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Would you like your original story illustrated by a member of our community? Submit your story to our Big Bang challenge.

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w00t it works! thank you

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Hi CoolConfucius! Glad to have you participating! I've moved your post to the contests and events forum. Sorry if you weren't able to post there earlier. The issue has been fixed. You might want to click on "Follow this topic" at the top so you get notified if someone replies to your story thread.

If anyone wants to claim this story, please reply to the thread in the contests/events forum.

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This thread is for the Sad Pilgrim story written by CoolConfucius


Title: Sad Pilgrim 

Author: Cool Confucius

Contact Info: (email) 

Word Count: 6946 (A close to 5000 word line is indicated) 


Trigger Warning: 

Suicidal ideation, reference to rape 

This story takes place in an alternate reality where people can buy miracles. Examples: customers can trade their romantic love for good fortune; trade sense of hearing for computer engineering or artistic talent; trade their familial love or friendship for sense of sight; trade ten years of life span for money… etc. These transactions are called soul trade. Regular people cannot conduct soul trade among themselves. Only Mephistophlings have that power. Mephistophlings are people 


  • Enoch Han 

  • Signing the soul contract 

  • Soul trade room and treasures


Link to story:


Author contact info:

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Sorry Hushicho, We've been having some trouble with spam over the past couple years. Sometimes I notice it and delete it but this one looks like i missed it for a good while. best way for me to be notified is to email me or message me on discord.

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Here at PaperDemon, we're all about helping you get motivated so you can be productive and confident in your abilities as a super badass artist, writer, musician, etc. To that end, I started drafting a new video series called “10 Tips to Motivate you to Get Started.” But then I realized it might be helpful to dive deep into uncovering the reasons why the lack of motivation can happen in the first place.

In my newest video, I cover some of the ways we sabotage ourselves as creators, why we do it, and some general ways to overcome them. Unlike most of my other videos and articles, this information is general enough to help people with any type of creative pursuit, not just visual arts.

I had started to write a blog post to accompany the video and realized I had a lot more to say about these topics than I originally planned. So I've decided to take my own advice, not be a perfectionist, and simply post here a video outline. I'll release a series of blog posts on the sabotaging content over the coming months. This will give me some room to dive more indepth on how I've personally sabotaged myself which I wasn't able to cover in the video due to time constraints.

Full transcript of the video is below...

Greetings, PaperDemons.

Today, I'm going to share with you five ways you are sabotaging yourself as a creator. Now, this video is intended to be useful for any creator out there, even though most of my videos are very art focused.

Before we get into the five reasons we sabotage ourselves, if you are new to the PaperDemon community, either to this channel or to, welcome. I am BogusRed. I am an animator and illustrator. I sure hope you brought cookies.

Reason 1: Emotions and Distorted thoughts

Distorted thoughts and negative emotions are common amongst those who are neurodiverse. We often struggle with lack of confidence. We are overjudgmental of ourselves. There's probably many of us out there who want to do art or want to create something but we just don't think that we're good enough, that we don't have the talent.

But the reality is you have to practice at something in order to get better at it. No one is born with innate abilities to do these things. A lot of it takes practice.

We may feel overwhelmed by getting started on a project or we may be facing what's called the "Wall of Awful".

Wall of Awful

If you've never heard of the Wall of Awful, the basic concept is we've accumulated a lot of failures in our lives and each failure adds a brick to this wall and the more failures that we accumulate, the harder it can be to do something or take action on something because we areremembering all of those past failures.


There are many general approaches that you can take to overcome these negative emotions and distorted thoughts.If you lack confidence about your abilities as an artist, try to change your expectations. Don't go into creating something, either a work of art or music or any sort of creation with the expectation that it be something amazing. Instead think about it as creating at all is something that is a success.

Affirmations. I have a video that covers affirmations in more depth.

Another thing you could do to help is to use something called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. You can talk to your therapist to learn more about what that is. But there's also a really good book about it called The Feeling Good Handbook.

If you want to learn more about the Wall of Awful, check out the Wall of Awful video by "How to ADHD" which explains this concept really really well.

Reason 2: Procrastination

You didn't think that we'd be getting through this list without mentioning that one right? This is when you tell yourself. I don't feel like doing it now. I'll just do it later.

Many people have the misconception that you wait for inspiration to magically appear and then you'll be motivated to take action. But you and I both know that that's not how it works.

It's actually action which leads to motivation which leads to more action.

And you will find many videos out there on the topic of procrastination. And actually many of them give you the advice to "just do it." Which may work well for a Nike slogan. But I don't think it works very well in practice.

