Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monkey + Seal Recap 2011

Happy holidays everyone!

Today we just wanted to do a recap of our year, since now is as good a time as ever to start evaluating 2011 and to start planning for 2012.

Major Accomplishments for 2011
•Monkey took over partial ownership of Big Umbrella Studios (BUS) around this time last year!  He managed to help keep BUS alive and kicking.
•Monkey + friend Grant Gililand (aka The Gross Uncle) had a feature show, Beastiarum vocabulum, at BUS and made some nifty t-shirts.
•Seal made some new prints of her more recent paintings.
•We both updated our personal websites.
•We celebrated our 6 year anniversary together(!)
•Seal finished up work on her first animated feature (we can't tell you more than that yet!)
•Seal got a position at a video game company in Sausalito.
•Monkey built a site for The Lords of Print and started off finding new clients to print shirts for.
• We had a split show at OZ called "The Undiscovered." Seal's portion of the show was titled "New World," while Monkey's part was the interactive "Secret of Deadbrook."
•Monkey got his first wholesale client for his Ties of Awesomeness.
•Seal got a job working for Marza Animation Planet doing concept art.
•We tabled at the SF Zine Fest, where Monkey won a class at the SF Center for the Book.
•We took a trip to Indonesia with Seal's family.
•Seal started work as Production Designer for a short film directed by a senior animator at Pixar.
•Monkey quit his day job and runs his businesses full time.
•We tabled at the Alternative Press Expo.
•We signed up for our first out -of-town craft show, Spectrum Live! in Kansas City, MO (such a huge jump!)
•We broke our record for the highest gross total from a 2-day craft fair at this year's Bazaar Bizarre.
•We reorganized our apartment.
•Monkey continued to run the bi-monthly Artgasm Drink n' Draw.
•We held a successful presale for our new shirt - Cthulhu Fhtagn.
•Monkey took classes at City College and has learned about container gardening, Flash game programming, archery, and more!

Whew!  Well, those were all our big accomplishments for the year.  There were many smaller accomplishments, like finishing paintings, and getting over emotional hurdles and personal challenges.  There were meeting deadlines we didn't think we could meet and coming to terms with some of our own hang-ups regarding art and work.

We discovered and struggled and fought our Impostor Syndromes, and had to deal with the constant invasions of realtors as the building we rent in was being sold.  We had to solve difficult logistic and financial problems as well, and having to figure out time management as 2011 was our first year of both being self-employed.  

Another big challenge for us that we continue to work on is the decision to specialize in our creative fields.  Now that we both are doing art full-time, where do we go from here?  Does our future lie in video games, films, silkscreen printing?  As we trudge along these questions constantly plague us, but we also have to fight to keep in mind that as long as we're happy and manage to keep doing things we enjoy, perhaps the answers will be made clear to us.  Hopefully in 2012.  

Next year, we have a lot of plans for growth and new endeavors.  Monkey is working on a side project with a friend related to the wedding invitation industry.  We're planning to both release new books of our work in collected forms next year.  We're also working on developing a book/curriculum in the way of a instructional, inspirational "How To Become an Artist" class/book.  We have Spectrum Live to look forward to, and showing with such an amazing caliber of artists is a bit daunting and exciting.  We hope to vend at more craft fairs, and Monkey wants to hold a solo show complete with sculptures and more interactive storytelling.  Seal hopes to focus on sustainability while at the same time finding a more consistent nature of work.  We're both still trying to find our path in terms of what type of art/what style we really enjoy.  Seal hopes to complete a graphic novel based on her "Skyace Wasteland" painting series.  Monkey also hopes to release a book of illustrated stories in full color (including a re-release of The Drowning of Jun Wakayama).  

We are definitely looking to stepping up our game next year and pushing ourselves to more fully realize our artistic visions and growing even more.  If anything, we hope next year's theme to be "Sustainable Growth."  

We hope you'll share with us your accomplishments and your thoughts on what you're looking forward to achieving in 2012.  Let's take the world by storm!!