The year 2016 illustration & design

2016 is coming to an end. What a year it has been! With this article I take a look back at the happenings of past year.



SB Designs & SB Designs Creations
Biggest change of the past year. My fantasy jewelry and product got a name on itself with a own logo and identity. It was a scary choice, but also a necessary one. SB Designs became too big. Too much different products with the same name became confusing. May 2016 SB Designs Creations became official and everything changed. My Etsy shop also got the name SB Designs Creations and I could focus me on fantasy jewelry and products. It wasn’t necessary anymore to keep everything linked with ‘illustration and design’. That gave me a lot of opportunity to experiment with other materials. Past year I tried lots of different techniques and materials to find out what I like and what I don’t like. On the other hand SB Designs got its own identity back and with SB Designs I can now completely focus on illustration & design.

Fantasy jewelry & products
My Etsy shop exists since may 2016 and since april 2016 it’s name has changes to SB Designs Creations. It was a bit scary to open an Etsy shop, because it is an investment (money and time). Luckily I am quite happy with the sales of this year. And I am overwhelmed with joy by all the supportive and amazing reactions people gave me. That feels very rewarding!

With the completely experimental phases in 2016, I have also decided my mission for 2017. I want to make choices. When it comes to materials I want to use materials that I really like working with (and that give results in the style I want). And I want to combine the materials I like to work with, with each other. For example this dreamcatcher necklace.


I combined standard jewelry compartments with marbled textures and dragon scales. Different materials combined to one necklace design. Combining materials in a design is something I want to do more often.

I decided the same mission for my fantasy products. I have made different sort of products the past year. Some of that product I really like making and there are some products I still want to make. But I want to make choices for the kind of products that I want to make and sell. There are so many cool products I can think of, but you can’t do everything at the same time.

At the beginning of 2016 I had a setback with my website. A virus took down my website completely and most of it was gone. With the help of a good friend I rebuild my website. I love the new design and the possibility to write my articles in 2 languages. There are still some things I have to finish or adapt, but at least I have a working website :).

SB Designs Creations became a brand on it’s own. That is awesome, but also a bit scary. Especially in the beginning. Who am I, what makes me unique, how do I build my brand? With questions like that I can really use my knowledge learned during my communication/marketing education. And that really saved me! An awesome development to build my brand is collaborations.

I just gave it a try to see if I could find some awesome collaborators. It turned out to be one of the best branding choices I made. I will not bother you with all the branding strategies I worked out. A picture can say more than 1000 words (and it’s nicer to see), so here is a picture from one of the collaborations I did this year.


SB Designs Creations took a lot of time this year. Still I achieved some great results with SB Designs as well. After I saved a lot I bought a new tablet, so I sketched a lot as well. I also participated again with Inktober this year. This year my work is included in an Inktober exhibition. That is very awesome!


Some projects I have paused this year because of lack of time. I can’t do everything at the same time. For example a story project and birth announcement card designs. But I will pick it up next year. I have some new designs I can almost show you. This year I made an custom birth announcement card. The parents to be knew what they wanted and I translated it into this design.


I also worked a bit on my portfolio and made some graphic design commissions. For my portfolio I made a new pattern. I like designing patterns and I think I want to spend more time doing it. Who knows where it leads to.


And now?
There are some things (such a lovely vague word) going on I can’t tell anything about (yet). Developments go on and lead to results. When time comes I can tell you. I have set my goals for 2017 and I will see if I can make them happen. Maybe I have to change direction once and a while or repair the sails, but I know where I want to go to. Building a brand, running a company, it takes a huge amount of time. But I knew that at the beginning and it is alright. Because I love what I do. And of course there will be a setback now and then, but I really love my job and with that passion I continue in 2017.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and creative 2017!



Posted in Behind the scenes, Business and tagged , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *