Wow 2013! What a weird little year you turned out to be. Of all the years I have been doing year end wrap ups, this is the one I have thought about the most, yet have the least idea on how to describe it.
Josie had her Golden Birthday in November. She’s really coming into her own in so many ways. I don’t think we ever experienced the terrible twos but not sure what to expect with the third year. Lots of sharp emotional shifts so far. She started school and it has been amazing to see her interact with kids and her teachers. She really loves it and Dad loves the couple hours of free time in the morning.
Nicole’s job has been going great, she was a traveling machine until October. In fact we all were this year. We took a family trip to Seattle and Portland to visit some friends. Went to C2E2 in Chicago, and I traveled to a great new show in Winnipeg this year and had an excellent time. Once early November came though we were all pretty spent and have enjoyed several weeks off the road.
On the work front, 2013 had some great highs. The retro Monster Cereal boxes for General Mills had an amazing reception. Created a very successful design for the first ever Shirt Show, I worked with some great new clients like Zeus Jones, did more local craft beer work for Surly Brewing, Excelsior Brewing and Big Wood Brewing, worked on a bunch of fun comics projects like The Activity: Sigint Files, Hoax Hunters, Prime-8′s, and Integer City. On top of the continued magazine work I often do for City Pages and VITA.MN magazine, it was a really great year of projects.
If I could criticize 2013 at all it would probably be that budgets seemed to dip a bit this year, so you had to work a little harder to make the same dollar as years past. Hopefully, we’ll see a rebound from that in 2014. I also had a few goals that I didn’t quite reach. I made some changes to let my work dictate the jobs instead of the job dictating my work. I think I am still in a transitional period on this so there were a few personal projects and pitches that I didn’t touch even though I had made a point VERY early in the year to make them a priority.
This is why I am so stoked for 2014. I am really feeling focused right now. For the first time in a while I am looking outside of my regular routine for creative and professional inspiration and advice. I’ve been Skyping with a crew of illustrators that’s sort of become a virtual studio. Bouncing ideas and work off each other has been a really great thing. I’ve been heading out for more work related meet ups and talking shop with other artists. Changed my podcast rotation to include more business building themed programs. And I just finished the Thriving Artist Creative Summit, which was a really great and inspirational series of webinars about how to grow your art as a business. It was a really insightful experience.
SOME GOALS FOR 2014
Book Pitches- There are two book pitches that I failed to get to in 2014. These two are the first priorities to get to in the new year.
More Comics- I got some cool news already in the pipe line on this front that will be announced soon. But I need to keep it going and hopefully this will be a good year for making the funny books.
Expand- On top of comics I have a few goals for different avenues I’d like to take my work. Commercially and personally. On top of that I’d like to grow my client base outside of the Twin Cities more. I’ve come to realize how much I focus on them and need to do a better job of looking at getting my work out in front of people and agencies in other states.
Promo Pieces- I skipped out on a promo piece this year and it’s really bugging me. That has to change in 2014. I’ve seen some really interesting ways artists are getting their work and name in front of people in the past year and I need to be proactive in that regard.
Update My Web Store- I plan on putting new items in my web store in early 2014 so be on the look out for that. And I need to make sure it’s not the only update over the next 12 months.
Cintiq Companion- The idea of a traveling portable Cintiq sounds too good to be true. Many of my artist friends have one and love it. Oh yes, it will be mine.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Nicole and I are expecting another girl in April of 2014. We are very excited to be adding to our crazy family. I know Josie is very excited and curious about meeting her. As are mom and dad. Thanks to you most of all. I really appreciate everyone who comes to this site to read my ramblings and check out my latest work. All the best to you and yours in the coming year.