So here I am, sitting in my studio, doing my annual write-up and waiting for the year to end. I have to say, 2014 was unexpectedly amazing, full of professional growth and exciting stuff. I even got to learn about ALS through an ice bucket, ended up visiting Europe for the first time and I randomly bumped in to Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and their two kids at Subway sammiches a couple blocks from my place. Weird, right? As far as bucket lists go, I actually found myself checking a few off this year. Oh yeah, and I finally got me an iPad! Woo!
Let's see, cool stuff that happened in 2014... Well there was that one time that I got to exhibit in two gallery shows that were happening on the same weekend. I'm sad that I wasn't part of the TMNT 30th Anniversary (or Ghostbusters for that matter) but I can say that I got to be part of the X-Mans show, thanks to Brandon Bird, and that was pretty thrilling! Just being invited into the show at Gallery Nucleus was a huge honor and a dream come true because X-Men is like, my life long obsession.
The other show I did was a return to Gallery 999, with another Haunted Mansion tribute. Like the previous show on Annaheim, I did more lenticular themes, but picked the Pet Cemetery as my subject matter. 1 out of 4 sold! Not bad.
This summer, HarperCollins published the 5th Mackenzie Blue book, and I was super excited to get the chance to revisit all the juicy tween drama and expand on Zee's universe a bit more. For this book, I focused a lot on adding backgrounds and environments to tell more complete visual stories. I'm not the biggest fan of the book going paperback, and with the paper quality being of lower grade, in a smaller format, I really wanted to give this one my all. It all looks great in digital, I just wish e-books found a way to format their picture books better. All in all, I'm proud of the outcome. Mackenzie Blue: Double Trouble hit the shelves on June 24th, 2014.
Things seemed to come at me in pairs this year because other stuff that happened this summer: I worked on some cool new projects involving a new Children's museum, and L'Oreal. My friends at Beaudry Interactive and I partnered up to create a new learning tool for kids, in the form of an interactive scavenger hunt exhibit at the brand new Discovery Science Center in Los Angeles. This was a job of firsts for me: it was my first time designing for a totally new, completely unique game, my first time seeing a new museum open up, and my first time seeing it all being created—all from scratch. It was a ton of work, which kept me busy for most of 2014, and it was worth it. The fanfare was exciting, the work was amazing, and the opportunity to help create something that actually makes an impact on the community for years to come is as fulfilling as it gets.
Concurrently, I landed a great gig with L'Oreal. The cosmetics giant asked me to help them create a new brand ambassador for their campaign that's being rolled out through 2014-2015. It's been a real pleasure drawing for this mega-commission. Back when I lived in NYC, and used to work on multiple L'Oreal accounts on the agency side. It's really refreshing to get to to sit in the illustration seat for a change. This summer, I created Salon Centric's new model, Demi.
Other 2014 highlights was that time I worked on some Arrested Development promos for the new Netflix season that's out on DVD. As well as the 22 Jump Street gig. Two properties with characters I never thought I'd draw, but hey, things happen.
But the best part is that I got to cap it all off with my first trip to Europe. I got to finally see Italian cities like Milan and Venice, fall in love with Vienna, and even got to sneak into Zurich for a night. An unforgetful night, in an unforgetful year. Thanks 2014. You were pretty incredible.