Videos that tell you to just do it and just work through the procrastination are a dime a dozen. And I actually don't agree with this advice. It doesn't actually work. But here are some solutions that do work and have worked for me.


So I have a few general solutions on how you can approach procrastination. And I'm gonna cover in even more depth some specifics in the next video

Finding a way to make it very small or make the job or the task easy is a great way to get yourself to start something that you're stuck on. So for example, change the scope. Don't think about all the things that you have to do. Just think of one small little step that you can do, something that maybe only takes you five or ten minutes.

Another trick you can use is to give yourself an incentive, if your project is something like drawing or painting, perhaps you have a favorite podcast or YouTube channel that you like to listen to or watch, you can put that on and listen to it while you're drawing. Heck, you can even turn on the TV, treat yourself to some soap operas.

Reason 3: Perfectionism

The third way, we sabotage ourselves is perfectionism. I've talked about this in some of my prior videos. But it's worth mentioning again here.

I've heard other artists talk about how being a perfectionist is a good thing and I really strongly disagree with this. Maybe for some it allows them to achieve higher quality work, but for those of us, who are neurodiverse, it's actually really insidious thinking and it can often stop us from starting our projects. Because we have this image in our mind of what it is we want to create, but we somehow think that we don't have the ability to create it as perfectly as we want. So why bother with it at all? And that really comes from perfectionism.

To use art as an example, we may want the perfect color, the perfect lighting, the perfect composition and the perfect anatomy. Everything, we want to be just right.


One solution you can use here is to change your expectations. Just to think about one aspect of the creation that we want to really focus on making high quality. And not trying to make everything perfect.

Another solution is to use a mantra. There's a really great mantra for this;

"Perfect is the enemy of done"

Put it on a post-it note, put it somewhere where you will see it. That will help inspire you to start creating.

You can also change the metric of success. Rather than seeing a success as having created something that's perfect, you can have your metric of success be creating anything at all.

Reason 4: You don't invest in growth.

Some creators keep doing the same thing that they've been doing for years without investing anything in learning the fundamentals or growing their skills.

There's this thing called the Four Stages of Competence. The first stage is unconscious incompetence. This is when you don't know what you don't know. It's when you don't even have an awareness that there's all these things that you don't know yet.

A good example of this is an artist who's never taken a Figure Drawing class. They don't really realize yet, just how poorly they understand how to draw the human figure and how important figure drawing is to overall drawing competency. It wasn't until I took figure drawing that I started to realize just how much I didn't know. I thought I was good at drawing but then figure drawing really kicked my ass and helped me to see that I had so much more to learn.

So some of what I'm saying here might sound like it contradicts what I said in the previous section. I had said that in dealing with perfectionism you may have to change the metric of success to just creating anything at all and ignore quality, but that advice is intended for people who are paralyzed by their perfectionism and that doesn't really apply here.

With this particular point, I'm trying to speak to the people who are creating on a regular basisand aren't really growing. They're just kind of doing the same things over and over again.

It needs to involve a balance. You need to balance your passions and the type of art that you want to do with the skills development because if you go too far in the direction of just focusing on skills, you start to lose your own passion and interest in art.

You're capable of communicating even more and if you are able to invest in growing your skills, there's so much more that you can say with your art.

And I really probably don't need to say this again, I know I'm using art as an example here, but this really applies to anything creative.


So what are some solutions to help?

I mean I already outlined taking classes and this does not...I want to clarify that this doesn't mean that you have to get a formal education. There's is now more than ever, there's so much good online educational resources for free or for low-cost. But I will also say going to a class is also useful.

Having direct connection to a professor can help you to get critique, help give you direct guidance on what sorts of things to work on. If you're unconsciously incompetent,you're not going to know where to direct your efforts yet.

So, the other thing I want to recommend is getting a critique. Find someone who is successful and experienced in creating the type of work that you are creating. Whether that's music or art or writing or whatever it is. Try to find someone who is experienced in that area, who can help give you a critique. Who can look at your work, who could point you in a direction to help you to move forward.

Reason 5: We don't transition

Tell me if you relate to this at all...

Perhaps your typical routine is to watch TV while you eat dinner in the evening and you end up spending the whole evening watching TV and by the end of the evening you really regret your decision and feel like you probably could have made better use of that time. I know that this is the routine that I have most evenings and it sabotages my ability to create and part of the reason is because of inertia.

Once we start doing one thing, especially if it's something that's entertaining or pleasurable. It's really hard to stop and transition to something else. You know that once your ass hits that couch cushion, you're not getting up again.


There's a few solutions I have for you.

This is another one where bribery can really work. Bribe yourself to transition to the next thing.

Another is the Five Minute Rule. Tell yourself if you don't want to do something, you'll at least do it for five minutes. If after those five minutes you want to go back on the couch and watch TV you can.

Another thing to help you transition is the 20 Second Rule. (Having materials out so you can start within 20 seconds).

Body doubling is also useful here. I actually have a video that covers all of these tips in more detail linked below.

5 minute rule, 20 second rule, and body doubling are all covered in 3 tips to motivate you with your art.

I know I was just gonna give you five but I have a bonus one for you.

(Bonus) Reason 6: You're not rewarding yourself

Those of us with ADHD in particular have trouble with... our brain doesn't process dopamine correctly. So it's hard to get us to start something. Even if it's something that we like to do, it can be really hard to get started with it because there's no short-term reward even with art, even if we know that we enjoy art. That knowing it's almost like we don't believe it.

We need to feel some sort of dopamine hit, so we may not be convinced that it's intrinsically interesting. And especially if we're working on something that's a longer-term project, you don't really feel the reward of it until it's done which might be days weeks or even years later.


Some solutions to this are to create a short-term reward. Bribery is always a good thing. You can treat yourself to something special and it doesn't necessarily have to be something that you get at the end of your creative working session. You can give yourself a treat just for starting. I do this all the time. I will reward myself with a cookie or with a soda or a boba tea.

A reward doesn't necessarily have to be a physical thing or an activity, it can simply be acknowledging the fact that you did the thing. Give yourself a good old pat on the back.

Another thing is to try to make it more interesting or novel.

Those of us with ADHD particularly, love novelty. So anytime you can make it feel a little different or interesting or challenging, can engage the brain and get you more likely to start it.

On PaperDemon, we actually host creative challenges every month and award experience points to help give you that extra incentive or extra reward. Your character can even gain experience points and level up. We're always hosting new challenges every month, so check it out.

Let me know in the comments, one way that you feel you are sabotaging yourself as a creator. Be sure to join my mailing list because I have two more videos coming out that are going to cover some concrete solutions that you could apply to your creative pursuits to help you get started with them. Getting started is the hardest part. So join my mailing list (linked below)

Coming soon

In January, I'll be posting a 2 part video and blog series with 10 tips to motivate you to get started which gives you more concrete ways you can get yourself moving with your projects. So if you aren't on the mailing list already, be sure to join it so you get notified when the videos and blog posts are published.

Edits: This post was updated on 12/30/2019 with a full video transcript

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We're about half way through the month of November and the Huevember challenge and there's one mistake I see artists across the interwebs making with the Huevember challenge that I just have to tell you about. I want all of you to succeed as artists and become the most awesome you can be. My hope is that by sharing this it will help you get more out of the rest of the challenge and to grow in your understanding of color theory.

Video on The ONE MISTAKE Huevember artists make
Video on The ONE MISTAKE Huevember artists make. Click above to watch the video

What is Huevember?

If you're not familiar with the Huevember challenge, it's a global daily art challenge similar to Inktober, where you create a new work of art each day in the month of November using the provided hues, a different hue for each day.

Huevember color wheel
Huevember color wheel

The mistake you might be making

The mistake I see artists make is using the color verbatim from the huevember wheel without adjusting the value or the saturation. Just as a quick review:

  • Value is how dark or light the color is

  • Saturation is how much of the hue is present in the color

Hue vs Value vs Saturation
Hue vs Value vs Saturation

As a note, the official huevember challenge instructions explicitly state it's ok to adjust the saturation and value.

Why is this a problem?

You'll get a lot more out of the huevember challenge and grow more as an artist if you practice your understanding of color fundamentals, and that includes knowing how to use saturation to tell your story.

Let me be clear, I'm not saying that creating art with full saturation is a bad thing. Quite the contrary, I love bright colors. (I mean, seriously, have you seen the way I dress?)

I just want to make sure you are being intentional about the saturation and the value. If using the color exactly as it is in the huevember wheel is what works best for the art piece you're creating, then great. More power to you. I just want you to be using full saturation as long as it's an intentional choice rather than as a default.

Try a muted palette

To help you get practice working with saturation, try creating a work of art using a muted color palette (also known as a desaturated color palette) as part of the huevember challenge.

A muted color palette is when you create art where most or all of the colors are desaturated. You'll find examples in this muted color pinterest board.

Just like with the analogous and complementary color palettes, the muted color palette is another tool you can have in your artist toolbox to help you achieve great color in your artwork.

