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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!