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!