Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highlights of 2011

It was another interesting year! How could it not be? Things are always changing, growing, stopping, and coming and going. I'm so lucky to meet and work with such great people! Caroline, Megan, Barb, Tom Drymon, Amy Saidmen, Tom Goss, HEX, Gary, TROHV, Alan, Sarah, Romaine, Dave K, Peter, Renato, Bobby, Geran.  So many great supporters, patrons, friends and cheerleaders.

I end the year determined to grow, and work from experience. MORE tees, less prints, MORE cards, MORE freelance and maybe some photography mixed in!

I'm excited to go forward.  Here's to 2012!

2010 Highlight Post

2009 Highlights Post

DC Design House -- Early in the year I scouted out the new Design House living room that Barb was going to transform.  I was really honored that she commissioned two paintings from me to be part of her design.  The end result was GREAT, but it took me in another direction for Axis that didn't work out so well.


Axis Show -- My Axis project was to go up in February, but luckily it was pushed back a month.  I was really stumped about what to do, and made a big mistake with what I settled on.  a series of really simple colorful silhouettes printed with tempera paint on 30 x 30 wood panels.  looked good on paper, but not so much in the windows after we finally installed.  Blah!  The whole thing was a fiasco, start to finish.  Luckily Sue form Axis recognized the mistake instantly.  In less then a week hex and I installed 10+ different prints.  More me, and better overall.  It was rough going!  Hard to install, and tough emotionally.  But turned out well.  Great exposure and good will.  Most of all, experience for how to do things better.

Renato -- I met Renato in the spring, after placing rounds of new ads.  I noticed that responses through craigslist grew thinner, but managed to meet a few really great guys that I used for shirts as well.  Renato stands out from the guys in the spring.  A Brazilian guy who came to the US via Australia with his new wife.  All around awesome guy.  So friendly and handsome and enthusiastic about life.  Just rock solid.  We met up later in the summer, and had coffee after the shoot. A terrific memory, sitting on the curb, summer afternoon, talking about his brother's surf camp back in Brazil.  Such a great experience, working with great people.


Screen prints -- Early spring I also started making smaller prints.  I was thinking they might sell easier at Trohv and the studio.  I could sell them for less and they are easier to hang, to fit in people's decor.  Had some success, but not as much as I thought.  Still, a good evolution of my print work.

Another change -- more ties between shirts and prints content-wise.  I started doing more things with captions, and humor.  Very much like what I was trying to get away from early on after leaving bsur.  It gives me a hook, and I needed to recognize that and build on it.


Speakeasy -- I got an email from Amy Saidmen (speakeasyDC) about purchasing a few prints.  What a great turning point.  Eventually I began working freelance with speakeasy, and it's been a great experience.  New inspirations and outlets, and income.  I big deal that has lead to great things.  It all started in spring, with this initial design.

Trohv -- Things were going well with Red Tree in Baltimore (prints and tees first went into the store Nov '10), and I was really excited to be included in the their new (huge) Takoma store which opened in the spring.  The name for both stored was changed to TROHV.  Awesome stores, customers, and new opportunities.  It's been a great year with them, culminating in a banner Holiday selling season!

Swish Edition -- I was contacted by Scott Wallis of Swish Edition, and was invited to be interviewed on his radio show, plus he commissioned a print (flamingos) for their green room.  Being interviewed on the show was really great, and he was so enthusiastic about working on some things together.  The print turned out well, and was a lot of fun to work on.  All in all, a great experience, and great new friends.  Around this time I was also working on stuff for Tom Goss.  New shirts for him to wear on tour, and designs for him to print himself and sell.  A terrific partnership that just grew stronger this year.

Wall of Prints -- Mid City Artists Open studios came around again in the spring, and I decided to max out the wall with prints rather then just hang a coordinated few.  My collection of prints had grown leaps and bounds.  Too much actually.  The wall was fun to hang, and I've decided to keep the format going forward.  2 "walls of prints" since.

Peter -- I'm messing up the timeline, but somewhere in Spring / Summer I made the honey badger design, and shot it with Peter.  A great time to get back together, and got a bunch a great new pics for the site.  I love working with Peter!  And the design -- a big, huge hit!!  On another note, my whole underwear project took a back seat.  Need to pull the plug (regrettably), but think it's the best choice.

