End of the Year Dog

December 31st, 2008

I made it. 366 dogs in 366 days. Tomorrow, the first day of January 2009, there will be no dog. I still plan to post dogs to this site, and with regularity (maybe once a week?). But it’s been a heavy time commitment to finish this project, and I simply could not continue this past my stated goal. Think of it as a marathoner considering “how about another 26 miles?” at the end of a race. It’s an insane thought.

The idea for today’s dog comes from my wife Maggie, who has been greatly supportive and occasionally a butt-kicker for this project. It is also for her that I am ceasing the daily dog creation. No longer do I have to say “I can’t watch TV with you, I have to finish my dog” or “will we have web access from wherever it is we’re going away to, because I need to post dogs.”

As a wrap up, what have I learned from this year? I’ve learned that:

  1. Dogs have an oddly-shaped leg, and remembering that what looks like a knee is actually the ankle and that dogs stand on tip-toe helps in remembering how to draw it.
  2. Not everything I do is good or even close to good. I created my share of clunkers throughout the year, though I do think most of them occurred early on.
  3. Doing something daily really does improve your skills. I feel that my drawing and my creativity are much stronger now than they were a year ago. This was the main part of the plan, and it does work. If you look back at the beginning of the year (with charity in your heart) and compare the work to later in the year, I believe you’ll see a real improvement. I may not be a genius, but I am genuinely proud of many of this year’s pieces. And believe me, that is a breakthrough.
  4. Doing something daily can become an obsession. If I set a goal, I do my best to see it through. I spent a large portion of the past year thinking of dog ideas and hunting out time to create them.
  5. Dogs always grab attention away from other things. I meant this to be a side project to my comic strip Hex Libris. Yet when I was teaching full-time last summer while keeping up with my free-lance work, it was Hex Libris that went on hiatus. And it was the dogs that got the feedback and the praise.
  6. People are very supportive. I want to thank everyone who’s posted a comment on this site and sent me pictures of their dogs and shared their own work with me and even taken the time to assemble my dog toys and send me photos.

This site will not become one of those great Flying Dutchmen of the internet, floating abandoned through the icy depths of cyberspace. As I’ve said, I will be posting new dogs with regularity. And there are more announcements coming soon (I hope).

xboxI’ve decided to reward myself. I don’t have an easy time spending money on myself, but with the major help of Christmas money from my parents, I’ve just ordered myself something to fill the time I’ll now have free. I’ll keep working hard, but I think I’ve earned some play-time. I’ve included a picture.


Categorized as: Drawing

4 Responses to “End of the Year Dog”

  1. John Says:

    Dog a Day was a regular part of my day, literally the first thing I looked at when I logged on at work in the morning. It wil be a hard habit to break, like trying to give up my morning tea, and I shall miss the pleasure of seeing each day’s effort. I was never disappointed.

  2. Christy Stallop Says:

    YEAH!!!!! You DID IT!!! I’m so amazed at what you have accomplished! You should be very proud of yourself! Here’s to NOT posting a dog tomorrow! Happy new year!

  3. Elizabeth Neeld Says:

    Erik, this is a huge accomplishment. I’ve loved every entry, every day! I am so glad you will continue to post on an occasional basis. I’d hate to think I’d see no more Erik-creativity-dogs! I can remember a lot of the dogs sight unseen…just sitting here typing I can remember the chrome dog, the musical staff dog, the detective dog, the geometric shape dog…and the list could go on. You are wonderously creative. And you deserve that XBox!!

  4. Heather Hanlin Says:


    Congratulations on making your goal–and making it with finese! Have fun with the X-box (my son and hubby comand ours so I’ve had no time to become addicted…)