Moving Forward…

Hello! Long time to see….I know, it’s my fault.

Those of you who follow me on social media will know that I slowed things down over the summer. I didn’t disappear, I just wasn’t drawing as much. I made a decision to stop doing craft fairs, and I closed my Etsy online shop.

Things had got… well, muddled is perhaps a good word.

Yes, I was selling at craft fairs.

Yes, I was selling on Etsy.

But I was beginning to question the time it takes to prepare for a craft fair, or prepare one product for listing on Etsy. Ultimately I realised that those activities take me away from what I love – which is drawing.

Of course, I also have a “day job” – which is busy, and can be stressful. Due to a few changes there, my routine was thrown a little so I needed to adjust to that. (I love the day job. I think I have said before, no matter what path I chose, I likely will always have another job, as I need to the interaction. I am not one that can spend all hours alone in the studio all of the time)

In terms of my illustration work, I felt I was too focussed on producing designs that works for my printed items. I know that is ultimately what people buy – but that’s just it, I was being driven by what other people wanted, with no time to draw what I wanted. The printed items also have to be specific sizes and formats – so quite restrictive.

This will seem strange to any of you with a true business mind. I should of course be doing what people want, as that’s where the money will come from.

But that’s just it.

As an illustrator you need to keep your creativity. If you are constantly thinking about how commercial a piece is, you will just stick to a formula. You stop developing, no time to experiment. Eventually I believe that this would be bad for business, as people come to me as I can produce things that are different.

So – I had to take a bit of time out to figure out the direction I wanted to go in.

Was it successful. Well – yes and no!

I did progress a few personal pieces. I loved doing this. No client requirements. No time pressures. No budget to stick to (so no limit as to how long I could spend on these pieces). Ideas started flowing again. My passion for drawing returned. So from that perspective it was a great success!

Breathe in, Breathe Out
Breathe in, Breathe Out

However, I still don’t know what direction I want to go in! πŸ˜€

For the time being, I have reopened my Etsy shop. I will continue with my printed products but there may be less of them and those I do will be ones I like (selfish I know!). There may also be more original art.

I am increasing the one of a kind personalised work that I do –Β  this will be cards and illustrations (so be warned, there will be marketing ahead :D)

I will make sure I leave time for experimenting and for personal projects. And most importantly I will continue to develop my portfolio and work hard to become a professionally published illustrator.

I will not (and I am sorry to those who have visited me at events) be returning to the craft fair circuit. Not for the foreseeable future. The preparation time needed, and the time I spend there is just too much. One day at a fair is three days of work (plus travel, petrol, parking etc) and it’s just not economically viable. (So I do sometimes think with my business head on!)

Anyway. Thank you for reading all the way to the end of my waffle, and thank you for supporting Jac’s Little Welsh Studio.

In summary: I am still here and I still want to make the world a happier placeΒ  – one doodle at a time!

Till next time then,

Love Jac xx

Whitterings of an Illustrator…

Theodore.E.Bear is having a rest tonight, so it’s back to me to write this weeks blog – but too be honest I am out of practice! I never know what to write about.

I mean – do I tell you about the week I have had, or maybe about the glorious weather we have had – which has made the trees in their Autumn colours look just stunning – or do I just follow some random thought path (which let’s be honest is my normal approach!).

You’d think I would have a plan – I mean, I (or Ted, of course) write this every week! But no, every week I suddenly realise it’s Sunday night – again… and sit here looking at the computer looking for inspiration. While watching Strictly (which I can’t talk about in case you are recording it – but I am looking forward to Halloween special).

Perhap’s I should ask you? What would you like to read in this blog? Any suggestions (be nice!) please let me know via Facebook or Twitter, I shall see what I can do πŸ™‚

By the way – I have actually been quite busy with orders and stocking up for the Festive season! There will be new characters at Jac’s this Christmas πŸ™‚ (Available soon in my Etsy shop).

Mr Gingerbread, a new character in Jacs Little Welsh Studio
Mr Gingerbread, a new character in Jacs Little Welsh Studio

I think that’s probably enough waffling for now – I’ll try to think of something better for you next week (or I’ll make sure Ted is back!)

Love Jac xx

Taking it slow..

Hello again everyone – have you had a good week? It’s been very quiet here this week, as Jac was a bit poorly with a bad cold and couldn’t spend as much time as normal at the drawing board.

Don’t worry though, I looked after her wih plenty of hot honey and lemon drinks. As a bear, I recommend honey – I wasn’t so sure about the lemon, but Jac said it’s good for her, so I had to add a little really.

