November - December news letter. A wrap up of 2022

I started last year full of inspiration and fresh ideas to bring to life. Now, looking back on the goals I'd set for myself, I'm happy that I at least got some of these things done. But, as with all best-laid plans, there ended up being more roadblocks than expected. For all the things that happened, the biggest hurdle was probably procrastination, which I'm sure a lot of people can relate to.

Not much moved over November and December, I even let Runaway workshops 10-year anniversary kind of pass me by, (so I'll have to do something for that retroactively maybe) as I spent a lot of time fulfilling orders for Christmas, and any remaining creative energy was focused on making Christmas decorations.

(Time well spent, I think)

Building up to the new year, though, some time was spent reflecting on what I want to accomplish for 2023. Confuzzled is one of the first things that came to mind...

Runaway Workshop is going on (Mini) tour:

I always feel buzzed and inspired after a convention, thankfully confuzzled 22 was a very welcome reminder of this after two years off. I think I describe this better in the actual post after confuzzled, but being able to speak to people face to face, and have my work on a live display to be seen and touched, breaks the digital barrier that shopping online places in front of us, allowing people to just be inspired by what they're looking at rather than trying to decide if they can even trust what they're seeing on the listing. This is why I've decided to take my work to more live events this year.

Here are a few I have already started to plan my attendance to:

ScotiaCon: 3rd - 6th Jan Glasgow 

Confuzzled: 26th - 30th May Birmingham

The Creative Craft Show: 23rd - 25th June Birmingham

Noisily Festival: 6th - 9th July Leicestershire

In line with my goals from last year, I wanted to bring my work to a wider audience of anthro enthusiasts, performers, and crafters, so some of the events I'm looking at attending are not strictly furry conventions, but festivals, trade shows, and markets in the UK. Depending on how this goes, I'm hoping to do a more further afield tour next year, with some dates abroad.

I could have planned for that this year, but excitingly, an opportunity with my Karate club opened up to train in Okinawa at the end of the summer, not to mention I've also had some opportunities in conservation crop up... so that will be taking up a lot of my planning time.

More for this year:

In my wrap-up last year, I talked about wanting to make more LARP combat masks, and I managed to release 4 new designs. I've got plans for more this year, I've already started on a Boar and Deer, but they're very rough at the moment so there will be more on them next month.

collage of photos depicting the clay sculpts of four animal masks. One lizzard, one cat, one goat and finally a fox

I had a lot of fun painting and furring a few of these bases, and I wish I had dedicated a bit more time to doing that, so this year, I'll be looking into what I'm losing the most time to, and how I can make it more efficient to spend more time doing the things I enjoy.

Images of the wolf mask and feline masks painted in realistic patterns. the first wolf is painted grey with tan muzzle, the second wolf is reddy brown with an added fur hood, finally the feline is grey with white striped detailing
last year I completed my first fursuit in many years, and although I don't have any plans to open up for commissions, I am hoping to finish a suit for myself this year as I have one very unhappy, half-finished corvid sat in the corner of my workshop. I do hope to make more finished LARP heads for my convention displays too, but I want to see how that goes before I start to think of more projects to give myself. 
One of the biggest things that came from the wolf project was my new 3D printer setup, which allowed me to really get to grips with how much this bit of tech I'd originally shied away from can supplement the hand-crafted work I love to do, plus make some entirely new products.
Eventually, I welcomed a new large bed 3D printer to the family, and heavily modified it so I can print flexible head bases in one print, something I'm very excited about exploring more of this year. I'll also be able to print molds on this, and I'm just finishing up preparing the print for the first one. The only problem is that I had to repair it last month and the parts only just started arriving this week. 

Other achievements

2022 really was the year of the wolf for me, and not just because of all the wolf projects that I've worked on. Me and my pack finally completed the Alpha wolf in 2022, which is a series of four wild running events across the seasons. It was a slog, especially the winter run, but I'm really proud of our out-of-shape-selves that we managed to complete the challenge.
I made good progress on my camper and got it running well enough to actually go to a festival in it. I'm hoping to get the last details done this year and do a full write up of the project in all of its over complicated glory.

Plans for this year in summary

More conventions, more LARP masks, more completed projects (ones that I have already started WILL get priority and I WILL keep telling myself that until I believe it), and less procrastination. 

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