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! 😀

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 –  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 place  – one doodle at a time!

Till next time then,

Love Jac xx

Alphabet Adventures

Hello again everyone 🙂

What a great week it’s been here in the studio. Jac has been kept busy with commissions and sending out packages from her Etsy shop.

She has also been working on a project to create an alphabet illustration, and has just started sketching ideas for the letter B. I am very excited, as I get to feature in some of those – and she took me to a ball pit for inspiration. That was great fun – it was just like a swimming pool – but instead of water (which gets my fur all soggy) it was full of brightly coloured balls. You can jump in them, hide in them, or just throw them around. I can’t wait to go again!

Ted.E.Bear, the ball pit and balloons
Ted.E.Bear loves to play!

Did you know that Jac publishes her sketches on her Facebook page? And – you can suggest ideas and sometimes she will turn your idea into one of her doodles. That’s what she is doing with the alphabet – she posts an idea most evenings. I think she will be starting on the letter C soon.

Today Jac went out without me (I was looking after the studio for her) – and met with some people who, like her, draw pictures and write stories. She said the meeting was really good – and that she has lots of ideas for new stories with me in them! I can’t wait to hear what she has in store – I’m sure she will let me tell you all about it at some point.

Well – that’s about this for now. Next week, Jac and I will be working on more commissions – which will involve something called Halloween. I am not sure what that is – but I am sure I will find out. Jac says it involves dressing up in costumes – which I always love to do. My favourite is my lion costume – maybe I can wear that this week (it’s nice and warm, it’s getting cold outside now).

Teddy, or lion?
Ted.E.Bear just loves dressing up!

Thanks for taking time to read my stories – I am really enjoying it.

Until next time

Theodore.E.Bear

Stay Safe!

Hello All – and thank you for joining me again 🙂 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  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 🙂 (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!)

Keep on Running (or at least brisk walking)

Wow – June. That came round quick.

But then May was a busy month. The busiest yet for Jac’s Little Welsh Studio – with commission orders now in the books all through summer and beyond. (in fact there are a couple in there for December!)

The Little Welsh Studio on Etsy has also started to pick up – I have now had approval to put my printed items on there, so will be able to add my full range (when I find some extra time lol!). (You can already find Olivia Owl on there, she was quick to land!)

Olivia Owl by The Little Welsh Studio
Olivia Owl has landed at the Little Welsh Studio

But personally, it was busy too – as I took part in a charity “event”. Outrun May was a challenge set by MacMillan Cancer Support. The idea was to set a figure and run (or walk) that many miles during the month of May. I picked 70 miles. (Nope, I don’t know why – it just seemed like a good number).

I dusted off my trainers, and every single day in May I went for a run or a walk, or a mix of the two. I found at least 20 mins in every single day where I could get out there and get those feet and legs moving.

And you know what – I did it. 70 miles. (Well, 72 actually). And I feel so much better for it. I rediscovered paths I hadn’t walked n a while. I saw flowers spring up, heard birds singing. I even saw a small deer on one walk.

O yes – with the help of friends and family, £135 was raised for MacMillan Cancer Support.

And now that May is over I can relax. Slow down. Re-acquaint with the sofa.

Yes, of course I could – but then again, I could keep on running (or at least brisk walking). I could get fitter, get some more fresh air, see more of nature.

I think I know which I will choose…. pass me my trainers will you? 🙂

Till next time – Love Jac xx

 PS – don’t forget to check Facebook and Instagram for the latest news from the studio 

 

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 – and 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

Busy, Busy!

 

People often say to me – you are so busy all the time – don’t you ever stop?

Well – the answer is yes – sometimes. But then I get bored (or fall asleep). I much prefer to be be busy – whether that’s doing things at home – being out and about – or working in the studio.

Recently it’s been all about the studio. I’ve had a little flurry of commissions come through – all so individual and such fun to work on. Over the last week or so I’ve worked on wedding pieces, new baby creations and a number of very special birthdays. I just love getting these orders – learning about other people’s interest and what is important to them. We are all so different!

Last week saw me drawing bagpipes, bears, yoga, cats, tea, jewellery, scuba divers…. and it goes on. You really can’t get more diverse!

And then of course, there is my ongoing work for my online Etsy store and Facebook customers – and I’m currently preparing for a few craft fairs.  It’s been a mad mixture of birthdays, Halloween and Christmas – a doodler could be easily confused. Merry Birthday everyone 😉

Very special birthday card
Very special birthday card

And just to bring the week to a brilliant close, I had my first firm Christmas order at the weekend and a very exciting large commission piece confirmed – happy days. If you need me, I’ll be in my studio….

Hand Drawn Christmas Gift Tags
Hand Drawn Christmas Gift Tags

(But you can also find me on 28th September at the Made it Market in Neath, and on the 5th of October I’ll be at the Llanelli Craft and Gift Fair ).