With 2015 done and dusted, I sit in my little studio reflecting on the year that has just crept up on me. It’s always a quiet time, day one of a New Year with most of the shops and businesses closed. Even the virtual world of the Internet is like a ghost town and this is a good thing because it’s forcing me to stop… take a little bit of time out…. sit with my thoughts…… reflect on my creative journey…….the highs and the lows of 2015…. and ponder over my dreams and aspirations for 2016.
Since resigning from my “safe” job as an art teacher three years ago to start a small business and work for myself, I would be lying if I said it was easy. In fact, I have never worked so hard or such long hours every day. The creative process can be an exhausting one and some days I’m charging ahead with ideas for artworks and new products tumbling onto my sketch pad, completely on a roll and in the zone. Then there are those other days where I am in a foggy daze of indecision and procrastination … when self-doubt wraps itself around me.
Fortunately the daze of doubt is temporary and the fog is lifted with many things I am thankful for and one of them is YOU! You who might be reading this right now, my Facebook friends, my Newsletter subscribers, my dear virtual friends on my “Colouring and Tangling” Facebook Group, a customer who leaves a wonderfully positive review for a product they purchased in my Shop, my beautiful students who come to do extra curricular art and their supportive parents – you have become my second family, the fantastic group of sellers and admin team on Designed by Teachers which I am very proud to be a part of.
Not having any spare cash to hire experts to help me in my business has been hard but on the other hand it has forced me to be fearless and learn how to do these things myself. Some achievements I am proud of and firsts for me were:
- making videos [you have yet to see me in front of the camera though]
- using Instagram for the very first time since I found a windows programme called Gramblr which allows you to upload pictures from your PC to Instagram. I tend to want to tweak, crop and resize my photos before they end up on Instagram so I was happy to discover Gramblr which allows me to do that
- becoming an official partner for the “Save the Frogs” organisation and gaining a little bit of recognition for incorporating frogs in my shop resources and for promoting the annual “Save the Frogs” art competition.
- Launching Colouring and Tangling Group on Facebook [a virtual home to a wonderfully caring and creative community]
- Opening up a Shop on Society6
- Opening up a Colouring and Tangling Shop on Etsy
Saving the best for last…… which has been on my bucket list for ages……. is self-publishing and getting my books up on Amazon! This was a huge learning curve and after lots of hours researching, asking questions, struggling with formatting and software I finally have 2 books on there. I just wish we had Amazon in Australia and this is probably the greatest hurdle of all but I have been determined to find a way for my International customers to purchase my books without having to pay hefty postage costs. So if you want to see the “Tangle Me – Aussie Animals” as a real book on Amazon click that link and finally my “Fruit Garden” Colouring Book for Adults is on there too. I am still waiting on the “See Inside” preview to be made available for that book.
I look forward to offering you lots more goodies, inspiration and resources with an exciting new Colouring and Tangling Club launching in the next couple of weeks. Thank you to each and every one of you for your support as you keep me going when the daze of doubt tries to grab me.