2009 was definitely one of my most challenging, rewarding, and backbreaking years. Some of the crucial plot points:
+ I joined Starfish Studios, which taught me the finer details of using monolights and seamless backdrops, and coerced me into making more work this year than I ever have previously. I probably shot between 30,000 and 35,000 images this year. My top-viewed photo on Flickr has had 14,753 hits (as of this morning) since August.
+ By proxy, I did 11 art walk shows, 2 solo art openings, and a month-long group photography show. I shot two weddings. Also, I did not sleep.
+ In May, I lost my "real job" and have freelanced (read: struggled) since. However, as demoralizing as it's been to be on a low income, it's forced me to bust ass and really take the photography and design bull by the horns.
+ This year, I've had work published in the Brazilian Marie Claire, three issues of Filament Magazine, Morbid Outlook, and a steampunk jewelry book. I've started blogging about steampunk fashion weekly at the Steampunk Workshop. I was on television, too, for like, 8 seconds.
+ I met/re-met a plethora of wonderful creative people at the Bay Area Maker Faire. This weekend was probably the most joyous one I had all year.
+ I had three friends hit the emergency room with scimitar wounds, appendicitis, and bike accident injuries, respectively. I've spent way more time than I'd like in nursing homes, doctor's offices, and hospitals. I've been sick constantly. I've found that I am absolutely wretched at taking care of myself and terrible at remembering that if I don't put myself first I'll be useless at helping others. Figuring out how to adequately care for Libby is a major goal for the new year.
+ I truly learned the value of having a family I chose/an urban tribe. Without the support of my people, both in Bloomington/Seattle meatspace and online, I'd have failed miserably at 2009. I've had to rethink and inject a spirit of DIY into a lot of my relationships. A big thank-you goes out to everyone who brought me crack chai and samosas, came to my shows, defied gender and steampunk conventions, traded YouTube videos, electrocuted me for fun, cooked CSA potlucks with me, hauled frames and hung work, taught me the benefits of non-sexual physical affection, listened to my kvetching late into the night, accepted and discussed non-traditional and non-heteronormative behavior, etc. etc. etc. Thank you to everyone who believed in me when I doubted myself and my work; thank you to everyone who didn't mock me for obsessing about Lady Gaga or Turkish pop videos or bacon. Thank you for the endless screening and quoting of "Happy in Paraguay". Faxing ham and apple juice to each other has been a high point. I am so proud of all of you guys, and so grateful for you.