Looking Back at 2009

It’s hard to believe a year–a decade!– has gone by already. I don’t know about you, but I find time not marching, but racing by! Whew!  So with the arrival of 2010, I want to take pause and reflect over 2009’s accomplishments, work-wise. I also want to share my plans for 2010, but will do so in a separate post. First up…Some highlights of 2009!

Illustration jobs were pretty steady–despite the recession–so I was happy to have had textbook work and repeat-clients from various book publishers and magazines for children, doing illustrations, spots and spreads throughout the year. I’ve been working on greeting cards for one company for a few years, and though jobs from them slowed down a little, I still was asked to do quite a few.

It was a special treat when Highlights For Children asked me to do a poster and sign them at their booth for the International Reading Association this past February in Phoenix. Talk about getting out of the studio! I had never been to Phoenix and it was fun to go and hang out with some of the folks from Highlights for a few days.

Speaking of my studio, my space is small and cramped, so earlier in the year, I did a little rearranging and changing to try and make it less so. It’s still not all I would want it to be, but it’s at least less stuffy.  And this was my first full year using the Cintiqs (I have a 21″ & 12″); they worked well for both the studio and traveling. No complaints.

As for marketing, etc., My website is still in need a of a mega make-over. We changed hosts a few months ago and that should make a difference this coming year. Besides my website and blog, I had folios on two other pay-for sites. I can’t say I reaped much from them so I am reconsidering what to do with those. I am still involved with Illustration For Kids and appreciate these creative gals and the benefits from having bonded with them over the last few years.

As for my work itself, I still have an on-going battle with liking what I produce. That’s par for the course for artists, I understand, but I wish there was a way to turn that switch off! I wasn’t quite as hard on myself this year (I don’t think), and it helped to have developed a new style late in the year that was looser and more painterly than my line work.

Coming up soon: hopes & plans for 2010.

6 Responses to Looking Back at 2009
  1. roz
    January 5, 2010 | 6:37 pm

    Enjoyed reading about your past year, Paula! It’s hard to imagine you struggle with being happy with your style, it’s so fun and full of energy. Something I’d like to incorporate more in my work. =o) Happy New Year!

  2. Scott Nelson
    January 5, 2010 | 7:22 pm

    I enjoyed reading your 2009 accomplishments Paula. You really should be proud of yourself.You’re a huge talent. Good luck to you and ALL artists in 2010!

  3. Jack Ruttan
    January 6, 2010 | 8:50 am

    Interesting times. Most of my illustrator friends were out of work for a while but getting jobs here and there. Most of the stuff I had set up and was ready to go on in 2009 “fell through,” which was a drag, but I got a contract near the end of the year that saved my neck. Family stuff was tough, too. Lost my Dad after a long illness. Still bashing away at things. Generally all right, but it was a tough year!

  4. paula
    January 7, 2010 | 9:41 am

    Roz: Happy New Year to you, too! Yes, well, I think all artists deal with that, yes? Thank you for your encouragement!

    Scott: You’re most kind! Best to you in 2010, too!

    Jack: I was wondering how you were doing! Sorry it was a rough year for you. And most sorry you lost your dad. I hope, too, the best in 2010. : )

  5. Jack Ruttan
    January 7, 2010 | 11:04 pm

    You too. I like your new style. It’s rare to be able to draw, and have witty and fun ideas. That’s even though ADs don’t always ask for them. Best of luck with your stuff.

    I’m cozy, and working on comic strip stories. 3 cats: they’re all happy. But they get in the way sometimes.

  6. ElizT
    January 8, 2010 | 8:50 pm

    Interesting; all the best Paula!