Cataloguing another 2022 in a line of extremely weird years. It’s, admittedly, hard to remember everything that happened earlier (like Jan-March). We’ve left a lot of the pandemic panic behind so this year was spent with a lot of weird navigating around different people’s comfort levels (and honestly my own comfort levels) in regards to covid and getting sick. Although there is still a cloud of anxiety around the illness it has lifted a lot this year for better or for worse.
All that aside though, I feel like getting to see my friends more has done absolute wonders for me personally. I made it a greater mission this year, to pull away from social media. To take spare time and moments of boredom and turn them into more productive* uses of my time.
* Productive less in the sense of work productivity and more in regards to just mental sanity, productivity, you know?
I spent more time writing little blog posts, keeping on top of my organisation, creating small personal projects for myself. Right now, I’m doing a one-picture-a-day every day this year since I’ve turned 30 (… gods, thirty), I’ve gotten a fantastic little film camera for the holidays from my amazing partner (who absolutely endorsed my photo hobby by also getting me a camera harness haha– whose the camera dad NOW–I’m sorry at all my friends I WILL be that person who stops to take pics… a bit more this year idk we’ll see maybe I need to start taking more walks and having more adventures out in the city during 2023)!
Okay, okay I’m getting ahead of myself. Point is. This was a pretty good year for me overall I think. I am… at least feeling like I’m in a more normal headspace now than I’ve felt since the pandemic began. I’m feeling less and less the obsessive addictive clutch of social media at my throat and I’m feeling a lot better for it. It’s been nice.
I feel like I’m waking up from a fog this year and I’m pretty excited to see what 2023 has in store.
But first, a little retrospective…
January — Ouf this is going so far back I honestly can barely remember it. This was off the cusp of a terrible 2021 (yes I skimmed my last year retrospective to have a little remember–) in which the Holidays were a bit of a mess. 2021 wasn’t a great year but new years always make me a bit more optimistic. We start the year off by shipping out some blankets and nail it in a weekend. We have some big plans for this new year and hope the backlash with Kickstarter last year doesn’t hit us too hard. Its fine. We’ll bounce back somehow we always do. We celebrate 6 years of dating ;v;/
February — Work work work! We generally spend winter months working on our projects, keeping our heads down. We hear a lot of talk of conventions. We sign up to a few of our own. We try not to run circles around ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ when it comes to COVID. We go to the gym. We try and keep busy to avoid the panic and fear. We continue to wear masks and do what we can to mitigate getting sick. We do a lot of workouts at home with our new gear.
March — We launch our first crowdfunding campaign for a deck of cards. It does well enough. We’re already starting to see some backlash and uncertainty when it comes to the platform but it still makes enough to help us with the final fulfillment of Prism Knights (the omnibus) and the hole the blankets left us in. We pay off our flights to make it to our first con. Celebrate a proper birthday for Tas finally. Things are also starting to look up a little more as the weather starts to shift with spring.
April — Our first Official Convention back… woof. Its a scary one. By this point QC still has a mask mandate up in full swing with talks to drop it only mid-to-end of May so heading out west to Calgary Expo was… terrifying to say the least. Masks had been off for some time out there, the folks are pretty vocal about it. It was a bit of a weird show. People aren’t sure what to make of masking vs not masking. Its also become a lot more strained of a place to vend… our work is really queer, this province has instated mandates making it pretty not too queer-friendly. Luckily the show does well for us. The air is tense but we survive it.
May — You’ll notice that this year we have about a new convention every month and the energy each of these takes occupies most of our planning life. This month is MCAF and its an outdoor show which is placed on St Denis street this year! In tangent with the warmer weather brightening our spirits, new booster shots being taken earlier in the year, this show goes much smoother, this month is spent with walks and spending time enjoying the sunshine we can as we full throttle into our preparations for a new webcomic… We spend a lot more time meeting up with friends. Its nice. Things feel different. Better.
June — TCAF time! At this point in the year flights are starting to become…. somewhat of a troublemaker for travellers, the influx of new travel and the lack of staff means that flights are delayed, cancelled etc. I’ll spare the rig-a-maroll but you can catch the long and short of it in my TCAF 2022 post. We also launch our next crowdfunding campaign! Wow! Kickstarter is…. really not doing us a solid here. Paint the Town Red Volume 3 really struggles to pull through on a bare minimum goal. We start really considering a new method of raising funds in the new year. But hey, by the skin of our teeth we make it and we’ve got a whole new Volume to work on!
July — The summer from this point on is an absolute blur. We do our usual Montreal Comiccon show and make more profit than I ever could have even considered possible at a local con Let Alone This One. We spend more time meeting up with friends and laughing until the late hours of the night and come home sore and tired and giddy. We also are hard at work planning our next webcomic, Tas is working feverishly on SanCirc to keep the updates going alongside the pencils to her graphic novel (coming Next Year!!) It’s one hell of a busy ride but its one that feels right for once. There’s a bit more of a normal settling in to this new routine. All this time the two of us continue to wear masks in enclosed public spaces… most Especially at conventions.
