Hi, my name’s Victoria and I love, I mean really LOVE, Christmas. So it will come as no surprise that I’ve been getting ready for the festive season sometime since July. Although this is not uncommon among makers and craft types (you’ve got to plan ahead, therefore are always thinking 3 months ahead) I love planning for Christmas.
I’ve added new Christmas card designs on Etsy and Not on the High Street (links below) and have just updated my events list to include some I’ve just been accepted at.
I must confess to feeling a bit nervous about having taken on so many events this year, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I’ve found I’ve quite enough Christmas cheer (and Christmas jumpers…) to see me through November and December, much to the chagrin of my stall mates, I’m sure. Come and say hi, it will do me good to see some friendly faces!
This post is all about the amazing http://www.justacard.org campaign. This organisation is all about creating awareness around independen artists and makers, and showing the public how even a small, seemingly insignificant purchase such as a greetings card can make all the difference to us small businesses.
I love doing markets and face to face events as I think it’s important for people to see the person behind the artwork or craft, and to realise it’s not all mass produced in a factory somewhere. However, people often don’t realise how many costs small businesses incur by taking part in these events, or even in making the products we so lovingly create.
The Just A Card blog tells the stories of all sorts of makers and highlights the unique dilemmas and successes of the members of this creative community. If you have a few minutes today I urge you to have a little read, and spread the word!
I was lucky enough to be featured on the Starlig Bank’s monthly blog feature ‘The Side Hustle’.
The blog chats to and showcases the hard work and amazing talent of all the grafters and hustlers who are following their dreams part-time, while their full time job pays the rent. I’m sure I can’t speak for all the part-time craft/creative community, but I’m definately hoping my efforts pay off enough that one day my ‘side hustle’ earns me enough to live off, even if this means a significant pay cut!
If you’ve been following me on Instagram or Twitter you will know that since the Spring I’ve been taking part in The 100 Day Project. This is a huge online project where whoever is involved creates their own hashtag and commits to posting a related photo for 100 consecutive days. I chose “#100daysofanimalillustration” (original, I know…) and have been posting a different animal illustration every day. I’ll admit I’ve not been great at posting on consecutive days – there have been times when real life got in the way – but I’m determined to see the project through and I’ve only got 17 more illustrations to go until I hit 100.
To make things a bit more interesting, every time I’ve completed 10 illustrations I’ve run a giveaway on my Instagram page, to give people a chance to win one of my artworks. Usually I offer to give away whichever I’ve painted the most recently, but this time I’ve decided to offer up my 10 most recently liked illustrations.
I’ve got just two more giveaways until the 100 Day Project is over. If you’re interested in winning an original watercolour illustration by yours truly, pop over to my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/victojeiro/) for more details. Good luck!
Another business milestone completed – this year I started sending out quarterly newsletters with updates and news from VictoriaDraws, and I’ve really enjoyed it! I try and add lots of images (as I know I get a bit dazed with lots of text), links to latest social media posts and of course any special offers I might be running.
So far so good, and people seem to enjoy receiving my updates. I’m wary of sending people too many emails, as it’s something I find really annoying, and has caused me to unsubscribe from more than one mailing list… however, if you fancy staying up to date with my news just follow this link and sign yourself up!
I’ve updated my events page to show upcoming markets – as you’ll see organisers have started planning their Christmas markets! There are some other events I’m waiting to hear back from so I’ll update Events when I hear back.
I’m finding that as a maker/seller you’re always working a few months ahead of the next celebration, something I’m learning to do but still need to get better at! I’ve designed a new Christmas card to add to my range, modelled on my ever popular Party Prawns greeting card, and this Christmas I’m thinking of offering a gift wrapping service at the markets I’m selling at. I think this will prove a popular option, particularly as we draw closer to the big day itself!
If you’ve seen my current business cards you may get the idea that I’m not great at decision making seeing as I couldn’t settle on one image for these, and you’d be absolutely right. A while ago I took the plunge and designed what I felt was a suitably sophisticated whale logo that I started splashing all over everything – but not my business cards. I couldn’t bear to change them when I, obviously, love them but other people seem to too.
After my off the cuff back board design at the Illustrator’s Summer Fair, I’ve been niggled by thoughts that my whale logo isn’t right, and that I should have gone with my first instinct; you guessed it.. SHRIMP. They’re fun, funny, cute and colourful. They’re silly and light-hearted and they make people laugh. That’s what most of my work’s about, and I think what I am about too, on a good day at least. I want a logo that’s recognisable across all the platforms I use to promote my business, and that includes my business cards.
I’m giving myself a week or so to mull it over as I can’t keep changing logos every three months, but I have a feeling this one will stick.. I’m trying it out on the blog, on Instagram, like trying on a new outfit to see how it fits. I’ve got to admit, so far, I think it suits me.
Those of you who follow my Instagram or twitter feeds know that I’ve been (really badly) taking part in the 100 day project. My aim is to paint and post a new animal watercolour illustration every day for 100 days. I admit, my commitment has been a bit patchy when real life has crept in, but I’m over the half way line and it’s time for one of my giveaways!
I’m giving away one of these 10 original watercolour illustrations, and announcing the winner next Friday 28th of July. If you’d like to enter simply: