Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A New Cornish Stockist & A Feature on Print & Pattern...

Rush Hour in Polperro!
School's out for summer here today and we've been looking at places to go and visit in the holidays.  Cornwall is high on the list - especially since my lovely new stockist, Seahorse in Polperro sent me these pics of their shiny new shop.  I love the image above which I have named 'Rush Hour in Polperro!'...I especially love the outfits the gents are wearing!...

Seahorse is stocking lots of my gift wraps and cards at the moment.  They also stock lots of other lovely gifts and crafts.  Best of all, at the back of the shop is a great gallery space and I know from good authority that the owners of Seahorse are always keen to hear from artists and crafters who would like to be considered to exhibit their work in the gallery section of the shop...just saying ;)...

Seeing those lovely photos of the little gallery shop by the sea has made me even more excited at the prospect of having some fun family camping trips and days out over the next few weeks - these are precious times ripe for making happy memories, bring it on!...

 In other news - a little dream I've had for a while came true last week.

My designs were featured on Bowie Style's Print & Pattern blog.  I've been following the blog for a very long time now (it's one of my faves).  I also have the books which are a feast for the eyes and handy for a quick blast of colour on a dreary grey day!

To say I was a little bit excited to see my designs posted on Print & Pattern is a massive understatement.  I feel like I have come a very long way since my first steps with my business and it's given me a real boost to press on with everything...

I'm not sure how much blogging and social media stuff I'll manage to keep on top of in the coming few weeks.  I'll try and keep my hand in, but don't be surprised if things go a little bit quiet as I want to get as much out of the family time we have together before school starts up again.

However you're planning to spend the next few weeks, I hope you all have a very lovely summer!

Best wishes

Monday, 14 July 2014

Happy Blogiversary! 4 years old this week....


Today's post is a special anniversary one.  This week marks the 4th anniversary of my very first blog post. Which also means it's the 4th anniversary of my website/beginning of 'Artwork By Angie'.

What an incredible four year journey it has been.  A journey that has made me extremely thankful that I found the courage to make that very first post and to keep at it to see where it took me.

Well, it has certainly taken me and my work to places I only ever dreamed of.
With this post, the images are of groups of designs that I think represent each of the past four years....

2010- In the beginning there was 'The Bird's and The Bees' collection 
 Back in the summer of 2010, my youngest daughter began nursery.  Prior to that I had been doing very occasional freelance graphic design projects and a few portrait commissions here and there. All of it was very word of mouth and was as much as I could handle whilst my children were babies.

For the months leading up to my daughter beginning nursery, I knew I wanted to get a collection of cards and prints together and create a website shop for them and see what happens from there.  I also had the idea to perhaps do some craft fairs and definitely open a shop on an online market place - a Folksy shop for starters.  So that was my plan then.  My goal back then was to simply see if I could make some sales at all... at the very least, see if anyone would be in the slightest bit interested in my designs.

If you had asked me back in July 2010 where I hoped it would all be in four years time, I would have said 'making enough for me to not have to go out and get a job...and for me to still be enjoying my art'.

To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure whether that was achievable and was quite prepared to face the prospect of getting a job.... 
2011 - The Birds and The Bees were joined by the 'Life is Sweet' collection.  Life is Sweet was the first of my collections to make it to a large trade event that year (Autumn Fair International).

Thankfully, so far, it's not had to come to that.  I guess you could say I achieved what I set out to do to this point.

I can't say it's been easy.  It hasn't.  It's been the hardest I have ever worked in my entire life...and when I consider all the hours I've put in over the past four years, it is definitely the worst paid job!  

However the thing you can't put a price tag on is the joy I get from designing and the freedom I feel from being my own boss. I feel very lucky and very grateful to say that I love my job - as I get to do what I love most, most of the time.

Besides, there is so much more to do and so many more opportunities to pursue.  I may be four years in, but I feel like I've only just scratched the surface.  I've learned so much, yet there is so much more I need to learn.... 

2012 - The Life is Sweet range expanded into my first ever gift wrap designs.  Later that year, my first Christmas collection, 'Tis The Season' was developed.

