Well, that was a year, wasn’t it? As the pandemic drags on and with the rising threat of Omicron, being here at all and still semi-functional is itself something to be proud of. We’re all going through a lot right now, with the promise of more to come.
This was the year I felt I established myself much more firmly in the puppet building world. I had my first professional client (thanks again Sarah), and overall, it was a good year for the shop. While I’m just breaking even, the fact that I can pay my bills in a sustainable way is a huge triumph for me personally. I’ve spent my entire professional life working for other people in jobs that ranged from neutral to downright toxic, and this is the first time I’ve ever actually *enjoyed* my job. It took far too long for me to find this path, but now that I’m here I intend to make it last.
Looking ahead, I hope to keep the puppet train moving right along (get it?) in 2022. I have some new models I’m prototyping, as well as refining existing models. I already have a couple of big and important commissions lined up for January, and after that I’ll start to repopulate the shop. I’m also planning on starting monthly Q&A live streams starting in January, and I’m looking forward to getting back into that space. Those who follow my Twitter feed know I’m facing some health challenges as we go into the new year, but I’m determined to meet those challenges and press on.
The Oracle will continue to spread his wizardly wisdom as well. At the time of writing, we’re enjoying a bit of a surge in TikTok viewers, which is encouraging. I resisted TikTok for a long time, but I think I’ve found a format that works well with my style of humor.
As always, many thanks to y’all for continuing to support what I do. Operation: Puppet is and will always be primarily about carrying the banner of kindness and play that the work of Jim Henson stood for. In a world increasingly filled with darkness, that’s the candle I intend to keep alight.
Kevin Blades, Operation: Puppet