Saturday, 24 July 2010

Let's get drawing more often.

Some people know my drawings as the cartoons I make once a fortnight for the "Handmade In Europe" Blog. Here is poor Steve putting up with Wendy's obsession with crafting.

Still more people know my drawings as t-shirt and card designs on This is my Andy Roarhole dinosaur t-shirt.

But I have recently got myself a fun book full of drawing excercises. This took a whole week to get here from Amazon. This is pretty awful when you know that the main warehouse for Amazon is Swansea (less than 30miles from my house) I really wish they would get themselves a drive-thru like McDonalds - I'll bet it's possible

Anyway, drawing excercise 1 was to draw a page full of cats. I wasn't very comfortable using a sharpie pen; my drawings are usually drawn in pencil (lots of rubbing out), gone over in ink, scanned into the computer and then coloured with the graffics download But it was fun to do

If you look, you should be able to find a pretty lady cat, a scardy cat, a mean cat, a cat made from just straight lines, a circular cat, a triangular cat, a wicked cat, a cat wanting his belly scratched, a cat that looks like a mouse and lots more

Some I did from an abstract line, some I did quick and some I took more time on. I wanted a good mix of realistic, cartoon and abstract - what good fun

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

How to sort out a rotten month

This has been a pretty terrible month

But I can only blame myself; I've been putting off all the things I need to do to make my business and home life work well together.

I've had no sales and have made hardly any stock and have done hardly any promotions either -in short, I need to sort myself out a bit.

So from now on, I'm going to give myself a mental kick in the backside and just get on with it.

My first thing to do is to sort out my head;

  • No more sneaky naps in the afternoon (I don't sleep well in the night when I nap and it means I am wasting time too)

  • To tell myself that I can make a go of my businesses. Others do the same thing and make money and I have made money this way in the past months so I must stick to the things that work. I'm going to make a few more of the "old favorites" that have sold in the past but I haven't bothered to recreate for the shop.

  • To not just start lots of projects but to finish them too. - this is a big one - I have lots of items "on the needles" but not much in the shops

  • Don't forget those that got you here. This has a few points to it. First is that the Greeting Cards sites. These gave me the confidence to see that I could make something that others like and buy, and gave me the venture capital to start the toy shops on Artfire and dawanda. And second is my mates - the friends I've made since I started. I haven't spoken to many of my Zazzle mates in ages and they were always very supportive. and my newer mates I've made at Artfire and Dawanda who really are the greatest.

  • To talk about my businesses with pride. When you tell folks that you kinda have a hobby and have sold a few - with head held low and mumbling - that's not impressive. So I will hand out my business cards with pride; show them how professional I am - after all, I've made international sales without doing much local marketing at all so I'm sure it can only help. Almost no one around here knows that I am an international best-selling artist in America and Austrailia on the "Print on demand" sites - they may even have my artwork in their houses and not know it (cards, t-shirts, mugs etc)

  • To promote online sorry, yes, that means more posts on my goodies - but then they are fun goodies ha ha. Must start using my neglected facebook page more -even though I don't really like facebook; it does reach lots of people.

  • Work to a schedule. some days I work lots, and others I hardly work at all, I'm promising myself a certain amount of time every day to be dedicated to actual artwork, knitting, designing, or promotion every day. They are the times of day I can afford to use up constructively.

  • Make what the people want As well as making the goodies that have sold well in the past, I must also find out what people want? What categories don't offer enough choice to the customer? what is on at the cinema? what critters are popular? what do people use or need lots of? What would I want as a present? What would the various age groups want as a present?

  • Don't lose your sense of fun OK so I want this to work, but I also don't want to be stuck with doing "the same old thing" every day either. So lots of variation and you may start to see some new characters appear in the shops and on the cards.

I think that next month is going to be a better one. No I KNOW that next month is going to be a better one.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Creative challenge 52 in 52 - June 2010

Hurray another month done. Not one of my more productive months but some fun items here to add to my ever-growing list of completed items.

So what do I have for this month?

  • A sock kittee in candy colours. These are so cute, the arms and legs are actually knitted in place not sewn - making them on of the oddest items I've ever made.
  • A single pink glove for my daughter. Yes, she is a Hannah Montannah fan and dressed up as her for a charity-day at school.
  • A tote bag made from daisy granny squares. This was made for a challenge in my "handmade in Europe" group. The challenge being "Summer Flowers" See what the others made at the Handmade in Europe blog.
  • A little pink wrapover top. Or the "big booby top" as I now call it. Not terribly happy with how it turned out - Maybe that's why I don't tend to make clothes.
  • Finally another kittee - this one is in Summer Berries colour. The other one sold so quickly I will have to make another of those too.

So totals:-

January = 9 items
February = 7 items
March = 9 items
April = 7 items
May = 8 items
June = 5 items

That makes 45 items in 27 weeks

ooh I'm getting closer - no more big booby tops me thinks ha ha