Wednesday, 6 January 2016

brick building a brand in a book ...

photo © Fiona Humberstone


... It's the beginning of a New Year and it's the start of my personal 'book' for 2016 ... (not the one pictured above I must mention; I'll come back to that one later), but the start of the new book thats in MY head ... my imaginary book ... my creative journey book; the one that will help me write my creative story of this coming year. I like to think of every New Year as a fresh, unopened book that's waiting to be filled with its own particular stories, dreams, aspirations, achievements, heartbreaks and struggles ... Idealistic maybe, but it helps me organise my thoughts. I'm on that first, clean, untouched page of my allegorical yearbook and already I have a long list of things I would like to attempt to achieve scrawled onto it (in a very nice fine-liner pen I must add!). I'll warn you now, this is going to be a long post ... a long post where I share some of the thoughts and ideas whirling around my head, with the aim of trying to get them all in to some sense of order and shape ...

... So just to re-cap, last year was an astonishing year for me creatively. As those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know, I was lucky enough to be picked up by Jennifer Nelson Artists for representation. Having an agent like Jennifer has been a really great move and since January of last year when it all began, I can honestly say I have truly loved the journey so far. I have learned and have a clearer understanding of SO much: I've learned more about trade shows, prep-ing for trade shows, licensing artwork, clients needs, handling relationships better, developing work, different ways to organise and the list goes on. From my perspective, the benefits and relationship/work dynamic of having an agent have been great, but after a year with the agency, I realise I still have a long way to go...

... Perhaps it's just the endless battle that creative types have with themselves about achieving that 'style' that really represents them. That style that sets them apart from every other illustrator out there and that marks them as truly individual with that unique 'not what anyone can offer' quality, yet still provide the market-place with what it demands. It's a pretty tall order but necessary to pursue and I still have some refining to do ...

... And this is where the real, physical above-mentioned book-as-opposed-to-the-allegorical-one  comes in: I'm hoping "How to Style your Brand" by Fiona Humberstone will help me march on with the next round of 'illustration dream completion'! I've never met Fiona but she seems a thoroughly switched on cookie with lots of juicy tips to share. I'm not going to attempt to give a book review here, but from having a good look at all the other 'How to Brand Yourself' books available out there, she does seem to offer something accessible and digestible. And I think this is part of the next step in my journey and one which I'm hoping 2016 will help me define ...

... Last year came with rather a lot of private struggles and challenges (I know we all get them) ... but a BIG lot. I'm hoping this year will be slightly freer of those struggles and I'll have more energy & time to devote to making more lovely work. LOTS got neglected last year (like my website for instance - hasn't been touched in over a year), so the first part of my plan needs to involve devoting time to defining myself as an illustrator with a little more clarity and cohesion, and moving away from the mish-mash of how I feel things are at the moment.

... So, brick by brick, bit by bit, and coming in the first half of 2016 will be an updated logo, website and blog along with other bits and pieces ... and I think perhaps more importantly, a clearer idea of who I'm trying to illustrate for ... a more streamlined look and perspective! Lots and Lots of work to do but I'm looking forward to the challenge and to sharing some of my processes and journey with you along the way. Happy New Year everyone! Lets hope it's a goodie!! xox

Friday, 1 January 2016

welcome 2016 ...

'welcome 2016' ©bee brown 2016


... Happy New Year everyone! Like a fresh, clean page in a new book, may the new year bring us many happy stories and create for us many happy memories! xxx