The Year: 2012on January 14, 2013 at 1:56 am
For the TLDR crowd, I will cut right to the point: 2012 was a great year for d20monkey and my cartooning efforts in general.
I know this post is coming a little late by year-in-review standards but it is an unfortunate byproduct of my current and foreseeable workload. Do not misunderstand, I am thrilled to be as busy as I am but it makes finding the time for long posts harder to come by. Looking back at the year that was, 2012 seems like a blur.
In addition to creating d20Monkey, I had the genuine privilege of working on several freelance projects for a short list of amazing people. It should not come as a surprise to anyone reading this but I am a huge gamer/DM/all around nerd and through a few Kickstarter projects and referrals from friends, I contributed to new games like School Daze, and Project Ninja Panda Taco, as well as Prismatic Art, a collection of fantasy artwork showcasing diversity. I can now say that I have illustrated stand-alone games (or gaming-related products). It may not sound like much to some but this is a feather in my cap no one can take away. I take a lot of pride in the knowledge that for some, my art will define their memories and experiences with the iconic characters in School Daze and Project NPT in the same way artists influenced me when I started gaming. I’m not saying I am in their league but I like to think someone will look back on their first brush with these games and remember my art fondly. The same feeling applies for Prismatic Art and RPG character commissions. The feeling of knowing I managed to bring something cherished from a persons imagination to life (as most characters are) is a feeling of accomplishment that you simply cannot buy.
I was asked to step in and work on projects for Blind Ferret Entertainment this year (such as t-shirts designs and the cartography duties for the Looking for Group RPG). I love what they do over there and any time I can work on gaming cartography, I am thrilled. Cartography is second only to my love of cartooning. Again, for someone, the LFG RPG will be their first experience with gaming and knowing my map work will help their GM present that first experience pretty much makes my day.
I created a few guest comics for a long list of very talented folks in comics this year. I love being entrusted with someone else’s characters. There is a level of trust there that I do not take lightly. All of the work made me smile but I’ll be honest, it was the guest comic for John Kovalic’s Dork Tower that I still giggle about like a starry-eyed fanboy.
If I am hit by a bus tomorrow at least I know I can marked that achievement off of my list.
I launched a Kickstarter campaign for d20Monkey: First Edition, my first collection of comics. I went into the campaign with cautious optimism and did not expect it to hit funding, honestly. That isn’t self-deprecating talk. I did not expect the project to fund. Much to my surprise and eternal gratitude, it did fund and then some. Now, I am in the thick of it. I am busy making good on all of the products, stretch goals, and backer rewards I promised and having the time of my life. Remember that mention to my workload? There you go. Maintaining my day job cuts into the hours I can spend on things but I am happy to work late nights and weekends. Getting into the logistics of producing such a book has been a learning experience and I’ll be talking about that a little more as the release day draws near. For now, know that I am thrilled to have this opportunity.
This year brings a new set of challenges, goals, and projects. It is my genuine hope that 2013 will bring a relocation to a city I’d love to live in, a fresh start, and possibly a life that brings d20monkey closer to my full-time career. I do not know how all of that will shake out but time will tell. Until then, I will keep my head down and work, work, work. It doesn’t matter how busy I am or how tight the deadlines are, I love what I do.
I hope this doesn’t sound like humble bragging as I do not mean for it to come across that way. It’s been a good year for me personally and professionally and I am excited to share the high points with all of you. I am coming off of a rough few years in my personal life with a divorce and another serious run-in with depression. There were days when I felt like I was at the bottom of a deep hole. I do not say that to elicit sympathy or to sound dramatic. Such was the case and through this comic, a few friends, Lexapro, and getting myself back on track, I feel like my old self again. Sure, I have good days and bad days but now I have a much better handle on how to deal with such things.
For all of you who stand by me and I will never be able to thank you enough for that. I love to draw comics and make you laugh and I hope to be doing this for the rest of my days.
Thank you all for a great 2012. Bring on 2013.