Thursday, 29 December 2011

A little 2011 Round-up...

Well, it's been a great year! I expect like me you're all settling down after a little bit of festive over-indulgence and thinking about 2011 and your goals for 2012. If you were following me all the way back in January you would have seen my round-up of 2010, which was actually a really good exercise to get some perspective on my work over the course of the year and to see what I had accomplished etc - so much so that I thought I'd do it all over again this year! I highly recommend it if you have a spare moment or two; summing up the year, whether in a list or a little collage like the one above, really helps to focus yourself for the new one.

Looking at my little collage calendar of illustrations from this year, I can definitely see that my style has tightened up a bit in comparison to the more experimental work I was doing during uni in 2010, but I think there's still a way for me to go in developing it and becoming more unique in my work. I definitely need to focus on drawing next year and really get into planning my time to get the most out of it. Looking back on last year's round-up post it's great to see that I've accomplished a lot of what I was hoping to - graduating, moving, exhibiting at New Designers, becoming a member of the AOI, actually starting up my business etc. Some lovely things have happened that I had only secretly hoped for (like being quite busy with commissions, and the Etsy shop starting to kick off), and also some flabbergastingly(!) great surprises (like being shortlisted for the Adobe Design Acheivement Awards, and seeing my work published on a few occasions).

I'm not sure what to hope for from 2012 (apart from becoming wildly successful overnight of course), but it would be great to see more improvement in my work, even more tightening and development of my personal style, and to stuff my portfolio with new things. Of course I hope for some lovely new commissions, and possibly start out on the hunt for an agent. I think I generally need to push myself a lot more and be as positive and proactive as I can be, and not be put off by negative things. One of the main things I have learnt this year about freelance life is that the phrases 'you win some, you lose some' or 'one door closes, another door opens' etc couldn't be more true, and it's very helpful to hold on to the sentiment! At times I've been miserable and disheartened with various rejections in the illustration world, but something tends to pop up just around the corner to make me feel proud and motivated again. So if you're a struggling freelancer, don't be disheartened! Pick yourself up and have another go.
So.... I think that sums up my [rather vague] work goals! In terms of personal plans, as some of you will know, I will of course be tying the big fat proverbial knot next year, so it looks like a busy 2012 all round!

It's been a tiring but fantastic year, made even better by all you who bother to read and comment on my blog, and chat to me on my Facebook page and Twitter (if you haven't said hi yet, please do!). Also a big thank you to all the clients I have worked with this year - it's been a pleasure, and I hope to see you again in the new year!

All the best for 2012 

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Digital Artist Magazine - Illustrating for Children

A really fun commission I worked on recently was another tutorial and illustration for Digital Artist magazine about creating illustrations for children. If you want to read the full thing you'll have to pop out to the shops and have a look (issue 28!), but here's a peek at the illustration! If you look closely, I'm also on the front cover (no, the lithe glowing lady in the middle unfortunately isn't me, but my illustration is down in the left hand corner!)

While I'm here, there's also another illustration that I haven't showed you yet! It was a submission for the last issue of Ballad Of magazine that I did months ago and couldn't share until the entries were judged. Unfortunately it was rejected, but there's something about her legs and apron that I'm fond of so, tempting as it may be, I won't let it go unblogged! What do you reckon?

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Shop News: Last Posting Dates for Christmas

As it's now December (where has the time gone!?) I thought I would just do a little post to let you know about ordering in time for Christmas from my etsy shop. I've had a peek at the official Royal Mail last posting dates, and if you're thinking of making an order of cards or presents, then to help ensure that you receive your items in time for Christmas, please try to order before the following dates:

- UK: Friday 16th December
- South & Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Far East (including Japan), Australia and New Zealand: Saturday 3rd December
- Eastern Europe, USA and Canada: Wednesday 7th December
- Western Europe: Saturday 10th December

This is particularly important for customers outside of the UK, Europe and the US as orders should be completed this weekend! You are of course welcome to order after these dates, but it is not certain that your order will arrive in time for Christmas. If you'd like to browse the cards and little gifts I have available, you can do so here.
I'm trying to make some of my own decorations this year! If they work out well I'll share some photos with you in the next couple of weeks. If you've ever tried it before, please do share any ideas or photos with me, I'd love to see them!

While I remember - I'm currently in the process of setting up a new online shop that will hopefully become my main online store in the New Year, running alongside my Etsy shop to start with. I love the sense of community on Etsy and loads of other things about it, but the fees involved are a bit of a pain so hopefully this new venture will allow me to keep reasonable prices and have a lot more product options available for you. Keep your eyes peeled here for news about the shop opening, or if you'd prefer to keep up to date via my new monthly email newsletter (Second edition going out tomorrow!) then you can sign up for that here!