2017, what a year! It feels like it happened while I flashed with my eyes. From something that has been a hobby to something that starts to look like a company. I found solutions for existing problems and I found new
problems challenges to take care of. There were awesome moments and not so awesome moments. From happily working on orders to feeling frustrated about situations and problems that found me along the way. 2017 was a eventful year.
I made great developments and achieved some great results. I combined more and more materials with each other. I am very happy with the latest designs that I made. The style 'dark-style' is something what I leave behind a little bit. Not totally, but my style focuses more on Elvish, Victorian and Wiccan/Witchy (apart from Halloween). There will be still some designs in dark style, but more a little dark edge, not completely darkness.
I like styles that have something fairy tale, a little bit of nature and something magic & mysterious. I think it's quite normal you keep developing your style. But no matter what I make, the main theme keeps the same, 'The world of Fantay'.
Here are some of the designs I made this year:
I only have one word for this: wow! There are so many talented people in this world. It is so awesome to collaborate with models, photographers, stylists and makers. That you all work together for an awesome result. I feel honored that I could be part of awesome collaborations this year.
Here are some results of different collaborations:
Jewelry future plans
I have enough ideas for new designs. I have lots of new jewelry designs that I would love to use! I know I want to do way to much within a year, so I just start making new designs. I don't have an exact schedule, I just follow my feelings.
I really want to add more nature to my jewelry. By working with resin I can add a little bit of nature to designs and that would be awesome. I really hope I can find the time to release some of those designs in 2018.
stainless steel is one of the materials I started using and I love the quality of this material. I use it more and more and I think it is a huge improvement. I also get questions about sterling silver and Swarovski elements, so that is something I will look into.
Besides my Etsy shop I would love to have my own website. A start is made with this website, but it's still under construction. Hopefully I can release it/open it in 2018.
I enjoyed it so much to have a stand at different events. Next year will be very busy because we bought another house. I don't know how much time I have, but it would be awesome to attend at some events/markets.
Fantasy Meeting & Fair Coevorden
I have lots of different experiments and ideas lying around. I want to make choices. For example this illustration:
I made this design 2 years back. I wanted to make fairy winged jewelry with fairy wings of mine own design. But all the experiments I did so far, failed. Different materials, different ideas, but I am not 100% happy with the results. It's a hard project. And I have more of those projects. I want to make choices. Or I am going to give it all and I try to finish the project or I trow it all away. I don't want all those unfinished projects.
Accessories and Home Decor
At the end of this year I added the first illustrated product to my Etsy shop.I have a plan for next year to add more (illustrated) accessories and home decor in my store. All fantasy related. When you follow me on social media you know can't have missed it. Dragon eggs, wands, dream catchers, jewelry boxes and illustrated products like bags. So many plans, so less time. I did different investments this year so I really keep going adding more accessorizes and decor to my shop. (Otherwise the investment would have been a waste).
From hobby to company
Biggest change of the year, from sometimes a order, to orders & commissions regularly. Especially the last quarter of this year has bee crazy (in a good way). I came across new challenges. I'ts not that I hate administration,l but it would never be my hobby. With some orders I could handle it easy, but this year I really needed a better system. Luckily I have enough amazing people around me that help me with all the hard stuff.
I also looked at my company financially. Confronting, but also necessary in order to grow. What is good, what is not so good, what has potential. I didn't start this job to become the richest person ever, but it needs to be profitable. I don't want to lose my passion or a 'follow the money' mindset. But I have bills to pay, so I need to be strict about the financial part. I am a professional, not a hobbyist.
This all took a lot of my time and energy. And it will keep taking time and energy. It is necessary. I want to do this for a long time, so I have to think long term. I also reviewed how I divided my time between fantasy products and illustration/design. It's hard because I want to do both, and I want to grow in both directions. I have planned a path for next year, but it is changeable. A lot depends on what comes on my path next year.
Illustration & Design
Last year I started with the idea to sketch something each day. That didn't worked out. I couldn't find or make the time and it wasn't working for me. I am not a quitter, but I know when I have reached my limits. The same goes up for Inktober. I didn't finish this year. It feels like failing, but on the other hand, I have drawn a lot this year. Not daily, but I have drawn a lot anyway. And that's all progress. Everytime I hold a pencil and I draw, I learn.
At the moment I am updating my portfolio. This year I made the most of my illustrations for my own products and it would be nice to find some commissions next year. For now I have a nice illustration commission and it keeps me hopeful for chances for commissions next year.