Another year, another Year In Review. 2013 was marked by a much-welcomed increase in the frequency of illustration gigs and, I think, an increase in the quality and complexity of the pieces I’m producing as well. I’ve consciously tried to put more thought into the compositions/color theory and more time into the final, rendered pieces as well, and I think it’s paying off.
Once again I had enough illustration clients to push all of the design work to the back-burner and really focus on art this year. Here’s to more of the same in 2014!
Christmas and the Solstice have come and gone and brought with them my last commission of the year, “Those That Burn”. The final piece was a mounted 16×32 stretched canvas print.
This piece was created for a friend and former co-worker to commemorate his girlfriends first trip to The Playa. She had always dreamt of going, and much like myself, had issues with logistic and anxiety that kept her from attending. It seems he helped her conquer those fears out in the Nevada desert and I’m happy to have played a small part in helping that memory find a permanent home in the physical world.
I recorded pretty much the entire process, including mounting the canvas print, and with a little help from my buddy managed to film her opening her gift as well. Look for that as soon as I can edit it down.
Seven years ago I was an Art Director at Targetbase, a direct-marketing company here in Dallas, working under a woman named Kimberly Walsh as the first interactive hire in a what was still very much a print shop. As is usually the case with cube farms meetings were abundant, and one particular morning I was double-booked, and had to make a quick decision about which meeting to attend.
I chose poorly.
I was reprimanded by Miss Walsh, told to go home and not to attend my first ever annual Christmas Party. When I asked if I was being fired I got the snarky response of “Did I say you were fired? Go home, don’t’ come to the Party, and we’ll see you Monday.”
I came back that Monday to the news that everyone had gotten a $2,000 Christmas Bonus for having such a great year. When I inquired about my own bonus I was told in no uncertain terms that I didn’t deserve it, and would not be getting one. After years of long meetings, unfulfilling projects and frustrating corporate-politics it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. That was the day I decided I needed to work for myself.
Six months later I had stashed away 6 months worth of bills and rent into my savings account and wrote my first ever letter of resignation. Two weeks after that I was officially self-employed. I’ve never looked back.
I also never got to thank Kimberly for the unintended inspiration. If not for her I may have remained under that illusion they sell to new creatives at large companies. What I am thankful for is all the great people I met and the contacts I collected, many of which I still keep in touch with today.
So if you’re an artist/creative don’t be afraid to take action. Don’t let fear of the unknown paralyze you. There is no such thing as job security. And in the end it’s the relationships you create that matter most.
I’ve been screen capturing my digital work lately with the intent of making time-lapse videos and I’m happy to report the 2nd one is ready to go. Below you’ll find 8 hours of digital illustration condensed down to 6 minutes of time-shifted goodness.
My last commission for the holidays was a good one, an Uuru Mystic from the classic Jim Henson fantasy epic The Dark Crystal. I wanted to document this one pretty thoroughly and as well as a ton of progress shots I’ll also be posting a timelapse video the entire inking and coloring process shortly.