I’ve had the pleasure of working with many wonderful clients over my time illustrating. Outdoor Life is a client that I have had the pleasure to work with many times. Sadly they are on a short list of clients that I’ve actually had the pleasure to meet in person. Needless to say the meeting with the art director Pete Sucheski and the creative director Sean Johnston was fantastic. Really nice the both of them. In this post is an image I did for Outdoor Life near the end of the year as a full page opener for a story on hunting lucky charms. The things that hunters swear help them nab the big prize. Thanks again to the wonderful people at Outdoor Life. Look forward to 2015.
It’s that time of year again. This is when, like millions of people, I sit down, take out a piece of paper and begin to write my New Years Resolutions. I’m sure many call them the list of shit I never stuck to. That’s been the case for me for many years. 2014 was an exception. My list of resolutions for 2014 wasn’t very long and I definitely didn’t really fulfill many or any of them except one. This one was important to me. This was a game changer. This one was life shifting.
Okay maybe it wasn’t exactly that momentous. This was however important to me. I had resolved to read more. I was more specific then that. I resolved to read more books. I wasn’t specific with what type of books. I left that open to my own interpretation. I’m sure you’d agree that what I read falls under the category of ‘books.’ I haven’t been an avid reader much of my life. I’ve read a handful of books from cover to cover. I’ve been an persistent starter. I’ve had good intentions. I’d get really excited about the idea of reading a certain book, open it up and begin reading. In almost ALL the cases I’d end after a quarter of the way through. In some cases I’d get to the 10th page or so. I’d buy the books that I thought I should read or that I’ve heard are well loved by many. This would grow my collection of books. It was at the end of 2012 when I realized I have a lot of books that I’ve started but not that I’ve read. This bothered me. I felt like a failure in some ways. Why couldn’t I just finish a damn book? When I say I have only read a handful of books in my entire life from cover to cover, I mean I could easily carry the pile that would amount to the books I’ve read.
Well 2014 changed for me. I decided to read more. I decided I would dedicate at least an hour a day to reading. MUCH BETTER then watching television or surfing the net. I would wake up. Make some coffee, then I’d sit at the dinning room table and set the timer on my iPhone for an hour. I’d begin to read until the timer when off. Before I knew it, a few days went buy and I finished my first book of the year. It was the first Volume of the Walking Dead comic. This went on all year. By December 31st I had read 28 books in total. Easily double the amount I’ve read in my past 36 years of life. I am so proud of myself. One step at a time. NOW, I’m a book lover!! I can’t wait to read sometimes. When I say it’s been a game changing resolution that I’ve made and kept it’s because I feel like it’s benefited me in SO many ways. It influences directly my career in illustration in that I feel like my imagination has got a new boost of inspiration. I have a keen interest in writing now that I never really had before. I look forward to writing many books one day. A lesson I learned through this is that it’s OKAY to not succeed in fulfilling your year end goals. As long as you try. I’m going into 2015 with a new optimism that I’ll succeed again in fulfilling at least ONE resolution. And if I do more great.
It really has been a great year. I created some of my favourite work. I got to work with some fantastic new clients that I look forward to working with again. It was so fun. I was also blessed to be able to work with many clients whom I’ve worked with plenty of times and who I’m forever grateful that they still continue to hire me. Those that I worked with a few times last year, you know who you are, thanks a bunch. There was one client that I haven’t worked with in at least 7 years and randomly called me up. Thanks for the love. I also want to say thanks in advance for all those who I will meet and get to work with this year. I look forward to another year of image making, inspiring, and being inspired by those in our industry to constantly amaze me. This was a year for making friends. I made many new professional and personal friends this year which really got me out of the funk of moving to a new city. My wife and I are really settling in now to a life in Hamilton. We’re hoping to buy a house this year. Things are looking mighty lovely for the Byers clan.
I got to travel and see many new places last year like Portland, my new favourite city. My wife and I instantly felt like we belonged there. It was always great to go to NYC a couple of times and see great stuff, eat delicious food, and socialize with beautiful people.
2014 was a year of wins and loses. I won by getting accepted in to three illustration annuals last year. American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, and Communication Arts. However I did lose my Grandfather in October. Sad a little however happier knowing that he’s finally reunited with my Nana and my Dad. Now they’re together again. Missing them all so much.
Many laughs, tears, and all that’s in between took place last year. I’m sure there’ll be more of that this coming year. I’m looking forward to it and I’m running forward with open arms, ready for all the great opportunities that are flooding my way. Ride the wave. Love you all. Thanks for reading. All the best.