Felt cactus pattern from Big Little Felt Universe by Jeanette Lim.
It's New Year's Eve and time to set some professional goals for the new year.
This year I would like to:
1. Start taking custom work.
Although I made all kinds of plush in the past, I was really afraid to take on custom work because I felt like I may not be able to make a successful sewing pattern for a new animal. Some of my patterns worked by chance, really, and others had taken a long time to develop. People would often assume that I could make just anything, but the truth was I didn't think I could.
After working on this soft toy design book for nearly nine months I am now in a totally different place. I have learned a tremendous amount about pattern design and I've made all kinds of new animals (I can't wait to show you!). My skills have jumped by leaps and bounds. And now I know that, yes, I can make anything! It may take a bunch of prototypes, but I've learned to enjoy that part of the process, for the most part.
In 2012 I am hoping to offer custom plush design for people with a particular animal in mind.
And I'm hoping to make soft toys from children's drawings. I made a monster from Roxanne's drawing and it was so much fun. Send me a drawing and I'll make a custom toy for your child. Awesome.
2. Learn about creating installation and display windows.
I'd like to begin to learn about making softies on a larger scale and concept for window displays. I'm not talking about installation art in a gallery. I'm thinking more like Anthropologie's amazing store windows, but with plush. Coming up with a concept, color choices, and scale. I'm not sure I'll be able to actually do a window this year, but I am going to learn more about how they're done and think about what I would do. And you never know, maybe it will happen.
3. Create a sewing pattern for digital download in my Etsy shop.
I have terrible (read NO) graphic design skills. I own Illustrator, but don't know how to use it (I don't have Photoshop). I've heard about InDesign, Gimp, Scribus, but I haven't explored any of them (are there others I should know about?). It is really hard for me to dedicate my few hours of free time to learning to use a computer program. I end up getting frustrated and giving up, then feeling like I've wasted my time. And although my husband has many excellent skills, computerized design programs are not among them. So it's on me. And it's gonna happen. Once I stop whining about it.
Okay, those are my goals. Do you have professional goals for this year? I've found it really helps to think about where you'd like to head, no matter how small your craft business (or hobby) might be. Last year I decided to begin teaching sewing and over the course of the year I taught seven sewing classes. It was tremendously satisfying, and wouldn't have happened without setting an explicit goal to work towards.
2012 is going to be a great one! Here's to a creative, successful, and joyful new year! I love you guys!