It’s time for another late Happy New Year post from me! Recently, I got married and went away on a two week long honeymoon which got extended for 4 extra days due to Cyclone Freddy. It’s taken me quite a while to catch up with orders and readjust to reality. The wedding and holiday blues are unreal! Here are my highlights of 2022:
In February I was runner-up in the Emotive Design category for PaperAwards for my Botanical Valentine’s Day cards and Wildflowers postcard set.
Top Drawer S/S22
I did something different for my new Top Drawer stand - I had my illustrations printed onto vinyl wall stickers and arranged them around my product display to add even more colour. I had a great time and gained some new fantastic stockists.
English Garden collection
I launched a new collection during my show at Top Drawer called English Garden. I am absolutely chuffed with my new designs all about gardening and I enjoyed the challenge of painting vegetables and gardening tools.
New washi tape designs
I felt that my washi tape range could use some spiky cacti - so I added two lovely new cactus designs, plus a dark version of my existing Houseplants design.
I redesigned and restocked my tissue paper and stickers with my illustrations printed on them, which I use to package shop orders - I love to make opening your orders feel like receiving a beautiful gift!
Nottingham Castle collaboration
I worked on a wonderful project with Nottingham Castle. I was asked to create an illustration of the Catchfly - the county flower of Nottingham - and I adapted the painting into a pattern design which was printed onto the range of giftware!
At the end of the summer I decided to finally start renovating my studio after thinking about it for a few years,and I began stripping the wallpaper from the walls and ceiling. My studio is quite large so it took some time, and to make matters worse I did it in the middle of a heatwave! After the wallpaper was all down, I painted the walls white and the ceiling a lovely shade of green. I had planned to strip the carpet and repair the concrete floor underneath as well but I decided it would take too long, so I am waiting until I can take at least a week off to do the task some time in 2023.
Toadstool card collection
I finally completed a toadstool card collection, ticking it off my ‘product ideas’ list. I am so happy with these new designs - I love how cute, autumnal and magical the cards are.
I went to the first deaf art retreat ever in the UK. It was held at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and I had such a great time. I got to meet fellow deaf artists from different disciplines and had lots of interesting conversations. It was the first time in my creative career that I felt I actually belonged to a community. There were no communication barriers between us, and we all had a common background as deaf artists to build on. I am hoping there will be more retreats in the future - I am definitely keen to join in again.
My 2023 goals are:
More creative time
My first goal for this year is a simple one, but potentially difficult too. I want to make more time to be creative - not just to develop products but for my own enjoyment. I have bought a couple of new sketchbooks which I hope to fill up by the end of the year. In 2022 I struggled to find time from receiving increasing numbers of shop and wholesale orders to fulfil - which I am eternally grateful for, of course! I have started to feel out of practice and find myself facing the Fear again, and it becomes harder to get started without overthinking. I need to remind myself of the time back in 2016 when I undertook the Year of Creative Habits course and painted almost every day. I am counting on overcoming my hesitation and making more time in my schedule to paint this year.
I tend to do my tax return at the last minute in January, a few weeks before the filing deadline. It always gets nerve-racking as the end of January approaches and takes focus away from other business. I have got a real plan this year to establish a good habit of updating my accounts weekly so I stay up to date. I will block out time on Friday afternoons to collect receipts and update my accounts. I haven’t done my latest tax return just yet, but I am going to do it first thing this April and then from there I can stay on top of the next one. If all goes well, I should be able to keep up with my schedule after next Christmas instead of worrying about tax!
Here’s hoping for a wonderful and productive year for us all! As always I appreciate your support - be it an order, your comments on my social media, or sharing my work online and by word of mouth - THANK YOU so much.