Although Jac wasn’t able to get on with orders as she woudl have liked, she was very excited when a man in a big van arrived with a giant box. Apparently it was full of new items for the studio shop. It’s all still being sorted out – but I did manage a sneaky peek and spotted bookmarks, mirrors and bags – all new deisgns I hadn’t seen before. Jac says I can’t tell you to much yet, but she will share pictures as soon as they are ready. (And they will all be added to the shop throughout the week).

She did say I could let you all know about the bookmarks – especially since she showed you the designs for those a while ago. There are cupcakes, and teapots and cats… not all on the same bookmark of course. You can see them all in more detail in The Little Welsh Studio shop – why not take a peek!

The lastest bookmark designs at The Little Welsh Studio
The lastest bookmark designs at The Little Welsh Studio

So – I guess it will be a bit busier this week as Jac catches up – so I better go now – but I’ll be back next week.

Love from Theodore.E.Bear (a.k.a Ted)

Stay Safe!

Hello All – and thank you for joining me again πŸ™‚ I must say I am enjoying writing Jac’s blog!

This week it was a bit wet here in South Wales, so we didn’t get out and about lots – but we did walk into town for our shopping. On the way, we saw lots of children on bikes wearing yellow vests. Jac explained they were learning how to be safe while riding their bikes on the road – like letting other people know where they are going by using their arms to signal what way they are turning, and learning to look behind them to see what is there.

I noticed they all had hard hats on – Jac told me Β these were called helmets, and said these are very important when you ride a bike (or scooter or skateboard). She explained that if I was to fall off, a helmet could help prevent me hurting my head so badly.

I don’t ride my bike very often, but I think I will always wear my helmet when I do.

Stay Safe whilst Cycling
Ted always wears a helmet when cycling – stay safe!

The rest of the week, Jac was busy working on commission work. She is a bit sad as she can’t share any of it yet (most are surprises for people’s Christmas) – but she has told me that this week she has an idea for a new project which you can all get involved with – so do check out Jac’s Studio Facebook page for details on that πŸ™‚ (And, if you are looking for gifts your self – do check out The Little Welsh Studio on Etsy)

Till next week then,

Love from Theodore.E.Bear (aka Ted)

(PS – Jac says thank you to Cycle Training Wales for her inspiration this week. She saw them out at least twice with two different schools – keep up the good work she says!)

A trip to the dentist…

Hello again everyone. Theodore E Bear here (you can call me Ted).

So – what has happened this week?

Well – Jac has been as busy as ever, she has been working on commission pieces, and has sent new designs off to be printed (she says she will share them as soon as they arrive).

In amongst that we went somewhere I haven’t been before – we had to go to the dentist.

When we arrived I was a little bit scared, as there were lots of strange noises – loud noises like a drill!

We waited in a big room with lots of other people, until a nice lady with a clip board called my name – then I had to go into a different room, (Jac came with me, I was too scared to go myself.)

Inside that room there was a man who had a mask over his face – I thought he was a doctor, but Jac explained he was the dentist. That is a special kind of doctor that helps us look after our teeth.

Ted isn't scared of the dentist anymore
Ted thought the Dentist was scary, but he was actually a very nice man.

I had to sit on a big chair – and it moved (I liked that it was fun πŸ™‚ ), then I had to open my mouth so the dentist could see inside – he even made me stick my tongue out – it felt really funny!

After that, he said my teeth were all fine – but said I maybe shouldn’t eat so many sugary cakes πŸ™

He explained that if I look after my teeth I shouldn’t have to go back for a long time, so Jac got me a toothbrush and toothpaste, and taught me how to brush my teeth properly. Now I brush my teeth every morning and also before I go to bed – for a whole two minutes.

Ted's First Toothbrush
Ted has learnt the importance of looking after his teeth

Jac says if I keep doing that it will be good as everyone will always see my nice bright smile πŸ™‚

So now it’s another new week – I wonder what adventures Jac and I will have this time? Do check back next week.

PS – if you can’t wait that long – you can follow Jac’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Oh and I have my very own board on Jac’s Pinterest page now too!

PPS – Please remember you can buy picture of me (and all Jac’s characters!) on Etsy too xx

Introducing – Theodore.E.Bear

Hello πŸ™‚

I am Theodore Edward Bear. (Ted.E.Bear or Ted for short). I live in a small town in South West Wales, home to the Little Welsh Studio.

Ted.E.Bear a character created by Jackie Evans, Illustrator
Hi – I’m Ted.E.Bear

I live with Jackie (most people call her Jac). That’s her legs in the picture (I am not a very tall bear).

Jac owns the Little Welsh Studio, and is an illustrator – which means she draws pictures for people. (You might have seen me in some of them). Sometimes she get very busy, and so doesn’t get time to update her blog as often as she would like to.

That’s where I step in. To be honest, as a Teddy Bear, I wasn’t really sure what a blog was – but Jac explained it’s a way of telling stories to people so that they can read it on their phone or computer.

