Obligatory New Year Post

Happy New Year! I've been pretty productive so far, updated my contact list, updated my website and got myself a Dribbble invite (starting the year as I mean to go on!). Also, I finish my course in a few weeks and I'm a bit nervous as to what will happen after. Here's my goals for this year. 

1. Start a shop

I've been thinking about this for ages and spent loads of time looking at other people's online shops, printed products etc. So yeah, can't wait to get one up and running myself. I'm looking to start out very small with a couple of prints and hopefully see how it goes from there. Right now, I'm totally in love with Squarespace, their shop features look pretty slick!

2. Get off the internet

And get out into the real world. I find this one particularly difficult, especially with all the anxieties and negative thought patterns I deal with. But 2016 will be the year where I make an effort to network, seek opportunities to meet other creative individuals and find new inspirations away from my computer. I was thrilled to be part of an exhibition by Girl Gang Sheffield last year, more exhibitions for this year please!

3. Experiment with textures

I've tried and failed so many times using texture in my work, it just never looks right. Owen Davey really is the king of subtle texture, I've enjoyed having a nosey at images from his Bird Search book and it's inspired me to go back to it. I really really dislike Photoshop though. I only ever use it in my day job. So I might have to suck it up and get over it. 

4. Get friendly with After Effects

I've sort of started with this but I've been rather lazy with tutorials. Still trying to get my head round the timeline. Thankfully, I've discovered Skillshare and can't wait to get stuck in to some tutorials. I find I learn better when I'm actually working on a project. Lately, I've been poring over GIFs by Robin Davey and James Curran, they keep me motivated when I'm getting frustrated with AE!

5. Use social media more

A tricky one for me since social media isn't a big deal in my personal life. It feels a bit alien to me sometimes, especially selfies and food photographs...

6. Stop the negativity

This one is especially important to me. I get REALLY down when I find an illustrator/designer doing everything I want to be doing, working for the clients I want to be working for and just having amazing work. This needs to stop. It's destructive and destroys the little self confidence I have in my work. Then this negativity ends up seeping into other areas of my life, it alters my attitude and mood which affects how I feel in my day job and it really tests my relationships. 

The crucial thing I need to remind myself of is that I've only been doing this for just over a year. I've not spent three years on a design course. I worked in other industries before I ended up in design. My course may have nearly finished but I'm only at the very start of my journey.

During these periods of negativity, the advice Andy J Miller gives on his Creative Pep Talk Podcast is invaluable: firstly, be a friend to people and support their work without looking for self gain. Secondly, keep pumping out new work and tell people about it. After all, nobody will believe I want to be a freelance illustrator if I'm not constantly updating my portfolio.