Kickstarting my Kickstarter Campaign

A few weeks ago I wrote a review of a Kickstarter information event held at Site Gallery Sheffield. Fast forward a couple of months and I’ve taken the plunge. I’m running my first ever Kickstarter Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise £300 towards the production costs of 200 enamel pin badges of my always ever popular Skeptics design.

Making an enamel pin is my dream come true!

The great thing about as I’m writing this is that I’m just over a week into my 30 day campaign and I am 192% funded! Woohoo! If I’d have written this a week ago I’d be talking about just how stressed I was. It’s that weird, adrenaline fuelled addictive stress though. Obsessively checking your total stress. I kinda thrive on it, whilst I think it’s simultaneously horrible. All in all, it’s enough for me to be glad it’s over, but enough that I’d do it again.

The all or nothing Kickstarter approach is what feeds the fear. Even upon being funded the fear of mass cancellations remains, but it feels great to get this far.

Its amazing, you’re amazing, thankyou!

What has been especially interesting is the backers. The supporters who you’ve known who really step up to get behind you. Reminding you how awesome your supporters are! Then there are the new supporters. A great deal of traffic comes from Kickstarter  itself, but also it encourages you to find new audiences.

I turned to new reddit threads to promote my campaign. The product itself, an enamel pin, opens new audiences to enamel pin fans. The big new thing I tried though was working with influencers.

Like, Kardashian size influencers?

Well, micro influencers. Niche influencers. Whatever you call folk with good followings of fellow folk who like creepy stuff! My aim was to avoid being spammy at all costs but try and engage with accounts that felt synergetic with mine. I offered praise and thanks and packages of goodies. I won’t name an shame those who didn’t reply, I’ll just say this is to of course be expected. There was some excellent support though, so as well as gaining pledges to my campaign, I was getting new social media followers too.

My goal is funded but I am still accepting pledges until my rewards are sold out. The pin production will be totally funded, but it helps me to book stalls and promote the designs across the country too.

You can check our my kickstarter at

Thankyou to you beautiful folk that have backed me on this, it really means the world!

Work/work/life balance: getting it right, getting it wrong

We are all told how important it is to get a proper work/life balance. What about when you have two works? How do you balance your work/work/life balance? What about if what is now your work, always used to sit as a hobby in the ‘life’ part?

Before I go any further I should make one thing clear. This is not a how to, it’s a confession. I don’t balance these things very well at the moment. As you may know, I work part time on my business and part time as an events fundraiser. My charity work leaves me three days and evenings each week for everything else. And there’s a LOT of everything else. Friends, family, loved ones, pooch, pub, eating, drinking, Netflix and holidays.

Then there’s the everything else else. Admin, emails, murals, digital sketching, posting orders, applying to markets, selling my work, monitoring my stockists, practicing my craft. Then there’s my number one love of my life; good old fashioned sleep. Plus, there’s the times that my fundraising job steals extra hours from my weekends and evenings as well as my brain space in other hours too. My job is wonderful and I love it but it’s pretty full on and there’s always lots to think about. How do you do it all?

Spoiler alert: I don’t.

Well,I do. But I don’t get the quantities right. I always want more lie ins, more puppy cuddles and more time for the people who mean the most to me than I am currently getting and giving. Visiting family is hard when it is going to take at least a weekend with all the travelling, but there never seems to be a weekend free.

Then there’s my business. I have a huge to do list. At first it was a ‘one day I want to try this’ to do list. Then it became a ‘things to do when you get chance’ to do list. Now? Now it’s a ‘here’s everything due soon’ to do list. There’s no time to learn new artistic skills, explore new avenues or research new opportunities. 

Spend your time wisely

I am slowly learning that the reality is that until a cure for needing to sleep is invented, there is just no way to have it all. The trick is to priorities. Learn to say no, value your time and carve away time for what is important to you. If it helps to block out a night to spend time with friends, do it. Make it obvious in your calendar and don’t shift it for anything. I find booking tickets for shows makes me not miss those dates, so do what you have to to keep that time for you. Monitor your work balance. make sure you only agree to jobs you have time for. Only jobs you want to do. Your time is precious so treat it so. When you know you are going to be busy with something else, take on less.

and perhaps most importantly…


I can’t stress this enough. Don’t feel guilty about recharging and relaxing. it is vital and necessary. Schedule it in and stick to it. In the midst of all of my million commitments I always allow myself time for me. It keeps you sane and helps you to have the clarity of mind to decide how you want to spend the rest of your time and how to priorities it.

