Alec Illustration
Portfolio Books Coloring About Contact Blog

January 30, 2019

Blog Archive Posts 2013-2018

Three years ago, just before my daughter Suzanne was born, I built a new illustration portfolio website because I wasn't sure when I would have a chance to update things again for a few years.  Initially, I shuttered this illustration blog, because I knew I wouldn't have time to write new posts, but last year I brought it back so that I can talk about projects I have been working on that might not necessarily make it into my portfolio.

I thought an appropriate series of illustrations to kick off this process of looking through old work would be the backlog of blog archive images from my personal website because these also show what has been going on in my life.  I do one of these a year, and it looks like the last one I posted in here was from 2012.  So now let's roll back through the sands of time to see what happened from 2013-2018.

In 2013 my girlfriend Claire was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer.  This was (obviously) a really big deal, so it seemed like the right choice for this image.  The good news is that Claire's treatment went very well, and it gave us an excuse to finally get married!

To pay for Claire's medical bills, I took on my biggest illustration project ever, Middle School: Ultimate Showdown by James Patterson. This meant putting all my personal comics projects on hold, however, including Basewood which I had just finished.  When Claire's treatment was done and all the bills were paid, I finally set up a Kickstarter which helped me self-publish my book. In the small press world, you only have one year while your book is "new" so I spent most of 2014 on the road, exhibiting at 14 comic shows all around the country and abroad, which was exhausting.

I was so burned out by the end of 2014, I decided to take a year off from exhibiting at any comic conventions.  We also found out in 2015 that Claire was pregnant, so it was a year of really buckling down and trying to work ahead on projects. One of my main goals was to build up a buffer of pages for my webcomic Isle of Elsi, which launched at the end of that year.  We also moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, so that is subtly reflected in the stucco walls and tile floors shown here.

My daughter Suzanne was born in January of 2016.  The rest of the year was sort of a blur, so I just drew us on the night we brought her home and everything changed.

I remember having a lot of difficulty coming up with an image for 2017.  Suzanne grew so much that year, it was hard to decide on just one image that communicated that whole experience.  In the end, I decided to build the image around the chickens we got that year (which had been a dream of mine for many years). Suzanne and I spent a lot of time that year sitting on buckets and looking at them and talking about them, so it seemed like a fitting image.

And then in 2018 my second daughter, Wendy, was born.  I decided to draw an image similar to the one from the year Suzanne was born.  Here we are as a whole family -- Suzanne a little wary, and Claire and I both very, very tired -- which is how 2018 felt.

It is worth noting that in the blog archives you can see that I was writing fewer and fewer blog posts as all these big life changes were happening.  These were often drawn on December 30th or 31st, right at the buzzer for each year, when it's possible to look back over everything that happened.  Maybe this year "the moment" will be clearer and I'll get this done before the very end of the year!

No comments: