I'm writing this blog post a bit late since I've been spending my holidays in Brazil, a place that I'm excited to announce will be my new home as of March 2019! An exciting and life changing move for me, that I will elaborate on in another blog post in the coming months.
2018 was another year of growth for both my artwork and my business. I had the pleasure of working with some of my dream brands including Tiffany & Co., Chloé and Coach. I was also lucky enough to have a few travel opportunities for live sketching, including Montréal, Chicago twice, Florida and most enjoyably, Hawaii!
Additionally, I saw a big increase with sketching at weddings this year, thanks to generously being given a table at the Square One Bridal Market in January. I had the pleasure of sketching at numerous weddings and showers, keeping me extra busy this summer! Following that trend, custom couple portraits for weddings gifts, invitations and thank you cards were very popular with my commission work. I ended off the year with another spread in Wedding Bells Magazine, a wonderful client whom I love to work with!
On a more personal note concerning my artwork, this past year I've found a wealth of inspiration and new plans. Feeling like I started the year from a secure and confident place in my career, I wanted to start thinking about the future. The potential for an international move was looking likely, something my boyfriend and I have been discussing for some time. I knew this would mean relocating my business, something that is a risk and I had many doubts about. I questioned if it was worth giving up so much of what I had worked so long and hard to build.
When the time came to make the decision, that it would be Brazil which we would call home for the next year or two, I put aside the doubts and decided this would be a challenge I'm happy to accept. What better test of myself as an artist and entrepreneur than to take all the experience and skills I've developed thus far and launch myself again in a new country.
Analyzing it more, much of the work I do can be done remotely. A perk of being an illustrator in this digital age. The only sacrifice I'm making is giving up live sketching...for now! I hope to eventually start this again here, I've been studying Portuguese with great dedication and am confident I'll be comfortable enough to converse with clients and event planners when the work begins to come.
Since a move to Brazil is only temporary (both myself and my boyfriend are fortunate enough to hold dual citizenships, so Europe, the US and of course Canada are all options for the future) I knew it would be wise to seek more work that could be done remotely as well as passive income. This was the majority of what I spent my year planning and working at. A portfolio expansion beyond just fashion as a subject is something I knew would attract more commission opportunities. I'm excited to have it nearly complete and ready to launch soon! The process has been incredibly satisfying as an artist. It's opened up my mind to so many sources of inspiration that I've had to start keeping a list of new ideas so as not to forget anything.
For passive income, I've set myself up on a few print on demand websites such as Casetify, Society 6 and Red Bubble (links in my website shop). I've been working away at building a large collection of prints, phone cases, apparel and home decor featuring my work, all of which I can keep running while traveling (unlike my site shop and Etsy). It's A LOT of work to establish yourself and get noticed on these sites, but now that it's catching on, I feel the work has been well worth it.
2018 has been a busy behind-the-scenes year for me. I leave it feeling accomplished and proud of the work I've put in because I am now entering 2019 with no doubts about this move. It is absolutely the right choice for me. I've been feeling restless in Toronto for the past few months, and returning for a third time to Brazil to spend the holidays has made it begin to feel like home. I will be returning to Toronto for a month for a few jobs, to pack up and say goodbye to family and friends and then I'm off! I am eager and ready for life as an expat and all the new inspiration it will bring!
Happy New Year to all my wonderful followers and clients! 2019 is going to be BIG!