2016 was another jam-packed year for my illustration studio. I’m deeply grateful to have such a fun job where I get to work on so many exciting projects with so many amazing people. Here’s a few highlights from our most recent trip around the sun. (I’ll warn you there are a lot of projects I can’t reveal yet but I’ve linked to as many as I could):
- I created a couple of more spot illustrations for Highlights magazine. You can view them here and here.
- I was hired by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune to help them pitch advertising ideas to several businesses and brands, including a national pizza chain, a local Renaissance-themed event, and a couple more projects I can’t reveal yet.
- Speaking of art I can’t show, I also illustrated an activity puzzle for a major home improvement retail chain. I should be able to post the art sometime in February.
- Goldfish Swim Schools hired me to illustrate a fun photo standee featuring their mascot (which I also designed). I’m also in the middle of a very large project for them that I hope to be able to show in a few months.
- I helped out the Svedvick Collective with some ad concepts for a major cereal brand (again, I’m not allowed to show the work yet. Kind of a theme here.)
- I illustrated another Gospel tract/comic for the ministry of Living Waters. This one dealt with the subject of Atheism.
- I continued to help with toy design and concept art for multiple Hasbro projects (most of which I’ll never be able to show for legal/confidentiality reasons).
- I was hired by the Strottman agency to help them pitch several toy ideas to Chick-Fil-A. Once again I’m limited in what I can show but here’s a sample.
- I helped out the Smiley company on a large toy concept pitch for a well-known novelty toy brand, which I hope to be able to review soon. In the mean time, this year I was finally able to reveal l small sampling of another batch of concepts I did for them back in 2015.
- I was hired by Mountainside Farms, an east coast dairy company, to design a cow mascot for their packaging.
- My goofy cartoon sketches evolved into a webcomic I’m calling Sketchbook Silliness. People seem to like it and a couple of the cartoons went mildly viral. I’ve put together a list of my ten most popular cartoons from 2016, and I recently launched a Patreon campaign for the project which you can support here.
- I stepped up my involvement in the National Cartoonists Society. I’m now the social media guy for our chapter which means I run our Twitter feed and Facebook group. I also organized a draw-with-kids event at the Minneapolis St. Jude Walk/Run for childhood cancer, and travelled to Sioux Falls for our fall cartooning conference.
- I once again exhibited at both MSP Comic-Con’s.
- I re-posted a free download of sketchbook ideas for Inktober.
- Although most of my work is very cartoony, I also do courtroom sketching from time to time. This year I worked at trials related to Prince, ISIS, a police shooting, and the man who killed Jacob Wetterling. You can see some samples on my other website, courtroomsketches.com.
Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it all. I feel very blessed. Thanks to all of you who have supported me and shown interest in my work over the years. I wish all of you a happy and healthy 2017!