sound of the new year flying by

It’s another new year. To borrow the wisdom of Douglas Adams: I love new years, I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. It has been an eventful year, and it feels like it is on the cusp of even more. It has become a tradition online to blog about what you’ve accomplished or experienced in the past year, so here’s some of my thoughts:

This past year I turned 40. A milestone, with the stress on the stone part. Everyone seems to have certain birthdays that are harder than others, and this was mine. I decided to celebrate it very quietly, in hopes that it wouldn’t notice me sitting there. It just seems like a very concrete and mature age, and I still feel like a 20-something.

Our family has grown again with the birth of our daughter. Our family dynamics have been shifting and scrambling for footing as her personality grows stronger (and stronger!). It’s amazing to see our two kids, watch them grow, see them learn. Just today our three-year old son asked me: “what’s inside our eyes?” Amazing. It blows me away how brilliant these kids are. I just hope I call help them get started in life, then get out of their way and watch them fix the problems of the world.

My business, Modern Ketubah, will soon hit its fifth anniversary. I’m still amazed at the success of this business, and how it lets me make a living as an artist. Very soon I’ll have made my 700th ketubah — that’s 700 couples who have chosen my art to symbolize their marriage. It’s amazing, and humbling.

Art-wise it’s been an interesting year. Through the help of one of Alyson‘s classes I met a group of like-minded artists. We started chatting, and quickly formed an energetic and supportive online community that is still going strong.

This fall I also re-energized my studio time. I realized that I had been getting lazy, and spending less and less time making art. So I rethought my workday, and how I balance my time making art with running a business. After injecting myself with a little discipline, I managed to have two of my most productive months in a long time. And as a result, I feel my art is getting better, thematically and technically.

I also started to make more progress towards selling my art. Babysteps really, but at least its progress. I created online portfolios on Trunkt, Etsy, and Boundless. I placed my art again in The Guild Residental Art Sourcebook. And I began offering my works-in-progress for sale.

That’s it for now. I wish you all the best in the new year. Na zdrowie!


Congratulations on the birth of your daughter! Also on another year as a full time artist. I understand how hard it can be to discipline yourself to do your art, there’s always so many things that call you from it. I suspect you will be a busy man this year.

You’ve had a full and exciting year – Dan! Congratulations on many fronts including the birth of your daughter and on turning 40.

I just slightly ahead of you age wise and feel like I’m having some of the best years of my life now.

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday, old man. Glad you’re enjoying life with two kids. Come back around the Dads’ board and visit us occasionally if you ever get the time. All the best.

Dan, congratulations on a daughter!! I remember that precious smiling little boy on his first day of school in your post this fall. I bet he’s happy to have a sister. So, you turned 40, and are probably have a shortage of sleep right now! Best to you for the new year!

Given I turn 40 today, any tips of experience you want to share? đŸ™‚ I am really trying to just shrug it off as just another year, but that number has some subconscious impacts no doubt. Congrats on the success of your art Dan! That’s really great. I also see from your recent posts that we share the same curiosity about texture. I don’t think I am quite as far along as you are in your vision on how to incorporate it into your work, but it will be quite interesting to see how this develops.

Happy birthday Mark! I think what hit me hardest about turning 40 was how easy that number makes it to divide your life into significant chunks: college was now half my life ago, and I met my wife almost one quarter of my life ago. Ee-gads! Makes it feel like time is slipping by. But I think that once I get used to this feeling of big chunks of time, I’ll feel much better about it all.