Here is my story on how I started and how this evolved into my current career as a content creator.
In the Beginning
I didn’t consider myself a content creator for a long time. Everything that you know as “MentalMars” today started out as a hobby. Well, at the time of writing, it actually still is a hobby, however, things got out of control. Before I decided to make my own site, I was very active on a Dutch Trance Site. I was a moderator, I made some wallpapers for the community, and I was the unofficial photographer at their parties. This is when I learned to use PaintShop pro. It was an easier tool to use compared to Photoshop back in the day.
Borderlands 2 Wallpapers
When Gearbox Software announced Borderlands 2, I was all aboard the hype train. I loved the first Borderlands and wanted to share my excitement for the second installment. When the first renders of the new vault hunters were posted online, I started cutting them out of the images and artwork to start making my own wallpaper. This is when I joined the Gearbox forums and posted my creation. Maybe someone else is just as excited as me and liked to use it. I wasn’t prepared for the feedback. The community responded overwhelmingly positively. This gave me such a rewarding feeling that I decided to make another Borderlands 2 wallpaper… and another… and another. I freaked out when developers started responding and continued making more stuff for the community. Before I knew it, I was 2 years further and made over 200 wallpapers.
The Start of My Website
While I made a lot of Borderlands 2 wallpapers. After 2 years there wasn’t really any demand for them anymore. Therefore, I wanted to seek out something new. So I looked at which game would be “the next big thing“. Oke, Titanfall is going to be the Call of Duty killer. Oke, let’s make some Titanfall wallpapers. Sadly, no one was really interested in that. Then I thought “maybe these wallpapers needed a bit more exposure”. That’s when I tried promoting the wallpapers, even on a Dutch game site that had a fanart section on their forum. Nope, there was still no excitement for my creations. Until a few weeks later when the crew of that Dutch gaming site contacted me. They asked me to do a weekly rubric called wallpaper Wednesday. Each week I created new wallpapers of various games.
Because I always wanted to start my own website, I took this opportunity as a sign to finally kick that off. That was the birth of ‘mentalmars.com’. It started off as a wallpaper website that contained all of my creations. Previously, I would upload them onto DeviantArt but that wasn’t necessary anymore since I had my own platform now. It surprised me that the site quickly was getting 100 views a day. These days, it’s a lot more. I’m definitely thankful for all the support I have gotten.
After creating wallpapers of various games, Gearbox Software and 2K Games announced Borderlands the Pre-Sequel. This made me return to one of my favorite gaming franchises, the one that jumpstarted this whole thing. However, this is also the phase that the content on the site started to shift.
Previously, I helped out my nephew with his gaming site. I mainly wrote news articles about Nintendo and Borderlands on the site. However, the vision for the site was in limbo. We already did a re-design and a new one was about to happen. Therefore, I waited for a clear direction before I poured my heart and soul into the project. That’s when I started writing a few news articles about Borderlands the pre-sequel on my own site.
Since I already was an established name in the Borderlands community, these articles got a lot more traction than the wallpapers. That’s when I decided to rework my site and make it more than just a wallpaper portfolio. This was the start of a “real gaming” site. I created content on a few games but Borderlands has always been the main focus.
The Next Step
Since then the site has continued to grow and even received another upgrade. I’m not about to stop and even am thinking about what to do next to bring everything to the next level. Hopefully, you will be there with me on this journey because your support is driving me to do better.