2022: The Year in Review

Reflecting on the Past Year, Setting Goals for the Next

Tom Froese
34 min readJan 6, 2023

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At the beginning of last year, I declared that 2022 would be The Year of Showing Up. In so many ways, it truly was. To me, showing up means setting up an intention and following through with it. It means having a plan and a purpose, and doing the work to fulfil it. It means taking big risks, with the possibility of great reward, and being willing to fail at great personal expense. It means confronting my challenges head-on, and learning as much as I can in the process. Showing up means remembering who I am, what my gift is, and putting it all out there even if it I fear others might not like it. Showing up, for me, has meant being more true to myself than ever and trusting that by doing so, others will be encouraged to do the same. When we are true to ourselves, we can sift out the distractions that clamour for our attention. We spend less time trying to be what we’re not and more time embracing who we are. We have a laser focus on what truly matters, and we aim for that instead of the false things that ultimately weigh us down and steal our joy.

My 2022 Art vs. Artist image from Instagram

In this year’s report, I have summarized the year into three overarching categories: Highlights, Challenges, and Interesting. The Highlights include the most important moments or proudest accomplishments in pushing me forward in my career. The Challenges include events and discoveries that may not be my proudest or most confidence-boosting, but which nonetheless provided deep insights and opportunities to learn and course-correct. I’ve included the Interesting category to accommodate experiences from the year that seem to fall outside the other two categories.

I’m glad that I started this year with Show Up as my mantra, because it was in many ways a very hard year, and I needed to that mantra to push forward more than ever. As you’ll see in the Challenges section, I had the fewest freelance clients on record, and to make good on my most important project, I had to dig very deep to find any motivation at all.

I get the sense that many of us, throughout the illustration world and beyond, found the past 12…

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Tom Froese

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