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My 2017 Goals


Sitting Still Was Never Enough // Freebie Smashing Pumpkin Calligraphy Quote Wallpaper

What better way to start a goals post than with a little calligraphy quote from the Smashing Pumpkins? (You can grab it as a freebie down below.) So, yes, the new year has begun, and it’s time to start thinking about which direction I want to take both my business and my life in 2017. I have a lot I’d love to do, so now it’s time to figure out where to focus my efforts and how much I can sensibly do in the next year.

My Product Line

Since I launched A Rose Cast a year ago, my main focus has been creating a nice little line of products, promoting them, and getting them into stores and markets, online and physical. I now have quite a large range of items, and they’ve started to sell quite well. People especially seem to go crazy for my Haruki Murakami prints and anything cat-related! But now it’s time for them to move my product range from my main focus to more of a back burner project; I’ll still be adding new items and promoting these products, but they are now in a state where they don’t need my full focus.

So here are my goals for my product line and online stores in 2017:

  • Double online sales,
  • Take part in subscription box,
  • At least one new online or physical stockist (give me a shout if you’d like to stock my products), and
  • Reach a certain level of monthly income from my stockists and markets.
Cat & Portrait Enamel Lapel Pins
Crazy Cat Lady, Book Nerd, Journal Lover & Girl Gang / Feminist Sticker Packs
Haruki Murakami Watercolour Novel Illustration Art Prints

Illustration & Design for Clients

And with the focus away from my products, now it’s time for the second stage of the business; illustration and design for clients. It’s something I’ve been hoping to implement for a while now, and I’m so happy to now be in a position to move forward with these services.

There are a few areas that I want to focus on for client work:

  • Portrait illustrations // For both editorial content (magazines, blogs, etc) and individuals (for weddings, presents, etc.),
  • Branding // Full suite of branding design from colours and fonts, to hand-illustrated logos and other branding marks, and
  • Illustration and design for events, parties and weddings, including stationery and promotional materials.

In order to position myself as an illustrator and designer to clients, I feel these are the steps I need to take:

  • Build a portfolio demonstrating my abilities in the areas mentioned above,
  • Come up with a pricing structure (ahhh, this is so difficult!)
  • Add more custom listings to both my online store and my Etsy shop,
  • Approach companies who often use illustrators, and
  • Possibly find an agent.
Customisable Wedding Stationery Suites
Custom House / Home / Shop / Business / Building Watercolour Illustration
Vintage Glasses Pattern Weekly Planner & Wallpapers

More Fun-Motivated Illustrations!

I’m having a bit of a hard time picking up a pencil or brush lately. I’ve been so focused on making products or creating illustrations to open up the client side of my business, that sometimes the fun has gone out of drawing. Will this illustration be a success? Will this product sell? Is this something people are actually interested in? And often times when I do start sketching an idea, I end up berating myself if I'm drawing something that doesn’t have an obvious financial return in its future. 

These issue, on top of normal creative anxieties (Will I be able to recreate this idea I have in my head onto paper? Am I actually any good at this illustration lark?) and a few health issues, I often become a paralysed. Don’t you just hate stress?!

So I really need to get out of the way of thinking that time spent on an illustration that isn’t for a client or a product is a waste. To make myself comfortable with sketching when I don’t have a final goal for the piece. That drawing for fun will in fact help my business, will improve my skills, and help build my confidence. And actually they will will give me more content for my blog, to share on social media, and to add to my portfolio, and that will hopefully then be shared by others. One problem with my focus on the product side over the past year is I’m running out of things to share!

To this end, my goals for this are:

  • Rediscover my love of drawing and sketching by doing work that doesn’t have the stress of financial or client expectations,
  • To share more of my sketches / incomplete work,
  • Move my blog to more original content, creating illustrations for posts on things I want to chat about, from my favourite movies and musicals and more. I’ll still be promoting other creatives and makers, but these hopefully won’t be as much of a focus when 2018 comes along, and
  • More politically inspired work. With the way the world seems to be going, I believe it really is a time for artists to start using their voice to defeat this wave of fascism we find ourselves in. I want to make pieces that align with my belief in equality for all and my liberal values. I’ve already started with a number of feminist pieces, but I want to continue making work that promote those ideals. This may make me unpopular with some, but I really don’t care.

Sitting Still Was Never Enough // Freebie Smashing Pumpkin Calligraphy Quote Wallpaper

Get the Freebie Smashing Pumpkin Calligraphy Quote Wallpaper

So that’s hopefully what you’ll see coming from me over this next year. And if you managed to get through all of that, here’s a little freebie for your mobile phones, tablets and desktops. Any other Smashing Pumpkin fans out there?

  • Download the Desktop / Laptop Version Pink or Blue
  • Download the Mobile / Cell Phone Version Pink or Blue
So there we go. Go dress up your tech with some pretty calligraphy!


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Karen Murray of A Rose Cast

Hello, I'm Karen

I'm an illustrator & designer from the UK, producing my own products as well as custom illustration for clients, both big and small.

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