Boy, what a year 2013 was. Any way I cut it, I have to admit that it was a pretty spectacular year, both personally and professionally. Hop into my time warp machine with me for a quick whirlwind journey through the past.
* This is a mega-long post, but hopefully makes up for all the stuff I didn’t have time to post last year! *
// JANUARY \\
Gridlords was kind enough to invite me to their monthly reading event and debut the second volume of my comic series, Adult Babysitting. The reading was great and I was beyond excited to release my comic child into the world.
// FEBRUARY \\
Now a full-time member of the Pony Club Gallery, I began to regularly contribute new work for group shows, starting with this fun number where I drew my awesome lady pal Brooke Weeber.
In one of the most pivotal and bittersweet moments of my life, I quit my bartending job after nearly 6 years of service. I was now a full-time artist, and braced myself for all the ups and downs that would come with a freelance lifestyle. (And I would never wear those reindeer horns again.)
// MARCH \\
With just two months before my first solo show at Pony Club, I launched into my very first Animal Battle piece and began posting all progress photos on my Instagram (@Leetlewolf). The response was immediate and warm, and I knew I was on to something great. I had a new love, and that was to paint fuzzy battle animals.
// APRIL \\
April saw the annual Stumptown Comics Fest, and this year I shared a big booth with my fellow members at Pony Club Gallery. The highlight of the event? Meeting Muriel Fahrion, THE creator of Strawberry Shortcake. She was just as sweet as she looks.
I was contacted out of the blue by a photographer named Margaret Jacobsen, and we had a fun photo session in my neighborhood. The lady takes a good photo. This impromptu meetup would soon lead to a much bigger and more magical occasion.
// MAY \\
My solo show, Animal Battle, opened at Pony Club. It was radness all around and the response confirmed that I would be exploring this fantasy world for quite some time (FOREVS?).
For the second year in a row I traveled to the Sasquatch Music Festival to work for Red Bull as an on-site photo editor. Along with a team from Roundhouse , we photographed nearly 3,000 rambunctious festival-goers, danced like crazy, and yes, drank a lot of Red Bull.
One of the last projects I worked on in May was this poster for See See Motorcycles. Babes and bikes – my cup of tea.
// JUNE \\
SUMMER. Each year, the question remains: did you spend enough days outdoors? The answer is always “never”. Nope, most of June was spent drawing. Animals. In battle gear.
// JULY \\
For the first time in quite a while, I was hired by Willamette Week for an editorial job. This led to a string of new jobs throughout the year. Thanks to all the furiously speedy work I put into my comics, I was now fluent in Photoshop and now considered it a True Friend.
I painted some muppets. Because I love Jim Henson.
// AUGUST \\
A brief but adventurous trip to Astoria and Cannon Beach with Lauren, my Arizona Sister from another Mister, before holing back up in my studio.
Amongst more Animal Battle exploring, I illustrated a series of portraits for Willamette Week’s annual issue of the Finder.
// SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER \\
It’s a good thing I got outside a little bit prior to this, because things got insane for…well, the rest of the year, really. Above, I designed my first poster for screenprint as part of WeMake’s annual party for Design Week in Portland.
For my first showing outside of Portland, I was happy to be included in the annual Wes Anderson-themed show, “Bad Dads”, hosted by Spoke Art in San Francisco in October. The show is always a massive success, and I was thrilled to be a part of it.
I curated my first group show as a member of the Pony Club Gallery, and featured amazingly talented artists such as Mark Rogers, Esao Andrews, Teagan White, and many many more.
I was invited by the lovely ladies of TINY PENCIL to contribute a piece for their new issue, and was also featured in an interview on their blog.
Together with my friends at Pony Club, we hosted a special holiday fundraiser at the Cleaners Ace Hotel. Dozens of artists donated work for a silent auction, and all proceeds went to a benefit a friend who suffered a traumatic accident. The event was a great success and we were so thrilled to help. Luckily for everyone, I did not sing.
I was lucky enough to be one of the artists selected by Microsoft to customize an Xbox One controller. The controller is somewhere…out there.
And kids, I suppose that’s not even all of it – but I’ll save the rest for some other posts.
One last thing though – what really made this year magical?
Photo by Margaret Jacobsen (See? There’s that magical occasion I mentioned earlier.)
In December I eloped with my very best friend, Jake, and then we celebrated in Paris!
Not a bad way to end the year, eh?
So here’s to 2013 – and onwards and upwards to the next year. It’s got some pretty big shoes to fill, and I’m excited for it.
To all my readers, thanks for sticking with me, reading along, and for all your notes and comments over the last year – thank you.