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  • Writer's pictureHannah Kate

Looking Back on 2021...

Happy New Year!

Yes, it is the last day of January and I’m only just sharing my review of 2021…

The start of 2022 has been a slow return to working life for me, following recurring problems with my physical health. As such, my reflections have been a little more drawn out and my decisions on where to place my focus this year, slightly delayed.

This would have bothered me more a few years ago, maybe even as recently as last year, with social media attempting to have us continually whipped into a frenzy with goal setting and getting ahead before you even start. I curate my content intake a little more ruthlessly now, with far fewer nagging coaches to sap my joy and many more inspirational artists to feed my creative appetite.

So, 2021: the difficult second album.

The feeling of togetherness, compassion and community brought with the onset of the pandemic and the newness of lockdowns was very much absent in year two.

After our government cancelled Christmas 2020 at the eleventh hour, the UK stumbled through the festive fog and into another lockdown, seeing us through the New Year and beyond. It was all very much less fun during British wintertime, with approximately four thousand cold and grey days filling January alone!

All protective health measures were lifted in July, with many people fighting to return to whatever their idea of “normal” was before then. For those of us who weren’t so keen to launch headlong into the unknown (I wasn’t double jabbed until August), it all felt very uncomfortable.

While lockdowns sound like the introvert’s dream, they had been quite damaging, to this one at least. My mental health suffered and as everyone else seemingly just got on with their lives, I felt very left behind and more isolated than ever. I’m not sharing this to garner sympathy, only to share how some of us felt. Also, to give a little context to the rest of this blog.

This 2021 review is a collection of happy memories. It’s very much a highlight reel. Not to brag or pretend the unhappy times didn’t exist, but to give myself an aide-memoire for the events and successes that I should remember and celebrate!

With that in mind, read on for moments that made me smile…

Much like this year, January of 2021 saw a quiet start here at Hannah Kate Makes.

I took a little time to sort and organise the studio and spent time creating one of my favourite paintings of the year.

I hope I didn’t peak too soon!

Our Mari Lwyd was born in the chilly winter under the watchful eyes of my Patrons.

I also decided on my 100 Day Project for the year and when it began, at the end of the month, I launched my YouTube channel.

During February I shared my first studio vlogs, keeping a video diary of my 100 Day Project’s progress.

Each ten-to-twenty-minute daily slot was recorded and shared on an (almost) weekly basis.

Part 1 of The Diva Collection was released into the world, with my Drama Queen, Dark Angel and the ever-fabulous Pea Queen making their mark in art print and bookmark form!

In March I received a wonderful gift in the post from fellow artist, Joe Rivera.

He’d painted my portrait in his unmistakeable style and sent it all the way from New Jersey!

This month also saw my Patrons choose Jessica Rabbit as the subject of a fan art digital piece.

I mashed Jessica up with the DC Bombshell Black Canary and created a hybrid of the two.

You can watch her being brought to life in this time lapse video, complete with original music from Quaternion Solutions.

April is Stress Awareness Month and I marked this with a blog sharing a few ideas for ways we can help relieve stress and slow down a little (you can read it here).

Later that month, the original Montague Mouse was born in miniature art form and sent out with my top tier Patrons’ loot haul!

The iconic Carrie Fisher was my muse for Star Wars Day at the beginning of May, it was a pleasure to just sit and draw.

Human faces always scare me a little as I don’t draw them often, so the practice was most welcome.

I took part in my first Virtual Comic Con hosted by TJC Community and got to meet some wonderful cosplayers and creatives.

I also revealed my new characters: ‘Jama Queen, I Am Calm, and the Siren and they joined their sisters in the Diva Collection.

My birthday month nearly saw the end of lockdown, but it was postponed for a few more weeks.

I launched my first wooden pin badges, showcasing Bella Donna Kiss, Eye Scream and George the seahorse!

July was a month of celebration for the first birthday of my Patreon community.

To mark the occasion all Patrons were upgraded a tier and all content that is usually exclusive to the Skulls & Snakes tier was made available to the public.

The fabulous Becki Lamby and I also battled to the giggly death with our second Doodle Duel and got to (very quickly) illustrate some inspired art suggestions within the one minute doodle time challenge!

One of my favourite memories of the year was interviewing BarbDWitt Cosplay for my first ever Creative Interview podcast.

We spent a fun hour or so chatting about his journey into the cosplay world, lessons learned and advice he’d share with others.

This episode of the Musings of a Chaos Pixie podcast was set to video and released on YouTube, and you can watch it here.

Several online events and markets took place in September, including my showcase with the Handmade Hour team on their Instagram profile.

I launched my first stickers and added two new designs to my collection of wooden pin badges.

My Bella Donna Kiss art print was exhibited in York as part of the Marco Looks Print Swap, both at the Rural Arts café for a month and at Spark during the Art Fair curated by Marc.

Do you remember the Virtual Comic Con from earlier in the year?

Well, I had donated a prize for the children’s art competition in the form of a custom painting and a very happy young girl received her hand painted Entrapta portrait. You can watch its creation here.

Spooky month was again full of online events and markets, and I added new note card designs to my range.

I was also proud to be spotlighted in the Pedddle Stallholder blog.

One particularly happy memory for me was receiving my new colouring polychromos pencils!

They smell wonderful and draw beautifully too.

I gave them a test run with some figurative drawing practice. Model: Vilidian Vilks.

A frenzy of Christmas markets took place throughout November, and I made new additions to my Dark Christmas collection.

Krampus cards proved to be a hit and a festive Dylan Donkey sold out his first print run!

I was honoured to be the first Introducing Artist featured in the debut Hodgepodge Club subscription box and my contribution was a brand-new and exclusive character: Ilex.

My Seasonal Shout Out Blog was also reprised and released this month.

Hannah Kate Makes celebrated turning three years old at the beginning of December before beginning to wind down before the Christmas break.

Looking back, 2021 was not the greatest year in all but certainly not the worst.

Picking a few of my favourite memories is a good way to help me focus on what I want more of in the future and I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds in 2022 as I work towards my goals.

If you’d like to stay in the loop with my plans, then pop your email in the box at the bottom of the page and join The Insiders Club for weekly email updates.

Or you can watch my shenanigans as they happen by following me on Instagram and Facebook.

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