2021 Recap and 2022 Dreamin'

2021 Recap and 2022 Dreamin'

Please do not, for one second, expect this to be a well-thought-out, outlined, and/or organized post. It will be just like every other post—whatever the hell comes shooting out of my brain as my fingers fly across the keyboard... the 4 fingers I actually type with. 

I'm still here.

It's 2022. I'm still in business. I'd like to begin here because I have a tendency to get grumpy about imperfection but it's worth noting that I survived an entire calendar year of self-employment during a pandemic without financial assistance. I still pay my share of the rent. I still buy groceries. I still pay for utilities. Josh pays more because he makes more—but he has yet to cover any bill on my behalf.

I learned that shows are pretty good.

Let's address the elephant in the room first. Covid has affected, and will continue to affect, the way shows and markets take place. That aside:

Shows/markets/cons get me in front of new audiences. If Art on the Avenue is any indication, I can expect a healthy burst of new Instagram followers, newsletter subscribers, and sales for each one I participate in. As such, I've already applied to several in 2022. I'll keep you updated about which I'm attending on all the socials.

Design contracting is... a thing.

Most of my income in 2021 came from design contracting. That was extremely helpful. I just have a problem with the fact that it feels a little too similar to the work I was doing full time but without the benefits and salary associated with full time jobs. So... If possible, I'd like to separate myself from it a bit this year, while still taking on enough to support me financially, if the opportunities arise. This is a weird relationship.

I need some passive income.

My art style takes a long time to complete. As such, I can't always rely on commissions. I would have to charge a LOT in order to make it worth my time and the average client can't afford that. SO.. It would be nice to create some more work that I can license or sell on POD sites to get me past this world in which my hours and my dollars are so closely tied to one another.

I need to complete projects sooner.

This does not mean draw faster (although, that would be awesome if it naturally happened). It means eliminate the space in between jobs/tasks/steps where I stare at the blank page unable to begin. The more work I finish, the more money I'll make. Seems really simple when I write it that way—and it is. But that doesn't make it easy.

I should do more personal projects.

I feel this teeny tiny little glimmer of hope that I'm beginning to understand where I want my work to start heading. Like... the TINIEST FUCKING GLIMMER. But it's there. And the only way it will get bigger is if I draw more. I just need to draw more. I say this all the time lol. One day, perhaps I will. First I have to get out of my own way.

The only constant is change.

This is a stupid cliche but I lived it first hand this year so it's worth mentioning. I'm a planner. I love to plan. I love to know EXACTLY what is going to happen. That... doesn't appear to be possible within the first few years of a business. Could I plan a little farther out than I currently do? Sure. Will I ever have a perfect one-year plan that doesn't change at all over the course of 12 months? Abso-fucking-lutely not. So... this year... when I looked down at the 52 year planners and goal setting workbooks I had in front of me, I just... didn't know what to write. Because I knew it wouldn't stick. And... I think that's ok.

Cleaning my plate is the most important task right now.

As I mentioned in the last post, the most important thing I can do for myself and my business right now is to finish 3 lingering projects:

  1. A commission from last year that is almost finished.
  2. A large, multi-part commission for a friend that I've been avoiding for over a year.
  3. Updating my design portfolio; which, at this point, is about 5 years out of date.

This is going to be a slog but I have to face this shit and start fresh. 

Goal for January: Finish numbers 1 and 2 on the above list.

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