Artist goals 2020 achieved?

It’s almost the end of the year. Traditionally for me keep on going, I do a reflection and make plans for next year. Wondering when starting this blog, do I even make goals for 2020? I should have, right, since it’s a tradition, but I can’t remember posting/having a blog about goals for 2020. This year was a full of changes. We start the year with the pandemic (which is still not over yet). I start to work at home starting from March. We can’t meet friends or go on holidays (we had planned a trip to Japan) and conventions are being cancelled. It’s a year of building up mental stress and try how to deal with it. It feels like reorganizing your life again. 2020 was also a year with little successes like manage doing a lot of small things which would only be postponed.

I finally found a list in my Google Keep of merchandise which I want to make. Obviously, there was no convention to sell them, but I made my own shop. I’ve promoted it much, but that is something I want to do next year.

After the intro got out of the way, let’s start drive in the main topic:

Merchandise goals of 2020

Poster/print/illustrationPlanned: 9Done: 8Goal achieved: Yes!
ButtonsPlanned: 15Done: 7Goal achieved: No…
CharmsPlanned: 15Done: 15Goal achieved: No…
StandeePlanned: 5Done: 4Goal achieved: No…
Wall scrollsPlanned: 2Done: 0Goal achieved: No…
MugsPlanned: 3Done: 0Goal achieved: No…
ArtbookPlanned: PlanningDone: No…Goal achieved: No…
SketchbookPlanned: PlanningDone: No…Goal achieved: No…
Note/memopadPlanned: 2Done: 4Goal achieved: Yes!

Seeing this list with many goals not being achieved is kinda depressing. Though, I’m proud of the amount illustration I did. The year before I was way more productive. (Didn’t met my goals either ^^;; but looking of the amount of stuff what I did make was quite a lot.) To be honest, because my plans were convention driven, it was a strange year. My motivation hit hard when the convention being cancelled or postponed one after the other.

At the start of the year I promised myself enjoy more of the process rather rushing things right before the conventions. “Starting things on time to keep the stress level as low as possible and so keep on being productive all the time.” If there’s no convention, then the part”on time” has no meaning any more. So, for months I feel empty and doubting my artistic abilities. In the main while, I tried to get updated as much as possible with the new about the virus, but getting more and more exhausted when it’s only getting worse. The whole pandemic made me realize even more how selfish people can be. At a certain moment I stopped following the new and had little more room to breath.

This is already an old picture. The setup has changed a little.


I’ve started to plan stuff in 2018 and it’s really helped me to get done. Okay, I did not much in 2020, but is was a weird year. It helped me immensely in 2019. Some where in the middle of the year the app Wunderlist stopped being supported and I need to switch to a new task manager app. I heard a lot of good things about Notion and decided to try it out. And oh boy, I’m so happy with it. It’s a task list, wiki, note, progress board, planner and you name all-in-one app. It’s super flexible (I will make a post on Notion) and makes my life so much easier. I know for example that illustration took me 19 hours to finish and chibi 10 hours. With Notion, I’ve more overview of the tasks I need to do for a week. I can break them down for each day. So, when I finished a task for work and the work day is over, then I can stop. Clean my desk and do my own person task on the list. (I was basically using the scrum method). At the end of week, I reviewed the amount of task what I did and adjust it for the next week. This helped me to reorganizing my life.

However, the motivation didn’t went back entirely. What actually what did helped and found out recently, it’s that not the convention deadline that kept my drawing spirit high, but rather the exithment when holding the fysicall product in my hands. Let me explain, a few weeks ago I send a few illustration which I finished before the pandemic in Europe started to the printer company. Normally, I would wait, because it’s much more cost effectient to bundle a more illustrations together. Then the package came, and it sparked the joy of having the illustration printed and it was so good that I wanted to draw straight away. After that, I dusted my Silhouette Portrait off and I’m trying to make stickers/sheets and memopads. So this lesson is learned, and it took me almost a year to realise to find something else to keep me on going.

I also had non chibi illustration but that was within an other package.

Now on to reflecting the goals.

Poster/Prints/illustration

This category contains not only illustrations as merchandise, but also commissions and gifts made for friends. I’ve put the same effort into them ^_^ I’m so happy that I did more illustration than planned, though the last two illustration was done in the last week of December ^^;; One of them was an enjoyable traditional piece. How long was it ago since I’ve used a real brush? At least 3 years ago? I forgot how fun (and frustrating) it was and will definitely do more in the near future. As for improvement, everything stays the same I think. That’s something I need to do something about.

Buttons/charm

Normally buttons and charms go hand in hand, because I create buttons out of the chibies which I use for charm. Next year I wanna do simple button designs for Genshin impact (am so addicted to it right now!) and a separately charms design, since the latter one will be printed bigger. To be honest, I find this year hard to draw chibi’s, there was a lot of love, hate and much procrastination. I usually draw a lot of chibi’s at the first half of the year whereas most of the conventions were planned. Since the cancellation happened and coping without convention goal/deadline. I focus more on illustrations.

Something new I did with the charms are that they have totally different design on the front and the back. It was twice as much work. I was so proud of them, to bad can’t show them off during cons. I sold a few though online and am so grateful. I need to get the already finished charms to be printed, but that definitely when I have more charm designs ready, because it really pay off when ordering in bulk.

Standees, wall scrolls, mug and passport cases

I didn’t manage to do any standees, wall scrolls or mugs. I did thought about mugs though, but didn’t bother or feel motivated to think about it. I think I will skip next year from trying and be more focus on drawing illustration. I was not happy with my art and want to do improve it, so I’m want to focus more on drawing. New mugs will definitely come, but just not next year maybe the after. I still like seeing them with my art. ^_^

books

Art book is something I want to make for a long time but I never made time to execute it. It doesn’t have to be a book full illustration, it can sketches, art compilation from old vs new artwork, comic or information book with art. Every time I tried, it fails. Making a book is a long process and the reward is immediately. I don’t… I should cut the process down into miniscule pieces and do them without thinking of the of the end product. This mean the reward will be given immediately, even though not showing my work to the world just yet.

Note/memopad

I made a few memo pads this year and it was super fun to do it. I want to do more designs. The pads are home cut and bound. It’s more work, but I enjoyed the process. I can combine more designs into one pad and also don’t have to order 50 pads of one design. Making custom memo pads is so much fun and worth. I will definitely make more. (will probably make a post of the process).

2020 was a strange and exhausting year. I’m glad that it’s over.

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