I’m not the most patient person so it’s been quite hard telling myself that building up a business from scratch is not going to happen overnight. The biggest problem being that when I set up as a freelance graphic designer, it did literally happen overnight. There were a few dry spots, but for the most part since the day I left my permanent job I was pretty much set for work. I never really had to do any marketing or self-promotion, pretty much all my clients came through word of mouth, ex-colleagues etc.
But this is something new, something more creative, something more flexible, something that not many people know I can do. Most importantly something that will exist with and around my family. There will still be late nights and short deadlines but these will have to happen around playground visits and the (actually quite loud) pitter patter of little feet. I’ve been doing a few stationery designs here and there when I have time, but everything has been feeling a bit all over the place. So over the past couple of days I’ve been having a good think about what I will create, who would be interested and what it will hopefully mean to them. I’ve had a few good chats with a very good friend who is in pretty much the same place as me and that has left me feeling very inspired. Yesterday my head was buzzing with all the things I want to do, but I was feeling pretty tired. I told myself if it was earlier than 9.30pm then I’d start creating something. It was 9.24pm so two hours later and I’d finished my first little steps:
I dragged out my favourite thing, my sewing machine. As much as I love my Mac and all my pencils and paper, there’s something much more satisfying about my sewing machine. I know I don’t use it how you’re really supposed to. I probably sew more paper than cloth, my lines are never straight, my tension is all over the place, I’m more of a sketch sewer than a fine artist, but the results end up feeling really ‘me’. So the little steps I started last night are the beginning of a new ‘little bulldog’ shop banner. A couple need redoing, in fact I’ll probably redo all of them, but it’s a start and it’s a huge step away from the client-led retail designer I’ve been for the past few years. It feels right, so we’ll see.