Take your step

After college, I just assumed I would get my dream job. Or even just a good job. I wouldn’t say any of the jobs I had were bad, but they also weren’t exactly what I had imagined. They were very tangentially (not at all) related to art, which is what I actually wanted to be doing.

So then I asked myself, why am I not taking steps toward doing what I wanted to do?

At the time, I thought I was headed in the right direction. I was like yes, I am saving money so I can do art in the future.

But who knows when the future would be? 3 years from now? 10 years? 20?

I could only delay what I really wanted to do for so long. Even if I wasn’t consciously thinking about it, unconsciously my body was like, we reject this mission! And I started having weird physical symptoms.

Since then, I have taken small steps in the direction I want to go, and things started falling into place.

Step one: I started by taking an illustration class. I really found a style I like and that works from me. I realized I don’t really like drawing environments, but I do like to fill up a page. Which is how I came up with this idea for greetings cards. This style feels more authentic and true to me, which makes it more enjoyable and easier to create.

Step two: invest in expensive, professional markers. Aah!! For anyone that knows me, I am very hesitant to drop cash. Luckily, the markers have been a game changer and I use them all the time. They were a worthwhile investment!

Yum cookies

Step three: Digital art/Graphic Design has always been kind of a struggle for me, and I do my best to avoid it. However, I recognized the benefit that a real graphics editing software would have for my business, so I faced my fear of Adobe programs by enrolling in a Print Production class. I finally understand the difference between Tiffs, JPEGS, and PNGs, and I feel more confident in my ability to approach print shops and get my cards printed.

This all took the course of about 8 months. When I put it in a short blog post, it seems logical. But at the time, I didn’t see how each of the pieces connected. I just started listening to what I felt called to do, and faced the fears that were preventing me from doing them.

Always take steps. Small steps add up. And the good thing about taking steps is if you’re not on the path you want to be on, you just take more steps toward that path.

Best of luck on your journey, and take a step today.

XOXO,

Deidre

November Update

Just as I was stocking up my closet on cozy sweaters and fall colors, snow appeared. I didn’t even have a PSL yet. Welcome to the sequel of Winter: Deidre watches Netflix (again)!

This past month was the end to a couple things: the end to four weekend road trips in a row (that was way too many) and the end of my print production class. I feel significantly less stressed out now. But I also did a lot of fun things this month! I attended my college’s homecoming, stayed at the coziest Airbnb ever, and was a ballerina for Halloween.

There’s actually no snow in this pic, but I promise it was there 24 hours earlier!

My favorite memory of the past month was the haunted house with my parents- for some reason this haunted house wasn’t particularly clear, and when we couldn’t figure out where to go, we went through a giant door (logically) that turned out to be the fire exit. Woops. A few people even followed us out! I didn’t even realize anything was amiss; things were roped off, and there was a run down truck. I just assumed it was part of the decor, but I was wrong.

For the upcoming year, I am going to dive into creating greeting cards! They are currently in the works, but I don’t want to rush it because I want them to be amazing. And they are all hand drawn, which means the process is a little slower, but I think in the end it will be a very high quality product that we all will love 🙂 fabric products are going to take a back seat for now; they are not quite as versatile as greeting cards. So if you’d like a pencil case or laptop sleeve, you should probably get one within the next few months!

Other fun things this month: I am getting caught up on my blog again, I am practicing yoga more (gotta fight off the winter blues!) and I found two new teas I like: decaf spice and chocolate truffle pu erh. I binge watched the new season of Great British Baking show and Queer Eye in Japan. Did you love it too or did you really love it?

Thoughts on working part time and the secret to success

Earlier this year, I had been working part time for a few months. This came after I was feeling really burnt out from my string of unhappy jobs, and I needed some time to regroup and plan before launching into another full-time job. My part time job was enough to pay the bills, so all was well.

It was kind of an unusual decision for people in my age group- working full time obviously allows you to have more money, which allows you to pay for more things. I felt guilty not maximizing my earning potential- but I was also trying to frame things differently in my mind, and accepting that while I wasn’t making a lot of money, I was investing in myself, and hopefully it would pay off in the long run.

So, I just wanted to share some thoughts on my part-time experiment, in case any of you daydream about working part time instead of full time 🙂

The good:

  1. I felt like I could breathe. While working full time, I felt like I could never stop. Between commuting, cooking, grocery shopping, and preparing for the next day, all my time was taken up. At the end of each night I was exhausted, and the only thing I had energy for was Netflix.
  2. I drank chai and did yoga every morning. I felt pretty healthy at the end of winter 🙂
  3. I didn’t get sick at all. I had minimal stress, so my immune system was kicking butt.
  4. I focused more on my passions, and actually watched less TV. Since I wasn’t stressed, I wasn’t exhausted, and I didn’t resort to TV to relax.
  5. I had a lot of energy every day- I slept better because I was less stressed, so I felt better, and was more productive.
  6. I took classes for fun. When you’re working full time, the focus is your career and professional development. I splurged and took an art class because I wanted to, not to increase my income.
  7. I had more flexibility, so I could be more spontaneous. This included last minute plans and road trips.
  8. Errands were a breeze- I could go to the DMV during the middle of the day, and I didn’t have to use PTO.

Wow! Do you want to work part time now? Well, here are the not so glamorous parts to think about:

  1. I missed being on the same schedule as everyone else. All my friends and family were on the 40 hour a week schedule, so while I could be spontaneous, my friends could not.
  2. I actually wasn’t as productive as I thought I would be. I thought I would spend all my free time working on my art and my Etsy store, but if you do that too much, it almost starts to feel like a full time job again.
  3. Since I was part time, I didn’t get benefits, and my job felt less secure.
  4. And of course the obvious downfall: less money.

I really enjoyed my 6 month mini-cation while it lasted- and I would definitely consider working part time again in the future after having more savings. My life had a good balance, and I could do what I enjoyed while also sustaining my lifestyle.

The most valuable thing I gained from working part time was an answer to something I had often wondered. While at my previous job, I daydreamed about what would happen if I just quit and focused on my art and my business. I thought that all I needed was time off to become wildly successful- then I would have time to draw without feeling exhausted.

The answer I learned was this: You can’t speed up success. Many of the big businesses that are around today have been around for DECADES. Coke didn’t just launch last year and have wild success. Great things are built over time. They are built through practice, and through taking one step each day to improve. More time can certainly help, but more important than that is consistency. Working part time certainly helped give me the energy and time needed to work on my art, but it also didn’t make me an instant success. All snowballs start small, you just need to keep rolling it 🙂

Final Collection of the Year: Winter Snuggles!

It’s the final collection of the year! It will be released TUESDAY, November 5th at 7PM. Check out my store here. Now, let’s see what goodies are in store!

A penguin notebook! How adorable. The cover has that kind of soft, kind of matte feel like an orange peel. Then penguins will guard all your secret thoughts!

Kawaii milk and cookies! What could be better than sentient milk?

What’s this? A corner of a pouch! Features the new snowflake design.

Would it be Christmas without ornaments? heck no! This pattern is available on pencil cases and pouches. You can organize and store all your Christmas doodads in them 🙂 or use it year round if you really love Christmas!