My 2017 Review

Written by Magoz
8 min read 14.4k views 22 comments

At the end of every year, I love sitting down with a cup of tea and calm music, and review everything that happened that year.

I go through the calendar, my project folders, my notes, and my blog posts. I start with January, and I reconstruct the year week by week.

It’s a very powerful exercise that helps me to close the year mindfully, appreciate everything that happened, and understand how many things are possible in a year time frame.

My 2017 Review

+100 Animations and illustrations

I worked on commissions but also on personal projects, which I was missing last year.

Jose and I have improved our workflow and after working on more than 50 animations this year I feel we are in our best shape. At the beginning of the year, Elina joined us, and started creating music and adding new dimensions to my ideas.

I share my favorite animations at the end of this article.

Several awards

My work got more than 10 awards this year, including several Laus Awards, 5 animations selected by the Society of Illustrators of New York, and winning American Illustration 36.

I’m very grateful for all the recognition, especially since most of them were awarded to my animations.

Talks, workshops and exhibitions

2017 has been my busiest year by far in terms of lectures and events.
I had talks, workshops, and exhibitions in South Korea, Chile, Czech Republic, Serbia and Spain.

I’ve improved a lot, and I no longer feel nervous or scared about public speaking.

New blog

I redesigned the blog with the help of Hanu and I improved its functionality. I also changed its address to

I’ve kept writing and published 20 articles this year.

Here are my favorite ones:

How I Use Illustrator. Action Plan To Overcome Stress. The Process Behind Reforma Horaria Animation. How To Overcome Perfectionism. The Digital Nomad Series.

Magoz Trips 2017

Traveled around 10 countries

I started the year in Lapland catching Northern lights.

I had rented a flat in Helsinki until June, but I traveled a lot before leaving Helsinki. I went several times to Spain, had an amazing trip to Japan biking with my friend Miguel Montaner , and visited Glasgow.

After I left Helsinki, I traveled to Menorca with my friend Miguel Porlan and then started my East Europe adventure with Elina.

I traveled to Hungary, Czech Republic, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria until the end of the year. But I also had time to go to South Korea and Chile.

Started programming seriously

I code all my websites myself using PHP and WordPress, including this blog, my portfolio, and my shop.

This year I committed to learn javascript, which is a more modern and flexible programming language.

My goal is to build my own digital tools and being able to create anything I want for any platform, not just for the web.

I’ve already built a few applications that I’m using every day, but I still have a lot to learn.

Played a lot of chess

This year I started playing bullet chess (1-minute games) but also kept playing blitz (3 minutes) and classical (15 minutes).

In total, I’ve played more than 5.000 games. Yes, that’s not a typo, 5.000 games! That’s about 200 hours playing.

I’ve also studied openings and fundamental concepts, and my play has improved a lot.

I love the game, it’s a lot of fun and it helps me in many aspects of my life.

Things that didn’t go well

Perfectionism has been holding me back and I haven’t finished several projects I’ve started.

The online course I’m working on has been re-built 10 times and is still not ready. The project has already evolved, but I haven’t even launched the course.

I also haven’t been able to create stable routines while traveling. That means I’ve been less productive and I’ve failed to stick to some habits.

For instance, I haven’t been able to write as much as I wanted on the blog and the newsletter, and I also failed to consistently share my work on Instagram or Twitter.

I’m going to focus on these in 2018, and hopefully invert the situation.

My favorite work from 2017

Magoz animation. Do you have questions? Ask!

Struggle for happiness


2017 has been a very intense year of work, travels and learning.

I realized that I’m transitioning from being an illustrator to someone who develops multidisciplinary projects that involve ideas, illustration, animation, music, and sound. But also, I’ve been very active teaching, writing and, programming.

I’ll start 2018 traveling around Albania, but I’m moving to Sweden in the end of January.

I’m going to settle down for a while and increase my focus.
I’m very excited and motivated to find a permanent studio for a while.

2018, I’m ready for you!

How was your year? As always, I would love to hear your comments !

PS: My online course Strategy & Business for Illustrators is now available for pre-order!


Nomadic illustrator. Thinker. Seeker.


