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Monday, 7 August 2017

Colouring Pages!

This has been a new adventure for me as I had never offered this kind of listing before, it's a nice listing as I have less work to do... Me not enjoy going to the post office? Whatever do you mean!? ;)

But this past week among other things I have been working hard on transforming some former pages of line art in to some fun downloadable colouring pages!
These products don't include any physical item, instead once you've made your order you will be emailed a link via etsy to download as many copies of the lineart you like so that you can print them out and colour them to your hearts content!

These colouring pages are suitable for all ages of colouring enthusiasts like myself, yes even an illustrator enjoys colouring in things other people have drawn!

There are currently three designs available.

A fun illustration featuring a cute pair of blue tits in a catkin tree!

A busier illustration of a couple of great tits in a tree surrounded by foliage.

The busiest of the bunch, my woodland badger surrounded by spring flowers including daffodils and violas.

So whatever your level of skill or need is at there's something to suit anyone here, so if you're interested go to the Silly Badger Designs Shop now to get your paws on some!

Happy Colouring!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

End of July Etsy Update!

Silly Badger Designs Shop!

Yes, it has finally happened! The Etsy shop has had a nice shiny update with some super fun new items! I've had lots of fun creating this lot and have had so many good comments already! What a great way to end July!

So what's new? I hear you ask! Well to start of I'm going to show off a product that should have been made a while ago. If you've been reading my blog for a while now you may remember my little high fiving raccoon affectionately named Meeko after the raccoon in the Disney Pocahontas film. Well I absolutely love that little guy but he's never been made in to anything, he was just available through my redbubble shop but in such an ocean of artwork I feel like he gets a bit lost in the crowd.
So earlier this year I turned him in to a cute celebration card!

And now you can get your paws on him through the shop!

Next up is one of my new art prints, I've actually listed 4 new art prints to the shop in this update including my two new wildlife prints of a fox and a rabbit, a lovebird print that's looking very adorable even if I do say so myself and this...

Meet Bailey bear. Bailey started life as a daily doodle to make myself happy. I am having a bear moment right now so anything beary goes! When I posted a picture of the doodle up on instagram I had a lot of people saying they loved him and thought I should make it in to a real drawing and of course I didn't need much encouragement to do so. So Bailey came to be and he's just brilliant. He's available as both an A5 and an A4 print and is proving to be a hit with people wanting artwork for their bathrooms!

And the final product I'm going to feature today is something a little different to my usual. I have been toying with the idea of making new products, something different and handmade so when I got my paws on some printable shrink plastic there was no stopping me.

You may recognise the ratty designs from a lot of my previous ratty work, they feature on the cover of my ratty zine, ratty faces design on redbubble and my rat mum/mom and dad designs. I made them in to charms and made some little bag charms out of them with lots of beads and fun. For those who don't know, I'm not only an illustrator, I'm just a crafty little badger who makes lots of different quirky things!
These ratties were so much fun to make and I'm hoping people will like them. I'm also planning on potentially putting together a little ratty gift bundle as it gets closer to the festive season and it will probably include one of these alongside the zine and a bookmark.

As always, all of my products are completely hand made by myself so they are all made with love, if you're interested in what you've seen or would like to see more of the update as I didn't want to make a mega post full of products you can go over to the Silly Badger Designs Shop and take a peek or even buy something!

Thanks for being awesome!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Being Self Employed and Freelance

I feel I have to get this out somewhere, over the past 18 months of running SBD and actually being self employed I've had so many people with the attitude that I sit around all day and have it easy.
I don't have a "real" job. I don't do much work.

I let it go most of the time because it just means that people don't understand the reality of what I do.

Being self employed is not the easy route. Being self employed and running a small business where you make every product yourself and do all the paperwork and dealing with customers and marketing yourself is not simple.
In fact on most days I can work more hours than the average employed person, I don't have weekends and holidays and I most definitely don't have a normal routine!
If work needs to be done then it needs to be done and most of my work includes a deadline.

