I really can’t believe I’m writing this post already! 2015 has been probably my most productive year as a career artist. In truth, I took on far more than I should’ve and really overworked myself, but so many incredible opportunities surfaced this year and I just couldn’t say no! I’m incredibly grateful to my husband and in-laws for being so supportive during some very stressful months. As I am my daughter’s main caregiver, I’m typically splitting my time between her and my artwork, but I’ve been able to rely on my family a lot to watch her during the busiest times so I can focus on my work. I plan to write another blog post on “year 2” with Penny (in 2015, she went from 9 months to 21 months old and became a very active toddler!), so keep an eye out for that.
Here’s the final tally for 2015:
- Pieces created: 32
- Gallery exhibitions:14
- Commissions: 3
- Facebook fans: 88,000 (~70,000 added in 2015!)
- Instagram followers: 55,000 (~38,000 added in 2015!)
- My favorite pieces: “Harbinger” “Augury” “Endue” and “Impasse”
Let’s get started on monthly highlights! (And just a fair warning: this post is HUGE! My year was that big!)
I started off the new year with a commission of Mildred from “The Worst Witch.” This was such a fun little portrait!
Next, I began and completed my most complicated painting yet (though “Impasse” now holds that slot!). “Harbinger” was made for the 3rd annual PRISMA Collective show at Spoke Art. For more info on “Harbinger,” I wrote a blog post about my process here.
I did one last gouache/graphite commission (I miss these!):
I finished out January with a painting inspired by my favorite comedienne, Maria Bamford, for a show at Gallery 1988:
Maria Bamford happened to be performing in Nashville, not long after I finished the painting inspired by her! I brought her a print, and asked her to sign one for me too. She’s basically the best.
I wrote a blog post about mounting paper to a cradled wood panel, that you can read here.
I began working on album artwork for Nashville local Carrie Welling’s EP, “The Edge.” It’s one of the most “liked” pieces by my fanbase from this year!
In February, I also began working with one of my favorite models and my good friend, Cassie Meder / Casstronaut. You’ll recognize her in a lot of my work from 2015!
Finally, to round up February, I created one of two postcard sized pieces for a Gallery 1988 show, this one inspired by my favorite movie, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”
The month began with Penny, nearly 1 year old, managing to find and attempt to eat a tube of gouache.
I began work on my piece for Arch Enemy Arts’ “Imaginary Menagerie” group show, inspired by mythical beasts and beings. I chose to create a piece based on the banshee. (As of this post, this painting is still available at AEA!
For the second postcard piece for an upcoming Gallery 1988 show, I created this one inspired by Addams Family Values.
After many months struggling to create my instructional DVD, losing corrupted footage, and general frustration… I started over:
At the end of the month, I began this piece, “Malediction,” for an upcoming show at Modern Eden Gallery based on Snow White.
The month began with me joining One Fantastic Week shortly after being announced as part of the One Fantastic Weekend Workshop’s faculty!
I created a painting inspired by Game of Thrones and Sansa Stark for an upcoming Gallery 1988 show called “Idiot Box 2.”
Also in April, I joined the artist rotation on Every Day Original, where I upload a brand new work on the 7th of every month for sale. The piece below, “Paragon,” was my first and I’m told it sold in record time!
I began a new piece, one that was for personal purposes and not for a show. I took my time on this one and actually got a good bit through my first version before scrapping it and starting over! I didn’t finish this one until May, and actually decided to digitally color it. I still have the intention of glazing the original in oils – I just haven’t gotten around to it!
I began May with creating this commissioned piece, “Effervescent”
Then I made my way to Kansas City, MO for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 4! I’d never been to a convention before, and I was persuaded to make it to Spectrum, and I’m SO glad I did! I had an incredible time. Highlights included finally meeting the wonderful Lauren Panepinto, running into George R. R. Martin (I shed a single tear), dressing up for the awards, meeting many of my favorite artists and new friends in person, having my work reviewed by Lauren, Irene Gallo, and Karla Ortiz and receiving very helpful feedback, and attending a multitude of incredibly helpful workshops.