  1. Always a pleasure to read and what an inspiration! I honestly don’t know how you get so much into your year but keep up the awesome work and if you’re ever in the UK I’d love to meet up.

    My year was less productive illustration wise, I’m still struggling to find direction in my work as I have so many choices available. Design wise, we took on two more people at the studio this year, finished our showreel and made some real progress which is great.

    I think the most important part for me has been spending more time with my little girl, Mila. Watching her grow up from a baby to a toddler (she’ll be 2 next week) has been incredible. A huge transition and even though productivity has dropped on the creative side it’s been totally worth it!

    Next steps, pick up the illustration, rebuild a website and start to animate my work more, sound familiar ;-) I’ll be re-reading all your old posts and hopefully loads of new ones, keep them coming and happy new year!

    • Thanks for sharing your review, Brett!
      I’m sure spending time with Mila was the best choice :-)

      Good luck and my best wishes for 2018!!

  2. Wow, what an amazing year! Thank you for everything!

  3. Congrats for a great year man!!

    Thanks for sharing this and all your other posts ;)

  4. S

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year! You’ve been an inspiration for 2017 and you’ll keep being one in the years to come! Thank you and have a wonderful new year.

  5. J

    Thanks for the great work! I discovered you via the Motion Hatch interview and you’re a big inspiration for my attempts to to get more focused and productive.

    If you don’t mind me asking, where in Sweden are you aiming for? I’ve spent some time visiting the country, and my impression is that both Stockholm and Gothenburg have pretty thriving art/design scenes and are probably places where one can can find studio space to rent relatively easy.

    • Thanks, Justin!
      We are going to investigate the southern part, heading to Malmö or Lund (very close to Copenhagen). After so many months on the road, I’m looking for a calm place :-)

      I’m very intrigued by Sweden, and I can’t wait to spend time there.
      Let me know if you have some recommendations.

      And happy New Year!! All the best for 2018!

  6. X

    Magoz, i’m Ximena from Madrid. It was a pleasure for me to take that workshop you did in Mr Marcel School last year in Madrid. It was a gift from my boyfriend, he is a fan of your Work!
    Thanks for your advices!, Congratulations for your Work! And don’t forget to travel around South America. Best wishes for the new year!, Xi.

    • ¡Hola Ximena! Hope everything is going well :-)

      Yes! That long trip around South America is my bucket list. I visited Chile last month, and I loved it. I really look forward to discovering the rest of the continent!

      I wish you all the best for 2018!!

  7. S

    Welcome to China who also has the fan such as me here

  8. I love your yearly ‘reports’ :-) You can be damn proud of your 2017!

    I really, really understand you when you say you’re transitioning to something else. I have the need to create more holistic projects too, where illustration is a part of the whole, but many other things are involved as well (animation, ux, music..). These projects are hard to manage and to produce but extremely satisfying, in my opinion. You’re in a perfect situation for exploring new ways! :-D

    Thank you for all this year’s shared knowledge and see you soon!

    • Thanks, my friend!
      I agree. These multidisciplinary projects are incredibly satisfying, even they are complicated to work on.

      I wish you all the best for 2018!

  9. Hi Magoz,

    Your work is great! It’s always a pleasure to see/watch/read your work, it inspires me. 2017 was a heavy year for me, 2018 I will focus on surface design and illustration. Sweden is great, Stockholm is nice but the country side is even better especially when the sun is up in the morning and you can take a walk in the forest, it’s amazingly good. Good luck with your journey and practice 👍😃

    • Thanks for your kind words!
      We are heading south, very close to Copenhagen, I don’t think there are many forests there, but we’ll see how the new adventure goes. I can’t wait!

      Have a great 2018!!

  10. L

    Moltes gràcies per compartir les teves experiències, el toolkit… Em va ser molt útil per organitzar-me amb els curros freelance.
    M’encanta el teu treball gràfic i conceptual. Espero que el 2018 sigui encara millor!!
    Salutacions des de Barcelona.

  11. Hi Madoz,
    Probably this comment is “late”! I’ve just discovered you and I really love everything from the above. It has inspired me a lot, to do something quite similar to rethink about my performance, and also to think how to finally push myself to get more work in the direction I’d love!

    Thank you a lot! and I wish you the best for this 2020!

    Marta :)

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