there that understood me than in real life, and I guess it was true.

Eventually though, a couple of things went awry. The biggest hurdle for me was that the show was deteriorating and I, quite frankly, didn't give a damn about the characters or their stories anymore. All that really mattered was: is there good fic being written about the suckage that is the 8th and 9th season? Are there screen caps that would potentially look good in a collage in the current episode? And fanart politics were spinning wildly out of control and my distaste for it grew immensely. Some of my friends were fighting. I felt caught in the middle. I began to detach myself from it. It was getting sickening.

This piece, if I remember correctly, was created in an attempt to release my frustrations about the sorry, sorry state I found myself in. I had just seen Wetwired, a really fine episode if you recall, and Scully had always been my outlet for all the angry female energy that I always, always have (because I have been a feminist since i was 9. HAH. or something.) Soooooooo I took a couple of screen captures and pieced them together and made this. I remember being very, very, very pissed off when I made this. I mean, normally I tend to lean towards soft, less stark blend modes and whatever, but WOW, for what seemed like the first time in ages I used the very angry ones at the bottom of the list. All the images I used are my own, and the text is from a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song. I was just mad. So mad.

It went away, and right now I'm very relaxed about the state of the X-Files community as opposed to how defensive I was of it in the past. Still, whenever I see this piece I remember the frustration I felt then and it reminds me of just how emotionally woven-in I was in the community and in the story line. It wasn't as detached or false as it might seem; just because it was online doesn't mean it wasn't real. I still have the friends I'd made, and I still have my piles of fanfic, and I still have the art.  [see Sandee's Site]