How to create muted colors

When working digitally, the process of creating muted colors is easy. Just sample the color from the huevember wheel and in the color picker window, start dragging it closer to the greys. You could also search for muted palettes on coolors.

How to pick muted colors with digital art programs
How to pick muted colors with digital art programs

With traditional media, you can achieve muted colors a number of ways:

  • mix the color with black

  • mix the color with the opposite color from the color wheel (E.g. purple with yellow, orange with blue, red with green)

  • mix the color with brown or earth tones

How to pick muted colors with watercolor
How to pick muted colors with watercolor

Using saturation as a focal point

On a related note, another tool you can add to your toolbox is to use high saturation sparingly to create a focal point in your artwork. Meaning, use a muted palette for the majority of the artwork, but then use high saturation in key parts of the artwork where you want to draw the eye.

Example of high saturation as a focal point
A basic example illustrating how you can use mostly muted colors but then use high saturation as a focal point.

Here's a work by Stephanie Law done in watercolors and gold leaf that illustrates this concept. You'll notice most of the colors are very muted except for the orange mask on the bird and the red ribbon. The bright colors create a focal point.

On Silent Wings artwork by Stephanie Law
On Silent Wings by Stephanie Law illustrating high saturation for the focal point


Huevember isn't over yet so if you haven't started it's not too late. You don't have to do all 30 colors. Even just getting a few in is great practice and will help you improve. You can always change the Huevember rules to make it more applicable and realistic for you. And you can even earn some XP along the way.

If you'd like to see a timelapse of an artwork created with a muted palette, check out the later portion of my video on this topic.

Succulents artwork by BogusRed
Succulents artwork by BogusRed uses a muted color palette

Give this a try and let me know how it goes!

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'Tis the season of giving. What better way for us to give than giving the gift of our own personal creations. This is a wonderful opportunity us to get to know one another and our original or favorite characters as well as challenge ourselves by creating something new.

What is it?

An art trade is a fun way to both create an art gift for someone else while also receiving an art gift. When you sign up for the PaperDemon Secret Santa Art Trade, you put in a request of what you'd like another member of the PaperDemon community to draw for you. Perhaps it's your favorite Dragon Ball Z character (omg Vegeta 🤤) or one of your original characters. Then you, along with everyone else participating, will draw the request for the person their assigned. Between Christmas eve and New Year's, we each post our gifts on PaperDemon!

Participation requirements

  • Please only sign up if you have the time to create a work of art for someone else.

  • Keep your request simple. Try to stick to one character, maybe two characters max.

How to participate

  1. Register to participate by November 30th

  2. On December 2nd, I'll scramble the names and randomly chose someone on the list to draw your request. You'll get an email with details on who you'll be drawing for and what they've requested. Remember, it's supposed to be a secret so please don't tell who you are Secret Santa for. That would ruin the surprise!

  3. Create a work of art of what the other person requested

    • It's a huge bummer for the person on the receiving end to not get their gift so please don't bail. It doesn't have to be perfect or complex either. Do something realistic with the time you have.

    • If you think you might be late, have questions about the requested art, or any other trouble, please email me at or message me on discord.

  4. Post the art on PaperDemon between Dec 24th and January 1st with the tag secretsanta2019. Send a message to the person the gift is for with a link to their gift!

If you have questions, just post a reply here or in the discord.

We did this event last year too! Take a look at the gallery to see artwork from last year's PaperDemon secret santa art trade.

Image credit: JillWellington

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If you're new to our community, welcome! Participating in a meetup is one of the best ways to feel included in the community. Meet ups provide a space for people to celebrate their success, get critique on their work, and bond with other creative people like themselves. We are a tribe of like-minded people and it helps our mental health to stay connected and feel understood by other members of our tribe.
We've got the next meetup scheduled. Mark 'dem Calendars. Next meetup is
November 16, 2019
10 AM PST / 6 PM UTC
Takes place in the discord in meetup channel:
- community announcements
- more gallery/tag organization input
- growing the community brainstorm
- creative share​
Do you have an idea for a meetup topic? Reply to this post and let us know.

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The profile handles feature has gotten a big overhaul under the hood. What are profile handles? It's your username on other websites (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, etc). We've removed outdated relic services that no one gives a shit about anymore. You may remember such classics like.


  • ICQ
  • MSN Messenger
  • AOL Instant Messenger
  • Yahoo Messenger
  • Y!Gallery
  • SheezyArt
  • MySpace


We've updated the handles feature to support newer stuff that people actually use. Here's the complete list

  • DeviantArt
  • Facebook (NEW)
  • Instagram (NEW)
  • Patreon (NEW)
  • Skype
  • Twitter
  • Your Website

Hit reply and let me know if there's any others you'd like me to add support for.

