Monday, December 31, 2012

dear Dave,

Another good year - best yet.  Really was all about printing, when I went into it thinking I was going to focus on shirts.  Started a little slow, but picked up major steam in the spring with Artomatic, Buzz and especially Dolchezza.  Summer didn't fade as much as expected.  Sales and printing just kept going.  Fall was all about the preparing for the holidays.  They were good, but I always think I can do better!

Here is to looking back, before all the excitement of 2013 kicks in!

Started the year with a quick trip to Miami to visit Hank.  so so weather, but nice to get away with Hexy!

 Worked on a new batch of Valentines, and was really happy with them.  Added a lot of color at the last minute, and thought that was a great choice. Early in the year I got some huge card orders that were so exciting.  Gave me a quick bounce.  Cards in general went really well.  Buzz on Slaters turned out to be an awesome venue all year.  Considering it was my second year, I was really happy with the growth.  And have big plans for 2013!

 I got a random commission to design a shirt for an Arts Club in DC.  I was seriously stumped, even after taking a tour of the venue.  Then it hit me - the facade of the building! A simple solution that worked awesome.

The excitement surrounding Honey Badger was waning, but I did these fun prints early in the year.  A great chance to make big, fun, new, messy prints.  Was a small breakthrough - back to printing, doing, and being what I love - fun, open, spontaneous.

Also in the spring (a lot seemed to happen in the spring!) I printed a lot of branches.  Forsythia was hell, because I made it hell for myself.  Ha - so was other now that I think of it.  Forsythia - I printed a bunch of different yellows.  Made sense on paper, the variation gave depth.  In print, it made no real difference - just a million little peaces to keep track of.  Multiple films, multiple screens, multiple inks.  What a nightmare.  I remember it was a major struggle, but luckily worked out.  And both copies sold quickly.

Still very much a fan of Trohv, but really struggled to keep them stocked with new work.  Anyway, wanted to record, because they continue to be a major supporter and partner, and I am forever grateful.  Resolve to get back on track with them for 2013--up my game.

Dolchezza show!  Also in spring, I made the PARK print for my month long show at Dolchezza.  What a major hit! It looked really great in the space, and had a big impact.  Ended up selling multiple copies, and kept me really busy for a couple of weeks.  I got stuck between semesters at the Corcoran, so I got really backlogged in my printing.  All worked out well though, just a lot of catch up!  Show basically sold out - which was just amazing.

Stretched my car to the limit - all year!  I think this was for an Artomatic drop off.  I remember a lot of logistics. parking garages, dropping off at loading docks, then picking up.  Freight elevators, zip cars, zone parking, metro.  It was all a big ordeal, but work out in the end.

Really REALLY excited for artomatic to return this year.  Crystal city was a great location, but the building was a kind of a bummer.  A tear-down instead of a brand-new.  All the floors were choppy, and office blah/sad.  Sort of an energy sucker.  But I got a big wall on a good floor, and had some good sales.  Market day (selling shirts on first floor) was stellar.  My bright idea to box frame shirts was a MAJOR FAIL.  They looked horrible - major reflection for the lights, scratched frames, and just overall poor presentation.

So happy I was able to reverse course quickly, return most of the frames, and rehang shirts on wood. Overall happier, but wish I could have put more creative energy into artomatic.  Felt a little lackluster.  Oh well.  Another memory from it - my hellish volunteer shifts.  The endless hours of sitting around, bored out of my mind.  And my frustration at having 30 people do work that 5 could do.

Major highlight!  Our sidewalk garden.  Planted the November before, we were so excited to see it fill out, and for all the perennials to bloom (most of which would be a surprise).  Crazy ups and downs with keeping it protected and watered, but we managed OK.  This summer we plan to add a bigger, stronger fence.  The neighborhood is only getting more crowded.

All the commissions this year were a real challenge. This one just seemed to lag forever, because it came at a really busy time.  It's hard though - capturing the likeness, and the spirit of these dogs that are so beloved (and known) by their owners - and doing it in a way that still maintains my "style".  I muddled though them all - and this one really stands out as a success.  Another note: I printed it twice!  My first attempt was ALL WRONG.  This one came out just right.

Another successful early August dog days sale.  Hex and I get better and better - and so does the neighborhood.  This year I sold a ton of discounted cards and shirts.  Of course when it was all over and we counted the $, it wasn't as impressive since everything was so heavily discounted.  But it was basically found money, and a good chance to get more exposure in the neighborhood.  This was the first of a lot of fall shows/festivals.
H STREET - so so, kind of slow.  Bad super late start because no tables had arrived.  Put us in a bad mood.
HYATTSVILLE- slower then year before, worse booth location.  Did OK, but really wished I had done 17th street instead -- NEXT YEAR!  Del Ray - GREAT!  We set up late, but had our tent, a good crowd, really happy response, and good sales.  Almost perfect...really windy and cold.

