I must confess, I've not had the best of starts to the new year. Last week I was laid up for a couple of days with the flu bug that's been doing the rounds. During those restful days between Christmas and New Year I was all ideas and had lots of plans on how to get stuck into new work and the new year. Then BAM!...I was floored by winter bugs.
It happens. I'm feeling much better now, but have found getting back into the flow of working a bit of an uphill struggle this week. So instead of fighting it, I've gone with it and allowed myself to take things gently, one day at a time...
Thankfully, I was pretty organised at the end of last year with getting some new occasions card designs done, so one of the first things I did was place an order with the printers and got those in.
These cards are a fair bit larger than my usual occasion cards - they are A5 sized and I thought a Kraft envelope would set them off nicely.
As part of my easing back into things, I set to work having a little play with photographing them.
This year I want to make things easier on myself and find a way of simplifying the way I go about a lot of the day to day stuff. For me, this year it's all about carving out more creative time without eating into chunks of family time (which I have been very guilty of in the past). The more streamlined I can make my processes, the better...
So I had a play with a different background for my product shots - mainly to capture the colours on my designs, but to also limit the amount of photo editing time I've had to do in the past with white backgrounds.
For card images, this set up seems to do the trick and has halved my 'faffing about with images' time (to give it my technical term!) which is a huge bonus - but what do you think? does it work?...
It's certainly helped get my Valentines and Mother's Day products ready to be listed and some of my online shops are already sporting them.
Next on my list is to get on top of current jobs to carve out some time to develop some new ranges in the next few weeks. Which is easier said than done as there never seems to be enough hours in the day. However, I do feel it is getting better and slowly but surely I am finding better ways to manage my time.
That's mainly thanks to regularly reading the Etsy & Folksy sellers blogs and a fab book called Creative, Inc by Meg Mateo Ilasco & Joy Deangdeelert Cho . I have had this book for some time, but have recently made time to go back, revisit it and pay full attention - especially the chapter about balancing your business and personal lives as it certainly stuck a chord with me. I thoroughly recommend it as a reference book for freelance designers.
Next week I am hoping to begin to run some more of my mid week blog mini series, Tea and Tips.
I have some more handy advice from my PR expert friend to share with you. I also want to bring back my Friday 'Something Pinteresting for the weekend' posts, just to share some inspiration around and let you have a peep at what has caught my eye that week.
Most of all, I am hoping that over the next few weeks, I'll be able to share lots of new work in progress snippets as I get stuck into some new collections for my portfolio and introduce some new products to my online shops.