August — Exciting! Otakuthon is the last of our big gambit of shows. Somehow we’re even more successful here than we are at MTLCC. I get to meet friends I’ve been talking to online for the past year or so for the very first time this month. I turn thirty which is both terrifying and exciting. I’m trying to feel more and more comfortable with aging. We also celebrate 1 year engaged! Its a hot month but the summer’s been pretty mild all things considered! I spend all of my work time sprinting through the inks for Tas’ graphic novel. We also officially launch AUGUSTINE on Hiveworks! Our new collaborative webcomic!
September — You would think this is a more relaxed month but Tas spends a lot of it scrambling through the colours for her graphic novel. We work hard upkeeping our workload, somehow we have four comics going at once. Its pretty much mayhem at this point but we’re somehow managing the juggle (we’re um… promising ourselves a bit of a break come 2023 to at least finish up some of the stories we’re working on before we add a new one into the mix of things…). But we’re also fools and we run another crowdfunding campaign in the hopes to bring in some cash to tide us over proper for the holidays…. it uhh… also does not do as well as we hoped. Its a bit of a struggle but social media has been a massive heel lately and one of our main means of advertising our work (twitter) is not really doing so hot and really burning a hole in our pocket. We start talking a lot more heavily about re-configuring our priorities for 2023.
October — We make a small trip down to Maine and witness our friends get married! Its a sweet wedding. I get to see people I haven’t seen in years and its absolutely wonderful! We get home and spend the rest of October decompressing, meeting with friends over warm meals of soup and cheese. Halloween is thoroughly celebrated in our household. We upkeep our funny little juggling with one less comic in the mix. I spend most of this month inking Paint The Town Red.
November — The boys (our boys… our… cats…) turn 3! Happy birthday! These poor guys are pandemic babies so they struggle a little bit this year with our frequent trips and departures but Pepper is warming up to Ghost as a snuggle buddy a little bit more and most certainly making use of my lap every chance he gets. November slips through my fingers faster than I can say Boo. We show up for Expozine, and hey we actually got in without too much hassle this year which is a bonus.
December — Tas visits home for a week for the holidays and I hold down the fort that week. December is a bit of a ride of complicated feelings and uncertainty. Its the first time my family is getting together for Christmas in two years and a lot of them are… quite careless about covid (I know everyone is tired and I’ve had to bite my tongue a fair share of times to placate despite my discomfort). We run the gambit anyway. Family gatherings…. just get harder every year. Some years more than others certainly. This year we had a big fistfight break out (everything worked out in the end we stopped anyone from getting hurt too badly). Moments like these you become increasingly more aware of the generational divide. Its just… a lot. The most sour note this year was this. I guess its not exactly the worst the year could bring at least.
We’ve spent this last week of December taking it easy. The two of us are talking a lot about our goals and aspirations for the new year. We have a lot of plans but I know a lot of my personal goals for 2023 are extensions of my goals for 2022– maintaining a personal balance of work and rest as best as possible. Socialise more, and enjoy what I can.
BUT since we’re ending on a good note this year, here’s a small list of resolutions I have for myself (mostly so that I can look back on this next year and see how well I managed~)
A lot of my resolutions revolve making more consistent habits for myself:
1- Write more consistently (a little bit every work day if possible but no penalties if not of course)
2- Exercise more consistently (we did a lot better this year but if not Gym definitely at-home workouts)
3- Always prioritise: breaks, rest & friends. (this honestly kept me sane this year)
4- Practice a little bit more Illustration (maybe aim for 1 big illo project this year?)
5- Get your hands dirty with some film photography & stop being so shy about it.
I have a few more personal and project work goals to work out on my end but I don’t want to go into those in a public space like this haha. A lot of these are meant as loose encouragements vs Actual Guidelines. I used to be really hard on myself in terms of work output and projects and productivity and I’ve been trying to shirk that level of responsibility. My personal output has gotten better since allowing room for breaks. Living with chronic migraines means these shits can hit you anytime so being able to be flexible for it has helped a LOT mitigate the intensity of some attacks (and also actually diminished how frequently I get them bad enough I have to take my migraine meds). I’ve noticed a change a lot this year. I haven’t had to refill my prescription even once all of 2022 which is nuts!
All in all 2022 was pretty good to me. There were definitely a few rough patches of course. I feel like there are some personal things straining a lot with me lately as a result of setting up boundaries with people not used to me doing so. Its been hard but I’ve been feeling a lot better for it.
Here’s to an even brighter 2023. See you all on the other side ;>