Hello, October: A review of 2011 thus far

It’s October. ALREADY. Crazy. Looking back, it’s been a pretty amazing year.

January
I was in a deep creative recovery in January; writing, painting, sewing and reconnecting with my yoga practice. I also attended Alt Summit for the first time, and met a ton of amazing women!

February
In February, I launched head first into producing WilloToons Connect, having meetings with my awesome team (videographer & editor), and filming my first few conversations. February also marked when I stopped drinking coffee and started eating 90% Vegan.

March
I had the pleasure of working with a few awesome clients in the Spring, including two custom illustration jobs (Polly.IM & CoSupport). I went to SXSW, which marked my 6th time there, but this time spoke to a room of 500 people and led a Craft/Makers Meetup [see related post about both events]. Oh ya, and rocked my face off for 10 days straight in full force rockstar/SF Embassy fashion!

April, May and into June (as you’ll see, time started speeding up)
Back from SXSW I was heads down for a solid two months, managing a team of designers and developers, and magically wrapped up three huge client projects just in time for me to hop a plane to Europe at the end of May (my first time in 13 years!). There I healed/moved forward my friendship with my ex-bf (from 7 years ago) and wandered through the beautiful cobblestone streets of Prague [photoset, blog posttweets]. Writing my heart out on the train to Berlin [photoset], I made new friends, watched the sun rise at 4am and rode bikes around a city full of art, angst and revolution. Two weeks later, refeshed and inspired, I returned home and within a week, put the finishing touches on redesigning and launching my site, and the trailer for my new video series, WilloToons Connect!

The very next weekend I celebrated my 36th birthday (on June 20th) with 7 other close friends at our 350+ person Double Trouble birthday bash, held in an old bank downtown, complete with rockin’ food & drink sponsors, photobooths and kick ass DJs that had us dancing the night away till the wee hours. Continuing the next day with a delicious brunch with my BFF, and being surrounded by friends in Dolores Park on a gorgeous summer Sunday. Then on my actual birthday (June 20), dear friends took me to Gracias Madre, and tons of great friends joined me for my solo birthday party at LAC. What a weekend! (See my Birthday weekend photoset.)

That week I launched the teaser trailer and first full-length episode, with Helen Jane, and couldn’t have asked for a better launch – great success! Big thanks to my interns & rockstar collaborators; what a great feeling to be supported by such a great team!

After three weeks of jammin’ non-stop, our LIDL retreat in Russian River was just what the doctor ordered. Then, the very next weekend, I hopped off to Colorado to celebrate my Mom’s 60th birthday! It was great to be back in beautiful Steamboat in the summertime [view photoset].

July/August
After getting back from Colorado, July and August was full of refining WilloToons Connect, dating cute boys, decluttering and cleaning up my home, riding my bikehiking around SF, and spending time with dear friends and my sweet Santa Cruz family. I also decided to take a sabbatical from Bamboozled, the organization where I’ve worked teen writers in the Sunset every single Wednesday for the last 10 years.

I launched two more episodes, one with artist/illustrator, Mati Rose, and the third with yogi/human-rights lawyer, Marianne Elliott. If you haven’t watched an episode yet, please take 10 minutes to dive into one now… you’ll be glad you did, I promise! 🙂

I also spoke at two conferences in August: the Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs (CCEWest) and WordcampSF.

September
After meeting Stitch Labs at CCEWest, I started contracting with them in September, doing Marketing and Social Strategy. I’m totally loving it, and along with my other amazing clients – feistyelle and CoSupport, to name a few – I’ve been feeling like I’m totally in my element and on top of my game. Such a great feeling!

Unfortunately, due to being so busy, WilloToons Connect didn’t get the attention it deserved. I realized a few weeks in that I wasn’t moving forward on filming episodes, due to feeling afraid I didn’t have an editor on board… and in general just having to schedule it all, on top of everything else I’ve been juggling, felt like a little more than I could take on. (I miss my interns!) But all in due time, right?

UPDATE: I’ve since made a *choice* to shelve it for a few months… it’ll move again when the time is right.

September was chock full socially, too. Starting with a fun weekend in Monte Rio, where my friends & I rented a house and celebrated the union of our dear friends Cam & April [view photos]. Sadly I was also really sick that weekend… my first time being ill in over a year! No fun. Thankfully, I got well pretty fast, and just in time for yet another trip up to the Russian River for Mighty Summit! A weekend of pampering and meeting amazing new girlfriends… I am a lucky girl. Creating my Mighty Life List was pretty amazing, too, and has had me thinking about goals a lot. What will I explore, discover and accomplish in the last 3 months of the year?

And here we are…
Suffice to say, I think the first 9 months of 2011 have been pretty amazing! Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. 🙂 Happy, October, everyone.

Goodnight.

Leave a Reply 2 comments

mati rose: The Ladies Independent Design League (LIDL) - December 8, 2011 Reply

[…] season! Willo (of WilloToons.com) has been a busy bee this year! In fact, you can read her Hello, October blog post all about […]

I'm Speaking at The World's Biggest Summit | WilloToons - December 8, 2011 Reply

[…] just wrote a post, recapping what an incredible year this has been thus far, but totally spaced one of the first things I have to celebrate in October is that The […]

Leave a Reply: