2012 has been an exciting and busy time for me, although it was sort of a weird year in terms of art. I feel like I didn’t produce that much art, but I think it’s mainly due to the fact that a large chunk of it is still under NDA.
For the past 5 months I have been working with Kabam and Warner Brothers on three different games: Guardians of Middle-earth, The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth, and The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age. Well, the two Hobbit games use some of the same assets but one is a mobile version while the other is a web game.
The first half of the year I spent a lot of time finishing up my book. I had to come up with a lot of new personal paintings, so between creating those and working on the layout and whatnot, I didn’t have as much time for freelance. I really wish I had known about Kickstarter back when I first started working on my book. Oh well, maybe next time.
The deadline for Spectrum entries is ending next month. I was looking through my art to see if there was anything I did this year that I could submit, but I realized I don’t have very many paintings that aren’t still under NDA or that weren’t for The Hobbit. I have a few here and there for Magic and The Clash of the Dragons, but other than that, I am surprisingly short on paintings.
Some of the paintings I did for Kabam have been released, but I’m not sure if the Spectrum jury would pick a standing character on a blank background. I’m actually beginning to wonder if I should even submit anything this year. I kind of waited a bit too long since I haven’t asked permission from any of my clients to submit my work, so maybe I’ll just wait till next year.
I decided to count how many finished paintings I created for 2012 and the number surprised me. I finished 126 paintings for 2012. That doesn’t include figure drawing workshops, concepts that were never taken to final, sketches, etc. That means I finished a painting every 2.9 days, 7 days a week. Admittedly, I didn’t count exactly how many are still under NDA, but I would think at least half of them.
I also created 55 tutorials for my Enliighten site, finished my first art book, and started writing a book about the art industry. So far I think I have written 114 pages, but I have no idea when it will be finished or if I will have a publisher. Heck, I don’t even know if it will be a printed book or a digital book. Maybe I will release it for free even, I still have no idea. It just started as something to do in my free time because several people mentioned I should write a book.
Earlier this year my wife and I did a fair amount of traveling for work. I go to a lot of Magic: The Gathering Grand Prix events throughout the year, which are great fun but very taxing. Plus we also try to get tables at conventions. This year alone we went to Anaheim, Austin, San Jose, Australia, New Zealand, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Kansas City. We were slated to attend the GP in Shanghai, but we ended up having to cancel.
Let’s see, I also taught my first class at Gnomon at the beginning of the year. I taught Digital Painting once a week for 10 weeks. It was my first time teaching a live class. While I was at the Academy of Art University I taught a workshop, but it wasn’t a real class. I didn’t give homework, I didn’t have assignments, and I didn’t have a class roster. Basically I sat there and if someone wanted to come by and get help with their homework, I would help them. For the most part only 2-3 students would go each week.
Teaching is a tough job. I’m not used to painting in front of people, plus I’m a really shy guy. I remember the first day when I was introducing myself I was shaking and had a hard time articulating. I think I got better as time went by, but I was still nervous every week.
Unfortunately I was only able to teach one class due to travel. I’ve thought about teaching more classes there or teaching a class at CDA, but lately my schedule has been pretty crazy. I don’t know, maybe I’ll give it another shot.
In a few days I leave for Renton, Washington to help concept one of the upcoming sets for Magic: The Gathering. It will be good to see the people at WotC again and meet some new artists. Other than that, I really have no idea what is in store for 2013.
I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my freelance career of 2012. I’ll see you next year!