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2019 - A Year In Review

2019 was a strange year for me. I can't pinpoint why. I had a lot of great stuff happen, a few unpleasant things, and some downright strange things. On one side, I feel like I didn't accomplish enough. On the other side, I feel like I needed some time to reset a bit. I freelanced less this year (by design) than I normally do, but I sculpted much more and got back in touch with that finger of creativity which I enjoy so much. I wrote less than I wanted to, but the little writing I did do won an award! I suppose this could be a representation of the balance of life, or a justification for just wanting a bit less on my plate for a year.

Career wise this year had some really cool moments. Considering that I took on much less freelance than normal, I still got to work on some great projects - the most exciting of which was fulfilling the dream of getting to sculpt for toy industry legend MEGO! I would love to talk all about the things I did for them, but as of this writing I am still under NDA! Kind of an anti-climatic paragraph ending. Oh well. Nobody is reading this.

I also took on the most complex freelance assignment of my career, which was creating a series of thirty 1-minute 3D animated "injury animations" for the marketing department of sports medicine startup Sparta Science. That job was a beast, but I now know a ton about anatomy and 30 new ways to really hurt myself.

2019 also marks the release of the last (for now) movie I worked on - Bolden. I actually still haven't seen it. It's release was pretty low key. Fun movie to work on, be it a brief time. Lots of set extension work!

The most fun I had this year was work I did for private individuals. I do a lot of sculpting work for independent toymakers and toy customisers and this year I was blessed with a bunch of really fun projects. My favorite thing to sculpt is action figure heads, and I did at least a dozen of them this year- many can be found on my instagram @culturepoptoys!

Personally speaking, this year had a few major events. For one, my uncle Ray passed. Technically he wasn't MY uncle, but my dad's uncle (I guess he would be my grand uncle? grunkle?) But he was always around (and always happy) and honestly I thought he would just live forever. He outlived both of his brothers and my dad, dying at the age of 98. On the family theme, this year I also joined The Society of California Pioneers. I'm into genealogy and I like societies like this because they keep records - So if my great great grandchildren want to research the family and my account is long expired, there are still records somewhere. This is actually one of the trickier ones to join, as you have to prove your relative was in California prior to Jan 1, 1849. Thanks J.C. Ham (b. 1810 - d. 1886)

One positive side effect of less freelance is more time to make toys for myself! I made quite a few this year - my favorite being a Disney inspired Ichabod Crane!

I also released a limited run of resin figures for a witch design I sculpted. The release was luke warm, but I did get to create a fun piece of marketing material with my daughter, who was oh-so-willing and ready to pose like this:

That was 2019 in a nutshell! We did other stuff too, like get a kitten and visit Galaxies Edge, but I guess the best part of 2019 is that I (finally) feel refreshed and ready to make some big changes in 2020!

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