Year in Review: 2021

Seasons greetings, friends! Here we are, at the end of 2021. It feels like this year both dragged and went by in a flash. Either way, a lot happened in my studio practice this past year. And I thought it would be fun to take glance back at what I accomplished, what changed, and take a moment to plan for 2022.

If you remember way back at the beginning of this year, I was working on some colored pencil fan art illustrations. At that point, I was trying to determine whether or not I wanted to pursue middle grade illustration as a career. I ended up with some really cool pieces that I'm proud of. They took me so long to finish, but I rose to the challenge and saw them through to the end.

This first piece is a scene from one my favorite movies, "Song of the Sea". It's full of Irish folklore and takes place on Samhain (aka Halloween). I created this one with Prismacolor Colored pencils on Strathmore Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper. It took me months to complete.

This second piece is from "Coraline", and I absolutely adore its creepy vibe. I wanted to do something more challenging with different textures and small details, so I picked the dinner scene where Other Mother and Other Father ask Coraline to stay with them. I had so much fun rendering the clothing and various foods spread across the table. And, like the one above, this piece took me months to finish. Colored pencils are the slowest medium, but I love them so much! This piece was created with Prismacolor Pencils on Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper. If you want to see my process for colored pencils, check out this post.

I then moved onto an original illustration, still testing out the illustration waters. And this is the piece that clarified my question, and I decided that illustration was not for me. I love looking at the beautiful illustrations out there and making fanart, but I'm not interested in turning my ideas into full-blown pieces. It just wasn't a good fit. And, while that might seem sad, that's exactly why I was giving it a test run. In the end, I decided to move on after finishing the cave piece.

I then had a major transformation in my work. After watching an Art Prof video on abstract art, I was deeply inspired to create an abstract piece. It started with these two small paintings and blossomed into something even bigger.

I loved these paintings so much that I then ventured into creating an entire abstract series. That's how the collection "Prism" was born. I absolutely love working abstractly, and I think of myself as an abstract artist nowadays. I still dabble in other genres, but I'm enamored with making abstract art. It feels a lot different to make, and I love the challenge! These are a few of my favorite pieces from that series. If you want to read more about how this series came to be, you can read through this post. And, if you're looking for some art, you can purchase these pieces in my shop.

To close out my artistic year, I enrolled in the Premium Painting Basics Track offered by Art Prof. I completed various assignments throughout the class, culminating in an abstract piece that will be part of my next series. I learned so much in that class, and I highly recommend it if you're looking to up your artistic game. For more info, you can check out the link above or read through my in-depth series of posts, starting with week one.

It's amazing to see how much my work has evolved over this past year, and I'm really excited to see what the New Year brings. As for next year, I'm still going to be painting and continuing my abstract theme. I might not be able to make as much work, but I don't have any problem with that. I love art, and it fuels me like nothing else can. But I don't want to be a consumer of my own work. In other words, I want to savor every part of the artistic process. My goal has never been to pump out piece after piece. That might work for some people, but it doesn't work for me. I enjoy a slow approach to making, and I'll be carrying that with me into 2022.

And that's it for this year! I hope you enjoyed taking a tour of the past year with me. Did you have a transformational year, as well? What are your plans for the next year? Feel free to send me a message - I always love hearing from you.

A quick note: I'm taking the next two weeks off of posting for the holidays. I'll be back on January 10, 2022 with a fresh post. Until then, I wish you the happiest of holidays!


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Thanks for reading and happy creating!