On a global level, 2016 was a mess. We witnessed terrible tragedies, the loss of far too many much-loved artists, and elected an utter buffoon to the presidency here in the US. After this year and a particularly bad autumn, I’ve heard a lot of creative types talk about packing up, leaving town, and hunkering down for the new year and beyond.

But as this new year begins, I want to write a quick plea to artists, musicians, makers, playwrights, actors, writers, poets, designers, game developers - basically anybody who is driven by the need to create.

Simply - we need you.

I urge you to keep on creating the amazing things you create. In difficult times, the world needs your imagination, your spirit, and your vision.No matter what you make - make it and share it with people.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a video of your dog chasing a laser, a blog post about how much you love mayonnaise, a sappy love song written about your love of packing tape, a painting of cheese, or an LED blinky light that flashes every time your tweet is exactly 140 characters. Just make it.

Now, on a local/personal level, 2016 was pretty good to me. I was declared cancer free, started a new job, and rode my bike almost 2000 miles getting my health and fitness back to a more acceptable place. As this year wraps up, I’m staying focused on the great things that happened and planning creative projects for 2017 - things I want to share with you. Here are a few things I want to work on:

  • Toast Solders web comic
  • Sketches (like this one) of the people who inspire me most
  • LOTS of UI experimentation and prototypes
  • Brushing up on logo design
  • Writing tutorial blog posts on productivity, product design, and making things
  • Making (and selling) my own designer toys
  • Experimenting with UX interaction in VR and AR

So what are you planning for 2017? What positive, amazing work can you introduce to the world that may inspire others? Whatever it is, get out there and do it. In an uncertain future, you’re sure to give the world better things.

I wish all of you a truly wonderful 2017 and will leave you with the lyrics to a song by Ray Davies that’s been a source of inspiration to me and a fitting introduction to 2017 for all of us.

Better Things

Here’s wishing you the bluest sky,
And hoping something better comes tomorrow.
Hoping all the verses rhyme,
And the very best of choruses to
Follow all the doubt and sadness.
I know that better things are on the way.

Here’s hoping all the days ahead
Won’t be as bitter as the ones behind you.
Be an optimist instead,
And somehow happiness will find you.
Forget what happened yesterday,
I know that better things are on the way.

It’s really good to see you rocking out
And having fun,
Living like you just begun.
Accept your life and what it brings.
I hope tomorrow you’ll find better things.
I know tomorrow you’ll find better things.

Here’s wishing you the bluest sky,
And hoping something better comes tomorrow.
Hoping all the verses rhyme,
And the very best of choruses to
Follow all the drudge and sadness.
I know that better things are on the way.

I know you’ve got a lot of good things happening up ahead.
The past is gone it’s all been said.
So here’s to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you’ll find better things.
I know tomorrow you’ll find better things.