My Goals for the Next Year of Side-Hustling

As you might have noticed I’ve hit a number of milestones this past week. It was my birthday, the end of my grad scheme, and my very first blogiversary. As a compliment to all of the reflective posts I’ve written of late, I thought I’d share something that looks towards the future: my goals for the next year in creating. I’m sharing the things I want to achieve by this time next year with you in part to hold myself accountable because if I’ve told you I’m doing it, I have to do it. So, please do keep me on track. Without further ado, these are the six things I want to achieve:

GROW MY STORE

I’ve started this new year of blogging by launching my store! Yes, that’s right you can now by greetings cards, postcards, stickers, prints, a zine and original drawings all by yours truly – check it out! So it only makes sense that I want to grow my store this year, both in terms of sales and traffic but also the range of products I stock. That means a bigger range of cards as well as a bigger range of different products. If you want to keep up with all of my new products and get exclusive discounts you should definitely sign up to my newsletter (in the sidebar) – it comes out every other Friday and it’s packed full of good stuff.

DO MORE COMMISSIONS

This year I’ve done a few illustration commissions, but I’d love to do more. The business side of what I do began with a more graphic design practice with logos and publication design, but through this blog, I’ve found that I really love illustration, and I love illustrating for other people. There’s an added challenge in illustrating for someone else and trying to capture what it is they want in visual form and that little interpretive puzzle is so much fun. Plus I’m always on the look out for more faces to draw so I’m definitely keen to do more portrait commissions. If you’d like me to draw something for you (whatever it may be) please do hit me up!

COMPLETE AT LEAST ONE EDITORIAL PIECE

As well as more commissions I’d like to get into doing editorial illustrations for magazines, zines, and books. I’m not very established at all so I don’t expect this to become a huge part of my practice anytime soon, but I’d like to at least dip my toe in the water. That means I’m going to have to reach out and try and pitch editors. But now I have my new portfolio it’s something I feel a little bit more ready to do. In addition to editorial illustrations, I’d also like to pitch some writing. I still don’t consider myself a writer but I have really enjoyed writing more as a part of this blog (and I hope I’ve gotten a bit better) so I’d like to try and develop that in a more professional setting too.

LEARN SOME NEW SKILLS

I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about the fact that I don’t know enough about design and  I haven’t done an arts degree. But there are so many courses and ways to learn more out there I really have no excuse not to educate myself on my own terms. So I’m going to start taking some skillshare courses to develop my skills. If anyone has any recommendations for courses about design, hand lettering, or animation (on Skillshare or not) please do let me know!

MAKE ONE BIGGER PIECE OF WORK

Blogging has meant that I’ve focused on consistently turning out content quickly, which has been a lot of fun and really helped me develop my skills. Writing and illustrating at least three posts a week has meant I’ve just had to create and become way less precious about making. But it has also meant I don’t spend as much time developing work. That’s something I always enjoyed when I was in school and working on pieces for weeks if not months for exams. So this year I’d like to make something that has a bit more substance to it. I’m not sure what form it will take. But I’d like to make something I’m truly proud of, that feels much bigger (perhaps not in physical scale but who knows) than anything I’ve made this year.

TELL MY MUM ABOUT IT

I still haven’t told my mum about my blog. I know that’s stupid. We talk all of the time. But I’ve just not felt ready, or like the blog was ready to be shown to her. I feel like if I could have gotten away with it I wouldn’t have told any of my friends. I need to get over that feeling and instead be proud of this platform and share it with her because I think she’d probably like it and it is something that’s now quite a big part of my life.

Share:

6 Comments

  1. September 8, 2017 / 10:18 am

    Hi Natalie,
    It looks like you truly have a strategy how to make something substantial with your blog, really inspiring! I mean you already are doing it with your shop, your work with me section and portfolio. I love seeing us bloggers finding that sweet spot which connects our day jobs to what we are doing here online. More than 2 years into blogging, it seems that for me it’s working together with publishers, to pursue my long term goal of becoming a published author one day. Blogging is not only helping to improve my writing style but also to get in touch with the publishers. I never did any paid sponsorships for my blog because I had to find out why I’m doing it first, now I identified the journey and et voila, out of nowhere the publishers send me free books. lol
    Anyway, I wish you all the best of luck with your mission & I’ll definitely come back!! 🙂
    xx finja | http://www.effcaa.com

    • Natalie
      September 13, 2017 / 10:44 am

      Thanks so much Finja! That’s the plan anyhow, we’ll see how it goes over the next year! It sounds like you’re really using your blog well, I feel like it’s so nice to hear about people using their platforms in a way to push them forward that isn’t just sponsored content and brand deals sometimes!

      Good luck with all of your writing, hopefully we’re both that bit closer to our goals this time next year x

  2. September 9, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    I look forward to seeing how these will turn out. Putting content 3 times a week is a massive commitment especially with a job alongside, so I hear you on that part. I love reworking a blog post over and over again, but sometimes I just don’t have the luxury of time. But there’s a lot to be said about being ‘less precious’, and being disciplined to put out content consistently.

    • Natalie
      September 13, 2017 / 10:40 am

      Thanks Zed! Yeah I think I’ve definitely learned more from consistency rather than perfecting everything to within an inch of its life – that said this next year I definitely want to up the quality

  3. October 3, 2017 / 4:11 pm

    I completelty understand about not showing your mum. I’ve told people I have one but it’s not really something I’m ready to share. There’s something I really like about it being purely for me and free from judgement.

    • Natalie
      October 4, 2017 / 9:28 am

      Exactly! I like it just being mine (and a bunch of strangers’)

Leave a Reply to finja Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *