It’s a positively frigid night here in Portland (20F/-6C, with a windchill like 5F, and freezing rain coming down), a good type of night to reflect back on how my art life fared in 2022. It was overall “good”, but there’s room for improvement.
First, the positives:
- After a decade or so of not painting at all, I finally cracked open my set of watercolors. It felt good to paint again, especially outside of having to do it for school. Of course I have not painted as much as I had hoped, so there’s room for improvement there.
- And also after a long time away, I got back into using dip pens again. Not as often as I’d like, but it still feels good when I do.
- I’ve got my travel sketch kit pretty worked out: an A6 sketchbook, a mechanical pencil, a Platinum Preppy 03 fountain pen and Platinum brush pen, both loaded with waterproof Carbon ink, and a couple colored brush pens, all wrapped up in a custom leather cover by Treetop Goods. I’ve also been using my Pentel Tradio sketch pen a lot since I got it. It’s probably my favorite drawing pen right now.
- And I managed to pick up one commission this year, with a couple more in the pipeline. That’s good after a long drought!
As for the negatives, well, it’s the typical “I don’t draw/paint as much as I would like.” I’ve come to the realization that I will never be satisfied in that department, but it would be nice to do more. The regular journal comics definitely help, but I need to do some other sketching and painting, and just for fun. I hope when the weather gets a wee bit nicer, I could go outside again and sketch a bit. In the interim I’ll be trying to do more indoor sketching.
I also managed to publish two zines this year:
- Going to California, a photo-zine of my November 2021 SoCal trip
- New Old Stock 650A, the latest in this long-running (ten years!) bicycle comix series
Both zines were printed through Mixam, an international printing company that seems to have the best rates when it comes to small scale booklet printing. (I typically print 100 at a time.) I’d love to get my zines printed locally, but the quotes I got were at least double, if not triple the price I got through Mixam.
I really want to ramp up my zine production. I hoped to get four out in 2022, but that was an unattainable goal even during my zine heyday. We’ll see how 2023 shapes up. And if you want to support me in my zine-making endeavors, consider being a “Zine Club” Patron over at my Patreon.
Oh yeah, I managed to table at two Portland Art Picnics and two of Lords Luggage Holiday Markets in December. Tabling is something I used to do a lot but haven’t much lately. So it’s nice to get back into it. Sales were pretty light, except for the first Holiday Market. I hope to do one or two Art Picnics in 2023, and see what else is out there.
Within the next week or two I’ll talk more about art goals for 2023. Happy New Year!
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