Goals for 2020 Part 3

I am splitting this blog post up into 3 posts in order to allow me to discuss each goal in a little bit more detail, and hopefully shed some light on why it is a focus of mine for next year.

It might seem a little bit extreme to have 3 blogs dedicated to goal setting, but I wanted to look at each one in detail, and I’ve bee spreading my net a little wide for 2020. This is my final piece on the matter, covering my final three goals for the year ahead. 

Collaborate

I have a couple of ideas at what this might look like but I didn’t want to be too prescriptive. It’s also not necessarily something I want to be able to simply tick off my list, it’s something I want to continue to pursue. I want to create better networks around me of other artists, creatives and small businesses. This might be through working to supply spooky subscription boxes with my products. It might also be through teaming up with other artists to run projects such as joint artworks, shows or markets and events.

I don’t want to be a creator island, I want to be part of a community. This is especially important to me now I will be spending more time working for myself, as in large part this also will mean by myself. I am lucky enough that Sheffield has such a vibrant community of creators, and that we are so close to other cities such as Manchester and Derby who have great artistic scenes too. I want collaborations to become a mainstay of my artistic career.

Improve Branding

This is bigger than a goal, and definitely is not designed to be ticked off and forgotten. I just need to be more mindful of it. In particular I am thinking about my approach to social media and creating a more cohesive product range. I am not, at this point, looking at being a totally spooky or totally unspooky artist, but this brings a range of branding complications. So it’s something I need to look into and be mindful of to navigate this difficulty. Ultimately, I need to decide if it is possible to overcome. It all needs to start somewhere though, and creating a stronger branding brand on social media is where I intend to start. 

Learn More Digital Skills

This is a big one for sure. The more I want to pursue professional digital illustration commissions the more I need to learn about. I have no education in art or graphic design, so there’s a lot of info out there to learn. I have started a subscription to Skillshare in an attempt to hone in on the areas that I feel that I need to build my knowledge base upto be able to create work to more technical client specs. 

As in previous years, I want to revisit my goals throughout 2020. To see what areas I need to focus on, what priorities that might have changed and to celebrate my hopeful successes. If my business can grow in 2020 at even nearly the rate it did in 2019 then I will be one very happy gal.

Goals For 2020 Part 2

I am splitting this blog post up into 3 posts in order to allow me to discuss each goal in a little bit more detail, and hopefully shed some light on why it is a focus of mine for next year.

Be Spookier

This goal brings out the spooky little kid in me. I have always tried to strike a balance between creating work that lots of people can enjoy, and creating weird spooky silly little art for a very niche market of folk like me. This year I want to be brave and create Moore of the art that makes me so happy to create. It’s less about being more spooky I suppose, and more about having less inhibitions. I want to feel freer to create outside of what I perceive to be societal norm. Where is the fun in art that follows the rules?

Make More, Increase Handmade Offerings

I want to improve my craftsmanship, learn new skills and experiment a bit more. This means setting time aside specifically for making. In the last year I have spent dramatically less time practicing ceramics. I want to bring it back into focus and learn more wheel skills. I have product ideas for ceramics that I would like to explore too, aswell as some more ambitious plans for sculptures.

I’d also like to practice some more traditional printing techniques. Last year I dipped my toe into Lino printing and I’d light to explore this more. I’m keen to experiment with new techniques too, such as screen printing onto ceramic slabs for building.

Work Less, Live More

Striking up a better work/life balance is a priority for me this year. I genuinely believe that it will be good for my business as well as me. By making sure I have clearer boundaries it is easier to stay focused, and keep my ideas fresher, my enthusiasm high and give myself the distance you need from your work at times to be able to make the right decisions. I aim to read more books, cook more meals and spend more time with friends, because it’s all a bit sad I haven’t been making more time for it recently, and I want to do something about it!

My Goals for 2019, Progress So Far

It feels like a good time to revisit my goals for 2019. After all, what’s the point in setting goals if you just ignore them all year? It feels good to take stock, pats on the back for achievements and brain storming for achieving the not yet achieved.

My goals for 2019: a recap

  • 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

How you doin?

Firstly, I don’t think that the Instagram followers should have been the first thing I out here. I don’t think that this should be a priority, although I do of course want to grow them. I have grown my Instagram audience by 200 followers in two and a half months.  If this rate keeps up then I will be on track to achieve this goal by the end of the year. My main learning so far though is that there are other things for me to focus on beyond followers.

Stockists

One of those focuses is the stockists. I am super pleased to have achieved my goal of being stocked with two stockists already. One stall leases me a space in exchange for a monthly fee and a commission fee and the second bought some stock in a wholesale basis. This was definitely a focus for me these first few months and I approached these stockists myself and created order processes, SOR and wholesale price points, order forms and a brand new look Book. I have definitely been working hard on this and now aim to get even more stockists throughout this year.

Etsy

I am halfway to achieving 100 sales on Etsy and am confident that I am in the right track to achieve these sales figures and reviews too. The chances of this can only be improved by adding more listings to my store. I still have a bit of a way to go before I hit 50 products but I have introduced three new items to my shop so far. This has not yet been a focus for me too much this year, so is perhaps somewhere I need to point my attention towards after I have successfully secured some more stockists. The new listings I have produced have included new types of products though as badges, greetings cards and stickers have been added to my line.

Markets

Although I have looked fleetingly at having a stall at a niche market this is something I haven’t yet pursued. In my shirt research so far these stalls seem to be expensive. Either that or they clash with a Fair I have already secured a stall at. I have booked I for new fairs though and will be appearing at the Millenium Galleries Spring Craft Fair and the Manchester Print Fair also.

Commissions

Perhaps my top achievement so far is securing 3 large commissions through Wild in Art. This has definitely fuelled me up to try and achieve more throughout the year. When my goals have been achieved I am certainly not going to wait until 2020 to set new ones.

My Dreams As An Artist

So, we’ve talked about my goals as an artist for 2019 but what’s the point in having short term goals if you don’t have great big ole dreams too? Specifically, I’m talking my dream jobs as an artist and I’d like to share some with you.

Event Posters

It can still be a dream job if you already get to do it! I’ve done quite a few event posters, but do you know what? I love ‘em! Posters have to convey things quickly and capture people’s attention. It gives me reign to be bold and bright and all the things I love to be! Plus, seeing your work up all around town is a very awesome feeling!  

Murals

Again, let’s carry on with things I have done and love to do. Murals are the best way to indulge that naughty little kid that I’m sure a load of us artists were; the one who likes drawing on everything! There are few things as exciting as a paintbrush, paints and a huge blank canvas, especially when drawing on walls is exactly the kinda thing that was going to get you into a lot of trouble 20 years ago. Well look at me now mum and dad, these folks appreciate it, they even pay me for it!

Gig Posters and Album Artwork

Having managed a charity music festival a few years back I have had the opportunity to do some cool posters and graphics for music events too. Artists across artforms seem to vibe well together, and it feels like an extra nudge towards being truly creative when you are creating a poster for other artists. Find bands and gigs whose vibe match yours as an illustrator and there’s some beautiful synergy to be had.

Movie Posters

Film posters bring me genuine joy. I’m a huge fan of Mondo posters, the type that favour art and illustration over design. I am a sucker for cinema as it is and there are many great movies featuring great art. As a kid I event dreamed of being a matte painter after watching “The Addams Family” a billion times over. I love illustrated posters that take a film’s narrative and represents it to potential viewers through a single, inspiring frame. To create a poster like this for a client would be an absolute dream come true!

Apparel

Similarly to seeing your posters around town, seeing your artwork on human folks is intensely satisfying. I currently produce badges and patches and when I see them on someone’s jacket it makes me giddy. I’ve even been known to create one of knitted pieces too. The dream for me would be to team up with a talented seamstress and create pieces using fabric printed with my illustrated patterns. There are  some incredible illustrators who do this already and I yearn to be one of them!

 

Illustration Goals for 2019

I’m not usually the type to make New Year’s resolutions but as I enter the second year of being an illustrator it seemed necessary to set some illustration goals for 2019. They always say that you need a good plan as a starting point of any business and it occurs to me that although I have a secret perversion for graphs and spreadsheets I haven’t actually set myself any goals. I’m a Fundraising Events Organiser by trade and so there’s a lot of skills I have brought with me to illustrating. I keep detailed records, I’m a good budgeter, I’ve got tonnes of marketing experience and I am very well organised. But now it’s beginning to feel that this is the only reason I have gotten as far as I have up to now without a business plan.

 

But, what even are my goals?

 

This turned out to be a surprisingly difficult question. I know what I ultimately want and that’s to be financially able to increase my range of products. I also want to successfully gain more commission work. The difficult part is working out the next steps to that that I can achieve and measure in the next year. That’s right babes we are talking about SMART goals.

 

I like big goals and I cannot lie

 

I can’t quite work out if it’s a good or a bad thing that I achieved one of my goals by the end of 2018.  The goal was to get 100 likes on an organic reach post on instagram. After Stephen Hillenburg died I posted a Spongebob sketch tribute to him which did exactly that. Does this mean that my goals are too easy? I’d like to think that it means that I have a range of goal levels for the next year. Think about it like a video game where you can choose your difficulty level. When you are playing in expert it can be disheartening if you keep losing. Sometimes you need to conquer normal mode first. I think that I’ve taken this same approach with my goals setting. Some are easier than others, some I might not achieve. At least I will have tried though!

 

The goals

 

  • 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
  • Invest in a new type of product
  • Secure a large paid commission

 

These might all seem piddley and small to some people but it fits me. I have to remember the resource I have available in terms of time and energy as well as capital. The goals focus on growing what I am doing currently aswell as investing in new areas. Another goal is to continue this weekly blog for the next year. I look forward to updating you all about how I’ve done in December 2019 🙂

 

Have an amazing new year and good luck with your goals and resolutions too!