Kieran McClung
cover image for New year, same me (but a bit more organised)
4 min read

New year, same me (but a bit more organised)

Happy New Year to you all! It’s finally here and, well, it’s still feeling very 2021 but hopefully, it’ll be less shit. We’re due some cut slack, right? Right?

I’m not against the new year, new me message. Whatever drives motivation for positive change is good! But I’ve never been an advocate for it either. That said, we (human people) tend to use the calendar as a basis for doing stuff. “The diet starts next week” he utters once again, as he has for the last 10 years. The advent of a new year is the biggest of these points in time and it’s got me thinking more about how to better spend my time this year. So here’s all the stuff I’m hoping to do this year between shitposting on Twitter.

Fair warning: this post is to hold myself accountable or to look back on in a year’s time and realise how little I’ve actually achieved. It’s self-indulgent and has potential to destroy the soul of my future self.


I’d always intended to create a portfolio last year but time got the better of me, as it always does. This year I’m dedicating some time to getting the thing finished (and started).

Why do I need a portfolio? My work is online but it’s fragmented. There are bits on Deviant Art, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and my personal sites. I need a centralised means for sharing my work and one that allows me to explain my processes for creating it. I had to pass on a couple of opportunities last year because I didn’t have any of this at hand.

While I’ve done plenty of design work over the last decade, the problem I face is that the majority of it isn’t technically mine to show off. Contractually, all my past and current places of employment own the work I’ve created. That makes it difficult and possibly illegal (but probably not, I’m not arsed to look into it) to share the work as my own.

I’ve thought of ways to skirt around this issue. The first was to redesign what I’d done in the past, changing company names and what they do to ensure there’s a disconnect between the two. The more I thought about this, the less sense it made. If I changed everything that made the projects “real”, I may as well tackle new projects. So, I’ve decided to use instead. It’s not perfect but it offers up a decent enough brief to create some examples of my work at the very least. I can apply the same thought processes and application as I would IRL. Win-win. The good news is that I do also have some personal projects to share alongside these so it’s not all going to be “fake” work.

I’ll be sharing my process for the portfolio build over on Instagram so if you fancy checking out some design stuff, be sure to give me a follow there! #shamelessplug

The shop

The shop took a while to set up and I’ve not had much time since to create more stuff to sell in it. There’s a pattern here… A lot of my older design work isn’t fit for print so, annoyingly, it either needs redoing or I need to focus on creating something new. In most cases, I’m opting for the the latter.

The site is still very much alive and I’ve already got some rough designs to hand. Over the next month, you should see a bunch of new clothing, prints and extra product lines appear. I’ve also had some feedback on the site that needs implementing alongside requests for new items for sale. Keep an eye on Twitter for all things shop related.


Lol. Just kidding. Fuck that shit right into the sun.


I enjoy writing and will continue to do so. You can’t stop me! I’m going to continue writing for Next Gen Base because they’re great group of folks and I’m a sucker for that sweet video game discourse. Although, for the first half of the year, I’ll be focussing on features rather than reviews. Hopefully, by mid-year, I’ll have finished my portfolio and freed up a bit of time to get back into writing for NGB in a more dedicated capacity.

I’ve yet to announce this, and I’m not doing so now, but I’ve also been working on another writing project behind the scenes. I’m now one of those people who gets to tease something without disclosing any information about what it is. Another notch on my “things I do what are annoying” belt. I doubt this thing will be ready this year and it may never even see the light of day but it’s exciting (for me) nonetheless. If that’s not something worth sticking around for then I don’t know what is!

Art & Design

One of the main reasons for building my portfolio is to steer back into the world of art and design. I’d always set out to be a designer but my job has evolved and directed me towards more technical web development. And whilst I enjoy that side of “web work”, I need to start steering back into the design lane.

I love design. I get giddy over type. I’m an absolute nerd for it. I’m hoping to land some project work in this area in the coming year but at the very least you’ll see some more design stuff on Instagram. The long term dream is to merge my love of design and video games at a professional capacity. Lofty goals are goals nonetheless.

Digital art and painting has always been a hobby and one I’ve never fully explored. It’s always been something I’ve dabbled in and I spent a lot of time, ironically, speed painting many moons ago. I’d love to get back into that but hone my skills a bit more. My art teacher told me I’d never be an artist so pursuing this would be solely to spite him.

New Year

That’s my plan. I just need to fit all of that around a full-time job and looking after two young kids all while trying to get some exercise to undo the disgusting amount of damage my Christmas eating has caused. Wish me luck.

And to all those who’ve made it to the end of this post, I sincerely hope you have an incredible year xx

Thanks to Josep Martins @josepmartins (Unsplash) for the header image