2013 Year In Review

As an obsessive list maker, it’s not easy to go back and actually find what my strategic goals were at the start of the year.  I always have “learn spanish” and “piano lessons” somewhere in there, oh well, better luck next year.  Easier to recite what did get accomplish than beat myself up over what got put off.

I showed my work a lot in galleries which was a primary goal.  I had 3 solo shows in Phoenix, participated in a bunch of group shows (I think 6, I’m not sure) in LA and Phoenix.  There was a lot of nice media coverage to the solo shows and only one group show was a disaster that led me to bouts of vomiting.  I also got published a lot, multiple tearsheets from actual real magazines (always gotta clarify that).

Creativity-wise, I really expanded my music-making and ceramic mask output.  I made around 30 songs, a soundtrack for one of the solo shows, 50 ceramic masks and created a few comics which have yet to see the light of day.

For art teaching I expanded my class offerings at Mesa Arts Center and Tumbleweed Rec Center, and began teaching for City of Tempe for their adult and youth programs.

The biggest changes were

1. the purchase of an IPad, which made professional music creation a trillion times easier.  Apps like Garageband, Kaossilator, Samplr, Propellerhead’s Figure and others mean I have access to thousands of pro sounds and multitrack recorders, and I’m knocking out tracks like crazy while watching my kids rampage around a park.  The icing on the cake is the iRig gear which lets you record a guitar or mic straight into the iPad, and create virtual amplifiers.  As someone who has owned both Android tablets and the iPad, there’s no contest as who what is the better creative tool.  Touch responsiveness of Apple products mean when I play music, or draw, I’m actually doing it.

2. the expansion of ceramics in my creative output.  Ceramics aren’t new, in fact I made my first masks 7 years ago, but I never pursued them because I didn’t have access to a kiln which is a big deal.  Then I started selling some of the oldies, and found out that it was quite cheap to use the studio at Mesa Arts Center where I also happened to work.  Now it’s an obsession.

3. becoming a lot more business conscious.  Which means having products, pricing them correctly, having contracts, cutting overhead, and spending much less time shooting.  Having supply fees for classes, offering more diverse classes, attending art markets, networking correctly.  Creating stuff people actually want to spend money on, and not giving everything away for free on the web.  Getting published in real magazines that actually pay, showing in locations that actually sell art.  Paying taxes.  Amazing what happens when you take this art-business stuff seriously!

If you are creative in any way in your life, how was 2013 for you?


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I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, AZ. Main Site - http://www.primordialcreative.com Instagram @primordialcreative + twitter @dbmillerphoto

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