Here's a break down of the positives and negatives from this year. Afterwards is a break down of sort of how they all tie together.
A.Income was extremely high this year
B.Raised my rates
C.I was able to spend more time on each piece
D.I got to experience some conventions I hadn't seen yet.
E.Spent more time with Zbrush
F. I already have enough work planned for 2012 that I really don't have to solicit anybody next year
G. I was able to help out a lot of friends by passing along work that I was too busy to do.
H. Expenses were amazingly high for me. A lot of this had to do with making the decision to upgrade a lot of my stuff (computer and camera) since I had the money plus going out of town three times and attending three conventions. I also bought a lot of reference stuff like armor,swords,etc.
I. Direction.Probably 7 months of the year were spent doing art or art related tasks that didn't consist of making the artwork that gets me any closer to my career goals.
J.Scheduling. I so wanted to spend time on the artwork that I'm interested in that I really packed my schedule tight so that I could manage to do that kind of work. Clients created some hiccups and it ended up making two months of the year pretty miserable.
K.Invisible. Because I haven't been doing as much of the artwork I want to continue doing, I haven't been as present on the web. A morbid sense of curiosity caused me to check my webtraffic for this month. 16 unique visitors. That's embarassing. Back in 2007 around this time of year I had 740 unique visitors in a month. My blog gets better traffic than that and I don't advertise this at all except on Facebook. When I took several months off to work on my mother's children's book it took a while to get the ball rolling again with work. I suspect the next time it may be even more difficult.
2012I think I'll be less invisible this year as the webcomic stuff is soon to shift to my own style so I'll be able to use that artwork to promote myself. Plus I've thought up what I think is a relatively genius plan for getting the freelance work rolling in should I suddenly be in need of it. I want to keep that my secret weapon though until the time comes.
Right now I'm working on ADing a Facebook game and it's a bit awkward since I'm coming in on the project midway and I'm not knowledgeable about Flash or this particular work pipeline. I'm watching training materials for Flash though and perhaps this will lead to some interesting places career-wise.
I'm also illustrating an entire RPG book this year from the cover to the interiors and many of the interiors are color. I've also been given carte blanche with the cover so it's pretty exciting.