This year has been a whirl-wind for me, especially because it involved graduating from university and emerging into the big wide world of work. I thought it would be a good time to reflect on all the things I’ve done this year and yeah, maybe show off a little about what I’ve managed to do. Why don’t you make a list of things that you’re proud of doing this year too?
Graduating from the University of Southampton BA(Hons) Graphic Arts degree with a 2:1
Getting a 1st for my final project work
While I got a 2:1 overall for my degree, I was especially proud to get a 1st level mark for my final project work, it has to be some of the most exciting work I’ve ever done as I’ve always wanted to create a book and I was really happy with the outcome. I even got an award for it- not too shabby.
Getting my first paid commission
As I’ve said before this year saw my work featured in Oh Comely women’s magazine which I was over the moon with. It was a great experience and definitely showed me what it could be like working as a freelance illustrator, even whilst still studying at University.
Starting out as a freelancer
I recently registered as self-employed with HMRC which, for me, is a bit of a turning point. And while it probably only means I’ve now got to do a tax return, it was a bit of a turning point from doing illustration as a degree and a hobby to a career.
Getting a part-time job that I love
While I may be registered as self-employed I’m also currently working in a gallery local to me part-time. I’m not going to pretend that at this current time I’m able to completely sustain myself on freelance work alone and so it’s been really useful to have a day job. Working in a gallery/art shop has also meant I’ve started to sell my work locally- very exciting. And it means I have a routine that I can fit around illustration work, helping to keep me focussed and also get me out of the house from time to time.
Keeping strong connections with family and loved ones
While there have been some stressful moments this year, what with finishing my degree, job hunting and moving back home, I’m glad that my personal relationships have stayed as strong as ever. The people closest to me are the ones that motivate me to do the work I love and offer support when times are tough, I don’t think I’d be able to pursue my passions so readily if it weren’t for them.
I realise this was mainly a ramble about all the great things I’ve done this year and while it may seem a little self-centred, I feel it is important to broadcast our achievements and support others in their successes too. Often the creative industry can seem very cut throat, what with the heavy competition at every turn, but if we can all appreciate our accomplishments then maybe we’ll find more common ground and develop a thriving community.
Let me know what you’re most proud of achieving this year, be it big or small. Drop me an email or leave a comment below! Thanks for reading.