(Above is a small sampling of my IG feed from 2016 - I had only just begun to start posting features on top of my own personal work - so not all of the above work is mine.)
2016 was a year of many ups and downs.
I think my participation in most online forums can attest to that, but I can say that it was finally my time to jump out of my hole and really get a handle on what can be done artistically. I consider 2017, for the most part, my make-it-or-break-it kind of year. I have no choice but to put myself fully into it all. My investment in both myself both creatively and financially will most definitely be put the test this year as I simply cannot stand idly anymore and HOPE that my art will just work itself out. Because of this need to simply begin the push forward, I've started to really thrust myself out there. I would say that building this website alone has been my sole push into a new me, a new year. Hopefully with this olive branch extended this year, I can begin to make connections in all facets from more personal connections and friends to making more business opportunity and connections in the art world in general.
To sum up some of the events of 2016...
- I was actually featured as a guest speaker for many panels at last year's MidSouth Con, which really changed my perspective on conventions in general. I was already gung-ho about being in the convention scene because I looked at it much like a hungry newbie basketball player looks at every college game they play, I see them as every connection leading into either one of two branches - creating potentially business opportunities, or creating more connections and friends.
- Ashley and I fully collaborated and worked on the book that you see in the store, "Are YOU a Zombie?" We've been loving the idea of collaborating on ideas and works for some time now, and we finally got down to it and just dove in head first. We both did things that we'd never have expected to do (I did coloring book pages purely in inks, and she did a rhyme-scheme similar to Dr. Suess). All-in-all, I can't say that I regret it one bit and it actually worked out perfectly flawless.
- At MidSouth Con I was actually invited to work on my first Role-Playing Game art. Robert Schwalb was kind enough to invite me on as one of the artists to contribute to the awesome world of Shadow of the Demon Lord. This universe actually blends my love for both horror and fantasy into one awesome package. It's a quick-turnaround job, but I actually love that fact. It helps maintain the freshness in my mind as well as keeping me on my toes, all the while speeding up my painting process.
- I was invited to my first con as a guest! (Hypericon)
- Got invited to do live drawing in the Piranha Room at the last Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention. I've only ever done small drawings and paintings live in front of people, so to get assigned a HUGE canvas and just be told, "Just draw something that has a dark feel to it." was really intimidating! Truth be told though, it was incredibly fun and actually a surprisingly good workout! Needless to say, I think that I will be doing this again as soon as possible!
- Got published in a couple of art books this year, such as Out of Step Books!
- Met TONS of new people that I now consider friends!
Really, this is only a SMALL glimpse into what made 2016 so amazing for me and a step in the right direction!
All I can say is that 2017 is already looking hopeful! And I can't wait for it to really get into full gear... so many projects planned and started. You'll get more and more as the year goes on.
I plan on trying to update this thing once a week at least. Preferably twice. One time a month should hopefully be an interview with a fellow artist so that we can start to spread the word and get some more artists involved.
I plan on trying to get some tutorials and behind-the-scenes of working along side of art directors and my own personal mindset and thoughts while in the throes of trying to get a commission knocked out.
Lastly, I plan on using this as a springboard for future opportunity. If you have anything that you would like me to talk about or people that you'd like me to interview and I'd love to make a go of it.
LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW and I'll see if I can make it happen.