2010 - 2019 has been a whirlwind of a decade - in both my personal life and with my Tanya Draws shop! In this decade I have graduated college, switched careers, started freelancing, stopped freelancing, started drawing patterns, started my print on demand shops, grown my shops and my pattern portfolio, moved out, went on my first flights, first trips, got engaged, launched my website.... it has definitely been quite the time!
Now those are the highlights, it wasn't always good and I had a fair bit of challenges and possibly experienced the lowest points of my life this decade, most of which I am happy to leave behind. People say that the high school years are rough - but man, for me my 20s were, at times, the worst! They truly had me beat in ways that I would have never imagined. At the same time though, I think its easy to fall into the trap of looking at the short term and feeling like you aren't progressing. So to make sure I don't fall into that trap, it helps for me to look at how far I've come from my lows & take a look at the positive things that have happened and achievements over the years!
For me, this decade has been a lot about experimentation and about finding my style. I taught myself pattern making and launched my print on demand shops in 2015, and have been running wild with them ever since, learning new techniques, drawing new stuff, using new textures and designing all sorts of products.
So, here's a round up of my major milestones (so far) with my Tanya Draws Shop!
Since I began experimenting with patterns in 2014, I have covered a wide range of subjects... from animals, to inanimate objects, to florals and cacti, to geometric shapes and colours. Through all this, I definitely have some favourites and some that I did for experiments sake, that I'd rather never post for sale. I did an art challenge early 2018, where you had to draw a pattern a day. I think that is something I would like to try again this year because it really expanded my horizons, and got me searching for new themes and styles to try.
My portfolio has grown, and many of these patterns are now available at my shops! To date, I have over 163 designs available to buy at my shops! It's hard to imagine that I created that many things, but I did! Visit my Society6 shop to see my complete pattern and design collection.
Perhaps in 2020, I can try to reach a milestone of 200 designs for sale? :)
The Shop & Sales
When I started my shop in 2015, I thought it would be a neat little hobby that would keep me motivated to draw. Never did I imagine that it would become as big as it has become, and that I would be actually using it as an actual source of income. (Yes, I know, the point of things for sale is to make money, but I didn't think that would actually happen!)
I tried many different print on demand shops to list my artwork at, and after years of trying all the different ones I've finally settled down with my 3 favourites - Society6, RedBubble, and Zazzle. These websites are where my illustrated patterns flourish the most, and where I've been able to garner the most popularity.
To date, I've made over 4500 sales at my shops combined! I still find this astonishing, and am blown away that this many individuals out there are enjoying things that I have designed. I get so excited whenever I see my products going to different areas of the world... my products are now residing in more states and countries that I could visit in my lifetime. I've seen my stuff go to customers in Australia, almost every different state in the USA (even Alaska!), all across Europe, and places that I never expected to see sales in - Hong Kong, Japan, Bahrain, New Zealand... and yes, I also see my fellow Canadians placing orders, which feeds my dream of randomly seeing one of my designs out in the wild some day! XD
My best selling products to date are Comforters on Society6, Business cards on Zazzle and Stickers at Redbubble! A wide range of products for sure, and no one design is the most popular across all shops.
My 3 best selling products of 2019 have been my pineapple comforter from Society6, my pink and gold pineapple comforter from Society6, and my customizable iridescent geometric business cards from Zazzle:
RedBubble was not in the running for me this year, Society6 and Zazzle made up at least 80% of this years sales. But I'm hoping to focus more on my RedBubble shop in 2020, because I really believe in the quality of their products, love the platform for designing, and think they have a great product lineup.
The Website, Blog & Social Media
Soooo this has been a bit of a pain point for me, as I am bad with schedules, a notorious procrastinator, and tend to lean towards posting new art rather than focus on the marketing for said art. Despite this, I've managed to maintain my instagram and twitter account quite well I think, but I'm hoping to maybe get into creating some time lapse art videos this year to add to it. You may have noticed a little youtube icon on the bottom of my website, it is currently a blank slate but is something I'm hoping to get in to this year!
When I started my shops in 2015, I had a blogspot blog. There, I occasionally posted some things, new art, artist tips etc. and generally used it as a website. Well, it wasn't that great of a website, and I am not that diligent of a blogger, so for me it made no sense to have something that was mainly a blog doubling as a website. In 2019, I finally decided enough was enough, and made myself the website you see today! It has a blog, it has a gallery (updating slowly but surely!), links to shop all my stuff, spots for me to feature my newest designs... it is my ideal "hub" for everything Tanya Draws! It took me so long to finally get to this point but I'm so happy I'm here, and think its a great, fresh way to start off this new decade.
Tip: My shops now have their own dedicated shops page, where you can click through to shop my Zazzle, RedBubble & Society6 print on demand shops. I even list active promotions and coupon codes there, so check it out (Shop in the top right nav bar, click here to see the shops page!) every once in a while!
