Saturday, 22 December 2012

Personal Reflections on 2012

Now that the year is coming to a close I've been reflecting upon the past year and what to focus on in the following year. This year has had a lot happen, I've made connections with people from all over the world thanks to Google+, gained a larger audience than ever, started a weekly variety show, created a blog, and developed myself quite a bit.

My Work and its Audience

This year my audience has exploded (Around 1.3M) and that has made me consider what my audience wants even more. I want to know that I'm giving great content to the people who follow me. I know that you shouldn't feel pressured to change who you are and not worry about what other people think, but one of the great things that I've found online is that I feel like I'm part of something since I've had a number of problems socializing in real life. I want to listen to those following me and be part of a dynamic with them.

Fine, Be That Way
The photo above I did for Halloween 2012, it's a stand alone image part of a concept surrounding not fitting 
in and being left out. (It also creeps the hell out of some people :) ) 

Wanting to be part of this dynamic means that I want to connect with people in a personal way. I'm sometimes insecure about how much I'm able to relate on an emotional level. My outwards appearance by some I've heard described as cold, but the truth is I'm a bit shy. I also come from a science background that has kind of effected my personality in that I try to take a more rational approach. I do come out more in some of my work as shown below by the craziness. I feel that I'm able to rationally deliver information to people but I've been thinking lately about how to affect them more emotionally. So one of the things I aim to do in the new year is learn how to better express myself emotionally. 

It's Party Time!
This is a photo from my "Scientist Series" that depicted stereotypes of the science world. This one points fun at the thought that people in this area can't have any fun. 

All in all I want to maintain originality and character in my work that stays true to what I want to do. This is a hard thing to balance when you are trying to listen to an audience and work off of inspirations at the same time. I also find it difficult to stick to one conventional thing, but I feel that my work has developed a particular character. I still love landscapes, architecture, and dramatic self portraiture and putting them all together and creating a conceptual series. I feel that instead of being able to conform to a trend I've kind of made up an entirely new thing. I'm kind of proud in one way, but I feel  it's harder to build an audience off of than something that people are familiar with. 

Run Like Hell
Part of the "Run! Series" that depicted the journey through life and how people need to pause for reflection before they've run through their entire life without even stopping to think.

During this year +Ron Clifford bestowed upon me a credit for a train ride for 2 people from my city of Sault Ste. Marie 114 miles north into the Algoma wilderness all the way up to the Agawa Canyon. It was the first time I had ever experienced such an adventure and I brought my mother along with me. It was a lot of fun and I ended up taking many pictures. If it hadn't been for Google+ this would never have happened. 

Morning
Above is a photo taken during the beginning of the train tour crossing the Bellevue Trestle in the morning. There were pretty clouds floating around the hills.

One of the new things I took up this year was drawing of architecture. I drew my own building designs from scratch using a pen, ruler, calculator, compass, protractor, paper, whiteout, and a lot of time. I've also been working on ideas for a book surrounding my observations and findings surrounding art, architecture, design, and trends in society. 

Empire Cottage
A design by me inspired by Victorian Second Empire worker's cottages in Toronto and some architectural elements found in Colmar, France. The house is designed to have a working class charm with a bit of ambition wrapped in a small package. New Drawing Print Gallery

That Show with Billy Wilson (TSBW)

I'm absolutely amazed that I've started a show. I'm used to shying away from people, interaction, and public speaking, but somehow I decided to start a show and I will have done 39 episodes before this year is over! It all started with regular hangouts and finally getting enough courage to hop into one. Eventually Google got the idea to make it so we could be broadcast hangouts and record them to Youtube afterwards. I believe I was the first person in Canada to officially be given the ability while it was still only available to a small group of beta testers. Since then I've had 200 different people who have been on the show. I've had all kinds of people from the Youtube a cappella sensation +Peter Hollens to astronomer and publisher of Universe Today +Fraser Cain! The show occurs weekly on Fridays at 10:00pm ET (NYC) on my personal profile and is an hour in duration featuring a live musical performance!

TSBW Banner 
The banner used to promote my show featuring screenshots of guests taken during the show.

It has been amazing to watch myself and my show grow over time and I can't wait to see where it will take me in the new year. I'm looking towards getting more and more fun and interesting creative people in art, film, and music in the new year.

The People

During this year I've been able to meet so many new people and strengthen connections with them. I organized my first ever photowalk, HIRLed (Hangout In Real Life) with someone that I had met on G+, and stayed up until the sun came up talking to people from around the world.

Jordan Oram & I 
A photo snapped of myself and +Jordan Oram meeting in person in a HIRL for the first time. He happened to have a brief bus layover while passing through.

 Meet Doug
Here's a photo from the photowalk I organized in my city for the Worldwide G+ 1 Year Anniversary Photowalk. 

Connections in Hangouts
+Amanda Blain and everyone else during the after show for the fourth episode of TSBW.

Other people have also started shows on G+. +John Voshell recently did a Music Festival where he stayed up for 32 hours doing a series of broadcast hangouts on air featuring 64 musicians from all around the world! It was even featured in the Google+ Weekly Newsletter along with +Tyra Banks' latest hangout. It was one of the most awesome experiences I've had yet with hangouts! 

Music Festival 
+Julia Price playing with +Danni Rosner in the background during the +Artists In The Plus (AITP) Music Festival. 

Flo from Progressive Insurance
Larger entities have been making a splash onto G+. In the image above I was lucky enough to be in +Progressive Insurance's first ever hangout on air!

Tibby!
+Tibby got his very own page this year as well and starred in 2 episodes of "That Show with Tibby (TST)" so far! There are other plans for more Tibby shows!

I'm really excited for what the new year has in store for me. I hope to develop myself further and to make a deeper emotional connection with my audience and friends, "Billy Wilson" is becoming clearer. I'm also excited to see what kinds of amazing guests I'll be getting on the show. I have a number of fun episodes already planned out for 2013! I want to thank everyone who's reading this for being part of this journey with me and for your support, I wish you all a happy 2013!

Billy