Thank you so much for all the continued support throughout 2017.
That's it for me until 3rd January. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.
This year has seemed to fly by and I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had this year to work on a wide variety of projects, no two days the same. With today’s blog post I’d like to do a little reflection on the past year and say a few heartfelt thank yous along the way. This post is illustrated throughout with the illustrations from my advent countdown that I have been sharing daily over on Instagram and Facebook....
I love collaborating with others and 2017 has provided plenty of great collaborations to get stuck into. A particular favourite was developing my wildlife and nature guide collection into a range of greeting cards and gift wrap. I thoroughly enjoyed working on that, it was a dream project for me. The cherry on the cake was spotting those cards in gift shops and Waterstones in the summer when I was out and about with the family. How can something so pleasurable be called work? I feel very blessed and am filled with gratitude and thanks for the publishing team that made this happen for me. They have been championing my work for a few years now and with what’s on my desk at the moment, I am looking forward to continuing working on great projects with them in the new year....
I’ve also been lucky to work with some lovely designer makers and local small businesses this year, to help bring their visions for their websites, new products and marketing communications to life. I get very excited by these projects, I’ve been doing these sorts of designs for a few years now, but it still gets me fired up because no two briefs are the same and being involved in the start of something new keeps things fresh for me too. Working alone can feel very isolating sometimes, but these collaborations are a real tonic as it puts me in touch with wonderful like minded souls. You know who you are - thank you all so much for allowing me to get my hands on your branding and marketing this year, it keeps my little imagination fired up and helps me feel part of a wider team....
On the subject of tackling that isolating feeling working alone, I want to say a thank you to Helen at The Creative Business Network for organising meet ups here in the South West. What she has created and brought together is frankly, amazing! I recently popped along to the meet up in Exeter in November. It came at just the right time for me. It was during a very busy month work wise and I felt like all I did was live between my desk, the school run, the post office and my kitchen. Thank goodness for the school gates and the post office to get a chance to talk to people during the day! Fed up with feeling that way, I got the train to Exeter and strolled into the coffee shop where the Creative Business Network meet up was taking place . I was welcomed with the warmest buzz of lots of creative business women chatting, laughing and sharing stories and generally letting off steam, enjoying each others company, inspiring and supporting one another. Turns out I was not alone feeling this way and have made lots of lovely friends through this network. My little creative business celebrated it’s 7th year this year - I truly believe one of the things that is key to the sustainability of any small business is the wellbeing and support of the person behind the business. I thoroughly recommend networking events such as this to feel invigorated and part of a wider, supportive community. Sometimes we all need is to just get out there and find our tribe, now I feel like I have definitely found mine!...
The BIG highlight and challenge for me this year has been preparing a portfolio of new designs to get to my new agent to showcase at Surtex in New York, back in May, for the very first time. It all happened a bit sooner than I imagined. Before my agent approached me at the end of last year, I had it in my head that around now I would be approaching agents with a view to doing this sort of thing. Needless to say at one point I wasn’t sure whether I would have enough new work to show. However, somehow I managed to get a folder together and off it went. I am so glad I did it and I’m very thankful to my agent for taking a chance on me and taking my work to Surtex as I have learnt so much from the experience and had a positive response. I now know what I need to do for this coming year and am really looking forward to creating lots in 2018 with a new sense of direction and purpose...
Finally, a very BIG thank you must go to everyone who has bought products from my online stores, I am very grateful to you for each and every order, you help keep me doing this job that I love. I'd also like to say thank you to everyone who continues to support my social media efforts, especially those who have joined my mailing list - your support keeps me going.
So all that’s left to say is that’s it for this year, my Folksy shop is closed, my Etsy shop remains open but has been set to holiday shipping times, which means any orders placed will be shipped from 3rd January when I get back to work.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!
With thanks and best wishes