2017 has been an exciting year in a lot of aspects of my life. This year marked the third year of working full time as a freelancer, designing band merchandise, something I never imagined was possible. I always felt I would be stuck at a 9-5 job that was just getting me by and always reaching for "the dream". Whether that came from constantly being told I won't be able to make a career out of designing for a niche market from many different people, growing up in the Midwest where those opportunities were a desolate road to walk down, or maybe it was just self doubt in myself....where it came from, I'm glad to say that I'm fully living "the dream" and have been for 3 years.
Having the support from my wife to make the leap into full time freelance meant the world to me. So, when she came to me displaying a desire to start her own business, I couldn't do anything other than give her my full support. This year we went full steam ahead on growing her mobile grooming business, and man is it booming. I can't be more proud of my wife and all her hard work making a success of her business in such a short amount of time.
With the growth of this new business, it does two things - One, gives us more of a security blanket financially due to the inconsistent nature of my job...which man, is great for my psyche. Two, because I help on busy days and sort of "on call" if you will when things go wrong or if something is needed, I'm not 100% focused on my freelance like I used to be. Some days I feel like I work 2 jobs and although it doesn't take away from me meeting deadlines or the quality of work I'm producing, it does mean less time to market myself, keep my website updated, among other things. I've become extremely lazy in that department because the work comes in whether I do these extra things or not....until it doesn't.
With how quick everything happened with the new business and tour/festival season in full force, it was hard to catch a breath. Well, Hurricane Irma made sure we both had time to catch it. Having a Category 5 hurricane heading straight towards you, it's a scary experience. When we eventually got the order to evacuate, it was a surreal feeling. Locking the door to my house that I had just bought a year prior and not knowing if you'd come back to it at all, I can't even explain how it feels. We ended up staying with my brother in Tennessee for a few days and on the way back, our van broke down in Georgia which extended our stay. Although stressful, this gave me time to refocus myself because truthfully, life was just moving a little too quick.
It was time to refocus.
Fueling off this idea of "refocus", I've made some big changes to the website. Instead of my visitors being dropped off at the home page and having to choose what they want to look at, my work now smacks you right in the face, all you have to do is scroll. That's what you've come to look at, so why force you to click to see it? Another new addition to this website, more color. My previous websites have been dark, desaturated and a little depressing looking. Why? I've always been into the darker/scarier side of art and wanted to portray that overall aesthetic. With the addition of more color, I hope it brings more life to my artwork.
Another new aspect to my site is a "designs for sale" page. This year, I made a folder on Dropbox and whenever someone would ask to take a look at available designs, I would send them there. Seems kind of odd to do it that way when I have a website perfectly capable of displaying all my work in one place.
Lastly, is the addition of this blog. I'm going to try to keep it updated throughout every month of the year. I have ideas for weekly posts and things for other designers to be excited about, but those things aren't perfected yet so that's down the road.
Now that I've bored you with my wall of text, hopefully you enjoy the new website and will be checking back from time to time to see what I'm up to and take advantage of some of things I'll have to offer down the road.
Until next time