The last year seems to have disappeared in the blink of an eye and at the same time it feels like being a student and having my degree show was a lifetime ago. All the time in the world and still no time at all.
With a new wave of degree shows and new graduates I have come to contemplating the last 12 months in which I have been out in the big wide world trying to earn some money from drawing pictures and working my way to doing this as a full time job.
Though I've still got a long way to go, I am happy with the achievements I have made this year, the new stockists and the growth of my Etsy shop in particular.
Things I have learnt this year:
NOTHING IS CERTAIN There have been many ocassions where I have got super excited, imagined the work in print and spent the fee before a project is cancelled or changed. I'm learning the hard way that in this job there are no guarantees!
HARD WORK PAYS OFF Though you can't control the whims of a client or the choices of an art director, hard work does pay off in the end and good things happen when you knuckle down.
PLAN AND ORGANISE If it's not written down it probably won't happen. And you need to go back to what you have written. And then do what it says. It is far too easy to get lost in a million ideas that aren't organised into a goal or structure.
THIS IS A BUSINESS Sometimes I am amazed by the most talented people who have no business sense whatsoever. I'm no Alan Sugar but a bit of business nous goes a long way. And in the same vein, everything needs to be treated like a proper, real, functioning business all the time.
LISTEN TO ADVICE I hate being criticised, I'm stubborn and I think I am always right - this makes getting advice a little bit arduous... But it's worth it, a second opinion or some expert knowledge can go a long way. And other creatives will also have a mass of experience that is great to draw from.
YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE Making friends with other creatives and supporting them in their ventures is not only rewarding from a personal point of view but, often as a happy extra, it means that your work is promoted or shared by likeminded people. So many lovely people out there!!
BELIEVE IT WILL HAPPEN I am convinced that this will work out, no matter what it takes. A year of ups and downs has made me even more determined to succeed and having confidence in my work has allowed me to make things happen!
It is a bit of a rollercoaster trying to succeed in this business! What have you learnt since starting out your creative career?