Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Recap

Happy New Year! 
Before we pop the champagne fancy beer, here's a look at what 2016 looked like, here in the treehouse:

started as all Januarys begin:  with biscuits.
Max and I spent the rest of the month chained to our drawing tables, working on Galaxy Hero #1. 

 beginning was also traditional, because Feb 1 is Hourly Comic Day.  
This year's HCD panels were mostly about how Max and I were working on Galaxy Hero #1. 
We made chili for the Superbowl, and worked on the comic.
Dave (the writer) brought us Paczkis on the 9th, and we worked on the comic.
Valentine's Day was spent with a ton of order-in sushi, and we worked on the comic.
And then, on Feb 18, it was done and delivered.  It was the most fun.
(I'm so glad we're doing this again.)

On February 26 I walked into and out of the Hancock building for the very last time, as part of a commute anyway.
And that moment has really been a strong underlying theme for the rest of 2016.  A quiet mantra of "not going back not going back not going back".  
I was so grateful to have had the opportunity to work at FCB Chicago, with the wonderful people that I got to know there.  I learned so much, about so many different things, I can't really express it simply here.
And I am still grateful that I was able to work hard enough and be supported by Max and my family and friends.  
I saved and planned and worked for four years to have that beautiful moment: 
"I quit, I'm not doing the 9-5 anymore, I'm a full-time self-employed artist."

Galaxy Hero #1 arrived.
And then it was released, and we partied our butts off.
I painted Delirium from the Sandman series, for YAY! Legends Every Day.
And then the Main Event - C2E2.  Me, Max, & Dave spent a weekend up to our eyeballs in Galaxy Hero - the comic and the beer.
Beer & Art Panel!
Kickin' butt.
Working with Revolution is a strange dream come true, and we got to spend a whole ton of time with our friend Aimee

was spent workin'.  Max and I did three small pop-up markets around town.  I spent some time sewing new creatures for the markets as well as experimenting with new ideas for my Etsy shop.  I did this fun octopus necklace commission.
I made a small mini-comic for Easy Press, for Free Comic Book Day.
And I spent some serious time figure drawing and doing portrait studies.

was back to more comic pages.
I helped finish issue #2 of Mystery Afoot.  In another whirlwind finish, Max screen-printed all the covers in our dining room.
We took this fancy, limited edition version to TCAF!  
The Toronto Comics Arts Festival was a blast.  We attended a day of panels and learned a ton.  The show went well and we met fun new people.  There was a dance party.  It was a great road trip.
The rest of May was more quiet work.  I painted "Bite".

was spent painting and drawing and exploring what to do next with soft sculpture.  
I started my new Patreon Plush series.
And I also started slowly working out what would eventually be Dandelion Wine.
And I painted a little, and finished "The Beginning"

was more quiet work.  We hosted some Drink & Draws, did a pop-up market or two, and sketched and sewed.  

Good long summer days.

was when most of my painting for the year got done, I suppose.  I participated as much as I could in "Artist Appreciation Month" by painting a different current female artist every morning.  I think I got about 15 of these done.
This one is of Valency Genis, a marvelous sculptor.
Max and I did the first Drink & Draw panel at Galerie F and I had a blast painting Hatchet Face and Danny Trejo.
And then I spent a strange and productive and beer-fueled week as the Resident Artist at Fulton Market Kitchen, as part of their FMK5x5 Series
During which I knocked a lot of work out on "Brewing" and "It Must Be Love"
Also in August - the release of the Woot Berries!  This was a special series I did for Woot Bear Store & Gallery in San Francisco.  
And then I also painted "I Feel Fine", for the (Space Trip) Art Show in Brooklyn.

was spent nose-down working, mixed with a couple pop-up markets and some drink & draw events.  Stocking up for the Holiday season with plush, stitching together special Patreon Plush creatures, and working as much as I could on Dandelion Wine.  
Max and I also spent a day with the Chicago Creative Collaborators group, painting in the park for their art-wall jam.

was spent working on Dandelion Wine and keeping the shops stocked with plush for holiday shoppers.  
And a fun weekend as a featured artist for the Andersonville Arts Weekend.
Mixed in with a fun road trip with friends for a family wedding, a pretty great Halloween party, and Halloween night at a Baroness concert. 

we hosted a great drink & draw, sponsored by the new Fantastic Beasts movie.  
I sewed a lot of stuff.  
But mostly, November was all about Nashville.
I went to the Fantastic Workshop.  
it was ok.

And the day after I got back, it was right back to the Beer & Comics world, as we've been cranking along on Galaxy Hero #2.
And, I created "Flower of the Moon" for the Unicorn Show in Brooklyn.

And here were are! After months of work, Dandelion Wine opened on December 9.
Also opening that night was "Night Fall", by Lana Crooks & Andrew Bell.  It was a great party. 
I had so much fun spending the last few months creating all these wee beasts.  It was wonderful to finally see them all together, and to be finished.
The next night we headed down to Bridgeport, where I had paintings up in the show 
"Dual Personalities".
Since then, things have been restful.  
I'm working on the next Patreon Plush.  There was a lot of baking of holiday gifts.  
A few naps here and there.

I spent a long time looking at my first year as a self-employed artist, and what I learned.  
And made plans for what I can do next year.
Next year there's going to be more painting and drawing.  Stitched work will be more focused, and through my Patreon account I'm going to start putting together my first pattern book.
Max and I are going to do more comic books, and get out into our Chicago community more.
People are saying that 2016 has been difficult, but I believe that this next year is going to be the most challenging.  

So, here's to a Happy New Year:
Work hard, and be nice.
Do what's right.
Make good art.

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