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!
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