Happy New Month!
April has arrived and with it is this month's FREE desktop wallpaper for my email subscribers. These little spring lambs will be leaping into inboxes today.
If you would like to get the FREE desktop wallpaper, then here's a link to where to join my mailing list:
JOIN MY MAILING LIST HERE
March was an extremely busy month, especially with lots of Mother's day orders going out.
I am so grateful to had such a great month and want to say a huge thank you to everyone who ordered gifts and cards from my Etsy and Folksy shops, you helped me have my best March yet for sales. It has been amazing to think of that so many mums would have received one of my card or print designs on Mother's day - that makes what I do feel so very special!
March was also all about the #MarchMeetTheMaker challenge over on Instagram. What I thought would be a nice thing to do is share a few highlights from March Meet The Maker here. Then anyone reading this, who may not follow me on Instagram, will get to know a little bit more about the face behind the illustrations. The following are a few of the answers I gave to some of the daily prompts throughout March...
' Favourite to Make'
Simply drawing with a fibre tip pen is my favourite, it is so immediate and low maintenance! No need to charge anything up or open up an app on a gadget that cost a month's wages. It's something I've been doing for as long as I can remember - first with crayons, then felt tips. To be honest, I don't think I have progressed past the felt tip pen stage, but that's OK because we all know growing up is a trap! Scribbling away with a pen on paper quite simply makes me very happy. To be able to do that as part of my job makes me feel like I am winning at life!
'How you started'
For me it all began when my children were babies, I knew that was my window of opportunity to go for it. I had planned and saved to be able to spend the first couple of years at home with my children. Back in 2010, I set up a blog and began taking part in weekly illustration challenges. On the back of that I set up a Folksy shop and ordered my first collection of greetings cards to sell from my Folksy shop. It all grew from there.
A few years ago, the story of how I started my little business was used as a case study in a book by Emma Jones from Enterprise Nation ' Start A Business for £99'. It was from those very small steps and a small investment at the beginning that things grew.
Obviously, the £99 headline on this very helpful book, is just to get the first things started (initial set up costs). You will need cash to live on and to invest and grow the business. It takes a few years of consistent, dedicated, hard work before things start tipping into feeling like a viable job with growth potential. Often that means building multiple income streams to help make the business stable and sustainable. This all takes time. Which is why, if you are starting out and don't have savings in place, you may need to work a second job to give you the cash you need to keep going in those early years.
Everything has to start somewhere, often it just needs a few small actions to get things moving and then bit-by-bit, day-by-day it grows if you keep at it. If you love what you do, it makes it all worth everything!
'Full or Part-time'
'I swapped 9 to 5 for 24/7'
I think most self employed people will resonate with this statement!
This is more than my job, I think about it all the time. I've always had ideas for images, designs and can't remember not ever thinking about drawings, art, things to make and create. I daydream in full technicolour and felt most 'myself' at art college - it was a very natural habitat for me! After Uni I lost a bit of that, trying to make my way in the world, but found a little bit of that creative environment working in advertising and spent a good decade working with lots of bright and imaginative people. However, it was never quite right for me. Looking back, it felt like a piece of me was missing and not true to myself. It was always my aim to get back to that full creative life I had at uni. To be able to do that working around my children was my dream. Now I feel very lucky to be able to work the hours my children are in school doing creative work. Sometimes I work at the weekend or in the evening, but only because I want to... and it's not really work, it's portfolio building which I LOVE doing!
This is me, lovely to meet you!
I am a mother of two girls and designer of stuff who loves drawing most of all. I'm also a Generation X, music lover, novice gardener and cake fanatic. I love escaping to the coast to sit by the sea with a good book, or explore a city or town on foot... but don't get as much chance to do that as I used to, bringing up girls and running a creative business, so now I relish those opportunities even more!
This is my corner empire!
A comfy space to bring drawings to life with colour and to carefully pack orders. It's very cosy on dark winter days and light and bright on sunny days.
.I hope you enjoyed a brief round up from my Instagram #MarchMeetTheMaker.
I'll sign off today with an image of my Easter card selection, available from my Etsy shop.
Have a wonder April and Easter!