Last month I set myself five challenges and it is now time to see how well I did. I can honestly say that writing these challenges down on this blog it has encouraged me to try and achieve them.
01/2018 Challenges Checklist
Fully set up all my social media
I set up a Tumblr, admittedly I’m not particularly active on there but everything I post on Instagram shows up so people can see them. I know I’ll will be using Instagram far more than Twitter or Tumblr but they’re available for anybody who wants to find me. I also changed my Instagram handle, officially saying “a sort of” goodbye to graphic design (not entirely) as I am now @jennytaylordraws instead of @jennytaylor_graphicdesign cause its much less of a mouthful and explains better what I do – I draw, simple.
Actually keep on top of my Instagram
When I said this last month what I should have said was that I wanted to get into some sort of routine that made Instagram less of a core and more of a place to highlight me in the best light. Thinking that I had to spend all my time creating content just for Instagram seemed overwhelming and would leave little time for anything else. Especially considering that at the start of my career I’m getting maybe 20 likes (if I’m lucky!) on each post, it was seeming like a lot of effort which may not have been worth it. So, instead of uploading something because I felt I had to I wanted to make my feed something I was proud of; get it looking more pink and more “Jenny”.
I have downloaded an app called Later, which allows me to schedule my posts to specific days and times, and the best bit – upload the illustrations straight from my Mac (I know its only one less step but still). It meant that I could set myself challenges, do everything in one so that it didn’t feel like a drag and bang, the rest of my week could be given to other things.
Finish Setting up my Esty
I officially clicked the launch button to my Etsy site, and it was terrifying! I know it shouldn’t have been but putting myself out there in that sense was a very big step. Admittedly, launching the shop at 11 o’clock on a Saturday night was maybe not the best time to “open up” for business but the adrenaline took over and before I knew it I’d done it and couldn’t take it back. Obviously, I wasn’t expecting orders straight away (or even for a very long time) but I did something that I said I was going to do in 2018 and its not even February yet! Little round of applause for Jenny. Hopefully in six months I’ll get an order or two.
You can go and see it if you fancy it - https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TaylorMadeDesignUK
Work on Unfinished Personal Projects
I did actually get somewhere with this this month, probably because I don’t have a job to keep me busy so my “free” has become my “most of time”. After saying I would for literally years, I finally sat down and planned my Goldilocks and the Three Bears interpretation. However looking back on it now, as an developing illustrator, I know I can do so much better (that’s the case with most of my work – which is a good sign!) and I have a more distinct style that I should be showing off. So, this month I took to my sketchbook and filled it with scribbles of new characters, different bear designs and exciting plot lines for the new version to follow.
Learn new Techniques
Well I gave it a go didn’t I! If you read my last blog post you’ll know that I gave gouache a try and did okay. I mean for a first try it was pretty good if I say so. I know I need to get more practice in and I didn’t real try doing anything overly detailed, but I really like the finish it gave and how it paired with my ever-faithful coloured pencils.
I’ve made some tiny steps this month, but at least they’re in the right direction
What I plan on doing – 02/2018
1 Investigate Agencies (or at least work on style) having a more consistent style will definitely help me as an illustrator. I want to be recognised when people look at my work, whether that be my Instagram, my portfolio or my sketchbook. It makes sense that I’m experimenting now, I’m new to this and have to find that niche that makes me “me”. I also need this if I want an agent, lots of finished work, that gives me my identity, so it’s probably a good idea to get on with this.
2 Find a way for people to notice me, I want to create something to send to studios to get them to notice me. I know I’ve been trying to do this for the last 7 months, but this time I want them to notice it. Make something they will use, maybe even everyday as a healthy reminder of me. All I know is that they’ve had enough teabags, so NO TEABAGS!
3 Keep working on Personal, Unfinished projects, just like last month I want to continue with my own projects, whether I just complete the thumbnails or I get stuck into the real illustration I just want to look back and see that its getting somewhere.
4 Research and Read More. I can admit that I’m really bad for this; I have loads of book on illustration (both informational and inspirational) which I flick through or read a little of then forget. I really think they might help me so I should really use all the resources I have to learn from.
5 Set Myself a Drawing Challenge (for March) I have been really good with my Instagram this month (or I believe so at least!) but in March I want to set myself a challenge. By the end of the month I want 31 illustrations with a consist theme. I just want to force myself to think and come up with ideas for things, since uni I’ve not really had to do this, but giving myself briefs again made me create work that didn’t just feel like a post to fill a square, it actually felt like work I could use in a portfolio sense.
So, next month I will look back at this list again and see how much I achieve.
Bye for now