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Is it too late to say Happy New Year?

I never used to make new year’s resolutions. I was always of the opinion that if we really want to change something or try something new, then we will, no matter what month of the year we’re in, and to an extent this still rings true to me. Last January however, I thought I would give resolutions a go. I was full to the brim with ideas and had been spending more and more time drawing and painting. I was eager to share my work with others and, having always had this niggling desire to build my own business, no matter how big or small, I knew I needed to do something.

Looking back, it was over the Christmas and New Year 2017/18 break that I really began to take myself seriously. I painted a long-tailed tit and I fell in love with it; in love with the painting, the bird, and with the new-found confidence it gave me in my self. And so, at the start of 2018, I made my first proper resolution: I would turn my hobby into something more and set up Sarah Jane Art.

A year later, over Christmas 2018/19, my boyfriend, Matt, and I decided to each make a list of things we achieved in 2018 and our goals and aims for 2019. I really enjoyed the process and thought I would share with you my proud moments of 2018 and my goals for the coming year.

Here are my top five 2018 achievements:

  • Setting up Sarah Jane Art and my online Etsy store – this is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Setting up my online Etsy store was a real learning curve and has started me on the path of online selling and encouraged me to use social media more thoughtfully

  • My first craft market – I was sooooo nervous before this! It’s such an odd feeling putting your work out there and having other people look at it. I took part in four craft markets over 2018 and have learned just how important it is to carefully consider which market is best suited to your business. What is the focus of the market? Who is the average consumer? How much will a stall cost? and so on. Every craft market is different and will suit some businesses / crafts better than others

  • Climbing Mount Toubkal – A little different to my other achievements, but climbing to the summit of Mt Toubkal (Atlas Mountains, Morocco) at a height of 4,167m is an experience I will never forget. It has to be the hardest physical challenge I have ever done

  • Promotion at work – who doesn’t like a promotion!?

  • Completing a short course in illustration at the Arts Institute Bournemouth (AUB) – I loved this course. 10 weeks covering the different types of illustration and how to approach tackling a brief. I learned some invaluable skills and knowledge and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in illustration (just bear in mind that it is an evening course and you need to stay at least half alert until 9pm, which after a long day in the office, can be quite tough!)

And looking ahead, my 2019 goals include:

  • Greetings cards – I recently came across an old sketchpad full of greetings card designs I had scribbled up about 10 years ago. Greetings cards are something I love to both give and receive and so it was natural for me to focus on these as one of my first products. I really want to build my range of cards further this year and have already started sketching some new designs!

  • Expanding product range – Alongside prints and cards, I am hoping to expand my product range this year. Ideas are still in their early stages but watch this space! :)

  • Improving skills in calligraphy & lettering – I love love love calligraphy. I started practicing more last year but am determined to get better. I recently brought a book called Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe (See here) with the intention of improving my skills and developing my own style

  • Yoga – I have done yoga on and off for a few years now, but never consistently. I find it incredibly beneficial, physically and mentally, and so I have made a resolution to make it a part of my weekly routine.

So there they are. My aims for 2019. What are your thoughts on resolutions? I would love to hear if you’ve made any.

Sarah x

On top of the world - Mt Toubkal Summit 2018

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