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

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