Allie MacAlister Illustration: 2016 In Review And What’s To Come!

Wow. What a year. 2016 has been incredible as far as my career goes! Many successes, multiple new clients and venues, some mistakes made (of course) and overall, a feeling of happiness and gratitude.

Before I go on holidays for a week to reset myself for the coming year, here’s some snippets from all that’s happened this year. I hope you enjoy it!


In February, I tried Hourly Comics Day for the first time. It’s a worldwide event for cartoonists where you make a small comic for every hour you’re awake for one day. I had a great time! I’m hoping to do it again this year.


I did some weekly Livestreams for awhile, but cancelled them due to lack of interest. You win some, you lose some.
2017 is all about YouTube – speedpaints, tutorials, and more. Stay tuned!


I created three mini-comics that proved very successful: Beer!, Anxiety! and Craft Markets! Stay tuned for more this year!


A lot of time this past year was spent going mad with product development for my Etsy shop and craft shows. In other words, business as usual.


This past year I wanted to focus on learning some new skills, so I got a Skillshare membership. I learned a bunch of new skills and lots of advice, including surface pattern design, perspective theory, and most notably, how to use Adobe Illustrator in the ways I need for my work. That last one has been YEARS in the making, and my first full project in Illustrator is below. No small project!
You can use this link if you want three months of membership for super-cheap!


I made a brand-spanking-new adult colouring book using my newly-formed Adobe Illustrator skills! It was extremely well-received and really fun to make.


Drew a bunch of fanart, as usual. That will never change.


In perhaps my biggest-coolest news of this past year, I began working as a contracted freelance illustrator for Canadian Red Cross. I’ve done a ton of work for them since then, a small selection of which I can finally show off in my portfolio!
I’ll be continuing my work with them well into 2017. I’m working remotely with a great team of people, and feel very grateful for the opportunity!


Started crocheting up a storm and offering the results on my Etsy shop for a spell. I hope to offer more in 2017, if time allows! They’re such fun to make and everyone loved them!


I started a YouTube channel and populated it with a handful of speedpaint videos. It’s still in its infancy, but I have plans for doing more with art video production in 2017. Big plans.
Subscribe for the upcoming goodness!


I did a ton of new (to me) craft shows, especially this past fall. In doing them, I met a TON of passionate makers that have developed into a solid network of colleagues.

Related, I did my first Etsy: Made In Canada show, which was absolutely insane and awesome. 10/10 would vend again.

In meeting so many maker-folks, I finally found my footing on Instagram and began updating it as often (if not more frequently) as my other social media venues.


Tried to do Inktober for the first time, and… failed. But I tried, and it was fun! In the few pieces I did do, I got really comfortable with some new digital brush pens that have since become my favourites.


Got through my annual holiday onslaught of Etsy orders and custom orders with only a few scratches and moderate levels of stress. I call that a success. On the subject of success, my Etsy shop stat comparison of last year and this year is pretty spiffy! 


And of course, so much gratitude for all of my incredible clients this year. Below is only a small smattering of the variety of projects I worked on this year. Thank you to everyone who has commissioned me, whether it was for a portrait, book project or commercial contract. It means the world to me that I can do this for a living and I will never stop being grateful.

I’m moving into 2017 with a number of client projects currently under my belt, as well as some new surprises coming your way soon. In the meantime, I’m off for my week of holidays so I wish you and yours a safe, happy, warm holiday season! 

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