Happy New Year! 2016 was a big one for me in terms of personal development and figuring out what I really want to do and how to do it. I re-read a blog post I wrote last year about resolutions and realised I totally aced some and failed others...

1. Start a shop

Nope, didn't do this at all. The idea was always in the back of my head but there was just always something else that was more important that needed paying for. Maybe this year.

2. Get off the internet

Since moving to Leeds, I've found there's so much more going on in the creative community. I went to a couple of Glug talks and joined Leeds Illo and met some very nice people. I'm very much looking forward to going to more this year!

3. Experiment with textures

I've been concerned that my work is quite dull and needs some personality to it so I've been using a lot of vector textures and brushes lately. However, for larger scale projects, it's becoming impractical as it's slowing down Adobe Illustrator. I recently took Tom Froese's Skillshare class about combining digital illustration with handmade textures. It was a really fun class and I've learnt some new techniques that I'll be applying to my own work. I'm not sure why I've been so hesitant to make my own textures, I used to really enjoy practical crafts. I suppose getting into graphic design and doing things digitally killed that. But I'm slowly bringing that back!

4. Get friendly with After Effects

I didn't think I'd actually be able to say this, but I've actually improved! I've had time at work to improve my skills and I even got to do a digital 6 sheet ad (I mean, it was only 5 seconds long and the animations were incredibly simple). Using AE is very intensive and I'm not sure if I enjoy it that much to progress with it.

5. Use social media more

I've definitely made tracks with Twitter and Instagram but I just deleted Facebook so I probably lost points there.

6. Stop the negativity

Ok I admit defeat with this one. It turns out that when I'm working on something with a tight deadline, I will be sat at my desk working while cursing very loud in a singsong voice. Something like this..."LALALALALA THIS IS FUCKING SHITE, WHY AM I SO USELESS DOODOODOO"

I'm not sure how I'm going to change that, I think it's just my way of dealing with stress!

I only have one simple resolution for this year: keep doing what I'm doing.

P.S. I just want to say thanks to everyone who said nice things about my work, to all the illustrators who have answered my daft questions and gave me really great advice and to those who chucked work my way!