This month has been chalk full of planning for the future with a series of personal projects that include more products and courses than ever before. This beginning brainstorm phase is always difficult because it can be hard to decide out of all the things you want to do, what are the things you actually have time for.
If you are anything like me you have crazy shiny object syndrome and you want to do every idea that pops into your head, but you have that annoying logical side to your brain telling you that you are fucking crazy. So with that said, here are all the things I plan for 2018, I’ll let you decide if I’m being prolific or just downright dumb.
WOMEN OF ILLUSTRATION WEB SERIES
As some of you know Women of Illustration is something I have already started planning to release in early 2018 in an effort to support female artists in the industry. It started as a podcast, but after many failed attempts at recording and more technical difficulties than my sanity could take, we decided to switch over to a web series instead. This way all of my guests could be more visible and easily show off off their beautiful work to the world, as well as their awesome advice.
I’ve planned all 21 episodes and announced the guest line up on the new Women of Illustration website as well as the story behind why I started this project in the first place. The first episode will go live on my YouTube channel early January with early access granted to my amazing supporters on Patreon that have donated a $1 a month for the cause.
In this first season, I’ll interview both new and seasoned artists from all over the world so we can tackle topics on confidence, learning, finding your style, marketing, and so much more. Out of all the projects, I’m planning, this is by far the one I’m most excited about which is funny since it’s the only one that I don't make much money off of.
As an experiment in confidence, I started a vlog series on YouTube in an effort to be more transparent and to show the unglamorous side of being a designer living off your art. What started as a test in authenticity quickly turn into an obsession with video production where I share a weekly video journal about my rollercoaster freelance lifestyle.
Doing these videos makes me feel so much closer to my audience where I can help them avoid all the mistakes I’ve made so they can be a successful illustrator with as little stress as possible. After my first video in early November, I’ve released 5 vlogs and 2 live streams talking about everything from discovering your core values to how to launch products with 300 subscribers to show for it.
I’m excited to see the difference I can make in 2018 as I continue to post these videos regularly. Also, I never knew exactly how much stuff I do on a weekly basis until I made these vlogs and can’t help but feel like they have already made a difference in my confidence as an artist. Which as you know is something I think we all could benefit from.
Me and my good friend Noah Camp, a talented 3D lettering artist are partnering up to create a weekend conference for the lettering obsessed in Portland Oregon next Summer. We have four 3 hour workshops, and one panel planned to help artists like you make lettering gold. Our goal is to help you improve your skills and get hired by your dream clients doing professional hand lettering.
Saturday will be our Marketing Day focused on two workshops on how to get noticed on social media and how to build a website to attract clients and customers. Then on Sunday, we focus more on your craft where I’ll teach a workshop on building more decorative lettering layouts and Noah will offer a class on building 3D lettering in Cinema4D. I could not be more excited!
We even have a special panel planned called “Fuck the Mainstream” where we talk about how to better empower women and the LGBT community so we can create more opportunities for ourselves as artists.
More details will unfold in the upcoming months, but we plan to have the website up and tickets on pre-sale by early April. Eeek!
SOCIAL MEDIA ONLINE COURSE
I’ve really enjoyed teaching this year at PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Arts) but I think I’m ready to take my syllabus to the internet and develop my first online course available on my website. This online class will be just like a college course that will be 3 months long, with weekly live streams, assignments, and worksheets to help you reach your social media goals.
I’ll walk you through step by step how to better curate your work on platforms like Dribbble, Instagram, Behance, and Pinterest so you can grow your audience to get more eyes on your portfolio. You’ll even get to work on several illustration projects to add to your grid with critiques to help you make the best work possible.
I plan to release this course by next Fall at the latest, or it could be as soon as next Spring if I decide to leave PNCA to focus on providing classes on my own platform.
LETTERING ADVENTURES 2018
There was a time where I thought I wouldn't be able to finish Lettering Adventures this year, my monthly workbook series that teaches you a new style of vintage lettering every month. But it turns out if you work hard enough, you can accomplish your goals. Weird.
This year I created 12 issues of Lettering Adventures for over 300 students worldwide making over 16K on Patreon and an additional 6K from reselling digital workbooks on my website. After much thought, I’ve decided to continue my workbook series in 2018 exploring even more cool styles.
Plus, it’s amazing to have a place like Patreon where you can create your own monthly salary from your art. If you ever wanted to start one, I highly recommend it especially if you offer digital products or education. The world is thirsty for knowledge and you might just be the perfect person to teach it to them.
MORE STICKERS AND ENAMEL PINS
Creating more tangible products has been a goal of mine for years but I never had the balls or income to be able to invest in them. But this year I was able to produce my first sticker that to my surprise ended up selling out in the first week. Because of that, I’ve decided to add more stickers to my online shop and possibly enamel pins since they are the most affordable way to put my art in people's homes.
I’ve already made 5 designs that I plan to order early January with much more on the way. I’m excited to play with different materials like holographic, foil, and glow in the dark stickers to really add that wow factor in my shop.
GOING FROM DESIGN TO ART
Teaching at a fine art college and going to more craft fairs has really inspired me to do more art this upcoming year. It’s unbelievable all the things you can make with just some basic tools and art supplies. Not to mention that you can sell a hand-painted canvas for much more than a digital painting, printed on a poster.
I especially would love to partner up with my fiance Rick to make some pretty mind-blowing installations. After a fun night at the arcade bar, we started to break down how each of the machines worked with all the bright lights and timed fun sounds. Rick being an Audio Engineer that specializes in Automation, we thought “What if we combined our talents to make something just cool as these games and sold them at craft fairs?”
Since then, we have stayed up many late nights discussing ways to combine my art and his AV skills to make moving wood installations with automated sound and lighting. We even started drafting up a Rube Goldberg machine that breaks apart and puts together pieces of my lettering to fit together like a puzzle. Can you imagine how cool that would be?
WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING FOR 2018?
So there you have it, probably just the short list of all the things I want to accomplish for 2018 of which I’m fairly confident I’ll be able to accomplish. I have put in rough plans for how to execute all these goals while giving myself a more realistic time frame to see them through. This year, like most years, will come with it’s up and downs, but I’m more excited than ever to enjoy the ride.