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.
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.
I’ve kept writing and published 20 articles this year.
Here are my favorite ones:
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.
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
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.
I’m going to focus on these in 2018, and hopefully invert the situation.
My favorite work from 2017
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!