2022 Yearly Redraw & 2021 Reflections

Happy 2022! I know, we’re already a month into it. I started my year off with the ‘rona, but I’m fully recovered and have been working on Blythe vs. the Werewolf in the meantime. More on that later, but first, my 2022 portrait for the yearly redraw challenge:

Yearly Redraw 2022 edition

Self portrait in grayscale. Eyes closed and set within a black background. A birch tree with bare branches grows from a hole in the chest. Hand folded underneath.
(I’ve actually had this finished for a few weeks now, but shhh)

This year I wanted to go for a simpler look instead of the more painterly approach I took last year. I’m working with black, white, and grays for the BvtW illustrations, and I wanted to do the same sort of style for this year’s redraw while I’m in that mode.

I kept the birch tree theme from last year, and will probably keep it for future redraws. They’re my favorite tree, and a lot of the symbolism behind them is important to me.

Here are the previous versions I’ve done for this redraw challenge:

Self portrait. Painterly style in reds and purples. Eyes closed wearing a purplish dress. A birch tree grows from a slit in the chest. Hands are held up on either side of the tree.
[2021 Redraw]
Self portrait in a sketchy style with a bright orange background. Eyes closed. Wearing a pastel purple dress. Arms hold flowers growing out of a slit in the chest.
[2020 Original Sketch]

Reflections on 2021

2021 didn’t bear as much fruit as I’d hoped at the beginning of the year. I had declared it my “year of finishing things”, but that didn’t quite pan out. I wasn’t able to complete anything to the point where I could share it.

I started the year with a very structured writing and revision schedule, but that fell off real fast. Trying to keep a detailed record of every instance that I worked on something and how many words or how much time I spent tripped me up way more than it ever helped.

Earlier this year, I accepted that tracking word count was holding me back. It took me a bit longer to realize that tracking my time spent writing and revising caused me the same issues. I’d get so caught up in making sure I had whatever tracker or spreadsheet or checklist ready to go, in HAVING to track everything, that I’d be too frazzled to actually work on anything. Drawing took a backseat altogether, first to generating words, and then to recording my writing time. It just wasn’t working! So I nixed the trackers.

My new approach has been taking separate tasks within a project (drafting, revisions on a scene by scene basis, thumbnails, illustrations, etc), and treating those as my milestones. No goals based on word count or time spent.

I feel a lot freer, more relaxed. Like I’ve gotten more actual work done since. I’ve made progress, even if I didn’t finish anything to the point where I could post it last year.

SO! What did I make progress on in 2021?

  • Some character and setting design for Strange Company
  • Some character design for Blythe vs. the Werewolf
  • Finished the first draft of the Blythe vs. the Werewolf script
  • Converted that into prose
  • Divided the BvtW draft into five installments
  • Revised the first installment of BvtW
  • Began illustrations for BvtW’s first scene

We’ll see how ambitious I’m feeling this time next year, but in 2022, I just want to focus on one or two projects at a time. Basically, my energy will go into completing (and posting!) Blythe vs. the Werewolf and getting the next thing off the ground soon after.

Speaking of!

Blythe vs. the Werewolf update

Preview of a grayscale illustration. A large wolfish shadow with an open mouth hovers over a serious looking man in a bomber jacket

You may have noticed a new addition to the main page, including a projected start date for BvtW! The remaining illustrations for the first installment are currently underway, and I’ve only got a few small revisions and tweaks left on the draft before it’s ready to go.

If all goes according to plan, expect the first scene of Installment 1 on March 5th. I’m posting it on its own since it acts as a prologue of sorts. I’ll follow that up with the remainder of Installment 1 on March 26th. All following updates will go up on the last Saturday of every month.

I’m pretty stoked and also nervous about finally putting Blythe vs. the Werewolf out there for people to read. But mostly stoked.

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