There's been so much more. Good and bad. But, honestly, pretty much mostly good. Too many things to list here without boring the pants off you (if I haven't already).
Oh and this is all obviously just professional stuff. I also got married, moved to my favourite part of the world (Co.Clare) and had two amazing daughters. That's the important stuff, so I left it out.
And now, the soapbox...
The reason I got to do these things was I didn't give up. I just flat-out refused to stop making art my job. I could not have done this without Orla and the rest of my family being so supportive (even when it was harder for her than me. She may argue it still is...)
I also put a huge emphasis on personal work. I never considered working on my own projects a waste of time. They are the opposite of that. Nothing opens doors more than personal work. So if you are an aspiring commercial artist - make sure you draw what you love, make time for the stuff you are passionate about and I promise opportunities will arise, your work will improve and you will get where you want to go. And when it comes to books - just write the f***ing thing. Start writing - the first draft doesn't have to be good. An idea will only be an idea until you actually start putting words down. Oh and (cheese warning) believe in yourself. Self-doubt is in all of us, particularly creative people. Just push the doubt aside and remind yourself that you have what it takes to succeed. All the time.
Exercise and mediate. These help with that last bit. Watch films, read books, go to galleries - embrace culture in all it's forms. It fills up the well that you need to draw from. An afternoon at the cinema is work. Don't feel bad about it.
And lastly, you're always learning. Enjoy that part.
So, I sincerely apologise for the self-aggrandising nature of this post. But, you don't get a ten year anniversary every day, right? And I hope at least the last bit makes it beneficial for someone, other than me and my ego. For me, I can't wait to see what the next ten years brings. I won't give up, that's for sure.
Some thanks (not in order of merit)
Jamie East - my old boss at Sky Sports and HMPJ/Channel 4. Spotted my talent and encouraged it, allowing me to draw when I should have been working. Hired me twice, didn't fire me when I partied too much, and let me quit with his blessing.
Damo Farrell - gave me much of my early work, saw potential in my sketchbooks, taught me how to make a story.
Simon, Justin, Gail, Jodie and the team at Shannon Associates. Game-changing for me. And put up with me hounding about payments.
Michael, Ivan, Emma, Susan, Kunak, Ruth, Geraldine and all at The O'Brien Press. Took a chance, and helped me realise a dream I've had since I was a nipper. Emma Byrne has to get a special mention as she asked me to pitch a story. Susan Houlden too for being an amazing editor and whipping the books into shape.
Fran, Kevin and all the producers at Arrow Video for being my most regular clients with consistently fun jobs.
All the clients I've had over the last ten years. Sorry I can't list individually, but know that I enjoyed working with you and appreciated the work!
Fellow pros, at home and abroad for all the advice and encouragement. I've made some great, lasting friends out of the industry. Illustrators Ireland & The AOI played a huge part in this.
My folks and my brothers for backing me all the way. In-laws and friends too.
And Orla, Holly & Chloe. My girls.