This years review will be a bit shorter than previous years. This isn’t because I didn’t do anything worth sharing or meaningful but because this year was more of a growth year, as stated in last years review. Simply put, I wanted to get back to the basics and put the focus back onto my art. Rather than feel the pressure or stress that can come with submitting work to competitions or setting tight deadlines, I wanted to enjoy the process of creating art rather than just doing it. There’s so much value throughout the process and often it can be overlooked. As always I will recap this year and at the end I will discuss my hopes and goals for the year ahead.
The year began with some more contract work for the Canadian Welding Bureau. I continued doing more technical illustration work for them, which includes illustrating welding processes and equipment. I’m also very excited to announce that in October of this past year, the Canadian Welding Bureau offered me a full time position as a technical illustrator and graphic designer, which I happily accepted. I’m really looking forward to be able to do illustration work every day and I feel like it will be good for me on a creative level as well.
One of, if not the biggest update this year is that I bought myself a Wacom Cintiq Pro 24. It took some time and patience but I eventually saved up enough to buy one and I absolutely love it! The feel of drawing on the surface resembles drawing on paper and you can get results quickly. With that being said, it does take some time getting used to this way of working. I’ve been practising with it and following some courses by Aaron Blaise on digital drawing and painting, but still have so much to learn. I’m really enjoying it and can’t wait to complete full illustrations with it. Below are some examples of the work I’ve done with it.
Travelling this year also produced some wonderful memories. One of my favourites was taking a little vacation to our nations capital Ottawa with my wife. While there we spent some time at the Canadian Museum of Nature, and I took the opportunity to get some drawing in. I spent most of my time in the bird exhibit sketching many different song birds. I had such a great time there we decided to go back the next day for some more drawing. I walked away with some drawings I was really happy with and the experience was one I’ll always remember. Later in the year we took a trip to Europe. We went because there was a wedding for a family member and while there my wife and her family decided to visit some other countries. We got to see many wonderful sites and took in a lot of the culture. While in Switzerland I visited an art store there and picked up a set of Caran dache coloured pencils. I’ve been interested in the medium for a while and took the opportunity to not only pick up a really cool souvenir but really high quality pencils that I’m really looking forward to using!
This year I had two projects planned. The first project was a piece about the Peregrine Falcon. I’ve made, what I believe is good progress on this project throughout the year. I finished the egg and skull illustrations, took several trips to do some on site drawing for rock formations as well as took a trip to Mountsberg Raptor Centre to sketch one of the resident Peregrine Falcons. With all that being said however, I’ve had to put the project on hold until the new year as the colder weather was beginning to arrive and drawing on site becomes harder unfortunately. I’m planning to finish the project in the new year and continue with the trips to keep gathering sketches to use for the final piece. The other project was a human skull illustration. This project, like the Falcon project saw a lot of development and I’m really happy with how much work I’ve gotten done on it. This project is a work in progress still and I’m comfortable with getting this one done when it feels complete to me, but I’m also aiming for this one to be completed in the new year.
Now comes my favourite part of these reviews, the look ahead to the new year. Before I even start to write these reviews I like to think on what I would like to do or how I want the new year to go. I decided, because I’ve had to put one of my major projects on hold and the other will most likely be done next year, the new year will be a repeat of this past year. That means no competitions, just working on art and practising. This past year was great for me, I afforded myself time to work on my art, take my time and really enjoy the process and I felt like the time I spent on art was quality and meaningful. So of course work on my projects will continue. The Peregrine Falcon and human skull illustrations will hopefully be completed in the New Year, assuming everything goes to plan. I do have two other projects I want to do as well. The first is a more developed drawing based off a drawing I did in Hawaii of three sparrows, I’m really looking forward to that because it will be done in charcoal, which is always fun to use. The second is a technical illustration of a P51 Mustang, that project will most likely be done after the others are complete, and that project will be done digitally. I’m hoping to also take a trip to the ROM to do some more on site sketching and continue practicing my skills, as I'm always looking to improve. Each new year is exciting because it feels like a fresh start, and even though I have two projects from this past year carrying over, I’m looking forward to what 2023 will bring and the work ahead of me.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review, please keep an eye out for any updates on my website as I add new work once completed. Wishing you a very Happy New Year and all the best.