So there you have it, some of my major accomplishments of my shop so far! I'd just like to give a shoutout to all of the customers, followers, and fellow artist friends who have supported me through this journey. Of course, I could not have gotten this far without your support. Seriously, it blows my mind that I'm able to draw what I love, and that you guys enjoy it too, and that you love it enough to actually buy my artwork!! Did I mention how surreal it is to me that I actually earn an income from drawing things?? So, THANK YOU! I look forward to creating new stuff for you all in 2020, and to see what excitement the next decade brings!
It's 2020 (a new decade!) and in looking over the patterns I've done over the last decade... my pineapple pattern has by far been my most popular. Not only is it a best seller in all colour options (pink and gold, rose gold, and gold), I also won my first online art contest - a fabric design contest on Zazzle - with this pattern in its original form, watercolour on blue. But the pink and gold palette remains one of my favourites. I always love gold pineapples as a motif in jewellery and trinkets, so adding a faux gold look to these pineapples only made sense! The blush pink background paired with the gold is perfectly feminine and pretty.
Shop this pattern on some of my top products from Society6 and Zazzle, shown below! I love it on decor and accessories... what do you think?
Shop these products and more in my Pink and Gold Pineapple Pattern by clicking the links below!
So a while back I purchased a serving tray from Society6! I've shared photographs of it on instagram on a few occasions, but thought I'd finally right my official review of it. Society6 has bamboo and acrylic trays available, but I opted for the bamboo one as I quite like the light bamboo accents, and also the bamboo ones are available in larger sizes than the acrylic tray. The one I ordered is designed in my gold pineapple pattern. I chose this pattern because I thought it would make a great subtle accent piece for my coffee table, and since it is one of my best selling patterns, want to see how it looks on various products in print.
Here is a little info about Society6 serving trays. These serving trays are crafted with a 100% eco friendly bamboo wood frame, and feature a glossy high quality print to cover the interior of the tray. The tray includes cut out handles for easy carrying.
This versatile accessory can be used as a traditional serving tray, but it can also be used as an organizer for bathrooms, an accent piece for displaying decorative items on a table, a plant holder, a coffee table platter. With the artistic design, it makes a nice accent piece in any scenario you use it for. It would make a nice housewarming gift.
It comes in two sizes - Medium (18" L x 14" W x 1.75" H) and Large (22.5" L x 17.5" W x 2" H).
The one I ordered was the medium size. I wanted something that was large enough to sit my laptop in, but also wanted something that would not take up too much real estate on my coffee table. The medium size turned out to be perfect. As you can see from my photos, I usually use it to kind of tame the miscellaneous decorative things that end up on my table. My plants, candles and things that can roll off said table (I'm looking at you, Apple Pencil). It works quite well for this.
As for the quality of the serving tray, I was pleasantly surprised by it all. The bamboo frame looks exactly as it is shown on the website, and feels pretty sturdy. I've been using it for months, often carrying my laptop or food items from room to room and it still looks and feels as new as it did when I ordered it. It seems to be crafted well, there were no rough edges to the wood, no pieces sticking out, no adhesives visible. Overall impressed.
On to the print! I was very happy with how the printing turned out. The colours in my design look very close to what I got in print. The colours are slightly more subdued in print, but hardly noticeable. The design was printed nice and crisp with no bleeding or smudges. The sizing of my artwork was printed out exactly as I had formatted it on my serving tray mockup, so no surprises there. The surface that the artwork is printed on has a slightly glossy look to it, but not overly shiny. It works well with my design, being a faux-gold foil textured look. When the light shines on it, the slight gloss to the surface helps enhance that effect so that's a pleasant bonus.
Overall I am very happy with how this turned out, and would definitely order a serving tray from Society6 again. I also really liked my pineapple design on it, I thought it worked nicely with the soft wood shades in the bamboo.
My only one complaint is more of a Canadian specific complaint. :) Society6 products come from the USA, so when it arrived in Canada, it was sent to my nearest post office for me to pick up, because I had to pay duties on my purchase. It wouldn't stop me from purchasing again, but just keep this in mind when placing your Society6 order. I always order during sales or free shipping times to try and offset the cost of possible duties!
Have you purchased a society6 tray before? What did you think? Share your comments below!
Also a side note, you may have noticed my unimpressed cat planter. Where did I get it, you ask? From Home Sense, my favourite place! It was a candle, once upon a time. When I melted the candle down, I reused it as a planter for my cactus. Which is obviously now a CAT-CUS. :)
Cranberries are not everyones favourite berry, but I think they're pretty great! :) I always look forward to thanksgiving because that's when all the cranberry stuff comes out... delicious homemade cranberry sauce on turkey and cranberry gingerale are the best! So when getting into the festive spirit, cranberries definitely come to mind for me - and so I decided to draw them.
I've illustrated these cranberries in a simple style and coloured the cranberry leaves a bright green watercolour texture. This pattern is available in 4 colour ways, this is my personal favourite one! I've layered the cranberry fruit and leaf shapes in the background to give a shadowy layered look. The background is a beautiful deep teal shade, which compliments the cranberries and their leaves.