Something that didn't work out well - my "show" at Mutt & joes.  A fun experience, but disappointing.  Thought I would record, for the sake of it.  Going back this week to pick them all up.

Somewhere in July and August I worked on a bunch of 2013 Speakeasy illustrations.  I had a blast coming up with drawings for the topics they supplied.  All my creative juices were flowing.  Here is one that didn't make the cut, but I still love it!

Late summer sunflower destruction.  Photos pretty much say it all.

Shirts / photography / website took a backseat this year, to printing.  I almost had a big FAB.COM sale in the spring, but realized the terms were horrible just before committing (thank God!!) and that I was about to get waaaay over my head in production and money.  That sale could have ruined me.  

Bobby sort of came and went.  Hard to photograph well towards the end, then he moved.  Had some other fun shoots, but nobody stood out as a good solid muse like Dave or Peter.  So I just focused my energy on other things, and moved on.  Hope to shoot more soon, and think I may have found another great model.  Time will tell!  

Not sure what to think about shirts.  Feeling kind of blah, I really need make new designs.  Tired of the tricolors from American Apparel.  Sort of excited about V's.  We'll see.

Late fall I got the great idea (thanks HEX) to make a bunch of mini prints for the holidays.  They were all really fun, and for the most part much easier.  I made a bunch early December, and sold a bunch.  Another great evolution of my work product.

Another big part of the year - postcards!  I finally keyed into using them for marketing, and they have been a huge success (and fun!)  Every couple of months I make a new design, and push them out.

Last but not least - BUZZ!  A huge part of 2012!!  We first hung the show December '11 in slaters and added Ballston sometime in the spring.  It's been a major major part of my year selling prints and cards at Buzz, going back and forth with replacement prints to hang, and sold pieces for pick up.  This little wall especially keeps me busy.

Special thanks to HEXY for helping me almost every time.

THANK YOU BUZZ, for making 2012 so awesome!!!!!

2011 Wrap up

2010 Wrap up

2009 Wrap up

Friday, December 28, 2012

dear dave,

ridiculous day spent fretting about my drained car battery that I realized much later I stupidly caused by searching for quarters in the little compartment between the seats last night. Pizza just requires soda!

Hexy and I loaded in the car this morning, big boxes bungied to the back, and the battery was dead.  GEICO came to jump later, and while on our way to NTW (though crappy traffic), the light suddenly came on, in my head AND inside the car.  Mystery solved!!  Thankfully before we spent $100 + on a new battery.

I turned on the light, I got the quarters, I opened my car door, and never turned off the light, or noticed it on in the bright garage.

Still unexplained:  The toast (or dry bread??) we found nested in different parts of the engine after lifting the hood to inspect it.

W E I R D .

Anyway, all was not lost today.  I managed to finish, pack, and mail my 3 piece "I chews you" masterpiece commission.  A big accomplishment.

And - I started my famous '12 highlights blog post.  Of course I took it down after posting.  Still needs work, and photos.  What was I thinking when I decided not to use photos?

stupid dave.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Crazy Christmas started out great, but ended badly. Sick! But feeling much much better today, and taking it easy on the couch with ms remi.

Excited for the new year. A brand new start. Always feels great.

Friday, December 21, 2012

inching towards the holiday.  tick tock.  all is s l o w i n g  d   o    w     n     .

not doing much.  Should probably leave the studio, and just enjoy the time away.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

dear dave,

I've been so bad about keeping up with blogger.  Combo of being busy, being blah, and being bad.  I will do better.  I sure hate when I'm a dedicated fan of something that updates frequently, and then it suddenly stops updating frequently.  Of course I continue to visit, but hope turns into resignation quickly, and eventually the bookmark gets deleted.

Not here!

Past few days have settled down considerably.  The holiday swamp of waning activity has come.  inbox empties, orders stop, corcoran closes, tv goes on hiatus, roads clear, and everything just gets pushed off until January.

I complain about it every year, because I like the hustle bustle routine.  I love waking up to emails, and running around filling orders.  Feedback!  Activity!  Income!  Excitement!  It all just stops, and stalls, until well into January.

Time to buckle down and get ahead, I always tell myself.  But don't really.

ANYWAY - yesterday Hex and I dropped many prints off at Buzz to be picked up, and refreshed the walls and  I refreshed my website after all the sales.  Today I will finally draw this other dog that I keep struggling with.  I will do it, and it will work out beautifully.  I tell myself!

Monday, December 17, 2012

dear dave,

past few days have been chock full of activities, accomplishments, and productivities.

Friday night - 1,000,000 christmas cookies baked.

Saturday - last official print day, finished up A&M commission.  Everything worked out PERFECTLY!  I could ask for a better day.  Super happy with the outcome.

Saturday night - we put up our (fabulous) tree, and baked for the celebration Sunday.

