Dear 2022...

Word up humans, happy new year!

Last year was an absolute roller coaster, more so than the year before for me personally after kicking off the year by moving county to a new home, growing into my new role as a father while maintaining a freelance illustration career has been a unique challenge with no friends and family around to call in the cavalry during the busy months. 2021 was a strict teacher, but worth it.

I also had this realisation just last night:
2021 was the first year in maybe five years where I did not release a Hiwez exclusive patch! That really told me how quickly the year went by. I had some great collaborations with some of the usual suspects and some new ones, creating art for patches for a few clients and that was great. But zero patches coming out of Hiwez HQ. Crazy.

What's crazier is I think I'm going to do it again this year. Never say never, but at the moment the project list is focussing on my other passions and getting back to my roots.

If you're a client (or thinking about inquiring) then don't fret. I still love patches and the patch community and I will absolutely be open for business, I'm not abandoning years of experience designing patches, it's a well oiled weapon on the belt kit at this point.

So what is in store for 2022?

I've been making a plan for years now to release a few things that I hold dear. Comics, Artbooks and Tabletop Games.

Comics were the start of my adventures into interacting with the tactical world through a monthly feature I had in Airsoft Action magazine and I look back at those pieces of work fondly. I want more of that in my life from this year onward. Especially telling some Tactical Teddies stories I have had knocking around my head for the last few years.

Artbooks is something I've always enjoyed looking through and it's time I made my contribution to the art form. They will be available digitally and there are plans to make a limited hardcopy run too. I have a strong sense that if you're reading this then you enjoy the artwork so this is definitely something to keep an eye out for.

And finally, Tabletop Games. I released a simple print and play right at the end of 2021 and it felt great to actually take a game from concept to completion. It was not my first game and it certainly wasn't my most refined but that is how these things start and I am excited to start getting feedback from players to improve the game.

All three of these passions are focussed around a couple of themes.

Story Telling and World Building.

A few of you who were around since the start of Tactical Teddies back in 2016 know that I'll try and cram in some story or lore anywhere I can, and 2022 is the year I set my sights on achieving more of that than ever.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being on this journey with me so far, I am excited to see where it takes us this year.

Stay awesome, stay safe.