So it has officially been a year since leaving the security of full-time employment to pursue 'the creative dream' & what a year it's been!
Over the past 12 months, I have had the chance to be involved with some great projects, develop my own illustrations and most importantly spend more time doing what I love. There have been challenges along the way, lessons learned and regular (thankfully no longer daily) crisis' of faith where I ask myself if it's all worth it?
Thankfully the answer is YES!
Projects & Highlights
Over the course of the last year, I've had the opportunity to work alongside some great clients on fantastic briefs, ranging from fashion illustrations to pet portraits, wedding stationery to company branding and label designs.
Looking back at the body of work I've produced within this time, I can see the journey I have been on & how dedicating more of my time has allowed me to grow as a creative, refine my skills and push myself to the next level.
Here is a selection of some of the projects & briefs I've worked on during the year.
Samuel Chapman Salon - Fashion illustrations for website, print and promotional material. Illustrations hand drawn and digitally rendered.
The Greedy Squirrel - Brand identity, logo and packaging design for start up jam and chutney company, the Greedy Squirrel.
Wedding stationery designs for Becky & Simon - Invitations and envelope liners designed in the theme of pink, silver and rose gold theme. Invitations printed using gold foiling effect.
Giraffe and Flamingo (personal project): Animal Illustrations created using fineliners and watercolours
Available as prints, cushions and gifts through Etsy and local makers markets.
Graphic design projects worked on for Marina Studios, Kronolab and Domestic & General.
It hasn't all been plain sailing and there have been lessons learned from each project I've worked on. Be it challenging clients, choosing the wrong events that suit my work, managing 'the business' side of things or learning not to take things personally, to name a few.
Social media has also been a major hurdle/mountain along the way for me. Often I'd psych myself out of uploading simple posts by over-analyzing or questioning if the image looks good enough or if I'm posting it at the right time of day, and that's before even I look at my feed and see hundreds of beautifully lit, professional images others have posted!
Thankfully I have a great network of family and friends, who not only support my work, commission me for projects & even help to man my stall at events, but are also there to dust me off and basically tell me to 'sort my life out' when I'm feeling down.
There is one person who has been as much on this journey as I have and without who it's safe to say I wouldn't be writing this now. To you, there are no words for how grateful I am for your love, support, and belief in me throughout the last 12 months.
A few goals for the coming year . . .
I'm currently finishing off an exciting self-project that combines two of my passions in life, running and drawing, by illustrating the key landmarks along the route of the Brighton Marathon course. These will be prints that runners can order to commemorate their achievement and have personalized with their name, race number and finish time.
I took my first real steps in creating bespoke wedding stationery suites last year, attending my first wedding fair and I'm keen to continue building on this momentum by attending more events this year & developing my portfolio (currently I'm working on two wonderful weddings, both with very different, beautiful themes so watch this space).
I will continue expanding my range of animal illustrations, prints, cushions and greetings cards, growing my online sales, taking part in more craft fairs and looking to find local shops to sell my work through. I've also wanted to illustrate my own animal alphabet for ages so I'm setting myself the goal of having this finished and printed by the end of 2018!
Lastly, I plan to write, blog and share more about my work, the process behind it and being able to do what I love. Who knows, it may be helpful to someone or even inspire them to take the leap and follow their own dream.