Saturday, December 26, 2015

Top 5 Posts of 2015

Hi, Internetlandia!
It's the end of December, which means 'tis the season when I'm tapped out of ideas I reflect upon the past year and I re-hash highlight the most popular posts of the past year, as well as some of my favorites that didn't make the popularity cut.  To make it worth your while, I've included some brief editorials to give you what I hope is an interesting insight behind the drawings. Think of it as a "gee, they really liked it!  Maybe I can give some more context" present from me to you.

So, let's get to it, shall we?  A few of these were total surprises to me.  Some rose to the front of the pack late in the year (#5 in particular) some were immediately popular (see #2).  For whatever reason, you liked them, and I appreciate your support.  Anyway, enough babbling: here we go!

As I mentioned in this post, I am a huge nerd for animals and space travel.  Hopefully, if you're reading this blog, you've picked up on what a big animal lover I am, but you might not be familiar with my love of space travel. To give you some context, I used to watch "The Right Stuff" over my older brother's shoulder when I was in elementary school.  (He watched it I guess by extension, I did, too.)  The bit in the post about me dressing up like Yuri Gagarin in the 5th grade?  Completely true.  Fun fact: my mom and dad helped me fashion a cosmonaut costume from snow boots, aluminum foil, my softball helmet, and my mom's old volunteer paramedic suit.  There was also a name tag with "CCCP" dutifully printed on it.  It was THE BEST.  With that context, when you put NASA and cute quadrupeds together, it's all over; I will be squeeing for hours.  This was one of my more well-researched posts, as well as one that produced one of my favorite drawings all year, giant grinning Ham.  Honestly, a lot of the final push I needed to to create this post was motivated by the opportunity to both draw Ham and share a photo of Felicette.  (Have you SEEN that punim?  Adorable.)

I try my best to keep things positive on this site; it's my belief that there is already plenty of ugliness and anger in the world, so why add to it?  I like to write educational/silly posts as often as possible.  However, sometimes I get crabby and need a good rant, and sometimes, there is a ridiculous trend that I just can't bite my tongue about.  Enter exhibit A: the "monopod".  Guys, let's be real: selfie sticks are dumb.  They're continuously being banned from tourist locations, and with good reason.  Try using "friend" instead?  At least that won't get you kicked out of the Louvre.  Not immediately, anyway.

So, I wrote this as I anticipated being briefly unemployed while I searched for  a new job in a new city due to an impending move.  I choose not to comment on how much of this was foreshadowing, and will merely state that I'm fully employed again, and my cat doesn't wear clothes.  I also have to add that I have the best and most supportive friends and family in the world who helped me through the unemployed times.  Many of them were mostly concerned about how my cat dealt with a 12 hour road trip, but I digress.  (She's fluffy and happy per her usual, by the way.)  Most of all, I have to admit that I'm pleased another post involving my cat made the top 5 this year.

The concept behind my greeting cards for terrible people (including the Holiday Series) started as a vodka & tonic-fueled joke made while spending time with a random assortment of high school and college friends last Thanksgiving.  (By the end of the night I had convinced the bartender to give me my drink in a sippy cup.  Proud moment.)  Anyway, it took me over a year, but a quick spurt of watercolor fun, and the rest is history.  It's good to know I'm not the only person out there who believes in both greeting cards and blunt honesty.  Expect more of these in 2016!

There's not a whole lot to add to what I already said in the post; those headsets look ridiculous.  I'm not sure if it was just the location I was in or where I was working, but I saw more and more of these headsets around the beginning of 2015, and I couldn't resist commenting. I sincerely hope that when enough time has passed for us to make fun of our present decade, that those dumb things get whats coming to them.  Drawing dino Luke Skywalker was one of my favorite drawing moments this year.  It was a bit of an afterthought; I had put together all of the other drawings a week in advance, but decided a dino with a lightsaber was just what it needed hours before it went live. I'm glad I did; I think it really brought the post together, and frankly, it was just fun.

That's it for the top 5 according to traffic!  Now, without further ado, my favorites of 2015 that didn't make the list:

Okay, so this isn't my first homage to Skymall.  I know.  Having lived miles away from my family for years, and generally loving travel means that I've spent my fair amount of time sitting on planes.  I usually bring things to entertain myself, but I CAN'T go a plane ride without flipping through this dumb catalogue and judging whatever ridiculous/useless junk Hammacher-Schlemmer is spewing out this quarter. I was legitimately sad when I found out the Skymall was being discontinued, only to be quickly relieved when it came back from the dead.  Plus, I got to draw a creepy dino smile (pictured above).  Win/win. guys know I'm obsessed with my cat, right?

As many of you know, this year marked when I quit my job in Georgia and moved with my husband to Chicago.  As I was a teacher at a university, my contract ended at the end of May, resulting in a relatively brief period where I was without a job.  To be honest, my summer of "funemployment" really wasn't that fun.  As most people on the job hunt will tell you, it's a sucky process that is simultaneously stressful, exhausting, and depressing...and if you're not careful, can start to make you question your self-worth.  After 3 months, 70+ applications and only 2 interviews, I began to get concerned that my internet presence was holding me back.  I love my drawings and in most contexts, I would never hide from them or my weirdness, but I can have a bit of a foul mouth...and people in HR tend not to like foul-mouthed weirdos when they're performing background checks for jobs not related to being a foul-mouthed internet doodler.  You guys, taking this site down broke my heart.  I know most of the time I say things in a joking tone, but I mean it when I say that was really distressed about the decision. Even knowing it was temporary, I felt like I was killing my art baby, and that killed me.  I also felt like I was hiding an important part of myself, and that, frankly, was the worst feeling in the world.  Fortunately, I was able to re-join the workforce at the end of July, and my new job is really great.  My odd duck drawing was a celebratory/self-accepting post that marked the return of this site, which is why it's one of my favorites.  Also, I think ducks are cute.  (And they have fowl mouths without a bit of shame about it.) ;^)

Thanks for sticking with me through 2015!  Here's to a new year!

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