This November The Oxherd Boy completes its third trip around our beautiful, life-giving sun. Though I'm often too caught up in what I'm working on sit and reflect on the past, this anniversary feels like a good time to just reflect on the last year in a few numbers as compared to 2022:
This past year definitely felt lighter in terms of delivery. 2022 was spent working largely independently churning out drawings for the adult book, while 2023 saw me switch gears from being a generally solo creator with no one to concern myself with or consult, to a close collaborator and guide.
What an incredibly different experience to be working on these characters and their stories with other people, with different teams with different takes and different relationships with each one, contributing to the growth of The Oxherd Boy in ways I couldn't have done alone. The illustrations this year also allowed me to weave a deeper story and challenged me technically as an artist.
One significant threshold I've crossed is in balancing this growth and the direction it continues to take with full consideration of its purpose and voice. To know when to "stick one's oar in" and navigate and when to release control and explore other possibilities is a practice I'm getting used to little by little.
Thanks for being a part of this last year. As always, it's a privilege to share it with you, and you've been such an integral part of The Oxherd Boy community. You truly are everything.