Hello, all! I hope life's been treating you well.
It's been a roller-coaster of a year, hasn't it? Certainly for me it has. I don't know if 2018 will be any better or worse, but I'm looking forward to wrapping this year up.Wrapping this year up
In all honesty, I'm not thrilled with how my year's gone by; I started it off with so much optimism, and I'm ending it just utterly drained. I've barely even done any of the for-fun pictures I would have usually done, I've collected a backlog of commissions that for some reason or another I could barely even get started on... and I don't think I overloaded myself with projects either, I just could barely manage to do a bare minimum. It did
end up in an overload, but I feel that I was being pretty reasonable with what I was taking on earlier in the year. And all of this, compounded by an absolutely crazy political climate, family and health issues, more stress than I know what to do with.
That's not to say it's been a whole year of negatives! SizeCon happened in July and was also a stressful experience itself, but such a huge step for me, getting my work printed and selling at a table for my first time. It's thanks to that experience that I'm doing high-res versions of my work now, which has been a boost for my Patreon as well. I've reached a wider audience - growth has been slower this year due to myself being slower, but it's a growth all the same - and when I do
find the time and energy to take on fresh commissions again, I know I have a lot of folks eager and waiting for the opportunity. It's beyond flattering and a huge comfort to know that, speed issues aside, I have what I need to be successful even with this weird 3D kink art.
All in all, 2017 has been quite a ride, and while I'm definitely ready to get off now, it's with a years' worth of new experiences under my belt. My biggest priorities right now are tying up all the loose ends I've left hanging; finishing that crowdfunded Tharja image, sorting through commission requests, some Patreon reward planning, a rather large pile of unsold prints I need to figure out how to sell online, some computer upgrades and organizing... basically a lot of stuff that won't be coming up here until each is done, so I'll just apologize now for what will probably be a few more periods of silence while I catch up.Smaller plans
Despite how this past year turned out, I really want to start off the next with all the optimism I've got.
Moving forward, I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself and my work, and just let myself have fun with what I do. I want to expand my abilities, in both 3D and 2D work, but at the same time I also need to let myself post simple things; not every scene needs a fully-detailed background, not every illustration needs to go through hours and days of refinement. I need to let myself have a bit more fun, too, not getting so obsessive over sticking to patterns and themes. Small, fun stuff is good! For example, I just bought a 3D model of a pizza slice (thanks to fellow 3D artist Flagg3D
for the recommendation), and I don't even know what I'll do with it yet, but I'll just start working and see what scene builds itself. That's how I used to go about things, and it's so much easier when the end result is something surprising even to me, rather than a disappointment because I went in with a plan and fell short. I also got a small collection of Copic markers as a Christmas gift today, which is something I'm looking forward to learning how to use!Commissions and other things
So this much was already touched on above, but to expand a bit... I don't know when commissions will re-open, likely not in the very near future. There's a few already in a rough queue that have been sitting there for literal months now, and until I'm at a point where I can actually start and finish those, taking on anything new is simply out of the question.
I've been telling people for a while now that I'll be re-opening "soon" and the longer that's gone on, the less true it's become. I'm not quite sure what to say at this point! Just that I do
intend to re-open, I just don't know when it'll be.
Commissions aren't as solid a profit for me as I'd like, partly because I work so slowly on such things, and can only take on a few of the requests I get. Working in 3D is a limiting factor as well. It is
profitable though, and while I don't think I can rely solely on commissions to make a living with this, I don't see myself ever cutting out commissions entirely. I just need to work out what else I need to keep things going. It seems like a laugh to suggest that fantasy fetish art would be at all suitable for mugs or t-shirts, but something else I've realized over this year is how this isn't entirely true.Final thoughts
All in all, I don't think I can say this year has been a failure. It's been a series of rather harsh lessons, but lessons all the same. And I can't wait to take all that I've learned and put it towards greater and greater goals.
Race you all to 2018! (seriously though, if it could come a little faster, that'd be great.)