As we end our year, many of us are reflecting on what we accomplished, bemoaning the goals we didn't reach, cursing the garbage fire that is American politics, celebrating our successes, and planning for 2018. I'm adding some reflection on my creative accomplishments and growth, while I sit curled up on my parents’ couch.
See-- This is the first time I’m visiting home for the holidays. I lived my entire life in New Hampshire until June of this year, when I moved to Los Angeles for a new creative adventure.
The wacky journey of 2017 really began in November of 2016, when I visited California to see my college friend Evelyn and some family. I was excited to visit LA for the first time, because I love TV and film, and I hadn't seen Evelyn (a new LA resident herself) for a few years. While I was there, I got to see the Guillermo del Toro exhibit at LACMA (hoooly cow) and meet Liz and Shaylie, two wonderful ladies I had been chatting with on Twitter, thanks to our shared love of the show 12 Monkeys and other such things.
You might realize Shaylie is now my beloved roommate.
My LA visit was a really fun time, but I was only joking when I threatened to cancel my return flight.
. . . Except in December I started exploring what it might take to relocate. Over the next few months of 2017 there were a lot of related challenges, but I’m the kind of person who likes a battle. My last day in my Real Adult Job was 3 days before I got on a plane for a one-way trip to LA, on June 3rd.
The profit from the special rate icon portrait commissions I completed early in 2017 paid for my flight. I couldn't tell you all that I was moving across the country at the time, but your support and enthusiasm helped to ease my worries about all the money I had to spend to make the move. Thank you!
Although moving across the country on your own involves a lot of hurdles and headaches, I had a really positive transition. I made amazing friends right off the bat, explored some wonderful places, ate great food, and had the privilege of a great roomie who handled apartment logistics before I arrived.
A big shout out to:
- Shaylie, for making sure my furniture could be delivered and there was power in our apartment and I had a friendly face picking me up from LAX when I landed.
- Alexis, for making sure I had a new friend on Day One.
- Mads, for being your friendly and wonderful self, and for insisting that I meet--
- Johnson, everyone’s favorite dad friend, queen of the gin gimlet, and source of eternal encouragement.
- And of course: Evelyn and the Ramgobros, for offering a slice of home in LA, when a gal just wants to watch the Patriots with friends and yell about Game of Thrones.
In addition to personal growth and new friendships and explorations, I was- of course- making a ton of art. I left my full-time job, remember? There was suddenly more time to invest in art-making, and that led to a bunch of new work that still makes me feel proud.
Here are some art highlights:
- I made a ton of icon portraits and connected with some lovely creative people through those projects.
- I started my Zodiac series, as a return to more frequent ink drawings.
- I launched my Patreon page!
- I significantly increased my art income.
- I finally purchased a fancy printer and a new scanner, which allowed me to begin selling prints directly.
- I launched this website, moving KateTrish.com to Squarespace and opening the stores here.
- I started selling original art.
- I started making and selling stationery as printable downloads.
- I worked on some challenging commission projects that I truly enjoyed.
Heading into the final month of 2017, I wasn't feeling so positive about this year. It's so easy to forget how far you've come and how proud you should be when you're in the middle of working toward new goals, isn't it? I’m now struggling a bit as I try to figure out the next steps in my career and grapple with concerns about money. Sometimes that overshadows the joy of my move and creative achievements.
But ya know what-- 2016 Me would be in awe of December 2017 Me. I have a feeling that's true for many of you, too.
Heck, I managed to get a smog check (This involved driving 150 miles to get my catalyst check to run), register my car, get a refund for the massive use tax the DMV charged when I registered my car. . . I am practically unstoppable!
Please do me a favor and take a moment to honestly recognize how amazing you were in 2017. The simple fact that you survived everything the year threw at you is something worth celebrating.
For artists, writers, and the like: If you created wonderful things: Great. If you couldn't? That's okay, too. You lived, and that means you're fueling up for future creative magic. Sometimes the slow moments are just as important to the process as the time spent actively making things.
I'm proud of you, regardless!
So, let's head into 2018 presenting ourselves as the beautiful badasses we are and giving our best in everything we choose to do.
A big thank-you to my patrons, who played a special role in my creative life this year:
Sheila, AJ, Cory, Crystal, Grish, Isabella, Karissa, Kassia, Kay, Kira, Krystal, Layne, Mads, Nikki, Pippi, Sophie, and my biggest fan: Grandma Trish. ;)