Saturday, 7 July 2012

Happy Blogiversary! - My Blog is 2 This Week!

This week my blog is 2 years old! *Toot Toot*!!!

Now that it has reached toddler age, it's a good time to stop and reflect as the start of this blog marks the beginning of the 'Artwork By Angie' journey, because this is where I launched the website I created 2 years ago this week...Hold tight, grab a tea, and enjoy my rambling review of the past couple of years!...

Since it began a lot has happened and Artwork By Angie has grown to be fairly unrecognisable from it's early days.  At the start I had a very limited range of illustration prints and greetings cards and a portfolio of mainly commissioned portraits, personalised stationery and children's name portraits.

Today my order book has been taken over by lots of lovely commissions for greetings cards, stationery and gift wrap for the greetings card industry and branding packages for other small businesses...

A little while ago I posted on here about how I came to be doing what you see here on my blog.  Here is a link to that post in case you are interested to learn a bit more about the background to my business:

My decision to start with a blog to launch Artwork By Angie and dip my toes in to the online social networking world, came about because I wanted to create more illustrations to sell as prints and greetings cards from my website and I found that taking part in Illustration Friday was a really great source of inspiration...

I must say, blogging is still my favourite means of social networking, even though I can now be found pretty much everywhere else (as all the badges down the side of this blog will tell you!).  The reason for this is simple - the quality of the conversation and interaction on blogs is richer because to create an engaging blog post takes time, effort and thought.  I feel closer to the people I've met on social networks who's blogs I interact with because it feels like I know them better and have shared more of their creative journey.

Recent changes to the way facebook operates with business pages (ie. pay to promote posts) has left me feeling a little bit disgruntled with facebook (I know I'm not alone there!).  So for me, the blog is still my favourite and my best!...and it will be where I will continue to post as often as I can.  All roads for Artwork to Angie lead out of this blog! In the 2 years of blogging I found this works best for me.

 From the start, my vision for Artwork By Angie was clear 'to become self sufficient creating artwork (illustration or graphic design) for sale, commission or license'.  It has always been my dream to design pretty greetings cards and gift wrap ever since I was a student many, many years ago. Finally I am starting to 'Live that Dream' as I'm currently developing my second big range of greetings cards to be ready for launch at the Autumn Fair International in September...and the title of this next range?....'Living the Dream' of course! Observant followers of my sites will have already spotted some illustrations from this range sneaking into my shops.  In case you haven't seen them here they are...

...More new designs are in the pipeline so watch this space! The prints above can now be found in my Folksy shop here and my Etsy shop here.

Since starting out I've also been very lucky to have built a fantastic group of loyal and regular customers who's branding and graphic design needs I fulfil.  This has been steadily snowballing this year and the amount of new enquiries I've been getting has been amazing and, if I'm completely honest, overwhelming at times.  Regular followers of my sites will have seen some of the notices I pop on my website from time to time to help give an indication of waiting times for new branding jobs.  I have to say, it's now reached saturation point and I need to close the order book again...  

If you are interested in branding work PLEASE NOTE: My order book is looking full until well into September with the greetings card range I'm developing, jobs I have booked in and requests from my regulars.  I've not had much opportunity to get back to many people on my current waiting list to start finding slots for them towards the end of the year.  So I've got to stop and say NO MORE ON THE LIST! as I need to work my way through who I've already been in contact with - and that's not likely to happen fully until well into September.  The way my order book is prioritised its: greetings cards industry work first, then regular customers and then any new work I can fit in.  It has to be that way to ensure I can deliver work to my exacting standards and remain sane!  

I've always been, and will continue to be committed to offering my graphic design packages for what I believe is excellent value in terms of quality and price (I run a small business on a shoestring budget too, why would I offer something I wouldn't want for my own business)...but there is a rub to that, which is my availability to fulfil the volume of enquiries I've been getting lately.  So as of today, my book is shut to anyone looking for a NEW branding package that isn't already booked in or on my long waiting list - I'm so sorry about that!  However, there are plenty of other sparkling designers to be found on facebook, twitter etc - it's a mosh pit of talent these days! 

To my previous and regular customers: you know where I am if you need me!! Thank you so much for all your support, loyalty and in many cases, blossoming friendships :) 

Finally (yep I'm almost done, I did warn you this was a long one!)...I'd like to say a huge thanks to my lovely followers on here, facebook, twitter and pinterest - we have some great giggles when I get a chance to join in the party!... I only hope that the next 2 years will continue to be as much fun and see as much growth for my business as the past 2 years have...

Have a great weekend everyone :)
Best Wishes

Angie x