Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monkey + Seal is BACK, baby!

Howdy everyone!  Whew!  Long time no see!

First off we'd like to apologize for falling off the blogging bandwagon this year.  There were a lot of changes in our lives this year, and unfortunately, since we always talk about taking care of your artist self and sustainability, we had to follow our own advice and thus the blog suffered.  We wanted to let you know that we are bringing it back (!) in 2014, but with a few changes.  

1) Monkey will be writing here much less frequently.  He'll be focusing his energy and writing over at his new project: Lift Off Art.  He launched Lift Off as a way to really focus on the psychological issues that artists face as well as the marketing and business aspects of it.  Monkey will still be around here (obviously, as it's Monkey + Seal), but if you're a reader interested in progressing forward as an artist, we recommend you go and subscribe to the Lift Off newsletter and blog.  

2) Seal will be holding it down over here at the good ol' M+S blog, but we realized that with our schedules as artists and teachers, we can no longer commit to the weekly post.  We'll post when we can, and will send out a newsletter when we do post.  

Cool, thanks for being understanding!  

Anyway, today (versus tomorrow), we thought it'd be prudent to talk a bit about 2013.  We're always big fans of creating a review of your year in order to remind yourself of all the stuff that you have both accomplished and also stuff that you need to work on.

2013 started out pretty tough. We had a lot of crazy personal stuff happen early on in the year, including bad family health diagnoses, deaths in the family, and close calls making rent early on in the year.  Monkey also had a trip to the ER, and both of our wallets got hit pretty hard with some dental emergencies (don't forget to brush and floss, kids).  However, we also read a lot of great books by amazing authors (Geneen Roth, James Altucher, Danielle LaPorte, etc.) that changed the way we think about life and creating and overall we feel like we had a great year.  

Some of the 2013 highlights are:

- Seal finished work on the Japanese animated feature "Space Pirate Captain Harlock."  The film was released in September in Japan and will be coming to US theaters early next year (so soon!).  You can check out the trailer below (but make sure the English subtitles are on, if you don't speak Japanese).

-Monkey became a sponsored artist for three different art material companies: Crescent Cardboard LLC (a very inauspicious name for the world's leader in mat board), Savoir-Faire (the sole US importer and distributor for Fabriano, Sennelier, Cretacolor, and other high-quality international art material companies), and KRINK (uber-aggressive graffiti ink markers and paint pens).

-Seal also joined the ranks as one of Savoir-Faire's demo artists too!  Woo!

-We did our usual circuit of craft/art shows and had a blast (as per usual) vending at APE, SF Zine Fest, and Bazaar Bizarre SF Holiday show.  We also tried some new shows (for us) including the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon (LA chapter) and the Lower Haight Art Walk.

-We had a bunch of awesome live paint opportunities and cool gallery shows.  We participated in group shows at Modern Eden and 111 Minna, and live painted for Oracle, the National Association of Asian American Professionals, and of course, Big Umbrella Studios.

-Seal worked on producing art assets for two different film pitches for a Norwegian film titled "Cargo," and "The Good Citizen" by Khmasea Hoa Bristol.

-This year teaching became a big thing for us, as we taught a team-building art workshop for a team from Apple, Monkey started Lift Off Art, and he also became an instructor for the Academy of Art (he will be teaching two sections of LA 291: Designing Careers next Spring).

-Seal continues to work on two short films (one animated, one live action).  Seal's been working as a Production Designer for two years and a half on LaNoria, an animated film, and as an Art Director on an untitled live-action taking place in San Francisco. La Noria is moving towards the animation phase, and the live action film is currently in post production.

-Monkey started developing table-top games, and is currently collaborating with a friend to playtest one of the many different ideas.

-Seal shifted her focus toward two of her own film ideas, "Skyace Wasteland"(some of you might have already seen and own her early concept art) and "The Ogre and The Daughter," (both working titles) and is currently editing the scripts and producing pre-production visdev assets.

-Seal also took up a position as a Lead Artist for a mobile communication start-up!  Phew!

-Monkey's screen printing business, The Lords of Print, took off, with live print gigs at the Moscone Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and many more!  It keeps him busy!

-Seal went to the CTN animation expo and met up with some of the top names in the industry!  Woo!

-Monkey got to go on some cool business trips, including Minneapolis (snow!), and Miami's Art Week (sun!).

So all in all, we feel like while we're going to take a few punches every year, we're really thankful for all of our opportunities and support we've received this year and we can close it the year feeling really good about it.

Next year (tomorrow!  Gads!) has a lot of stuff already going on for us, so we're looking forward to a lot as well:

-The first film Seal worked on three years ago, a feature animated film for Unicorn Studios, is slated for an international release next year!

-Monkey's new gig as instructor for AAU (if you have to still take LA 291, he'll be teaching sections LA 291.16 and 291.20 on Mondays) starts in late January!

-Monkey will be teaching his Artrepreneurship 101 course at the Fine Art school at AAU!

-Expect to see Monkey + Seal at your local Bay Area artist supply store doing demos!

-We're looking to expand our craft show circuit to include WonderCon and Maker Faire, among others!  More shows! Better booths!  And new products in development!  At least, that's what we're hoping :)  Perhaps a new shiny website (although realistically, we've been talking about this for years...)

-New art books and comics in the works!  Gah!

-Just MORE ART.  Monkey + Seal are both doing a lot more speed paints, so look forward to those!  Sharpen that saw!  Practice practice practice!

ANYWAY, we're definitely looking forward to start back up the writing, and we want to thank you for your patience and your support all these years.  We hope you'll continue to read, make art, and follow us on our journey.  Hope you have a safe and happy NYE tonight, and stop by tomorrow for our first post of the 2014!

Much love,
Rick + Eve


Mark Simmons said...

Thanks for the update! Sounds like you guys had a pretty action-packed year, and I know you'll continue to rock out in 2014. Happy New Year to you both!

Eve Skylar said...

Thank you, Mark!! You too! Keep rocking it and have a fun 2014!