Thank you, Internet.

A dozen years ago, I started this blog with my first silly post. Since then I have always had a place to go to share how I am feeling, what I am learning, and what I am doing. I do have a few relationships that have lasted longer than that — but not many.

So thank you, Internet, for being there to listen and provide me an endless creative workplace.

Before I met you, I knew of two other people who, like me, thought it worthwhile to record their lives in words and pictures between the pages of a book. One, d.price, I met in 1998 or so, through a Xeroxed ‘zine in the magazine rack in Tower Records. I wrote him a letter, dropped it in the mail, and we became pals. The other, Hannah Hinchman, I found in a second-hand book store. She was far too intimidating for me to approach and I didn’t correspond with her for at least another decade. Then the web finally happened and I set up the Yahoo group, Everyday Matters, and soon I found many new friends who also kept illustrated journals, people around the world to inspire and educate me.

So, thank you, Internet, for giving me a creative community to support my passion for drawing.

(this is currently my favorite video and I run it all my waking hours)

It’s cold out today and the streets are jammed with frenzied shoppers. But I don’t have to leave my cozy spot by my virtual fireplace (thank you, YouTube). With a couple of clicks, I can buy anything I need and have it delivered to my door.

But here’s the thing — the easier it is to buy anything, the less I actually want. I want to streamline my life and reduce it to a couple of pairs of well-worn jeans, some t-shirts, a sketchbook, and my laptop. I don’t need or want to own much more — knowing it’s within reach means I’m fine just leaving it all at Amazon.com. So thank you, Internet, for make me want less — by giving me more.

Two years ago, I stopped going to a big brick building on the shores of the Hudson River each day and started working on the Internet instead. I met my partner-to-be Koosje Koene and we started Sketchbook Skool. Now tens of thousand of people come to learn and create in a schoolhouse built of ones and zeroes that stretches from Moscow to Capetown, from New York to Walla Walla. My coworkers live thousands of miles apart and commute each day via keyboard and mousepad. Thank you, Internet, for the best workplace I’ve ever had.

Internet, you bring me lunch, pens, ideas, and cat videos. You’ve let me express myself, find people who are interested in what I make, tell my son I miss him, and learn why my dog drags his butt on the rug.

The world is far from perfect but I am hopeful about its future because if all 7,389,160,216 people on this planet (thank you, Google) can experience 1/10 of what I have online, we can look past our differences and start to work on solutions. Together. Thanks to you, Internet.