I love running my little business, it's opened up so many opportunities for me and it's given me a chance to work with companies by designing logos or work for websites etc. I love the challenges I receive and all the work I get to do.
I actually enjoy all the advanced planning that needs to happen with this kind of business, I've been plotting Christmas since late April! I enjoy the packaging designs and creating each product by hand. I like being an independent business and I love the fact that each product I make is made completely by myself.

I love my job.

And it is a job.

I hate the stigma that goes with artists/illustrators and self employed people running craft businesses. I hate the fact that it gets classed as a fake job or a way of getting out of a real job. I hate how people think it's so easy.
All the people I know running small businesses work their arses off to earn their money. They have to work with people who can be rude and spiteful comparing handmade work to something that's been mass produced. People running a small creative businesse are paying the bills with the money they earn, they're keeping a roof over their families heads, putting food on the table, they are real people who work super hard for the money they earn and in this business the money isn't great because people believe it should be cheaper.

Being self employed doesn't make you better than anyone else but it sure as hell doesn't make you worse than anyone else.

I'm not meaning to sound like I'm ranting here because the people who support me are blooming brilliant. I've just seen so much negative lately towards people I know including myself and it's starting to grind on me.

I've heard so many nasty things about being self employed or running an art business like it's fake, like you're a lazy hippie and should get a real job.
The people saying this really don't understand that by running a small business you are taking on many real jobs at once!

But like I said, I'm not saying either side is better, it's a job and it puts food on the table, that's the base fact of it all. Yes, I love my job as I'm sure many other small business owners do but when it comes down to it we are doing it to survive, we're just lucky enough to be doing something we love.

It just winds me up when my job is seen as nothing, I don't make real money, I don't do real things, it's not worth anything. It makes me feel ashamed of myself...
It makes me doubt everything so much and lately I've dealt with a lot of bad stuff with my business and it really makes me feel like giving it all up. Like it's not really worth anything.

Okay maybe I'm ranting.

Using myself as an example, the fact is that I make people happy, I have many happy customers who tell their friends/family about me or who return themselves for more. I have a client base who return for their businesses, I have amazing reviews from a variety of people I've worked with from companies to private customers all saying good things.
I make good money from my work for someone whose business has only been going for 18 months! People know of me and people like my work.
And yet I allow simple minded, rude people to make me feel like I should give it up because it's not a real job.

It's insane.

So to all the other self employed awesome people running their own small businesses like troopers who put their heart and soul in to every product they make, the people who spend hours creating, the people who put so much care in to making everything perfect, who have insane hours trying to get everything done in time and so much more.
You are amazing and inspire me every day. You make me realise that I might not do what everyone believes to be perfect but I'm bloody brilliant at what I do and I shouldn't give up.
Nobody should give up on what they love and what they're good at.

I don't know why I felt like I needed to rant this, I guess everything has just been building up lately and I'm feeling like I need to stand up for myself and to stand up for other people in similar positions to myself.

Just remember, self employment and small business doesn't = waste of time and fake. It actually means extremely hard working and determined person.

Sorry for the rant, I guess it had to come out somewhere, normal business will resume soon I promise! Once I've gotten all these product descriptions and images ready...
If you managed to read this far then thank you.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Good Wednesday, World!

Well life is just one of those fun little things right now I can tell you! If it's not one thing it's the other and then you push yourself to get all happy and buzzy and something out of your hands decides to pop round and take that little bit away from you.

Oh my it's fun right now!

But on the brighter side! The love for this bear gal has been insanely awesome!

I'll admit she is one of my favourites, I'm currently wearing my t-shirt with her design on it right now as I write this! 
I've sold a variety of sizes this past week and it's been awesome so thank you to everyone who has wanted one of these on their walls!
You can get your paws on them over at my Etsy Shop!

So of course there has been an abundance of packaging recently which has been lots of fun, I've recently introduced a few more fun additions to packaging and I love them!

