I know we are more half way through January already and I’m just writing my New Years post…there has been some radio silence while my sister and I were traveling this past month and I used this week to recoup (which was seriously needed).  I thought about what I had to say about 2014 and the new year and I’ve honestly been at a loss. Even my sketchbook page, I couldn’t figure out an image for this post so I decided to use this photo of my scattered sketches instead. My emotions are spread wide across a spectrum of highs and lows.  Things have been crazy.  Business wise, I have been busier than ever before, almost too busy to keep up with everything now.  Which is just mind blowing for me. When you see something come to fruition that you’ve worked so long for…it’s just hard to believe (but really amazing)  Personally speaking, I have been long ready to put 2014 behind me, that’s all I will say about that.

This past year I worked with more brides than ever before.  Making people happy by providing them with something unique, painted from scratch, and designed in togetherness to represent their wedding day has just been the best.  I got in over my head this year and committed to a little too many custom projects (you live and you learn). One thing I learned through this is that my dedication to each project has to override the guilt that I feel by saying no.  I hate saying no to wedding projects but as my business grows I am seeing more brides want every paper / stationery aspect designed… to give the level of service required and deserved by my clients I am just simply not going to be able to take on as many anymore.  This is something I struggled with most of last year.  Of course a blessing to have plenty of work, but I feel the growing pains most when I sadly have to walk away from some requests.

Another highlight and reason my custom work will be slowing down is for different types of illustration projects.  I began my career out of art school doing freelance illustration and surface pattern design.  A long term dream of mine has been to collaborate and illustrate for / with other brands.  I would just die to see my illustrations on different items like home goods, more stationery products, in stores, etc (just ideas right now).  I’m pleased to say (while unfortunately I cannot disclose details yet) I’ve been approached by a few this year to begin collaborating and I am BEYOND excited about it and what this means for my company.   I know I’m being vague about all this but I will be sharing more soon.

For my brides, I have been working to create a booklet full of information about my process, faqs, helpful information about general invitation etiquette, timelines, etc.  I’m dying to get this completed as I  think it’s going to be so informative and save everyone so much time in correspondence.  It will hopefully cover all design related questions and a new pricing structure for my “collection” versus custom designing. Really so exciting!

This leaves me with resolutions.  I am finally being honest with myself about new years resolutions, I hate them.  I feel they create undeserving and unrealistic pressure. If I were to have list, putting pressure on myself would be at the top anyways. We have January 1 in our heads like suddenly a reset button gets hit.  I’ve often found myself coming to the end of the year thinking the new year will be my deadline to start / stop whatever it is I want to change.  But to improve or change anything, time and dedication are needed most, not a sudden restart. I’ve realized that I work better when I create realistic short term (monthly and weekly for my business). And of course I have larger long term goals for the growth of my businesses and things I want to personally accomplish. With a freelance business, things can change on the daily and sometimes goals have to be flexible. I think most creatives and business owners are hard on themselves in general, being flexible and realistic about things we want to accomplish can definitely save some heartache. I post them by desk as a reminder of what I am striving for.  Do you have a way of tracking your goals that keeps you in line for accomplishing them on time? I would love to hear how others hold themselves accountable and implement changes!

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations.  I know I typically don’t write too much here but I have been thinking about this blog a lot lately and what it means to me.  I have come to enjoy writing and sharing more this past year, especially as interest in my work has grown.  It is fun for me to give some behind the scenes insight and share full projects I’ve worked on rather than just one photo on social media.  I have some plans for more interactive (maybe diy type) projects, travel stories, and some more tips on illustration (since my first post seemed to be popular and I still get a lot of e-mail questions!).

 I’m excited to see what this year will hold and I hope everyone’s has gotten off to a great start so far! I will be back soon with some fun travel photos from my trip to Antarctica and Argentina, it was beyondddd! Then I promise we will be back to regular painting programming soon.  Thanks for sticking around and visiting my little corner of the web.  You are loved and appreciated!  xox

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