30 December 2013


at the studio: a Panda Head for BHLDN Vintage Lace Teepee, in progress
2013. OK/OH, MAN. This year has been incredible for a million different reasons - Panda Head for BHLDN launched in March; this Summer I signed the lease on a brand new studio space; mid-year saw the start of two major new projects - my monthly DIY workshop series Topaz + Arrow (in partnership with my friend Virginia ArrisueƱo), and a proper website + shop for Panda Head Teepees.

hanging out during ART YARDS. photo Cortney Peguese. 
The aforementioned alone would have made for end-of-year cartwheels, but I'm also infinitely proud of having written just over 400 blog posts, curated 12 editions of NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS (the Panda Head Newsletter), and taken on some amazing new clients, collaborators, and freelance opportunities.  And while all this growth has inevitably led to a few pains...

...for the most part they've been GOOD ones. Not having time to say yes to every project has made me value the ones I do take on even more - and it's forced me to put a value on my time in a way that I probably should have a while ago. An increased appreciation for production value and visuals has meant a ton more work (but a way better finished product, regardless of medium). My admin/paperwork/emailing has roughly tripled (not much upside to that), but all said - professionally, I don't think I've ever been more excited about where I've been and where I'm going.

during February's trampoline shoot for NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS. photo by Raul Zahir De Leon
On a personal note, and one that I've had trouble writing about (because HEAVY), I wanted to share that my Mom underwent a bilateral mastectomy several weeks ago. My sister spoke much more clearly about it here; in short: her breast cancer returned after a year in remission, and it was aggressive enough that she'll start chemotherapy in the next few weeks. When the going gets tough my M.O. is to throw myself into work with reckless abandon, but business-as-usual hasn't been easy, and to say I've realized that life is short and dear and has time enough for movies, long walks, FaceTiming with your niece, hugging on your husband, sleeping in a little bit, and getting out of town is an understatement extraordinaire. I plan to do all of the above WAY HARDER in 2014.

an October addition to the props closet
Always and forever, I'm beyond grateful for any amount of time you spent on Panda Head Blog in 2013. If you've been around a while you've likely noticed a shift in both content and visuals over the last few months; I'm stoked have started to veer this space away from the ins-and-outs of all my freelance jams + projects and more towards the how-to's, DIYs, and visuals of a creative and accessible lifestyle. Whether you've been here since day one or started riding this roller skate just now, YOU + ME = US, and the Panda Head platform in all its iterations would be nothing without your readership and support. Here's to whatever comes next. I think it's gonna be good.




Anonymous Lisatella said...

Hooray 2013, let's get on with it 2014. You are welcome at #5 any time for coffee and/or beer and/or encouragement for mom.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Nest said...

Congrats on the amazing year, my sweet. Huge, major bear hugs up in your grill re: personal. I heart you hard and support you in ALL OF THE WAYS.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous mijin said...

you're the coolest morgan hungerford west i know! sending lots of well wishes your way for 2014 :)

2:49 PM  

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