Some of you may remember my webcomic about music and life in Amsterdam, Off-Stage. I worked on it during the twilight years of the traditional webcomics model, where you have a website and post pages each week and maybe earn something from merch and book sales (I never got to that point). It didn’t feel like the right format for that story anymore, but I wasn’t sure what was.
Fast-forward a few years, and we’re in a new era. Comics exist on social media now, and in a way that makes sense for our mobile-first world. Pages get chopped up into panels that fit the portrait-orientation screen of a smartphone. Platforms like Tapas and Webtoons are bringing a whole new generation of comics to readers.
I was not looking forward to having to chop up all the existing pages, but I must say the process was fairly quick, and it is opening up so many possiblities to write more naturally, now that the length of an update doesn’t matter anymore. Once I get to the point where I can start making new material, I’m sure that will feel great. For now I’m busy reworking all the existing pages and posting them week by week.
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Hello and welcome, to the first Hedgefield Quarterly Review.
As the name implies, this will be a place for me to take stock of what I’ve accomplished in the past three months, and share it with you. It’s a nice middle road between a handful of tweets, and a yearly review, which I tried to do last year but resulted in an OVERWHELMING Google Doc that I haven’t dared look at since. The plan is to write these as a bookend to the close of each financial quarter, a good a time as any to look back and see whether I made any duckets (or not).
When I started working at Yoast, making new illustrations for each blog post was still a thing. We’ve scaled that back now to spend more time on the products, but in those first few years Erwin and me drew quite a few of them. Now that we’re all quarantined working from home, we decided to let everyone pick out one to print and hang on their home office wall. Looking back through the archive, I came across a lot of good ones again that I had forgotten about.
So these are, in no particular order, my favorites from the 150+ ones I drew.
Figured I’d try my hand at a #drawthisinyourstylechallenge, this one set out by the wonderful @izzyburtonart. I tweaked it to look like my wife and our dog, set against the cliffs of Scotland, which we visited last year. Indeed, not a lot of things can beat a foggy beach.
One of my favorite commisions from this past year was for a charity. They wanted a vision board in their office to remind themselves of their mission. I got to go wild on a great image collage drawing things I don’t normally draw, which later got overlaid with their mission statement and goals.
I did a light version of Inktober this year – I was too busy in october to participate, so I saved the prompt list and spent some days in November drawing my favorites from that list. That resulted in these illustrations:
The first thing I watched on Netflix in 2019 was Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour. I loved 1989, but I hadn’t really checked out her newest album yet (or any other album), so: great excuse. And it reminded me why I like Taylor; the phenomenon around her has gotten immense, but in the center is still this genuine likeable person – who still genuinely loves what she does.
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