One of the best things about the last couple of weeks of the year is that I don’t have editorial cartoon deadlines. Most newsrooms, especially the weeklies, are closed over the holidays or running a skeleton crew. So they need their cartoons in advance.
Big news can break in these two weeks, and some years, I’ve had to draw a cartoon on an issue that can’t be ignored, as was the case with the 2004 Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami. But most often, I draw a bunch of extra cartoons in the middle of the month, then nothing until the new year. I sent my New Year’s cartoons to my newspapers on December 18th.
I enjoy painting my whimsical wildlife, so these two weeks haven’t been time off, but I spent fewer hours in my office. I’ve still been up early every day, working on paintings because, with markets and other work this month, I haven’t had the time to paint as much as I would have liked.
Last week, I finished the Meerkat, followed by this Golden Bear this week. By the time New Year’s rolls around, I’ll be well into a third painting, but that one will take longer as it features more than one animal. I don’t expect to finish it until the middle of January.I’ve also completed the bulk of my year-end bookkeeping this week and cleaned my office so I can start the new year right. I typically don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I always have plans for the coming year.
I’m already looking forward to the Calgary Expo in April, with a couple of new products I plan to offer. Fresh sticker designs are coming soon, and new puzzles launch in the next couple of months, depending on when I finish these next two paintings.
Beyond that, I’ll draw the usual editorial cartoons, paint funny-looking animals and take care of the rest of the business of art for a living.
It may sound cliché, but it’s also true, that without the people who like my art, it wouldn’t be much of a profession. So, THANK YOU for being here this year and for your continued support of my work. I mean it.
Here’s to 2024. May all its surprises be good ones.