Rewind: What I Did In September & Why

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Looking back over the past month can help me celebrate accomplishments, and take note of ideas for how to improve moving forward. My creative business is still starting out, so I'm learning at warp speed! Every blog post I write or graphic I design, I learn about 1k new things and when I feel like I failed, I remind myself that it's just a lesson for the next step. I'm hoping that sharing not only what I did over the past month, but why I made the decisions I did (and how it turned out for me) will help you as well! I know I love it when others share "behind the scenes" of their creative business (some of my favorites who do this regularly are Paper & Oats and Elle & Company) so I'm sharing with you!

 
I'm breaking down the decisions I made for my creative business (and some fun stuff too!) in September, and sharing the whys!

I'm breaking down the decisions I made for my creative business (and some fun stuff too!) in September, and sharing the whys!

 

Blogging

Below are the three blog posts from September; I had specific reasons why I wanted to blog on each of the topics!

I shared 12 Ways to Use Those Cool Digital Art Patterns because I had just started creating seamless patterns myself, and as I share them on social media and in online shops I wanted to have a targeted idea of how people would use them and what demographics they would appeal to. After researching some of the different uses, I shared the information with others and even added a link to the blog post in my Etsy pattern listings. Hopefully, if someone is considering purchasing a pattern but hesitates because they aren't sure how useful it would be, this blog post will give them some additional ideas.

Occasionally, I like to go through the lists of hashtags I keep in the Notes app on my phone, and update them. These are the hashtags I copy and paste over to Instagram whenever I post, to help others find my content and follow along. As I come across new applicable hashtags or as trends change, I make sure to go in and refresh my lists so they are all ready when I need them. I shared 100+ Hashtags for Painters & Calligraphers after realizing it might be helpful for others to have a round-up!

Early in September, I shared 10 Business & Art Apps On My Phone Right Now, where I explained why I use particular apps to get business done while I'm out and about, including blogging, social media, task management, and more.

Ideas for using digital seamless patterns!

Ideas for using digital seamless patterns!

My favorite 10 apps for getting business done while on the move!

My favorite 10 apps for getting business done while on the move!

If you're sharing content on social media, check out these hashtag round-ups!

If you're sharing content on social media, check out these hashtag round-ups!

Painting & Design

I really pushed myself to paint a whole variety of different subjects this past month. I had a "landscape week" over on Instagram, focusing just on comparing wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry painting techniques and sharing the pros and cons. I dug into some autumn-related subject matter with fallen leaves and magic potions (thinking a little ahead to Halloween). Just to stay warmed up, I also painted some bright floral paintings in a little larger of a size.

My favorites were definitely the more detailed painting of an American Goldfinch (process videos are over on Instagram) and these tiny little botanical illustrations. I plan to list the American Goldfinch as a print on Etsy (not sure whether digital or physical - thoughts?) and am thinking the botanical ink drawings could be part of an illustration pack or tattoo sheet. Input is welcome!

Business Stuff

New Etsy listings in September included the four patterns below. I'm working on some illustration packs and new prints, but making the patterns is so much fun. I even shared a process video on Instagram of my creating a pattern in Illustrator (it should hit YouTube soon too).

One attempt I'm on the fence about was Etsy Promoted Listings. I tried it out for a few listings and definitely saw the amount of clicks and engagements go up, but not actual sales. As soon as I turned off the promoted listings, the engagement immediately plummeted. I don't feel like I'm at the place yet that putting up funds to promote listings makes sense, but it is just so hard to reach customers otherwise!

I just finished the process of uploading patterns to Spoonflower and ordering proofs. I'm excited to offer prints for fabric and more very soon!

Not everything's about work, right? Let's talk about fun stuff.

Reading

I ordered a whole stack of new books on Amazon in September, and it was the best feeling ever. I always forget just how satisfying a tall stack of unread books is! Three books I recommend are below.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is creepy without being over-the-top, and if you enjoy books like Gone Girl or Girl On The Train, I think you'll like this too.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena was nerve-wracking for me as a parent, but suspenseful and a fast read. I was reading it while cooking spaghetti at one point, to find out what happened next, so that should indicate a solid review!

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed was so enjoyable and uplifting. A collection of articles from her advice column Dear Sugar, her responses may be specific to the letters she received, but the guidance and insight is universal to all of life's struggles.

Knitting

In August I began hosting a craft night at our local library in Newfield, NY twice a month. September had the first really successful one, and it was awesome to bring along my knitting and get to hang out with some new people! If you're in the area, please stop by! It's the 2nd and 4th Thursday evening every month.

After a hiatus of knitting regularly, I think I'm back at it. I'm currently knitting Jane Richmond's Pasha Hat pattern in Madelinetosh DK and am starting a new pair of socks using Hermione's Everyday Socks pattern and Socks that Rock yarn in lightweight.

Life in General

September is a big month in our house; school starts (see my little goofballs on their first day, below), we have a birthday in the family and our wedding anniversary. It's fun but also a lot to take in all at once!

I managed to sneak in a picture of my children.

I managed to sneak in a picture of my children.

Check out the timelapse GIF of this on my Instagram feed!

Check out the timelapse GIF of this on my Instagram feed!

Do you use Spoonflower or Etsy Promoted Listings? I'd love some input!

Wishing you an awesome October!

- Dani