And finally, please take a moment to update your profile handles so we can display them on your profile.

No need to thank me for that little stroll down memory lane. You're fucking welcome.


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Did you participate in Inktober? That's awesome and worth being proud of! Don't forget to tag your art with inktober and collect your experience points! Also I recently learned there was another variation on this challenge called Kinktober that I totally missed the boat on! Crap baskets, we'll try it next year.

We have a few challenge options for you for the month of November. Take your pick for whichever one feels right for you at this point in time. Don't forget that this is the time of year when things tend to get busy with holiday and family obligations! Be honest with yourself and what you might be able to accomplish for the month.


If you love color, want to improve your color in your work, or want to establish a daily art habit, this is a good challenge for you. Huevember borrows a format similar to Inktober. For the month of November, you'll produce a new work of art every day using a different color in the provided prompt list which is really just a color palette. Each day is associated with a different color of the palette.

If one every day is too much for you, someone has come up with a modified version of this challenge where you create one every three days using the three tertiary colors of the Huevember palette prompt.

A few additional suggestions for you for Huevember

  • You may use more than just the official color for the day but the color prompt should be the most prominent color.

  • There's no Huevember police so if you want to modify this challenge even further (such as doing just one per week), you're welcome to.

  • If you participated in Inktober, you can take your inked drawings from that and apply color to them

  • Find old drawings that you already spent the time concepting and sketching out to use as a starting point for your Huevember piece.

  • Don't be afraid of fanart or personal art here. The root of this challenge is establishing a daily habit and working on your color. Those goals can easily be achieved with fan art or personal art. Go ahead and indulge and do something fun for yourself

  • If you're working traditionally, you may want to diverge from the official palette prompt based on the medium you're using.

How to participate

  1. Create a new piece every day (or whatever days you decided) using the color from the prompt list

  2. Post them to PaperDemon art section with the tag huevember by December 1st

  3. Collect your points at the end of the challenge. You'll get 45XP for each entry

Color basics

Do you not feel that confident with color yet? I have a few lessons on color that covers some of the basics of color selection.

Looking for inspiration?

Kasey Golden did a video sharing all of her pieces from 2018 Huevember.

I also keep a pinterest board full of art that inspires me and most pieces are there due to their excellent use of color. If you haven't started your own board of art that inspires you, I suggest you start one so that when the time comes to put something together, you have a place to draw from. But feel free to peek at mine and see if there's anything there that inspires you or sparks an idea.


If you did participate in Inktober, jumping right into another daily art challenge probably sounds like torture. Never fear, there's another challenge that might be more your style.

Slowvember is quite the opposite. You work on one piece for the entirety of the month of November. This is a chance to do a more finished illustration piece.

How to participate

  1. Work on an entry

  2. Post it to the art section with the tag slowvember by December 1st

  3. Collect your XP. We're offering 150 XP for 1 entry.

Livestream schedule

Let's have some dedicated time where we can work on our art and writing for the challenge. The first 30-60 minutes of each livestream will start with a discussion topic or Huevember art demo. The remaining portion of the stream will be used for progress on my Huevember entries or my personal work.

  • Monday Nov 4, 10am PST / 6pm UTC – Discussion: How to find inspiration

  • Tuesday Nov 5, 10am PST / 6pm UTC – Demonstration: Inspiration palette

  • Monday Nov 11, 10am PST / 6pm UTC – Discussion: How to stay motivated in long challenges

  • Tuesday Nov 12, 10am PST / 6pm UTC – Demonstration: Desaturated palette

  • Monday Nov 18, 10am PST / 6pm UTC – Demonstration: Color comping

  • Tuesday Nov 19, 10am PST / 6pm UTC – Demonstration: Using coloors to get great color palettes

  • Monday Nov 25, 10am PST / 6pm UTC – Demonstration: Freestyle Huevember demo

  • Tuesday Nov 26, 10am PST / 6pm UTC – Discussion: Thanksgiving chat. What are you thankful for?

Watch the livestream on my Twitch Channel


For those of you who are writers and have thought about writing a novel or have started but not yet finished one, consider this the year that you get your first draft completed! NaNoWriMo is for National Novel Writing Month and is a long standing annual challenge that helps writers get the first draft of a novel done. Learn more and sign up at the official NaNoWriMo website.

This is a tough challenge to sustain. It might help to find a buddy so you can hold each other accountable and help each other when you get stuck or need an extra boost of motivation. Our discord server is a good place to find a buddy.

That is all and I'm looking forward to seeing the work you create this month!