I wrote a novel. I spent some time fussing with it last week and think it’s finally ready to go somewhere. I don’t know where that somewhere would be, but that’s always the case, it doesn’t worry me.
I figured out a new way to illustrate with paint that is faster, smarter and more likely to help with my sanity in future projects. I still have a long way to go with it, mostly dealing with my mental issues because I keep trying to play by the rules of Western Art or work ever larger; two things that really have nothing to do with how I work or what I want to accomplish. I’ll get through it. I always do.
Then there was that whole new book about witches and the nonsense which comes with such an event. It’s always nice to hold a new book and see how it turned out. Then there were all those new people to meet, places to go, lectures to give and the like. Since most of my time spent working on a project is spent in isolation, the release of a book is like a massive celebration.
As far as years go, that’s a rather busy one. As I said last January, it would be a restructuring year. I’m only at my best when I’m moving forward, so I assumed that taking a huge leap forward would allow me to do some rather impressive stuff. Strange as it may sound, that’s exactly what happened. Consequentially, I’m leaving 2014 feeling pretty good. The last few years beat me down, but all the changes I implemented this year gave me more enthusiasm than I would have expected.
I have a feeling 2015 will be even more interesting. Professionally speaking, it should be a vast departure from how I spent my time over the last ten years. For one, I’m stepping into the world of independent publishing, though I have to admit, not by myself, but rather with a handful of like-minded artists and writers who feel as I do, that given the technology at hand and the speed at which we work, it just makes sense to pursue new avenues of production as well as traditional publishing. I’ll go into this more next month when everything goes live, but for now I’ll just say that my goal is to put out several books in 2015.
That means I’ll be writing up a storm. I know, that’s not really much of a revelation since I’m always writing up a storm. However, instead of me writing things and tucking them away, hoping some publisher will like what I’m doing and take a chance on me, I’ll take the very best of said writing and put it out there. Just having that option, of being that independent, gives me a huge rush. It’s like there’s suddenly a healthy amount of oxygen in the room.
I’m not really sure what will happen with the painting. Will my new books be illustrated? Are we talking spot illustrations? How about something wordless? Or that etsy site everyone keeps telling me I should build? So many options. I hate options. Needless to say, where the painting will go is the biggest mystery for the coming year. Having reduced my tools to the bare minimum was huge step forward. I always have to keep in mind, there’s ambition and there’s idiocy. I was mistaking one for the other and that tripped me a few times this past autumn. I kept thinking I could be someone else when I should have been thinking about who I am. With that sorted out, I can go into winter knowing the scale in which I need to work and the tools it takes to accomplish a beautiful, finished painting.
I still find myself a little confused by the fact I can produce so many images so quickly. Having spent years working to fill 30 or 40 pages with 30 or 40 illustrations, it’s weird to know I can think of something and get the gist of it on paper in 20 minutes and that if it’s not quite what I want, it’ll only cost me another 20 minutes to redo it. I’m used to having a lot of ideas, shelving most of them and working with just a handful. Being able to actually work with almost all the ideas that pop into my brain is overwhelming. I still haven’t worked out a good system for dealing with it. That’ll come in time.
I guess that wraps up the year. My next post will be on the 6th. And it will be an awesome one. I’ve been working on it in my head for the last two months, mostly trying to edit out all the swearing. I have a lot of cool stuff to make before I shed this mortal coil, 2015 is the year I hit the gas. See you in the new year.