I trust everyone's holiday adventures were full and joy and any drama to be had was minimal? Ours was pretty low-key (I haven't yet located the boxes with the Christmas ornaments yet, which put the kibosh on decorating). We've tried out an Icelandic tradition the past couple of years, giving each other a book and sharing chocolates in bed on Christmas Eve, and think it's going to stick. Simple, yet decadent! Not a bad combo move. We served our local friends dinner on Christmas Day (roast turkey plus more chocolate) and celebrated the turning of the year with more chocolate. Then some neighbors decided to reenact the firebombing of Dresden and we stayed up until the artillery went quiet while Violet hid behind us and quaked. I expect those loud booms hurt dog ears a lot. We're moving into a heavily forested community and hopefully that means no more street warfare.
We marked my 51st birthday with Edaleen's ice cream and chocolate cake. I am I being clear enough about the theme here?
The Worlds Beyond Kickstarter project is at last winding down. I completed all of the backer-ordered sketches and we delivered them and all the books adorned with Violet's paw print to my partner Ana's door on the 30th of December. She in turn got another pile of books mailed before the New Year (having already sent out over 130 of them in the weeks before) and another batch went out last week. The final bunch ought to hit the road either before or after this coming weekend, and then we are FINISHED. I'll be posting those custom sketches here and on Instagram when our backers let us know they've received them. These sketches were a joy to draw so I'm excited to show them to you.
With the book behind us, it's time to shift over to moving us out of my friends Sky and J'wyl's home. It's been mine as well for just shy of nine years. That's the longest I've ever lived anywhere as an adult. This place has been my refuge through some serious rough patches. In rare moments a gift may come your way that in time assumes a significance beyond what you're ever capable of reciprocating. I'm talking about gifts that change your life. Such is the nature of their having granted me sanctuary for nearly a decade. I will do all I can to repay their kindness but the difference it's made for me exceeds the value of money or time. Thank you both.
What happens after we move? I start busting butt on commissions. I came close to clearing out my queue last year but had to set them aside to get The Worlds Beyond wrapped up. Some of these folks have been waiting patiently for a long time. I also have some longstanding obligations I'd like to put behind me, all art-related. With the next Magic event on our slate happening in May, that ought to provide me enough distance to build up a good head of creative steam. (I'll post a full event schedule later in the year.)
The wild card here is my Mom's house, the state it's in versus the state it needs to be. There's a lot of moving, sorting, tossing and organizing ahead. I'm assuming a lot of caregiver duties with this change of venue. I'm not yet sure how that will impact what I get to do in my spare time. There's a real possibility that I will have to focus on more commercial work in 2020 than on the personal projects that make me so happy.
What does this mean for the Patreon? I honestly haven't decided yet. I still plan on returning to my novel. I've resumed creating therapy art after a hiatus of more than a year and so I'll continue to post that, along with whatever relevant thoughts I may have on the subjects of mental health. As for making tutorials and such, I'm not sure--I have the material to make tutorials handy, but I'm not sure that's where my heart is at the moment. I think the fact that I've had this Patreon for several years and have yet to make one tutorial is probably a pretty good reflection on how I feel about them, notwithstanding all the craziness of the past half-decade.
I'm not going to put my Patreon aside. It needs a good scrubdown and a rinse, however. I mean to make that happen before summer arrives.
My thanks and gratitude goes out to all those who've stuck with me on this journey, donors past and present. I am deeply thankful you're here.