2010, The Year in Review….

I really can’t believe this year is already over.

First of all, sorry for the lack of posts recently.  I’ve been swamped with freelance projects and even trying to get ahead of schedule by doing a lot of tshirt designs for 2011.

But 2010 was a pretty big year for me.  A lot happened that I am super grateful for.

Take the above picture for example.  This is simply my favorite picture of the year.  This picture was taken at Nest M Elementary School where I had the privilege to speak with Jeff Yang to his son’s class.

This class reminded me about how fun what I do is.  Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to do what I do.  And its nice to have a friendly reminder from time to time.

But this year I had a chance to go on CNet’s the 404 with Cliff Chiang.

One of the coolest things that happened to me was that I got to speak at The Folk Life Festival at The Smithsonian Museum!  I had never been there before, so it was extra cool to be a part of it.

Got to do our “Build a Hero” workshop there with Jeff Yang and Keith Chow.

So I was able to continue touring with the guys and spreading the word on Secret Identities.  And the even GREATER news is that thanks to The Vilcek Foundation, we’ll be doing Volume 2 to Secret Identities!  We’re still taking submissions so get them in while you can!

But this year wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns for me either.

I was the unfortunate recepient of a Cease and Desist from The Bruce Lee Foundation for t shirts I had made of Bruce.

So that was obviously a blow.

But in a weird way, I feel like it was a blessing in disguise.  As I was kinda getting sick an tired of being the “guy that makes those Bruce Lee tees”.  So now I kinda get to show what else I can do.  And I’m pretty confident in what I have in store for 2011’s new designs.

But this past year I exhibited at some comic cons and outdoor events.  The C2E2 con, San Diego Comic Con, The New York Comic Con and the Asian Festival at Union Square of New York.

One of the biggest things I feel like I accomplished this past year was at the New York Comic Con where I had Legends Hour.  I’ve been blessed to have friends like Walter Simonson, Geof Darrow and Larry Hama.  Where not only are they doing original artwork for my Signature Series of tees, but they’ve even been kind enough to hang out at my booth and do some sketches and sign some shirts for people.

I met a ton of really cool people this year that have really made my life better.  I’m not going to sit here and rattle off all their names, but you all know who you are.  So thanks so much for helping me out this year.

I was able to work on some pretty cool projects too.  Here is just a small sample of some of the cooler stuff I worked on.

I’m designing labels for bottled water and a bunch of other different types of alcohol.  These were the first labels I designed for these guys.  These are the guys that are responsible for that Four Loco drink everybody’s been talking about.

I’ve also been doing some tshirt desings for a Asian soap opera show called Absolute Boyfriend.


I know…the name is pretty funny.  But I seriously think this show is going to take off and be one of those crazy shows that girls stay up all night watching and crying over.

Anyway, there are a bunch of things that happened this year that I’m proud of and things I’m not so proud of.  I’m just grateful to be in the position that I am and still getting a chance to draw and design everyday for a living.  I’m really looking forward to the year 2011.  I’m hoping for a lot of things to happen.  Each year I give myself a new set of goals.  I try not to go crazy and reach for the stars.

But for example, one of my goals was to start speaking at events on my own.  Each and every time I’ve always been with one of my Secret Identities partners.  Which is great.  Seriously.

But I wanted to challenge myself and start speaking on my own.  And I was able to do so at the ITASA conference.  Which was a GREAT experience for me.  But also made me realize how difficult it is.  And how much more I enjoy doing these events with other people.

For 2011, I feel like it’s about time I spend more money on marketing and also it’s about that time where I finally deal with getting my shirts into stores.  For a long time I’ve been avoiding this as I just didn’t want to deal with all the extra work.  Specifically the extra paper work.  I’m just no good at stuff like this.

But finally…I think the only way for me to really grow as an artist and designer is by finally just doing it.  For all I know no stores will be interested.  But I figure I should at least try.  So that is my big goal for 2011.  And I’m really excited to do this as previously I really didn’t want to do it because of all the Bruce Lee designs I had done.  But now, I feel like I’m getting a fresh new start.  And I get to show some really cool new stuff that I’m very proud of.  I expect to get the new stuff out as early as February, so check back from time to time as I’ll post some teaser images here first.

whew…I’ve been talking for a while.  I figure the best way for me to really talk about 2010 is by just showing some pics taken from this past year.

And I was lying, I am going to thank all those people that helped me out this past year…so here goes.  A big thanks goes out to Joyce Li, Eric Ma, Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow, William Morales, Michael Velazquez, Cliff Chiang, Bernard Chang, Debra Chen, Walter Simonson, Geof Darrow, Larry Hama, Soohee Cho, Lauren King, Christa Bender, Tanya Kumar, Gordon Chu, Marcy Lee, Greg Brayman, Amy Peng, Pam Yeo, John Lee, Jason Lee, Hochie Tsai, Cynthia Lin, Brian Yang, Johnny Nitinananaaahhhhh, Bowie Fu, Stan Mendoza, Riley Sumala, Raymond Chow, Ren Hsieh, Andrew Prosser, Emily Louise, James DeCola, my brothers Jim and Rich Ma, my sister in laws, Ellen and Jenny and of course my main man Ken Knudtsen.

I thought it was a good idea to eat all of this….

…it made me feel soooo sick…

This picture is priceless to me.  It was taken at the SanDiego Comic Con.  This picture was sent to me from my friend Scott Cohen.  Who found it randomly online.  There are soooo many pictures being taken…obviously, so I try to sneak behind the person getting snapped…and make a stupid face.  It made my day when Scott forwarded this to me!

Hey!  That’s my drawing Sammo is holding!

whew….good bye 2010.  Nice knowing you.




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