Today’s my birthday! Woo!! Cue the marching parade! Cue the festivities! Cue the gun-fire! (although that’s a common occurrence given the area I live in) I’m now 23 years old and really, at this point I still don’t feel old. That’s mainly the fact that really, I’m not old at all. After being 22 for the past year, (which really wasn’t my choice), it opened my eyes to the fact that there’s so much going on around me and so much possibility to do and learn anything I want. But I can say without a doubt that 22 was the year of learning and expanding my mind. Now that I think about it, I did so much in just the span of one year.

One major thing that happened was that I started up my own clothing company called AetherAeon Clothing. That alone was one big part of being 22 in that I pretty much went into it with a decent amount of learned knowledge, but no real working knowledge of how to run a clothing company. So I did it anyway. I did massive amounts of research on the clothing and design industry, the costs of printing, the costs and labors of packaging experience and shipping out products, the hassles of maintaining a profit and spending money wisely (one of the things I wasn’t very good at to begin with). Regardless, it was probably one of my proudest and most well received projects I’ve worked on so far.

There’s been quite a few other things I’ve done as well. Like late last year I released my first ever acoustic EP under the name A Circle For Sunday. It was a small 3 track EP and I didn’t really promote it all that much but the fact that I was able to get a distribution deal to send it all over the world through iTunes, Spotify, AmazonMP3, Google Play and Rdio was so incredibly exciting. I also started playing my first ever acoustic shows in and around the LA area and the Valley. Those were pretty exciting times as well.

I also designed, coded & launched this amazingly awesome site you’re currently on right now. :]

But enough of what I did LAST year. What I want to tell you all is what I’m doing THIS year. One thing I started doing late last year was wood burning and wood carving. Its a sort of strange hobby I picked up one day and I’m planning on doing some really big things with this. Since I already draw and do hand-lettering, I decided I wanted to try using a new medium instead of regular pen and paper. I’m in the process of opening up an online woodcrafting shop called Demonic Presents to showcase and sell the pieces I make. That’s hopefully starting up in the next few weeks.

But the thing I’m probably the most excited about is something I’m announcing right now. Its a project that’s been in my “To-Start” list for a few years now. Its a documentary inspired photography project called “The 100 Strangers Project” in which over the next year, I’m making it a goal to meet a total of 100 strangers, talk to them, get to know them and their story and ask if I could take a photo of them. All while at the same time improving my photojournalistic skills and abilities in photographing people in social situations.

I’m mainly doing it for the fact that I just want to escape the confines of my comfort zone and get out there and walk up to people and say hello. Its really a simple concept that has intrigued me for quite sometime but was never fully prepared to start it. Hell, I don’t even think I’m fully prepared now but I might as well start it now, or else I may never start it.

So that’s it for now. Not sure what other things I might be doing or starting up this year but what fun would that be if I knew everything I was going to do right now? Thanks for reading, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!! WOO!! :]

– Raul