Now, at the end of this year, I thought it might be an idea to write a personal resume and even use it as a chance, to say thanks to a lot of people who I met and who spend time with me.
Compared to 2013, 2014 was much better, after almost everything went kinda wrong last year. I was just happy to look forward.
The year started pretty cool with me painting my first book cover for one of the adventures from "The Dark Eye/ Das Schwarze Auge" RPG. I did a lot of interior illustration for that one as well and liked the commissions a lot.
But as I always struggled so far with being a freelancer (I didn't plan to be one at that time), I was happy to go back to a studio job in April. It felt weird and funny, because at the beginning of the year I was giving up my dream of being a Concept Artist. It looked like being an illustrator was the thing I could reach. I didn't expect the whole thing to work out as I send my application to be a Concept Artist, but I was lucky. And the studio job solved a lot of problems that I was having before. I could even move into my first own flat and I'm so happy with it! (thanks to Gianluca and David who were helping me to get all my stuff up the stairs!) Another cool thing are my co-workers there. They are so awesome and produce a lot of cool art! (I really appreciate the feedback and funny times you people are giving me!)
With my studio job I even got a bit more time than before to do personal paintings again, but I noticed one big problem that is still bothering me: I have no idea what I want to paint for myself. Like I don't even know who I am as an artist. What my artistic language actually is. For my jobs I jump between styles and I'm fine with executing the ideas of other people. But I feel a bit empty if I'm alone with my personal work.
To fight against this problem I try to sketch more often and go out with other artists. Overall, I did more drawings outside than ever before. Another nice thing is my weekly life drawing class. I'm happy to have it! But a lot of it is just technical practising which isn't giving me much answers on my actual questions. I still wonder where this is going and how it turns out in 2015.
The biggest artistic thing was coming in September with Trojan Horse was Unicorn. As I started to prepare my portfolio for this event, the hole I was sitting in got just deeper. I noticed that I had repeated the same colours to often and doing new pieces for my portfolio didn't work out at all. Every WIP from that time is still staying unfinished on my hard drive. I couldn't get myself to anything. At work everything was fine – I had enough trust in my skill to get everything done without blockades. At home – noooope. Just a lot of procrastination and being unhappy with my paintings.
So Portugal and Trojan Horse was a Unicorn came along without me being prepared for it. But damn, THU just rocked. I feel really fortunate that I could meet some of my heros there.
Especially Karla Ortiz. I was almost crying during her speech. So much of what she was talking about reached out to me and gave me new hope for my way. I just admire her. I already loved her work – but it was the person who gave me so much more. I can only say thank you for being there. And another big thank you for taking the time and giving me a portfolio review. I was never fast in regards of improving – but I'm literally carrying around the words from the review with me every day in my notebook. I try to take everything in and put it to a good use. Same thing for the reviews of Ian Mcque , Denis Zilber Art , Diego Gisbert Artwork, Alex Oliver and Jana Schirmer. Thank you so much. It was an amazing experience to talk to you and having the chance to get critique from you.
Overall it's not an exaggeration to say that THU was life changing. At least if you are an artist. The spirit of the event was just overwhelming. It felt like all the people are drunken with happiness. I never experienced something like that. It was awesome as well to meet all the other attendees. So many great artists from all over the world together in one place. Almost unbelievable. Only bad thing: it's impossible to see all the amazing speeches, because of the overlaps in the schedule! Dang, sometimes it was really a hard choice where to go! And it's exhausting. I will need a lot of energy drinks next year.
Coming back with all the positive energy from THU, I could tackle again my personal work. The old questions are still not answered, but they bother me less. I think it's actually thanks to Ian McQue that I got the idea of seriously doing the Inktober.
October was one crazy month with doing all the drawings. I'm proud that I did it – only downside was the exhaustion coming with planning and drawing the images. I got almost sick over it. Seems like I have to learn to organize my energy better if I don't want to hurt myself. And I had to put post-its on my screen to tell myself to be more positive and not write so many bad comments over my own work. It's not a good thing to do!
Since November I'm working now on a self-taught class from schoolism and see where that is going. I like the new input it is giving me. New ways of thinking are coming along. Finishing own paintings is getting easier again. I'm toying around a bit more with OCs in my sketches, but I don't know if I ever make them official.
In the end, 2014 had its ups and downs like every year and a lot of reorganizing, but for the most part I see it as a good year. I was happy to meet a lot of my friends from far away for different big and small events, like the Role Play Convention / RPC Germany in Cologne, the medieval market in Hamburg, NordCon and a lot of other things. I hope I see all of you again next year!