Your predecessor had a pretty interesting tenure. I really got put through some crazy paces thanks to ol’ 15. It’ll be remembered fondly in some ways, but not all ways. 2015 was a year in which I decided to make a plan right from the start, and as always, god laughed right in my face as soon as the word “plan” left my mouth.
I started the year thinking it was time to consider transitioning to a new job, and by the end of January I was informed that I was getting laid off from said job. The same day I got that information I had an interview for a job that I ultimately got — as the graphic designer for Revels North.
“This position is part time, and it’s really more supplemental for someone who already has a full time job,” my interviewer said.
“Well,” I replied. “I can answer with complete honesty that I am fully employed today.”
That job felt like the pebble that started a lot of pebbles rolling on my freelance opportunities. First off, its been an incredible experience. Suddenly I was drawing the ad materials for their entire summer program. I was asked to crank out flyers, posters, and postcards. After a frustrating and futile attempt to create their winter show art myself, I commissioned a freelance artist to do the work for me (a weird thing to feel like I have to make a big deal about, but it was cool to be the person doing the contracting, not be the contractor).
I made a connection with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center communications office to do some freelance work, and that led me to designing the artwork and marketing materials for the 10th anniversary Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) half marathon! It’s a big deal in our little valley.
Friends and colleagues worked with me on a huge variety of projects: from advertisements to restaurant signage to building graphic novels for a kickstarter campaign.
- 5,000 people saw the program I made for the Revels Christmas show.
- My artwork was on street banners, t-shirts, and posters all around the valley for the CHaD.
- I saw signed portraits of my work put up as prizes, as real, legitimate artwork! The crap I draw! Can you imagine?!?
I went to my Aunt and Uncle’s for the Super Bowl, and my girlfriend was almost killed in a car crash while I was gone. She was slammed into by a drunk driver going double the speed limit on the way home. Her car crumpled like a sardine can and she walked away.
We moved in together in May (in a sweet apartment that I was able to find because of the mixed blessing of having a lot of time free because I was “fun-employed” for six months). The apartment is the first I’ve unreservedly loved in years. It might be the apartment… It might also be the company.
I got to officiate a wedding (designed all their invitations, menu cards, etc… Some of my favorite work!) and finally used my ordained by the Universal Life Church status!
Thanks to my work with the UVYP, which elected me Co-Chair of the organization in 2016, I got the lead that led to my new job as Content Specialist for the NH Bar Association – I’m working on graphic design, social media, and strategy! I’m even encouraged to work some cartooning in where we can!
Creatively, this year has been more stressful and more rewarding than any before. I’ve designed more material than ever before. I’ve had more freelance work than ever before. I’ve gotten more exposure as an artist than ever before. But I’ve also drawn fewer comics than I have in years.
At SPX this year, I still broke even. Thanks largely in part to a couple of anthologies I’d been in that continued to sell. This was really the year I felt confident in my table presentation, my seller patter and general convention etiquette and strategy; there are people I know and see, heck, as Denis put it, this SPX was almost a class reunion for us.
But as a type this I feel like I’m coming back to the same complaint: I’m running up against barriers to what I’m doing. SPX felt good, but it also felt a little static. I am hitting the upper barrier of what I can accomplish with my current methods. I need to level up. I’ve made more money from creative work than ever before but I feel like I’m rising up and falling down but never escaping the financial bracket I’m fluttering around in like a caged butterfly. I need to level up.
’15 was good. ’16 could be better. I guess it’s time to make a new plan?
Have a sweet ’16