We all want to build successful business, and the income can be a strong allure. Just make sure that you are never letting it cost you too much from your energy and life. If it helps, remember this,

No one on their death bed ever regretted that they didn’t work enough days in their life



New Half Year Goals for 2019

As discussed in my last blog post, my annual goals for 2019 are almost all achieved. I’ve allowed myself some time to celebrate and now it’s time to set some more. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s tempting not to. To pat myself on the back and let myself relax and go with the flow until 2020. I know that it would be a waste of the momentum I’ve built this year though.

Seriously, it’s been awesome!

Surpassing my goals has taught me to have more confidence in what I do too. I thought that the goals were achievable but tough. Of course I worked hard for them, but I got them all in half a year. Some I had completed within a month or two and some I have just smashed. They were big jumps when I wrote them but now my business is in a different place. What’s more, I’m prepared to make some goals that are really ambitious.

There’s no shame in not reaching a goal as long as you try.

I’m not the type of guy to beat myself up if I don’t win at something, I beat myself up for being too scared to try though, so here goes:

-Secure a mural commission using my characters and style

-be approached for a large scale commission without applying

-trial a pop up shop

-run an arts event (market, workshop, drawing class)

-get agency representation

And none of it is based on followers or likes. Not to say that it’s not important, just to say that it can give you tunnel vision with your art if you’re not too careful.

Something of a scattergun approach?

Maybe. They are all quite different and about quite different avenues. The list doesn’t focus on retail or commissions, it looks at both. It even looks at events which is something of the elephant in the room. Events is my skillset. It’s where my fundraising career has refined and culminated. To run arts events just makes sense. Thing is, I run A LOT of events. Do I want to run events in my art life too? I guess what I am saying is that if I don’t achieve that goal, that’s cool with me too.

Plus, if I don’t achieve it, honestly it will be because I won’t have pursued it. The only thing standing between me and running and arts events is and always will be just me. I don’t think you guys will blame me either. You know that when I’m not organising a huge christmas fair that I’m somewhere organising a music festival or an outdoor cinema. I think you guys won’t mind if I put my feet up on organising extra curricular events just for a little while.

I wonder what will have passed and where my business will be next time I write a review post?


Half Year Goals Review

I know it was only April when I reviewed these goals but I always wanted to review them often. Reviewing them means changing them too. I need to take frequent stock to work out if they are the right goals for me at the right time.

On that note, I think I will have to change them too, but for good reason. I have nearly, acheieved them all! It’s not so much amending them, as setting new ones. Not only have I reached my annual goals in only half a year but my business is totally different too.

Different how?

Well my aims are still the same but I’m doing a lot better than I ever imagined, for a while people have been telling me that my illustration seems to have ‘taken off’. That’s always the phrase they used and I always thought I was just doing a good job of marketing. It’s only recently when Iv e had back to back commissions and smashed my goals list that I’ve started to agree.

Ok, so back to these goals I keep hearing about

Get 1200 followers on instagram
Have products stocked in 2 stockists
Increase to 100 sales on Etsy
Have a stall at a niche market
Get 20 reviews on etsy
Increase etsy product number to 50
Secure a large commission
Invest in a new type of product


The only ones I haven’t achieved yet are the 1200 followers on Instagram and the 100 sales on Etsy. I have 1100 followers and have about 20 sales to go. I am well on my way to achieving both. The number of stockists interested in my work has doubled. I have reached the large commission goal a whopping six times over. My product range is still growing but I don’t think it should be rushed. That goal needs a rethink.


Gulp. I’m going to have to set new goals


It’s nerve wrecking but necessary. That’s freelance life in a nutshell. Visit my next weeks blog to find out what my new goals are going to be!