It’s time for one of my favorite things – rounding up the art for a year-end retrospective! This year, I wanted to do something different, however, so in addition to this little round-up blog post, I’ve also narrated a video for your enjoyment! For those who don’t have 15+ mins to listen to my longer form rambling, you can skim the major talking points here instead.
Enjoy and let me know what your favorite piece of mine was from this year! Is there anything you’d like to see me do more of in 2024?
My Month-to-Month Summary
A better look at each piece, plus extra art I couldn’t fit into the month-to-month format.
How Was My Year?
It was honestly a rough one! From my existential dread dealing with generative AI replacing Illustrators to a significant cancer scare that derailed all my best laid plans, I’ve come out the other side with the best outcome of a benign tumor. In spite of the dark cloud of looming disasters, I managed to complete my Birthstone Goddesses collection after 6 years of toil! It may not have gotten the big finish I wanted for that project, but I’m happy to free up my muse and attention for other exciting endeavors on the horizon.
My Level-Up Piece
The piece that taught me the most and helped improve my skills – “The Lamb”
I chose this as my Level Up piece because I was able to find a balance within it that brought me a step closer to a Tarot-inspired art style I’ve been nurturing of late. I used line art to accentuate the form and bring in very subtle hatchwork, while also letting the image be painterly. It’s a hard balance to strike, but this image was my “Eureka” moment for how to combine my love of lines and painterliness!
My Personal Favorite
The piece that I loved the most out of the rest I made – “Leaping River Orchid”
Things just ‘clicked’ with this piece. Despite being quite loose, this image still has a good sense of character and mood. In trying to emulate the Arcane animated series art style, I unlocked something between that space of loose lines and color that makes for a very appealing visual look. Perhaps it’s merely her cool hat that makes this my favorite? Either way, I hope I can use what I learned from painting Orchid for future pieces like it!
2024 Art Goals
- Make more videos & streams – While I’ve been dipping my toe into sharing more videos this year, I’d like to really up the ante in 2024. I’m hoping to create more narrated videos and be more present as a person in them to remind folks I’m a human, not an art machine. I also want more face to face time with you all by streaming! Now, I just need to learn how to stick to a streaming schedule which I’ve had a terrible track record at.
- Learn Clip Studio Paint – I feel like I’ve stagnated the past couple of years because I’ve avoided complex images with multiple figures and architectural elements. I’m hoping to teach myself Clip Studio Paint so I can start using 3D models to create reference materials for complex elements so painting them will be easier.
- Re-invest in myself and my artistic voice/stories! – For years, I’ve always intended to write more, but my Art Muse has always dominated my time. With AI now intruding into all creative fields, I want to push my work to be more about my voice, which I hope will stand out from the increase in AI material that’s bound to happen in the next few years. I have something to say with my work and now I finally have the freedom to pursue this endeavor with full attention thanks to our newfound stability!
2023 was tough, but I’m stoked for 2024! I feel like I’ve finally been able to slow down and heal in 2023 after literal years of health disasters, medical debt, house moves, and uncertainty. Now, I’m able to approach a new branching path in my artistic direction in 2024. I can’t wait to share it with you all! I’ll be talking about the new and decidedly different work I’ll be sharing on this Patreon in the next entry.
Till then, onwards to 2024! Thanks for sticking with me on this eteneral roller coaster of a ride.