Happy Holidays! To help you ease into the holiday spirit I thought I’d re-post this Krampus illustration I did last year for the cover of Rochester’s City Newspaper.
2011 has been my busiest year ever, by far! I started the year by quitting my part-time job and on January 9th of 2011 (my 26th birthday) my girlfriend Rachel and I crammed as much stuff as we could into the car and drove across the country from upstate New York to San Diego, California. I’ve somehow managed to survive this entire year here in San Diego, the most expensive year of my life so far (my rent here is more than three times what it was in New York state), working completely as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist. It’s been exciting, awesome, scary, difficult, fun, thrilling, educational, daunting, and delightful.
Not only has it been a big year for me personally, but professionally I had some incredible things happen in 2011! I had a comic published in MAD Magazine. I raised over $6,000 to help fund my own book project (which I’m still working on!). I had some of my absolute favorite book and comic publishers (both large and small) approach me about working on various projects, some of which will hopefully pan out in 2012. I got to do a huge Charles Rodrigues/Cracked homage cartoon for Smoke Signal. I’m working on a picture book for kids! I started working with an AWESOME literary agent who is part of an awesome literary agency! I wrote a little article on my blog that, by my calculations, has been viewed well over a million times (and I’m hoping to expand the article into a full book in 2012). I contributed to a special edition of the Cloudy Collection. I got to see one of my illustrations on the cover of a book for the first time ever. And perhaps the most exciting thing that happened this year was that I had the pleasure of being invited to meet some delightful people and pitch my own animated tv show to several different television networks and animation studios (and that’s all I’m going to reveal about that right now!). In general I just had a lot more going on than ever before. I’ve been really, really busy all year!
Despite having a lot of things go really well for me in 2011, I’m still struggling enormously to make ends meet - as I type this my bank account is extremely close to being empty and I’m not totally sure how I’m going to manage to pay rent (or buy food for that matter) for the month of January. Financially, this is the toughest year I’ve ever had. Making ends meet as a freelance illustrator or cartoonist is never easy. Even when you’re working on a bunch of huge projects, paychecks are often few and far between. So even though I’ve got a lot going on and even more on the horizon, I’m going into 2012 with the same plea I put forth right before I moved across the country at the beginning of 2011: It would be REALLY, REALLY awesome if you’d consider hiring me to draw something, especially during the first few months of 2012! Know someone who is in a position to hire illustrators? Please, make them aware of my name and website! Even the smallest of assignments will help! I can draw anything and I can draw it fast! (I did the Krampus illustration up above in just three days, start to finish).
2012 is going to be amazing. I can feel it! I’m going to draw up a storm. I’m going to put out a few books and start working on a few more. I’m going to try lots of new things and become more awesome! I’m not sure how I’m going to pay rent or buy food next month (or the month after that or the one after that and so on…), but I feel like I can do anything after successfully moving across the country without any idea what would happen when I got there and somehow surviving a whole year as a freelancer in this expensive new place. Stay tuned!