Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year in Review: 2017

Hello! It's the end of 2017 and this is my annual year-in-review post.  (See also: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009.)  This is a self-centric and navel-gazey exercise, but I keep it up because it helps me keep track of my goals and remember what happened each year.

2017 Accomplishments / Highlights:
  • I've been at Disney for more than two years, and I've gone from an "apprentice" to a "story assistant" to, finally, a "story artist"!  That's a goal I've had for a LONG time, stretching back to 2009, when I was making Between Gears and felt like I had missed my chance to become a storyboard artist because I chose a general education at a state school over going to an art school.  It's still hard to believe and I don't take it for granted!
  • Took a big, exciting trip to meet my friend Mary in Berlin, then stay with my sorority sister Weronika in Prague, then meet my boyfriend's family in France (gulp!), then travel to Iceland and back to LA with le boyfriend.  We saw the Northern Lights and visited the Blue Lagoon!!!  And I spoke all in French with my boyfriend's parents for two days! ^_^
  • Made a 70-page autobio comic about moving to LA and starting in animation and found a publisher for it!  It was a project that I cared deeply about and just wanted to make for my own peace of mind and on my own terms, but for whatever reason things turned out well, and I'm incredibly grateful for it.
  • (I got selected for a very exciting career opportunity I can't talk about yet...!!!)
  • My book with Le Lombard came out in April! (link)
  • I volunteered with Young Storytellers and went to the LA Children's Hospital with Disney to draw with sick kids
  • Volunteered at the Disney booth at CTNX, got to meet lots of awesome artists and students
  • Made it home to Oregon 4 times
  • Made it to a big family reunion we had for my mom's parents' 90th birthdays
  • Managed a weekend getaway to San Francisco and a trip to the Muir Woods
  • Organized a friend-vacation with some Portland ex-studio mates I don't get to see often enough
  • Went to Joshua Tree and Palm Springs for the first time
  • Got to go to Pixar with work and actually be in a story meeting with some of the people I look up to there...!
  • Kept studying film-making!
  • Moved into a great, big rental house with 2 friends. It even has an art studio in the back yard!
  • Used said big house to host 5 friends who visited LA this year!
  • Was a guest at Library Comic Con in Boise and gave my first-ever storyboarding workshop!
  • Went to SDCC, and for the first time ever, I actually took a day to get away from the show.  Cat Farris and I went to the zoo, then bummed around the pool all afternoon with drinks and sketchbooks.  Aaaaabsolutely recommend a non-Comic-Con day in the middle of Comic Con.
  • I gave up caffeine and meat this year, which I thought I could never do
  • Went to see a counselor for the first time in my life, learned some really helpful new tools for thinking about and processing feelings in a healthy way, and I'm feeling better more of the time now
  • Had fun with hair color~
  • I was pretty good about exercise this year!  It's easier now that I have access to a free gym in the basement at work. Also went on new hikes around LA.
  • Read a bunch of books!  Read the first two Discworld books, the third Passe-miroir book, and Madame freaking Bovary in French!
  • Started automatic payroll deductions to my 401k account
  • Started an automatic, weekly transfer from my checking to my savings account. That shit sure adds up quickly.
  • Took free watercolor classes, improv classes, and gesture drawing classes at work
  • Took a friend's recommendation and saw a new dentist - WORLD of difference
(at the old dentist's office)
  • Attended the Women's March in LA
  • I've managed not to kill a large number of my houseplants 
  • My roommates and I were thinking of adopting a cat, but I am SO glad we watched a friend's cats first, and realized it wouldn't be a good fit for us right now.
  • Started drawing with the iPad pro 2 (work gave me one for free) and I really enjoy it
  • Drove a moving van for the first time, didn't hit anyone
  • Drove a big stick-shift 4x4 all over the Icelandic countryside!
  • Made these Beauty & the Beast gender-swap comics, which people seem to like
  • Helped my friend Jamie go pick up little Huckleberry
  • Held an Academy Award for the first time! (Thanks, Zootopia!!)
  •  Met BB-8 (the robotic unit used in the films!).  And I actually got kind of shy in front of it???

2017 Shortcomings: 
  • I did not volunteer with Meals on Wheels
  • I didn't make it to a single local town hall / city council meeting
  • I missed a flight for the first time ever, felt like an idiot (I just had the flight time wrong and showed up too late)
  • I didn't make it to the Grand Canyon
  • I don't walk to the grocery store :-/ It's uphill on the way back...
  • Didn't find the time to try using Twitch for live-drawing
  • Didn't make a new minicomic in time for CALA (I actually got a last-minute table from being on the wait list, but had to turn it down)
  • Didn't take a French class

Goals for 2018: 
  • Help le boyfriend get a visa to come over to the US!
  • Collaborate with a publisher to make a print version of my LA Animation comic!
  • Spend less time on my phone (charge it across the room from my bed at night so I have to get out of bed to use it?)
  • 10 minutes of stretching and core exercises at home every day
  • Cook more, get more comfortable in the kitchen, cook my own lunches for work a couple times / week
  • Get my will / durable power of attorney / letter of instruction in order
  • I got the rights back to my Europe sketchbooks, and I want to re-release them on Gumroad this year
  • Look for opportunities to democratize breaking into animation...I want to make some free tutorials to put online if I think I can do a good job of it.

Notable Media:
  • Stupid Piece of Sh*t (episode of Bojack Horseman season 3)


  1. Happy New Year, Tally! I really enjoyed both books you put out this year. I also think it's adorable the way you draw le boyfriend compared to how he does, and I hope we get to see more of that.

    And while it's absolutely none of my business what other people eat (or don't), I'll still gladly share this recipe, because I think it is amazing:

    And seriously, congratulations on giving up caffeine! (I've been vegan for two years now, but have only managed to give up caffeine for short periods at a time)

    Very curious to learn what the new career opportunity is - good luck! And all the very best in 2018 :)

    1. Happy New Year, Christian! ^_^

      OMG! Thank you so much for the link to the recipe! West African chicken peanut stew was a staple in my old cooking repertoire and I thought I was going to have to give it up when I stopped eating meat. :0 Can't wait to try this!