I really like stories, so I offered to help out by writing the occasional tale.

I am not sure exactly what I will write, but I do love adventures. And I have lots of friends here in the studio – like Tarquin the Turtle and Doodle the Mouse, so I am sure I will be able to find something for all of you.

I plan to write my first proper story later this week – so do pop back to see what my friends and I have been up to. (I’ll ask Jac to let you all know when it’s ready, I know she uses things called Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so I am sure you will find me).

So – I’ll sign off for now – look forward to seeing you all.

Lots of Love

Theodore. E . Bear (Ted).

Hello February!

Well hello February! It seems only yesterday we were welcoming in the New Year….

It’s been a great start to the year – I think I mentioned last time that January was going to be busy with orders, and it looks like February is starting off the same way. Time really does fly when you are having fun.

So what is the plan this month?

Well – I’m working a number of card orders, for lots of different occasions. And I have stock to build up for a craft fair later this month at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. (Their St David’s Day event is on the 28th February, it would be amazing to see some of you there).

So far, I have orders for bunny rabbits, hedgehogs and frogs, and have an idea for some fruit and vegetable characters. You can, as always follow my progress on my Facebook page – and I’ll try to get some pictures on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. (there really is no escaping me now!).

Example of introductory bundle
Example of introductory bundle

Today I’m e-mailing the February colour sheet to the members of Jac’s Colouring Club – you can sign up to that any time, do contact me for further information.

How time flies!

23rd January. What – really – already? Time really does fly when you are having fun!

So far January has been an amazing month for Jac.

Normally January is quiet, but already I have booking for commissions all the way through to December, and membership to Jac’s Colouring Club has proved to be popular. (Click here for details on that).

The Daily Doodle is another hit – the best place to see them is my Facebook page, one new doodle, every day, just for fun. In the end I’ll have 366 of them – and perhaps some will be developed into illustrations or printed items. (If you have a favourite, do let me know!)

I’m currently working on Valentine’s day items – as well as commissions for weddings, anniversaries and birthdays. It will soon be time to start Mother’s Day items too!

Smile and be happy
Start every day with a smile

I have always loved drawing – andΒ now I know that my drawings can bring a smile to people’s faces, it makes it all the more special.

Ooo – I almost forgot – you can now find me on Instagram too!

Until next time then,

Love Jac xxx

Juggling…

 

As regular visitors to Jac’s Studio will know, I have been doodling as a business for just over 12 months now – and through all that time, I have had a secret. A double life. Something I have never mentioned to my loyal followers….

Here goes….

 

I have another job.

 

I have thought long and hard about telling people this, as I worry that some people won’t take my business as seriously if they know I have a another job – or that some people might think I can’t produce their items. So I waited a whole year to tell you all – during which time I’ve successfully balanced both jobs, never let a customer down, kept up with the housework (ish) and even managed to have some sort of a social life! I hope that gives reassure to all you potential clients out there.

Some of my friends have asked me whether one day I will give up the β€œother” life. And the answer is – probably not. I started the studio as a way to relax and unwind – to separate work from family life (yes, yes, I know – now I work twice as much, that’s typical of me). But it’s the other life that gets me out and about, meeting people, seeing things – it provides the inspiration when I get back in the studio – so I will always have the two aspects.

Circus Ted Hand Drawn IllustrationThe reason I am telling people now, is that it’s just really difficult sometimes to do updates about what I have done each day when it’s been something to do with my β€œother” life.

 

So what does this mean for followers of Jac?

 

Well – to be honest, not much! It’s not as if I am suddenly going to be talking about the other life all the time – but at least it will give you some idea of just how much I am doing – and why I am not always on line. (Sometimes I just want to doodle, without any electronic gadgets in sight!)

Magic Pencils

I work on a variety of days – so you probably won’t even know when I am at the other job and when I am in the studio. And, if you do want a commission piece, please be assured – I only take on work I know I can successfully deliver – I won’t let you down.

So – on days when you haven’t heard from me – don’t worry – I’ll be back!

Oodles of Doodles

Fans of Jac’s Little Welsh Studio will know that Jac just loves to doodle – from alphabet letters to Halloween themes, from the farmyard to the circus I do at least one doodle every day. Just for fun.

Why? To make people smile – and why not?

My doodles are different from my “normal” illustrations. They are simpler, quicker and done with little or no preparation! I think them, I draw them, I colour them. Simples! Each one is unique (no matter how hard I work, I’d never get two the same) and normally done in watercolour – with occasional detail in pencil. Every one is published on my Facebook page, so do check that out too!www.facebook.com/jacsstudio

Windswept Sheep
A refreshing breeze!