I'm definitely going for a bright summery look so far... is it bad that I'm also currently planning our Christmas packaging!
It may seem far away for a lot of you but here at the badger den it's all hands on deck coming up with festive cards and products for the winter season. 

In fact getting these designs sorted is even in the to do list for this week... I expect to find myself listening to christmas songs with a cinnamon candle lit beside me as I try to come up with some cute sparkly designs.
Because when it comes to Christmas I can't hold back on the sparkles!

Yesterday involved me clearing out my entire desk and going through everything, I was surprised to find left over stock from a while back now so these may end up going up on Etsy or Folksy later this week if I can get my head around things.

To be fair there is so much to do right now and so much life stuff happening and so much therapist moments that I'm feeling completely out of my depth so I'm starting to struggle to keep up with things. I currently have a commission that I'm working on which will hopefully be completed this week and a few jewellery projects that are also trying to happen and oh there are so many product uploads and ugh... yeah, I'm completely swamped and throw in some migraines and anxiety to the mix and I am a mess :P 
But we're getting there!

I don't want to sound like I'm whining and woe is me-ing which I'm really not. I just like to make sure I don't sound like the happiest person in the world all the time as I've had so many people think that way and I am human just like everyone else and I have life problems along with everyone else... I just like to draw cute things to make it feel better and at the same time as making me feel better I hope it makes other people feel better.

The biggest high I get at the moment is the happy customer reviews that I get left, each and every one leaves me feeling so happy which makes everything I do worth it. So thank you all for being so wonderful and awesome.

And now I must be off to dive in to ideas and plans for the rest of the week!
Have a great one!

Monday, 3 July 2017

Mixing Things Up

If you follow me on Instagram you will have probably seen that I'm planning on making a few changes to Silly Badger Designs. Not bad changes of course but changes none the less and I thought I should elaborate slightly on here from my small little blurt of facts yesterday.

Before I get in to things I also want to say a huge thank you to the amazing support I've already received on this decision. It's given me so much confidence knowing I have some awesome people supporting me!

To put this very simply, illustration is starting to drain me. I love doing commissions and pet portraits but when it comes to designing greeting cards I'm starting to struggle, somehow in the past year I've become a card maker and that wasn't my original plan. I love what I do but I just feel like something is missing.
After joining Folksy and looking around at the amazing craft shops on there I kinda realised that I missed creating things like that.

I've always been creative, I was that weird kid who sculpted things out of baby bel wrappers at school or made wacky gifts for people. I never stopped creating. It's just something that always happened and I miss it. My main reason for stopping is that I got wrapped up in illustrations and our little house is way too small to contain my creativity and creations!
But the idea struck me that I can expand on my illustration work and add something different to Silly Badger Designs.

This doesn't mean I'm going to stop art work, my illustrations are the heart of my business and always will be and I am still an illustrator.
I just want to add other elements to my artwork.

And I know this can be a weird move for a business like mine but the awesome positive response I've had so far has been so amazing I'm just going for it.
This will just be another adventure to add to my already awesome business.

And as you know I'm all about the adventures!

So throughout this month I'm going to be working on some new products, annoyingly I can't start just yet as I'm waiting on supplies to turn up but I can at least get some designs ready for when they do.
This might be a bit new but I'm extremely excited by it which has given my business head a well needed boost!

But for now I will be updating both Etsy and Folksy with some new products I already have once I get round to getting some good product photos... probably the worst part of this job for me!

So let the adventure begin! I can't wait to get started!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Folksy Fun

Well yesterday was our last craft fair of this season, it's been lots of fun and we've met some wonderful people and the positive comments from people about my work has been fantastic. If I was ever doubting what I do before I now know for sure that I'm doing this right.
That's a huge confidence boost for someone who has never done a business course or an art degree!

But due to low funds and a slow summer I'm going to have to slow down a bit on the craft fairs, not to mention time to actually prepare for them is getting slim as other commitments are cropping up all the time! And if I'm to be honest, after the past couple of months I'm close to burning out. Not that I haven't enjoyed it because it has been such a fantastic experience and I've loved it but I've forgotten how to balance things so I think I need to take a couple of months out before getting back in to fairs.