So far I've added this pattern to RedBubble and Society6 to most of the home decor and accessories available there. I quite like this pattern on tote bags and duffle bags, but also think it makes fabulous wrapping paper! The colours are festive and christmassy, and these illustrated cranberries would look lovely as wrapping for presents under a tree.
Check it out on some of my favourite products below!
This is a pattern of adorable lazy brown baby sloths who are happily relaxing on a tree. One of the sloths is hanging upside down from a tree branch, while the other one is lazily lounging. These cute little sloths and the tree branch are coloured in a brown watercolour texture, giving this digitally composed pattern a naive and traditional feel. This pattern was originally drawn in pen and ink, and then turned into a vector illustration to make a pattern that can be scaled to bigger sizes. I've used a nice light blue as the background colour for this one.
This is one of my most popular patterns! It is available on my Society6, RedBubble and Zazzle shops, and has been adapted to a variety of designs. It makes a great gift idea for sloth lovers, from small accessories & drinkware to home decor. I've added it to many products as a pattern, but also used the pair of sloths illustration and some fun typography (there are lots of fun puns and sayings you can make with sloths!) to create some cute stuff. My personal fave is my lazy and sleepy sloth couples mug set, which is a cute and hilarious gift idea!
Check it out on some of my top picks below.
Another colour variation to my winter mittens pattern! As I mentioned in my pink winter mittens pattern... I think mittens are the best symbol of winter and I was pretty excited to illustrate winter in the form of mittens! I wanted to be able to convey the coziness of keeping warm in the cold weather, plus the playful and carefree side to winter. Knitted mitts or wooly mitts, they all have different patterns and designs and are super unique. Which is a recipe for a fun pattern. So, in this pattern, to cover ALL THE THINGS WINTER, I've hand drawn traditional mittens in different patterns and designs. Hearts, snowflakes, diamonds & knit graphic patterns are things that I've included in the mitten designs. I've stuck to simple lineart in white graphics, and added a bit of texture and colour variation to the background with a mint green watercolour texture.
I've added this pattern to my Society6 shop, check it out on accessories, home decor & coffee mugs below!
What do you think of when you think of winter? You might think about snow and cold and all the winter activities, or you might think about hot chocolates and warm clothing and curling up near the fireplace. When I set out to illustrate a winter pattern, I could have gone with snowflakes, Christmas motifs, pine trees or reindeer - all of which are great winter symbols. But to me, mittens are the best symbol of winter, and I wanted to illustrate them for a couple of reasons! I wanted to be able to convey the coziness of keeping warm in the cold weather, plus the playful and carefree side to winter. Not only that but mittens are ADORABLE! :) Knitted mitts or wooly mitts, they all have different patterns and designs and are super unique. Which is a recipe for a fun pattern. So, in this pattern, to cover ALL THE THINGS WINTER, I've hand drawn traditional mittens in different patterns and designs. I've stuck to simple lineart in white graphics, and added a bit of texture and colour variation to the background with a pink + red watercolour texture.
I've added this pattern to my Society6 shop, check it out on accessories (and wrapping paper!) below!
A traditional ikat pattern decorated in pink and gold. The simple colours & diamond shapes makes this a versatile design for products. It works well in a large and small format, and looks modern and pretty on home decor, accessories & tech cases. I've even added it to business cards on Zazzle and I love how they turned out!! I do quite like the combination of pink and gold! I've used this colour combo in my pineapple pattern as well, and will continue using it on new designs. :)
This pattern is one of my first! I was experimenting with watercolour textures and simplistic shapes, and came up with this modern leaf pattern in a stunning peacock blue. I love the simplicity of this one, it has always been one of my favourites (I even have it as a laptop sleeve from RedBubble - which is excellent - I'll post about it here on my blog in another post!)
I've updated this pattern over the years to be more of a dramatic half drop pattern, and I quite like the new version. Although the old version still exists as it was on my Zazzle shop and RedBubble shop, the updated version can be found on my Society6 shop. The original on fabric at my Zazzle shop is an editors pick!
I'm getting into the Christmas spirit! This is actually my first holiday pattern of the year. I went pretty crazy with the Christmas patterns last year, and the ones I created were bright & popped with traditional Christmas motifs and colours. This year I wanted to mix it up a bit, and chose to work with a limited colour palette of pastel blue, green, light pink, and a very light grey-white for the background! I've drawn the trees in a minimalistic way with rounded edges to mimic the soft look created by the colours. I really enjoy the playful suggestion of a Christmas Forest created by the repeat and the trees in different sizes!
What do you think of this pattern?
Check it out at my Zazzle or Society6 shops on a variety of home decor, mugs, accessories and more great stuff!
Happy Holidays :)
Hi! I'm Tanya, an illustrator and graphic designer from Ontario, Canada. I create patterns & designs for my shops on Zazzle, Redbubble & Society6. Aside from designing, I have a huge love of cats, reading & video games.
@Tanya_Draws on instagram