For nearly everyone on the planet, I can assume this was probably one of those years we’d rather forget. Personally, it was a struggle, with sales dropping down to the level of my third year in business (1992), the isolation of lockdown, and my wife (working in the travel industry) reduced to part time hours at her job. Savings and underemployment benefits and the small business loan helped cushion the blow financially, but I struggled all year to keep my spirits up and to keep working at my craft despite the lack of paying work. I take some small comfort in the fact that the 2nd half of the year was much better than the first half, and that publishers seem to be tentatively putting their toes back into the water in the latter half of the year, resulting in a few book publishing jobs on the horizon for the new year. I also picked up a couple new clients this year, which I am also very hopeful about.
Keeping on the positive side, my graphic novel adaptation of “What Unites Us” is scheduled for release sometime this spring, after some delays in the publication date, and I look forward to promoting that. I had two of the “Who Was” books cross my desk this past year. I was also very excited this year to get my first Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine cover after having worked for them for over 30 years. I’m also currently working with another publisher on a recipe book (inspired by Fantasy Fiction) that I hope will be published in the coming year.
As for the band, we made a nice start on recording our fifth CD, when the pandemic shelved our plans. We tried recording remotely, but found that not all the band members were able to handle the chores of home recording their own parts. We had a couple small gigs in the early months of the year, but other than that, only had one outdoor private party in August (with one member absent and a substitute player sitting in). We look forward to reuniting again once the restrictions ease and vaccinations are more widespread.
Anyhow, here’s what I consider my best illustrations of the year, many of which were self promotional pieces done just to keep my skills fresh.