As the year comes to an end I thought it was an ideal moment to reflect on everything from this year. What a year!
Can I add first that last year sucked. I had no work, no money and was on the verge of packing in illustration for good (on multiple occasions). It took a lot of soul searching to get through that period. Seriously, it was tough 😞
I connected with my agent to ask for help and we came up with some plans to create new targeted portfolio pieces for book publishers. By February 2022 I was already getting new job offers.
The work I had created in my downtime was getting results. I was so proud. If I can offer any advice when you're in a quiet period of creativity and need to get back on it, is to take time out and just make new work. As much as you can. This was a turning point for me.
By the summer I had already worked on about 5 books and since then I have worked on about 10 and a couple of games.
It's been my busiest year as an illustrator so far! I'm so proud of myself but on the other hand I've suffered from burnout on a few occasions. Pushing myself to meet deadlines, working late into the night, and compromising on family time. I feel sad about that.
Taking 6 weeks of summer holiday in France helped to reconnect with my people, but I was still very much in work mode throughout. I'm making a promise to myself to take proper time off for holidays next year.
2022 was also the year I got myself a little part time job. On Monday and Friday I now work in a little greeting card shop near my home. The irony of working so much on so many projects hasn't meant financial security, as I still have periods where I'm waiting two months or more to be paid 👎🏻 so I made a decision to get a job to bring in regular money, and I can honestly say it was the BEST thing I could have done. Never feel guilty if you need to step up and get another job to keep things ticking over.
I also launched Petite Fleur Studio in May 2022 with exclusive prints and patterns for kidswear. This has been something I've wanted to do for so long so ticking this off my goals list was major. I'm going to be working on new designs in the new year. I'll share more then.
Ending this year and thinking about how much I've done and how quickly the year has gone has been a bit overwhelming. I'm giving myself a full 2 weeks off over Christmas now to fully rest, recharge and spend time with family in the UK and in France before 2023 comes crashing into our lives. Shock horror, I will not be taking my MacBook away with me. That's seriously a first for me 🤣
To end, I want to thank my agents for their support this year, and also all the publishers and clients new and old I worked with. It's been fantastic!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.