Saturday, February 1, 2014

Year of the doodle

Happy 2014 everyone!
I know it's a bit late for a looking back at the year that was post, but here it goes anyway...

2013 was a very interesting year for me. There were a few big ups, as well as some pretty big downs. So this will be a bit more wordy than usual, as I look back at some of the highlights and a few of the low points of the past year.

Imperial Sanctioned Abhvmans a.k.a. Beastmen

Things started out pretty well. Going into the new year, I was full of confidence, energy, and had plenty of work on... concept art, illustration, graphic design, a bit of everything.
Thanks to the interwebs, I also met plenty of interesting people and got involved (as far as I do) with some great online communities.

Chervbim

I even managed to make good on my one and only New Year's resolution, which was to get in more gaming. Although my miniature modelling and painting endeavours were still pretty slow going (more like stagnant, actually), I was pretty content with how everything was going.
At that point, my head was just exploding with ideas and I was creating more artwork than ever before. I filled at least a sheet a day in one of my many doodle books. Hence the title of this post.

Miscellaneovs Doodles

Things got even better when John Blanche (one of my biggest idols) started showing an interest in my work and encouraged me to approach Games Workshop and Fantasy Flight Games for some freelance work.
I can't divulge any details at this stage, but I've been working on some pretty exciting stuff for Fantasy Flight Games throughout the rest of the year.

Infant Greif I

Just when I thought things couldn't get much better, I went on my first proper holiday in three years!
Thanks to my wonderful partner Kathi and her seemingly limitless love, patience, and support (yes, she paid for my flight), I got to spend five absolutely fantastic weeks in Germany.
I caught the final week of the Landshuter Hochzeit (Wedding of Landshut, a reenactment of one of the biggest events of early Renaissance Germany), and got to spend some quality time with family and friends.

Key Bearer

Upon my return to New Zealand, however, things slowly started to take a turn for the worse. Five weeks of not working had left a big dent in my bank balance. Over the first part of the year, I had also started to shift my focus more towards my artwork and away from graphic design work. With that came a huge paycut that I was to feel keenly over the coming month... and still am as I write this today.

Even though I had plenty of interesting projects on the go, I was constantly running at a loss. I've had money troubles for many years, but as Christmas drew ever nearer and things quieted down, it all began to look pretty bleak.
Soon enough, this situation started to take a toll on my (mental) health and, by the time Xmas rolled around, I felt thoroughly depressed about my life. I found it more and more difficult to motivate myself. Less and less work came in, mostly due to the holidays, and I just couldn't quite see a way forward anymore.

Gvn Hovnd

This carried on well into January 2014. Thankfully, as of a few days ago, I have finally managed to muster the energy to pull myself out of this hole. It was only possible thanks to the never-ending support of my amazing partner Kathi, my family, friends, clients, and all the fans and supporters of my work... as well as listening really loudly to old school Metallica and other high-energy music.

Gladivs Rex

So, while my financial troubles are far from over, I have a far more positive outlook on life again. New work is starting to come in and at last I feel that I might make it through this mess after all.
Onwards and upwards, I say... and to all of you who had the patience to read all of this, I wish you a really awesome and successful new year 2014!


13 comments:

  1. Hey Christian, sorry to hear about your troubles mate. As someone who has been down the dark part of depression and come out the other side i can say with all honesty that if you have managed to write this post you have already got past the worst. If you ever need someone to talk to feel free to contact me and we can meet up for a beer. You work is awesome and you have heaps to look forward to - if you are doing work for FFG and GW you are in the big leagues. Money troubles may always be there - i sure as hell know they are always there for me. Changing careers near the end of the year certainly didn't help my situation. however there is always the next day and the next after that. There is always a chance things will improve. Take it easy mate. Hopefully ill see you at battle cry in a few weeks time.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Mark :)
      I'll definitely take you up on that offer. Will be in touch about catching up for a beer with you soon. I'll definitely be at BattleCry, too, but am not gonna have a stall this year. I plan on playing games all weekend for a change.

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    2. Awesome Christian - what will you be playing this year? As its looking like ill only have one day free im thinking about playing the x-wing tournament but i might end up just walking around all day watching everyone's games.

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    3. I plan on playing some Epic and maybe some Dust, too, if there's something happening. But I also wanna do lots of walking around, looking at games and minis, and maybe try out some of the demos. Should be a great weekend! :)

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  2. Love the sketches! They make great concept art for conversions.

    And I'm sorry to hear you're going through a hard time. I don' t think I'm fit to give you advice, so I'll just say I hope 2014 treats you better.

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    1. Thank you very much, Ana :)
      I often draw with miniature parts and possible conversions in mind. If only I had the time to build and paint the actual minis, too... one fine day, though.

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  3. Great to see you're back on your feet, mate. I'm sure many other would have faltered where you just emerged. All the best for the new year. I'm more than glad to see your blog is back in action!

    P.S. Wonderful sketches dude!

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    1. Thank you heaps for your comment, Kari :)
      I'm totally planning to update my blog a bit more regularly in the future. Feel free to poke me, should I slack off again.

      I would just love to see you make one of my sketches into a mini one day... no pressure, though ;)

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    2. And I would love to make a mini based on one of your sketches! Inquisitor Valon could use a side-kick, by the way ;)

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    3. Awesome! I've got tons more of these doodles floating around... which I'd happily make available to you, if you're interested. :)

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    4. Drop me an email (izecolt et spikyratpack.com) when you have time and lets have a brainstorm.

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  4. Great to hear you're back sir. Battling against depression and financial crisis can suck some serious balls when combined... Towards the light!

    I find these sort of small and simple sketches to be surprisingly mind blowing - key bearer is cute and vicious, grr I love her/him/it.

    Best wishes fella!

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    1. Thank you very much, my friend... towards the light, indeed :)

      The key bearer is one of my favourites as well. What I love about these quick doodles is how they dynamic they usually turn out. It's very easy to lose this effect in more carefully rendered work.

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