2021: The Year in Review

Tom Froese
16 min readJan 6, 2022


Reflecting on the Past Year, Setting Goals for the Next


2021 was a good year. I enjoyed my work a lot more. I made an important decision to focus on writing. Suprisingly, in a year that was supposed to be a sabbatical-like one, I earned more revenue than ever. 2021 was a year of mostly failed goals, and that makes its success even more surprising. But I think I failed mostly in the right ways (trying and learning from the outcomes no matter what), and I achieved the goals that truly mattered.

My 2021 Art vs. Artist image from Instagram

It feels funny to open on a note about financial success, especially because none of my goals were very specific in that department. After taking a hit in 2020 and planning not to take on a lot of client work in 2021, I just had no real expectations for income besides making enough to live on.

Truly, the real success was in that I enjoyed illustration a whole lot more. I felt a lot more purposeful in my work. In my Year-in-Review post for 2020, I called that year “the year of being lost”. I grew tired of my illustration. While I had pangs of fatigue in 2021, I most certainly enjoyed my work, and I think this was the result of being more selective about the work I took on, and also feeling like I was doing a whole lot more than just illustrating.

2021 was the year I became a writer. And write I did. You’ll see in the following report how much I wrote and how this permeated my year. Writing is funny because it sometimes feels like a job, and at other times it feels like a waste of time. I’d say most days were spent writing for at least 3 hours and staying in my gym jams at least until noon.

Anyway, I wanted to just open this year’s review with a sense of the tone of the past year. In spite of all the problems we are seeing around the world, I mostly felt good about my work across the board. Now on with my report. I’ll start with the highlights, and the move onto reflecting on my 2021 goals. After that I’ll declare my goals for 2022.

2022 Highlights

These are the most significant moments from the past year.



Tom Froese

Illustrator. Creatively Empowering Teacher/Speaker. Represented by Making Pictures/UK & Dot Array/USA. Top Teacher on @skillshare. www.tomfroese.com/links