Geran -- Also over the summer I met and shot Geran.  A really sweet and beautiful guy.  I had so much fun shooting with him, especially a bunch while he was doing tricks, in the alley no less.  Flips and kicks and handstands.  It was really fun.  I remember when we were first talking as we walked down the street I asked him what he did.  When he mentioned (really quietly) "tricking", I thought for a split second he meant "escorting".  Was relieved when we quickly cleared that up.  We shot twice, and when I contacted him again, he replied that he was living in LA!  All the very best to him.  He is gold.

Prints -- Printing in '11 wasn't as creative.  I made a few new winners, but there was a lot of reprinting, some commissions, and a bunch of duds.  I would usually get in a groove when the corcoran semester was ending.  Summer was tough because the open studio hours were cut way back.  Fall was a little better, but I was really busy with shows most saturdays
Mid City Caffe Show -- Early Fall I got a chance to show at Mid City Caffe.  Turned out they would close 2 months later, but it was a exciting opportunity after the missteps with them the year before.  I have good and bad memories of Hex and I struggling to hang the show while all the customers sat passively underneath us, in our way!  Trip after trip, hauling all the prints a block from the studio and up the stairs.  The walls were "hungry" and endless.  So much space--we ended up hanging almost 20 prints.  What a huge job!  Had some good sales and contacts out of it.  And sad to see it close just after de-installation.  Goodbye Mid City Caffe!  We liked you a lot!

Sidewalk Dogs -- Also this year, throughout the year, I started taking pictures of sidewalk dogs around the neighborhood, and posting them on Facebook.  A really fun project that always keeps me interested.  Slowed down considerably as winter hit, and other things became more pressing.  But fun, and something I plan to continue.

Greeting Cards -- In July / August I turned my sights towards Christmas, and cards.  I made valentines in February, and had good success--building from the year before.  Only problem was I wasn't happy with the printing and paper.  Late summer I set out to make improvements, and to design a whole collection that would coordinate together.  Had some ups and downs with designing and printing, but everything then fell into place!

Started with a collection of 9, then added 5 Holiday designs in December.  They were a big big hit.  Sold tons through very DIY outlets (shows, studio, stores, salon, online).  Excited to continue and expand the line!  And most of all, get them in more stores.  I think I have another hit on my hands.

Bobby -- Met Bobby late in the Fall, and he made a quick and lasting impression.  Lots of fun to work with, and love the pics we took for fun and for the site.  Hope to work with him lots this spring with new tees.

SpeakeasyDC tees -- not sure how this will work out.  We designed a small collection of shirts around the "I did it for the story..." theme, and sold them online and at open mics.  Still haven't found our sales groove, but I still really think it has a lot of potential.  anyway, wanted to record it as another project completed in the year.

Pandas -- Didn't work out as planned, but still were fun to do.  Another fun thing to record, late fall.

Temple Garden - In December Hex and I saved a bunch of plants from the Temple Garden, a community garden set to close this winter.  We transplanted a few convertible-fulls of perennials to a large tree box in front of my studio.  So excited for spring and summer.  To see all the plants flourishing again in a new place!!

 Studio -- I thought it would be a good idea to have a holiday show at the studio, so we managed to put it all together pretty last minute.  Another fun DYI thing.  This year there were a few - but one other that sticks out is Dog Days in August.  The year before I was so down on myself for not making the most of a great sales opportunity.  This year I did much better, selling tons of shirts and a few sale prints.  Another positive step.  Our holiday show was another good building block.

BUZZ -- Very late in the year I got the chance to show at Buzz Bakery in Arlington.  What a fun hip place.  It was a stretch to hang everything up very last minute, but Hex and I did it!  I'll never forget arriving at 11pm, unloading, and hanging until 12:30.  They thought it was best to do it when customers were away (ha-unlike mid-city caffe).  It's been another great success. Sales and good will.  Excited to see how things go with Buzz in 2012

Last but not least -- The Derrick and Romaine Show on XM radio.  Met through Tom Goss, and participated in their Holiday Stocking promotion.  AND was interviewed on the show in early December.  AWESOME response.  Orders for tees flooded in, and gave me the best December ever.  Loved being on the show, and it gave me a big rush of confidence.  A GREAT GREAT way to end the year.


Justin Fair said...

Dave, as I coincidentally wear one of your shirts, I'm happy to have met you and seen how active you've been! You're an inspiration, please keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Dave you accomplished so much in 2011! I am always impressed with your talent and honesty. Think of you often and miss you tons! Wishing you a 2012 filled with happiness and success.
Xoxo - Shannon