2012 was by far the best year yet for me as a designer. Of course there is always plenty of difficulties and failures in between the good times. And definitely many weeks of working far too many hours, but mostly what I remember are good things and a lot of learning. One of my main resolutions last year as a solo/freelancer was to grow in community with other artists. The tables really turned this year in that area of my work and I had so many opportunities to interact with other talented folks. Here’s the top ten highlights of the year for me…
10. My Clients
This year has been full of amazing folks. Often times I’m in awe of the internet and how people find me. This year I have worked with folks from all corners of the US and even a few international clients. Every single one of them has been so inspiring and amazing to work with. If you’ve ever heard of the blog Clients from Hell, you know that not all clients in the design world are amazing. The funny thing is, I’ve joked with a few of my clients about that blog…and they get it. This just goes to show how awesome and in touch with reality they are. Once again, in 2012 I couldn’t have been luckier.
9. Volume Poster Show
This event was back in July and of my knowledge was one of the first local poster shows that corresponded with a music festival. It was a huge success and I designed a poster for Terrible Buttons, that they are now printing as a tshirt.
Right about this time last year I joined dribbble and miraculously got drafted just a few hours later. I put this on my highlight list because it has really been a game changer for me. Dribbble is a growing force for freelancers and independent artists. I’d say right now about 30%-40% of my work inquiries come directly through dribbble. It has been an amazing resource not only for connecting with other designers, getting feedback and encouragement but also for growing my client base. I’m so grateful to be a part of the community. Also…I have almost 1,000 followers! So amazing.
7. The Great PNW
My friend and fellow designer Joel Barbour is starting a clothing company called the Great PNW. There’s recently been this growing pride for folks who live in this area. It’s a beautiful part of the country with abundant nature, unique culture, 4 seasons and lots of room to explore. His brand is boasting this pride in a beautiful way and I am excited to be involved. One of my designs is featured in their Kickstarter which just has a few hours left.
6. The Bartlett
I could very well put this as my number one highlight, but since this is a design blog, I will have to temper myself. The Bartlett is a business my husband and I are starting together. We’ve been planning for several years and in 2012 we took some huge steps forward. For me, one of those steps was beginning our branding process. It was a laborious task, and I hated every minute of it. But I finished. And the more you hate a project while you are doing it, the better it feels to be done. We also raised $20,000…WOW.
Here’s a video of all the lettering I went through to get to the final.
5. Draw Off
Another exciting community oriented event that spread it’s wings this year in Spokane was The Draw Off put on by Seven2. I had the chance to participate on two different teams and both times were challenging and really fun. I love the idea of involving an audience and making art into a community experience.
4. The Hoods
The Hoods was probably the biggest undertaking of the year for me, and was a big learning process. The collaborating with the other artists involved was really exciting and the outcome was a hit. I can’t wait to keep the project going and continue to watch the neighborhoods of Spokane become more unique and beautiful.
3. Typo San Francisco
Spring of 2012 I went to my very first design conference! I was drawn by the presence of Jessica Hische (one of the main speakers) but I came home in awe of so many other talented top tier designers. I had never been to a conference like this but I can only compare it to a music festival, you go because one of your favorite bands is playing but you end up falling in love with some completely unsuspecting new artists that you had never heard of. The crowds are annoying, the hipsters won’t stop trying to impress each other and by the end of it you can’t really imagine paying THAT much money to ever go to one again. Morag Myerscough, Parra and Swiss Miss were my most surprising favorites. They made me think in new ways and appreciate things I didn’t before appreciate…and definitely inspired me. I really did love it. Here’s a few snaps…
2. Best Of
This year I was named 3rd Best Visual Artists in the Best Of issue of The Inlander! That was fun and I surely felt loved.
Of course! This is what I really like to do. I’ve learned a lot about design this year. I’ve forced myself to try new things, to fight through artistic road blocks and to look at things from different perspectives. I put in a lot of time freelancing in house at Magner Sanborn, a local agency in town. Between the work I get to help out with there and my own clients, I am constantly having to be on my toes and work on so many different types of projects. Here are a few of my favorites from this year.
Tomorrow I will tackle some resolutions for the coming year!