So if you came and saw us, a huge thank you to you and to the super people who bought from me, you're amazing and you made me do a happy dance!

In other news...

                                                       Folksy, Modern British Craft

I now have a Folksy shop to go with my Etsy shop! I've ignored Folksy for some time but recently have been wanting to expand my audience a bit so I started looking around at what was available... I was shocked to find Folksy being rather awesome!
So, putting my hatred for prouct descriptions aside I joined there and then and I have no regrets. I don't have too many products available so far as I haven't had the time to properly sit down and get organised what with the craft fair happening and then Etsy orders cropping up but so far I've had a fantastic reaction and I'm really enjoying it.

You can find my Folksy shop by going here

I'm hoping to add more to the shop soon and potentially add some little one of a kinds up like the odd needle felted item or original paintings, there will be some different listings to what's on my etsy shop from time to time which I will advertise here or over on my Instagram

I've also been playing with my shop packaging lately and giving it a few little twists, I now have a thank you card to send out with orders, something I've been wanting to do for a while now and I also have a little fun project involving confetti! Don't worry, there's not much in there but it adds a little fun like receiving a gift through the post.

This week there are a lot of life things happening which is of course very bleh... I have to be very tidy which for a creative can be fairly difficult!
I also have an art trade going on which is lots of fun, I can't wait to get working on it more! I have lots to keep me busy!

So for now that is all, as before thank you if you came down to the craft fairs and said hi, it's been awesome and thank you to everyone who has been supporting me lately. It keeps me going on the dark days that make me want to give up!

And as a final note,go check out Lemon's Lovely Loot you can find lots of awesome, shiny, fun items! Go check it out!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Glorious Sun and Our 2nd Craft Fair!

Well here in the UK it's been glorious sun! Lots of hot days and sticky fed up people everywhere... I can be smug as for once the heat isn't affecting me and with my job which basically has me stuck to my desk or hunched over a sketch book working all hours possible I'm determined to actually get and and enjoy this weather for once!
I tend to end up stuck inside working throughout the summer months and by the time I go out the leaves are changing and autumn has arrived but not this year. This year I'm determined to get out in the glorious weather and soak up that vitamin D!

I've been a bit quiet on here again, I tend to forget to write about things and with everything else going on at the moment I'll admit... I completely forgot! But then again I write so badly at the moment it's probably a good thing!

But first things first!

The badger team are going to be at Kingdom's Family Craft Fair once more at Warminster Town Park this Sunday 25th June and we are super excited!
This is going to be our second craft fair and our second time at this particular fair itself and I'm very happy that we were accepted back for another round of fun in the park.

It's looking like it's going to be a good day full of fun activities, good food and fun stalls to buy from! So if you're in the Warminster area this weekend get down to the park and maybe come and say hi!

In other news, I've been working on a few new paintings, they're a bit more realistic than my usual style but I'm really enjoying them. I've also been making a few new fun designs like the little guy above. This weather just makes me really miss the sea. It's one of my favourite places to be and I haven't been to see any of it for a few years now and oh I miss it so badly!
I miss the smell of salt water and even the drying seaweed, the calls of the seagulls as they're flying around hoping to find someone with chips, the sand beneath your feet...

Yeah, I need a holiday.

I'm hoping if all goes to plan that I can have a lot of these designs done by the end of the week, ready to share and ready for products!

I'm also working on some new packaging for the business. My current packaging is fine but it's not super fun which is what I want it to be, I want people who order from me to have a nice fun package through the door that will make them happy before they've even broken in to it.
So I'm trying to jazz things up a bit with some colours and fun things. I'm just waiting on some extra funds to be able to do this so if anyone wants to order something from me that would be appreciated! :P

So fun things are happening and hopefully if you're in the Wiltshire area I might even see you at the craft fair!

Enjoy the sun! :)