Around this time last year I reached a turning point with the business.  I was overwhelmed with the amount of orders I had.  I desperately needed to create some thinking and planning time to work out what the best way to take my business forward was as I felt like I was just reacting to external pressures and not necessarily in a way that had my best interests at heart...

2013 - This was the year for 'Living the Dream' - a collection of 20 greetings cards and illustration prints,
glowing with sunshine

So, just before the summer of 2013, I stopped.  Closed my order book. Took a look at it all properly, did some research, made some firm plans and set some SMART goals.  

Those of you that have ever had experience in business management or marketing may be familiar with SMART goals.  For the benefit of those who've not seen it before, this is what it means...

When you set a goal for your business, for the best results aim to make it SMART:

Doing all of that was the best thing I ever did.  

A year on and those plans have stood me in good stead.  They've helped steer me away from making highly risky decisions and are helping me to stay focused on what is best for me and what I need and want to get out of my business...
2014 - This year is all about Bloomin' Lovely gardens with 12 new greetings cards, prints and lots of new gift wrap designs.  It's the first year I have a calendar too. 

Which brings us up to date.  2014 so far has been a far more relaxed year.  
There are still struggles.  There is still lots to do, pressure of deadlines, balancing books, decisions to be made - hey, that's business for you!

 I feel far more relaxed about it all because I'm wiser and better prepared than this time last year, when I didn't even feel like I had time to think it all through properly. The main benefit of that is - now my mind is filled with lots of ideas, options and hope for the future.... 
Snippets of some of the sightings of my designs in shops and trade fairs from the past four years.
My happy little creative corner where all  my designs were made.
A small, but much loved space that has served and continues to serve me well. 

Although there are never enough hours in the day to do everything, looking back at all the work I've developed over the past four years, I'm really excited about the prospect of seeing what all the work I will develop in the next four years (all being well) will look like....and my main goal from here on in is 
to simply keep going and see where it takes me next! 

Have a lovely week
Best wishes

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

4000 Facebook Likes Giveaway Winner Announced!...


Thank you to everyone who took part in my sunny giveaway to celebrate reaching 4000 facebook likes.

As promised, at 9pm this evening the giveaway closed, I gathered all the names (there were around 200 of them, I've been steadily gathering them all week if truth be told).

Each of the names were entered on a spreadsheet so that I could paste the list into a random name picker application...

This random name picker from ClassTools.net (it's very good)... 

When I hit the fruit machine option, all your lovely names whizzed round and landed on....



Thank you so much to everyone who took part, I'm deeply humbled by the fantastic response and all the lovely comments.  There is only one prize I'm afraid, I wish I could offer more.
When I reach my next milestone I WILL do another giveaway and there will be discount codes and offers coming up which I will keep you all posted about.

Meanwhile, Jenny Coles, please contact me with your address details so that I can get your prize off to you.

Many Thanks

Angie :)

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Giveaway Time - 4000 Facebook Likes


I've just checked over on my facebook page to see that my page has reached over 4,000 likes.  
I'm so, so happy, that has made my day!!

Which means it's time for a bright and sunny giveaway!!

It's all thanks to every lovely follower...and a special thanks has to go to all the fantastic people who helped share and shout out my page yesterday to ensure the milestone was reached and I could launch this giveaway to share my joy with you all.

My blog will be 4 years old in a few days time (I'll mark that in some way on a separate blog post).  Followers of this blog will know that the blog launch was really the beginning of my Artwork by Angie journey.  A couple of months after launching the blog I launched the facebook page - so it seems very fitting that around the 4th anniversary of my little business that I can celebrate with you all by having a 4,000 likes giveaway!!...

So here we go - this is what one lucky winner will get.

1 framed 10x8 illustration print of  'Good Day Sunshine'....

1 pack of 2 sheets of 'Living the Dream' gift wrap....

...and a set of 5 greetings cards which include each of these designs:

- Everybody's Gone Surfin'
-Living The Dream
-The Earth Laughs in Flowers
-Bloom Where You Are Planted
-Plant Dreams....

All you have to do is like, share, comment, on facebook or on here (I always run the giveaways on the blog as I'm never too sure about facebooks rules).  As long as I can see you've done any of those, each action will be counted.  

The giveaway is open until 9pm on Weds 9th July which is when a winner will be randomly selected by a random selector app/ tool/do-dah!