Since tomorrow is the last day of 2011, I thought I’d take a moment to review some of the many highlights and accomplishments of my illustration studio over the past year:
- I worked on a variety of toy design, packaging illustration, and presentation sketches for a major toy company to help relaunch one of their well-known brands. Unfortunately the confidentiality clause in my contract prohibits me from saying more, but it was a great deal of fun.
- I sketched up some toy concepts for several licensed properties, including three upcoming feature films, for DecoPac Inc. Can’t wait until I can show those too.
- Speaking of DecoPac, one of my toy designs for them won a silver award from the 2011 Play International Art Competition.
- I created almost 100 illustrations for a series of preschool puzzles for Patch Products.
- I designed a couple of educational toys for a manufacturer in China (another project I can’t show yet).
- I created marker comps for advertising agency Olson-Denali to pitch to Best Buy.
- I assisted the uber-talented Sherwin Schwartzrock in a fun cartoon ad for Target and the Minnesota Twins.
- I created some animation costume and prop designs for an upcoming VeggieTales DVD.
- I was a courtroom sketch artist for two court cases, including the NFL/Players Union hearings. My sketches were shown nationally on MSNBC, ESPN, NNS, and the NFL Network.
- I did a little animation for Phil Vischer’s “What’s In The Bible” project.
- I launched the “March Is Sketchbook Month” blog (with a lot of help from my wife). Dozens of artists committed to creating sketches every weekday. Word spread and by the end of the month we received over 15,400 total page views.
- Behind-the-scenes I hired a business coach and finally launched a brand new website.
- Over the summer I traveled to Chicago for the Creative Freelancer Conference and to San Diego for Comic-Con.
- I stayed put for the annual chapter gathering of the National Cartoonists Society, which was held right here in Minneapolis.
- In November I flew to Los Angeles for the CTN Animation Expo where I gave a talk on freelancing.
On a personal note my wife became pregnant with our third child, yet another daughter due in March. I also joined a health club and we remodeled our kitchen—shaping up both house and body.
I’ve had an awful lot to be thankful for, and I’m eagerly looking forward to what 2012 has in store. Here’s wishing all my blog readers great success and joy in the coming year!