So much cool stuff happened in 2007 that I'm having a had time coming up with a list of it all… Hands down it was the best year ever as an artist.
In thinking about it, I've realized that even though the art business has done really well, it's often the social element that really makes art fun for me. I love hearing back from people who are ecstatic with the art they've purchased; I like talking with people about projects and coming up with just the right thing; I dig getting to meet more of the people I've previously only communicated with online; I like the interesting opportunities that crop up as a side effect of blogging, making art, etc.
I got so busy with art, code, consulting, traveling and so on last year that I really barely got a chance to write anything for the blog… I'm going to try to make a better effort this year… I'm hoping that some of the new ideas I've been playing with the last few months will come together to make that a bit easier. More organization, more outsourcing and hiring, and a new studio that I hope to start building as soon as the snow goes (more on that soon).
In the meantime, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who made 2007 rock!
Some of the highlights for 2007 include (in no particular order):
- I sold exactly 100 firebowls in 2007, not counting the Pot-de-Feus and Braziers! That was really exciting… especially since it took two years to sell the first 50.
- I took a trip to NYC and got to meet up with a lot of cool people that I only knew through the web before: Clive Thompson, BL Ochman, Debra Condren, some of the crew at Etsy Labs. The funny thing about New York is that even though I've only visited it once before, I recognized more of the city than I do Chicago where I lived for five years. Weird.
- I spoke on my first tech panel at BlogWorld Expo with Denise Wakeman and Rich Brooks. It was great to get a chance to hang out with both of them.
- I added a bunch of new designs to the firebowl line and came up with some improvements to the way I make them.
- The firebowls also picked up some nice wholesale accounts that helped to make it a record year.
- I've got a new project going with Chris Carfi that I can't talk about yet, but the prototypes just arrived and I'm geeked! Details soon.
- I hired a shop assistant part time this year in the studio. Kurt's been doing a great job on finishing the bowls after I cut them, and the relief of turning over the grinding to someone else is huge.
- TypePad Hacks officially became for hire this year and I've worked with some really great people on some stellar blogs.
- I fell in love with Austin, TX during SXSWi. I'll be going again this year.
- Lots of new equipment in the shop this year, including: A huge air compressor, a forklift, a stick welder, new 7" grinders, and a bunch of assorted smaller gear.
- There was a lot of press this year, as documented on the press page.
- I got to do some really interesting consulting gigs, especially on the PayPal Storefront Widget.
- I found an architect to work with one designing the new house and studio building.
- I learned that I can get ten times as much done as I would have thought, and also figured out that I'd actually rather do a little less and find the time for a real social life ;-)
- There were a lot of really cool projects this year (Like 5 gas fired Great Bowls O Fire for the Sheraton on Waikiki Beach!). I haven't got pictures back yet for most of the really huge projects, but I'm totally looking forward to seeing them.
I'm pretty excited for the new year… Lots of cool projects ramping up already, which I'm really looking forward to. But I'm also going to take a bit more time to get out and travel this year. Should be fun.