Summertime and the livin’ is easy, according to Ella Fitzgerald.
Well, I’m working up to some easy living in a couple of weeks time, when the kids, hubby and I go away on our summer holiday to Sandy Balls in the New Forest (love that name!).
In the meantime, I’m riding the summer wave which is still most definitely up and down. This week the waves have ebbed and flowed over on Instagram.
Here’s this weeks Illustration Life #31 update:
Wins this Week
Etsy Stories Takeover
Little ‘ol me took over Etsy stories this weekend. I’m still pinching myself! I was so happy to be asked and sharing the making of a Sassy Du Fleur illustration, from start to finish was really enjoyable.
Sassy wears a beautiful hydrangea dress hand embellished with Swarovski crystals. The story involved me buying flowers, painting Sassy, creating her floral dress, a little tour of my studio and a behind the scenes peek at my illustration process.
Sassy Du Fleur Limited Edition
After creating the story, I decided it was time to start offering limited edition prints. So I have now started working on my print shop, here on this very website. The Sassy I created for the Etsy story is available in my shop here too. Mainly I’ll be offering limited edition portrait illustrations on this website. It’s an area I want to develop. More original works and limited edition artworks.
A lot of late nights and very early mornings later, the shop is starting to take shape. If you’re a newsletter subscriber, I’ll be offering exclusive discounts and artwork in my shop, so if you like what you see, do signup. Every month you’ll also get a free print to download, which is proving very popular.
I just want to give a little mention to Brighton & Hove Pride this weekend. Along with my lovely cousin Lou and our daughters, we popped into Brighton to enjoy the festivities and soak up the love in the air. As well as see some real characters and costumes!
I adore Brighton at this time of year. The city knows how to party hard! Brighton pride is particularly fab because people, families, of all ages, colour, beliefs, all from different backgrounds, come together to celebrate diversity and acceptance. Wonderful. And the atmosphere is always brilliant!
Frustrations this Week
Instagram! As much as it can put my mood up, it can also bring it back down again. I’m up and down like an Instagram yo-yo.
A couple of weeks back I decided to switch to a business profile. I liked the idea of the swipe up feature in stories, plus the ability to directly click on the contact information link. (The analytics are OK but I already use Iconosquare).
Well, suffice to say, for me, it was a disaster! Lower engagement, less visibility on my posts. I lost more followers than I gained. I admittedly posted some imagery that I know wouldn’t do so well such as my botanically hairy Frida Kahlo (these sort of posts never do as well as the purely flowery ones).
Then, the day I switched back to a personal Instagram profile, the post that very same day, must have hit the explore page because it went a bit crazy (the flowery paintbrush at the top of this post).
Here’s a look at my Iconosquare stats for anyone interested or thinking about switching to a business profile. I’ve marked the dip between switching to business profile and then back to a personal profile.
As I say, this could all be coincidental and there doesn’t seem to be any right or wrong on Instagram these days. I know that change is coming to Instagram. I’m sure our precious accounts, especially business accounts will go the same way as Facebook pages at some point. If we want more visibility, we are going to have to pay for it. How that affects personal profiles I’m not quite sure.
I want to leave you with this quote from Muhammad Ali. Business is so up and down yet I remain positive. And I love sharing this journey with you. I’m finding it very cathartic summarising my journey every week.
Each moment I work towards my goal, is a moment of winning. I believe wholeheartedly, that one day I’m going to achieve my dreams and more!
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.” Muhammad Ali
Have an inspired day