This image was created a little differently than normal. After the sketch was done, I scanned it into Photoshop and used it to create the "cover". I set the type around her in black, then removed the sketch and printed out the "cover" on an 11" x 17" Strathmore 400 series 3-ply Bristol Board. All the text was printed in black. Then taking that board, I used my light table to draw and ink the illustration. So the final art is black and white with all the copy in place. I then scanned in the line art and erased everything that wasn't the illustration so that the art was in the same file as the editable text. I changed the color of some of the text, following the red and black scheme of most Saturday Evening Posts, and colored the art. I did the background with varying brush strokes in order to get a similar effect that J.C. Leyendecker would do on his covers. I like the texture of the background to contrast the slickness of the foreground.
So that's it, the final image of 2008 for this blog. 378 posts. When I set out with this goal of posting art everyday, I wasn't sure I would be able to do it. But I wanted to set the bar high for myself. It was as early as the first month that I realized this wasn't so hard. I create everyday, I just have to take the time to share it. The tricky thing was I actually create more than I can use, and sometimes what I work on can't be shared until a later date. So while the art wasn't always created that particular day, it was still new art to share.
I spent this morning looking back at each and every post and the comments (more on that later), and I am amazed at how much work I have done this year. And there are a lot of pieces that were never finished too. That was surprising. It seems the year flew by, I would see some art from 10 months ago and it seems like it was only a few weeks ago that I did it. The Conventionless Convention Sketches were a big hit and provided a lot of material for the blog. Some of the work I do isn't terribly exciting so it was nice to have the sketches to keep some interest in the blog going.
The main reason I looked back at all the posts was to look at the comments. Or rather who commented. It's been said a few times that I have been really committed to this blog and how much it is appreciated. But the real commitment has been from you. The blog gets thousands and thousands of hits a month but there has been a very dedicated group of people that post comments. Some drop in from time to time, while others have been here almost as much as I have. Not counting multiple posts on a single day, Royce has posted 302 days, Gary comes in at 289, Brian at 95 and Craig chimed in 69 days. These numbers are amazing! You guys have really made this blog. It seems like you are always here, day in and day out. I believe that without you four there would probably be less people posting. I think that having such a great core group of conversation has made others jump in. I enjoy when the conversations take off without me. A big "thank you" to everyone.
We have had surprise posts from people like Andy Ihnatko, of the Chicago Sun Times, one of my favorite tech writers and if you ever hear him on a podcast, he is also a very funny guy. Most recently Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer posted a comment. While Andy is a comic book fan, I have no idea how Steve Ballmer found his way here.
So the blog is a success in my book. Not for the continuous posts, but for the people I have gotten to know better and the ones I have met here. I wish everyone a safe and Happy New Years Eve and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010.
Oh, and I'll be here tomorrow with new art. :)