Just five days into the year, I celebrated my 33rd birthday with my nephew Ryder and brother-in-law, Shaun, at a Nuggets game. It was a magical night I will never forget.
While recovering from the holidays, I spent the first week of the month painting two large, wooden paintings just to see if I could. It was a blast and I hope to paint somewhat regularly in the future. Annie joined in the fun and made two precious little paintings for her two pregnant best friends, Bethany and Madison.
Sometimes, January can be a slow month work-wise, but we were both quite busy. Annie grinded away in her office balancing her clients 2017 books while I worked on a Nike Basketball “Equality” installation at the Nike SoHo store in New York as well as a Nike installation at the Mall of America for Super Bowl 52.
In our off-time, we spent a bunch of time with our Pretty People Pictures partner, Jon Stevenson. When we weren’t playing every VR game we could find on his new HTC Vive in his garage, we were collecting Power Moons in Mario Odyssey on my new Nintendo Switch. When we weren’t playing video games, we were working on Jon’s first feature film, Rent-A-Pal.
The month ended with extremely exciting news that we secured $25,000 from an investor and can now start reaching out to actors. Looks like things will stay busy for a bit.
3 days after we secured financing, the stock market crashed and our investor pulled out. We were back to square one and took a break on prepping Rent-A-Pal. Aw, the movie biz.
As a change of pace and to do something fun and creative, Annie, Jon and I made a music video using glowsticks, ferrofluid and macrophotography. It was a fun day of playing with glowing ink, blasting music and making creepy liquidy magic. It was so fun, we're hoping to make a series of videos just like it.
I worked on another Nike project for New York Fashion Week as well as a Denver Art Installation called RiNo Side Stories. At Futuristic Films, we spent three days building a custom fish tank and filled it with fish and ink (not at the same time) where it was projected on the side of a building for the final week of February. Annie spent her off time creating a new private Instagram account where she posts her art and doodles. I would link it here, but the anonymity is what makes it stress free and fun.
After spending the first six weeks of the year at Futuristic, I created three new graphics packages for Drift Masters, British Drift Championship and Irish Drift Championship. It was a busy job with a lot of details, but it was fun to work at home for a few weeks.
In the little off-time that I had, I made three new paintings. A gift to Jon for his office and two "Better Than People" paintings. The three of us also played a LOT of Puyo Puyo Tetris and Annie and her Mom made plans to go to England in September! Holy crap!
Even though I thought I was all finished with Drift Masters, British Drift Championship and Irish Drift Championship, I ended up spending the first couple weeks of the month finishing up this job. Much like the tournaments themselves, it was a great race to final deadline to get everything in shape for Adrenaline Garage. I also finally delivered the VFX work I did for the upcoming horror film Hoax! I started working on this project last October, so it felt great to finally be done with it all.
Once that was finished, I was back at Futuristic helping out with a cool Reebok installation starring Devonte Freeman, Gigi Hadid and Ariana Grande. After a few days on that project, I quickly jumped to this year's Colorado Lottery 360 VR Project. This year's video focused on Ben Berand, an Olympic Ski Jumper who just returned from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The VR experience was centered around one of Ben's big ski jumps. It was easily the most awesome VR project I've worked on to date.
Annie had her busy time of the season, wrapping up taxes for our plethora of companies as well as the ones she works for. If we weren't watching basketball or playing Tetris, I was usually over at Jon's playing more VR. Jimmy and Jon beat Arizona Sunshine which Jimmy swears is the "best gaming experience of his life." We also discovered our local donut shop, Walton's Donuts, was/is delicious and quickly turned it into a weekend tradition. To make it even better, they bake Texas-style Kolaches. Needless to say, we won't stop frequenting there any time soon.
By the end of the month, Annie and I did everything we could to get ready for our family vacation to Hawaii. We were both busy with work and to make matters worse, we both got bad colds. However, we were able to plan it out and schedule it so both of us were feeling MUCH better by the time we actually left for Hawaii.
While sitting at home sick, Jimmy found himself embroiled in a Kardashian Instagram controversy. Kendall Jenner promoted her friends company (Pizzaboys) that is clearly a ripoff of an art collective Jimmy follows on Instagram (Pizzaboyzzz). Being friends with a lot of people involved, Jimmy posted "a statement" about it on Instagram which was quickly reposted by Pizzaboyzzz and somehow became the unofficial "image" of the Pizzaboyzzz protest. The post spread everywhere online and even made its way to Seventeen.com. After following so many Kardashian controversies over the years, it was weird to be kind of sort of involved with one.
I continued painting! I made a Saved by the Bell piece based on one of my favorite photos from the show. Cardi B had a viral outburst about where our American tax money actually goes that I found kind of funny, so I painted a tribute piece for that. And shortly the Kardashian/Instagram controversy, I painted a "I stole this idea from someone on Instagram" piece.
The month ended with Annie and Jimmy on a plane on their way to Hawaii!