That was a YEAR, wasn't it? I mean. Damn. Pretty sure it was actually five years, if we're being perfectly honest.
There were a lot of highs and lows for me this year, both artistically and personally. It was my first year really navigating adult life without major depression, which was interesting to say the least. I discovered a lot about my working process and how to keep myself motivated and not overwork myself. I ended up feeling like I've finally gotten my feet under me, even if the year ended on a nasty note thanks to my mother and step-father kicking me out because their dogs destroyed their kitchen. (Great parental logic there, right?)
I started off the year with a big list of goals, and a plan to keep track of them via a little thing called "Launch Codes" that a few other alumni from my college were doing. It was meant to be a way to be more open about our creative processes and help connect with one another over what we were doing and what we struggled with. I think I ended up being the only one who stuck with it, but it was still fun. Even if no one ever read my weekly updates (now condensed all into one post to keep my blog more organized) it was still nice to do.
So, let's wrap it up!
What I learned about myself as a creator this year:
Setting up a calendar for myself works much better than using To-Do lists. I think lists are a bit to abstract to be helpful to me. I need to have concrete reminders and blocks of time to do things. Google Calendars are my best friend. I usually just schedule out a few days in advance and go from there.
I work best when I'm doing one type of thing a day. For example, only doing comic work on Monday, then writing work on Tuesday, then marketing work on Wednesday, etc. I struggle switching between to many things in day.
I work really well with the structure of long-term projects like comics with nice, defined schedules and deadlines.
I've gotten much better at the "fuck it, it doesn't need to be perfect" mantra.
This is something I've known for awhile, but I'm still adding it here because it is still true: I can function at either 100% scheduled down to the minute, or 0% scheduled at all. Nothing in between. Gimmie a week of tightly scheduled work or set me loose in the forest and pick me up in time for whatever deadline there is. Either way I will have the project done. But the second you try to schedule half my time and set me loose for the other half? Nope. Nothing will be done ever.
Accomplished this year:
64 single illustrations. This includes all 31 days of Inktober (my first time completing it!) and some concept/style sheets.
36 webcomic pages. The first complete chapter of my first large comic, Gunpowder & Pine Part 1!
Thumbnailed the 36 pages of part 2 of said comic.
Modeled Vivian's house in Sketchup to use for reference in the comic and other illustrations her house features in.
Modeled a couple other sets for comics and such in sketchup.
Made a couple tutorials on using sketchup for creating reference images.
Greatly improved my ability to draw people without relying quite as heavily on reference.
Started over on the Kith and Kin series, renaming it the Glory is Poison series. I'm much happier with the new direction, even if restarting was a super hard decision. The first book is fully outlined and I've written about 21,000 words on it. The second book is mostly outlined, and the third book is loosely outlined.
Worked on my paranormal novel Haunt. I didn't get quite as much work done on it as I wanted, but it did help me develop a new outlining method that I love. I've got about 24,000 words on it.
Played around with a couple other novel concepts totaling about 8,000 words.
Wrote a couple short stories.
Started working on an art portfolio book.
Started working a couple short story comics. Both have been thumbnailed, and I've started painting one of them.
Joined/got accepted into Girls Drawin' Girls.
Started working on a sarcastic "How to Art" book because the amount of times I hear "I wish I could draw!" at conventions finally made me snap.
Exhibited at 3 conventions.
Taught a writing and art club at a local High School.
Developed a new style that allows me to get things finished much quicker and still be really happy with them.
Did a really fun career day presentation at a local High School. My powerpoint was called "how to be a writer and not die."
Found a fun retail job that doesn't kill me (Home Depot Paint Department). I'm still looking for something better paying, but this is something I don't mind sticking with in the meantime since it doesn't drain my soul! I will, however, be moving into another department within the store at the start of 2019 because it pays a little better and will be full-time by summer at the latest and will have a better schedule.
Moved back to the Denver area. Not WILLINGLY, but whatever. I hated living in the Springs so I'm glad to be back.
Goals for 2019:
Save up enough to put a down-payment on a house/condo/apartment/townhome. I've done the math and, even if I stay with the Home Depot, I can afford something on the smaller side. Just gotta save up and then get the ball rolling towards the end of 2019!
Finish the second chapter of Gunpowder & Pine, and maybe even the third chapter!
Publish the first chapter of G&P. It is all laid out and nearly done! Just gotta finish another exclusive illustration for it and then decide which convention to release it at.
Finish Glory is Poison books 1 and 2 and get the third book outlined.
Finish Haunt and edit it to the point is ready to query.
Finish the two short story comics I started in 2018, and maybe squeeze in another one or two!
Get into at least two zines or short story collections.
Read more, and get better about posting book reviews at least some of the time.
Get better at sending out newsletters.
Post more educational stuff like tutorials.
Build up my Patreon more.
Get better at drawing animals, because they are one of my weakest areas. Much time shall be spent at the zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in 2019.
Get better at drawing action/motion based poses and scenes.
Get better at drawing landscapes. I'm decent at them, but I want to build up my visual library for them more and up my speed with them.
I won't be doing public weekly updates for 2019, but I'll still post progress updates on my big projects.
Let's do this!