I began the month with my June EDO piece, titled “Undulate.” It’s one of my favorite pieces from the year.
I also took on another album art commission, this time from Nashville local Linda Emerson. The subject matter was different for me, but I still enjoyed it! I put a lot of research into getting the milkweed right, including hunting some of it down at a local park and shooting reference photos.
Finally, I created a piece for an upcoming Gallery 1988 show celebrating the 30th anniversary of “Clue”
This month began with finding my feature in ImagineFX magazine! So neat to see my work in print like this.
Next up my monthly EDO piece:
I decided to take a quick personal break to make Penny a dress. It was really my first time making anything from scratch with my sewing machine. Speaking of, this kid really started reaching new heights, literally, in my studio…
Finally, I ended the month by creating this small watercolor inspired by some luna moth paper-cuts that I purchased from fellow artist Redd Walitzki.
I finally released my finished instructional video!
I worked on a piece inspired by Crimson Peak for an upcoming Guillermo del Toro tribute show. The best part? The man himself bought it! Definitely a highlight of the year!
Toward the end of the month and into August, I created my favorite piece to date, “Impasse,” for a PRISMA Collective show at Antler PDX.
Thus begins the busiest part of 2015! I needed to create at least 5 pieces for a mini-solo show at Arch Enemy Arts. On top of that, many other things, including my August EDO piece:
The first piece for my mini-solo “Symbiosis,” is “Schism:”
Next up is “Assail:”
Then I took a break from my series to work on a piece for what was another major highlight of my year: being commissioned by Lucasfilm, Disney, Bad Robot, and Gallery 1988 for a Star Wars painting that would ultimately be auctioned off for charity. I chose to create a piece based on Queen Amidala. The piece measured 12″ x 16″ and was painted with watercolor and embellished with 18k gold lemon leaf.
The insanity continued! I picked up again on the three remaining pieces for my “Symbiosis” series. The next in line is “Proxy.”
Followed up by “Synergy”
And finally, to round out the “Symbiosis” series, here’s “Vernacular.” Most of the pieces from this series are still available at Arch Enemy Arts.
At the very end of September, just after finishing up the above series, I got straight to working on a new Indiegogo campaign – this time to raise the funds to attend the Illustration Master Class!
The month began with my EDO piece and the start of my Crazy 4 Cult piece for Gallery 1988.
Then, my husband and I took a VERY much needed vacation, just the two of us. We spent a few wonderful days in New Orleans while Penny stayed home with her grandparents.
Once we returned, I finished up my C4C piece inspired by “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
This was an incredibly fun month! It began with teaching at the One Fantastic Weekend Workshop and creating my November EDO piece while there:
The below photos are from the workshop, with photo credits to Loraine Flegal, Kirsten Zirngibl, and Julie Wilmore:
After the workshop, I created this postcard-sized piece for Modern Eden Gallery’s annual “Wanderlust” show and titled it “Astral”
The first half of December consisted of fulfilling lots and lots of orders from the Indiegogo campaign and Black Friday sales. I’m so happy with my new home print shop setup! Meanwhile, Penny is finally old enough to sit and color for a few minutes while I work:
My December EDO piece began like this…
But then I set it aside because I wanted to spend more time on it. Instead, I created this:
I’ve ended 2015 with this incredibly fun piece inspired by my favorite game this year, “Transistor,” for an upcoming show at Gallery 1988.
I’m really quite proud of everything I’ve accomplished this year, and I’m even more excited for next year! I have a very exciting solo show lined up, some traveling, IMC, and a couple more fun projects! I definitely plan to scale back a little, though. I worked myself breathless during the second half of the year, and that put a huge strain on myself and my family, and as Penny enters the “terrible twos” in 2016, I anticipate needing to be giving her extra attention.
Huge thanks to everyone that’s supported me and cheered me on this year! Onward!