I did less work than I would have liked in 2013. Various factors led to this, but mostly I spent the year either chasing client work that never came through, planning & putting work into personal projects that have yet to be realised (ahem, the webcomic, mostly), or actually enjoying myself with extended family. There were a bunch of duds, things I wasn’t proud of, but here is all the stuff fit to remember.
First and foremost, I finally created a proper logo for myself. It’s a strange thing for a graphic designer to not have a personal logo for himself — my brother has had his own logo for nearly fifteen years now — but somehow I never quite stuck to one. There was a grungy graffiti-like thing once, in the corner of a website; several standard type treatments; and my art signature has not changed for half my life; but I finally decided that enough was enough & I should design one. I quite like it.
Late last year I finally got a smart phone & since it came with a decent camera I joined instagram. I use it sporadically — posting once or twice a week — and most of my posts are the expected mix of food photos and strange signs or misspelling I come across. I do try now & then to test the limits of what I can do in that format.
I actually designed the basic bit of this logo back in ’10, but this year it finally went on the site itself. Speaking of which, VLR is stagnant at the moment, but stay tuned: we’re figuring out what to do with it going forward that fulfills us creatively.
More instagramming. A return to the kind of things I used to take when I first got a digital camera, albeit with none of the super macro stuff I could pull off.
I was really happy with this. I was even happier that I got to make an entire cover out of an obscure language style of an alien race that appeared on only one (albeit noteworthy) episode of Star Trek.
I had this domain sitting around for a webcomic at some point, but decided the domain name wasn’t strong enough. So I set up a throwaway blog on comic art for it, which I have since let gather dust. A bit of a pattern for this year past… 🙂
I don’t take a lot of selfies, but when I do, they’re abstract shots of my arm hair.
I had a three word brief on this sarcastic voyage podcast cover: “Fuck a Two” — that’s all, just the title. Where this illustration came from, who knows, but it sprang nearly fully-formed in my head, and I managed not to completely mess it up in execution.
You have to take a picture of the Dubai skyline when you get on instagram.
Actually you have to take a picture of an empty street, too. It’s the law.
Today’s Doodle over on publiksquare is also languishing as we try to get the engines running on the rest of the projects we have planned on the domain, so I only did one sketch there this year. Actually I did one and ruined it in the inks, so this is the second try at that topic, which I’m happy with.
The site that this is supposed to be on does not currently have it displayed. Consider this a not-so-subtle hint. 🙂
I drink a lot of chai. And I get reflective and philosophical when I do.
I did a couple of Sketch-a-thons this year to keep my game up, and this was one of the drawings I liked. Pretty straightforward…
…even the ones where the subject matter itself was surreal (Llama Del Rey!)…
…or when the surrealism came purely from me and me alone.
I have mixed feelings about this one: I like all the elements but I don’t think I did a good job putting them together. One day I may go back and rework this so it looks better.
This photo got a staggering number of likes on instagram & facebook, for reasons I still can’t fathom.
I intensely disliked Star Trek Into Darkness, but the one good thing I got out of it was this Post Atomic Horror podcast cover. Silver lining, eh?
I can take hipster pictures of trees too, y’know…
Of course, I used instagram to document a lot of food I actually made myself, including this experiment that turned out quite well.
And then I took umpteen pictures of pasta…
…and more pasta…
…and some rice on a fancy platter.
I had such plans for this one, but time & energy ran short, so I knocked it together in inkscape. At the time I was very angry at myself and hated this, but in retrospect it isn’t as bad as all that.
This, on the other hand, I was happy with. Wish I’d been able to put more time into the colouring of it, and some of the typography, but it was good for a laugh.
I did this illustration for a single t-shirt; a birthday present for my cousin. He loved it. I thought it was fine. The t-shirt faded in one wash. 😐
I also returned to posting photos not taken with a cameraphone, on this blog, in the form of a couple of photo essays. This was a series taken mostly from the footbridge between the Dubai Mall metro station and the mall itself. I used my beloved cheap compact camera.
I miss the 2cm macro feature of my first digital camera, but with the right approach you can take something artful with a cameraphone.
I visited the beach a couple of times this year, which was good for a few photos, both with the SLR…
This is the only proper selfie I took in 2013. I was being fondled by a tree. This is not ‘good’ work, just here to show you that I too am shallow & narcissistic.
…As if the fact that this site is called ‘ALLVISHAL’ was not indication enough.
Last week of the year: I decided to do one last sketch-a-thon, and promptly got two dozen very good sketch topics. I’ve completed eight so far, leaving the rest for weekends this new year…
…I found more reasons to draw #SoManyScales…
…and even had some fun.
The Post Atomic Horror & Drunken Time Travel podcasts decided to do another crossover, so I naturally shoved people aside and demanded to do the cover. Any excuse to draw more cleavage…
…or more monsters doing sexy, dirty things.
That was it. The last drawing I did in 2013, literally finished on the last day of the year. Honestly, I should have done what I did in the year in a quarter or even a month. But like I said, real life had other ideas. Here’s hoping 2014 is more kind of both my portfolio & my wallet.
Happy New Year!