Almost a year ago, I started illustrating again after a break due to being ill, and at that moment I threw myself head-first into the world of freelance illustrating. For the most part, it's been a positive and productive year and I have learnt a great deal. I still don't consider myself a proper freelance illustrator, as I am yet to have my first proper paid commission, and this makes it very easy to dwell on the things I haven't yet achieved which, especially in a job where you're mostly working alone, can hugely affect your motivation and make you lose focus of the bigger picture. A year is a long time, and it's easy to forget the little things you actually HAVE achieved. So, as 2011 ends, it seems like an ideal time to have a little look back over the year, and see what I have achieved, as well as thinking about my creative goals for the year ahead.
During 2011, I have;
- re-designed and updated my website.
- opened my Etsy shop in February, and have now sold a total of 30 items.
- designed two winning t-shirt designs for All Tropical.
- self-published my children's book I'm A Little Bit Scared Of... which is now available to buy on Amazon.
- formed Pencil, Paper, Scissors Collective with three other illustrators, and been involved in a collaborative illustration project.
- created a number of illustrations for Amelia's Magazine, including my very first fashion illustrations.
I don't think I'll ever be really satisfied, as there's always that little voice in my head telling me I could have worked harder, could have achieved more, but all in all I don't think it's too bad a list!
My creative goals for 2012;
- Find a job (hopefully a creative one) to help support me alongside the freelance work.
- Teach myself how to use Illustrator (I learnt the basics at Uni, but have totally forgotten!) and become more proficient at Photoshop, so that I have the skills needed to apply for creative jobs.
- Be more motivated and pro-active when it comes to my illustrations; try not to let my mood or other things happening in my life affect my work.
- Work on developing my portfolio so I have more hope of finding an agent (fingers crossed!).
- Secure some commissions, and limit the unpaid commissions I chose to take on.
- Develop ideas for a new children's picture book.
- Set aside some time to create illustrations just for fun - if I focus purely on commissions and deadlines, then illustrating stops being enjoyable and becomes a chore.
Now I just need to get started! :]
There are a few exciting things to look forward already in the coming year, including an illustration which will be published in the second issue of Lionheart Magazine, and the opening of a new online shop which will be selling some of my work! Yay!
Finally, a massive thank you to all of you who have supported me this year; those of you on Twitter who have helped me through the "I'm never going to be a successful illustrator, I can't even DRAW!" moments, those of you who read and comment on my blog, those of you who have bought something from my shop. All of you, I hope you have a super 2012. ♥