Sunday - Early Christmas at Jon & Brenda's.  Lots of fun and laughs with Sue.  Ham + Cheese Potatoes + salad + cake and ice cream + apple pi e+ cookies.  All really fun and yummy, sweet & salty.

Monday - sneaky session at the Corcoran.  The studio was open all day (something I didn't want to depend on but hoped for).  Finally got to Hexy's penguin (masterpiece) and another Otter, and 2 more CHUNKS (finally!).

That quickly wraps it all up.  A good week ahead finishing it all up and dropping off.  Hopefully some more last minute sales.

Feel great - accomplished and sated.

Friday, December 14, 2012

dear dave,

sort of a filler day.  I feel myself slacking a little as the weekend is here.  I have this one big printing project to finish - and of course it's a big, involved one.  S H O U L D all work out tomorrow.  That is the plan.

Finished up "I chews you" series last night.  Was so hard to get in the car and drive to Georgetown at 6.  Really just wanted to call it a night and go home - but glad I stuck it out.  The studio was empty, and I was able to focus and finish.  Best case scenario.

Plans to go tonight fizzled.  Traffic will suck, and I'm tired, and Hexy and I need some time to relax (and BAKE).  So I will just stay positive that tomorrow I will get to the corcoran, make my screens, mix my inks, and print my print without incident!.  No flood, fire, or fuck up.  please.

Like that one last final you don't really study for.  It's all that stands in your way from packing, saying goodbye, and leaving for the semester.  (still school metaphors - they always work).

ANYWAY - that is the story.

Made a big trip to Buzz today -- more cards, swapped prints, and put a bunch on sale.

What a year at Buzz!  What a great year.  SOOOOOOOOOOO lucky to have answered that craigslist ad a year ago.  It was meant to be - a huge boost to my business.

Anyway - many prints are selling, but when all is said and done - I have A LOT more I can sell.  The days of December are waning.  Fingers crossed the momentum just keeps up up and up!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

another breakthrough!  It hasn't been the best few weeks for drawing.  So much angst and struggle over just a few dogs.

The pattern was pretty similar.  First I avoided working on them, then when I started I had a pretty good idea of the direction.  Initial idea (or direction ) was solid.

But then as I started to draw, and look at the reference pictures, I choked.  It's like suddenly writing with your opposite hand.  Everything that comes out is screwy, way screwy, and not improving.

I tried and tried and tried.  Different pens, different paper.  Break, avoid, try again.  Over and over.  I just kept trying and trying, but my attempts got progressively worse and off, and the frustration with myself got worse and worse. (This is happening over days -- not hours.  Whole days.)

Then suddenly, at the last minute when I really have no more time, I have a weird breakthrough.  I finally get that one in a hundred drawing down on paper.  With a few edits, it will work.

I can move on!  Scan it, tweak it, add color, and progress!

What  a crazy struggle it's been.  Time just keeps ticking away.  Chances to get all the printing done are dwindling.  But I made it - just in time.

Finally I can say to myself (with confidence):

everything will work out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

printing printing printing!

sorry to all my blog readers -(are you out there?)

I have been so neglectful only because I've been busy.  Down to the wire for printing, and trying to squeeze it all in, with everything else december has to offer - baking, tree hanging, parties, window shopping.

Much of my routine has been disturbed, trying to focus on printing.  Happy to have a deadline, otherwise it would bleed well into the holiday.

Just stay laser focused, and finish!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bad blogger lately!  Just focused on other things.  Bogged down again on drawings.  To be expected, but sucks.

Running out of time for printing, so the pressure is on to finish these drawings.  Ha- which makes it all worse.

GREAT couple of days.  Super tired, but super busy selling and making.  THink I turned a corner on feeling better, which will help a lot.  Keep thinking I'll get  a massage - but then can't seem to pull the trigger (and justify the time off).  Fear it will incapacitate.  Ah - everything is all about work.  Way too bsur.

So many things to do - big projects.  Nothing is light and quick.  Everything is multi step, multi layer, plan, plan, plan.

I will survive!  Christmas will be over, December will be over, I'll be spent, but hopefully satisfied.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

R E A D Y:

to sell
to rest
to make cookies
to enjoy holiday
to go to the beach
to succeed

Busy couple of days (broken record), drawing, printing, shipping, and coding the site for D&R promotion.  I screwed up addresses I gave them, so I had to make 2 identical sites to cover my ass.  stupid dave.  My goal was to do new stuff, more racy and fun since the audience is different.  But things didn't work out that way so much.  Still time, so maybe I'll be able to get to it.

All has worked out well this week though - it's just a lot.  Once I got griffen's face drawn, the rest flowed.  I was hoping and praying that would be the case.  So happy it was.  A good week to catch up on drawing.

Super crazy busy day today at the corcoran -- it was slow going.  Only a few more weeks to print, so it's a race to finish everything on time.  As always!  I wouldn't have it any other way!