Goals for 2019 and beyond
Entering a new year always gets you thinking about resolutions - where you are now, what’s going to be different this year, what you’ll be able to achieve with a whole 365 days ahead of you. I do the same thing every year, and as I don’t necessarily set ‘resolutions’ as such, I always wonder at the end of the year whether I have in fact met the expectations of 12-month-previous-me… which is why I thought perfect first proper blog post for MJP could consist of a list of goals for the future.
I’ve been thinking about this list since mid December, and considering how much it has changed and evolved even since then, I am intrigued to see how it may compare to my goals in a year’s time. I am definitely not expecting not be sat here reading this back and checking each and every thing off of this list (slightly ambitious), although I do think it would be interesting to look back and see if I’ve managed to achieve or am any closer to achieving any, or even if some of been wiped off completely and replaced with something new.
- Sell my own products. I’m already on the way to this one thanks to my Punny Love greeting card series, however I hope to greatly expand my product range in the future. Having now set up a Shopify store and partnering with a great UK based Print on Demand service, meaning I don’t need to deal with my own stock, it’s just a case of coming up with some cool designs that people (hopefully!) would want want to buy.
- Get blogging. Another one which I’m well on the way to - just need to keep it up now! I often struggle to keep to long-term projects, allowing myself to prioritise my newer ideas over things I have already committed to, however I would love to be able to look back in a years time and be proud to know I’ve finally started a blog and stuck to it - even if I only post every month or so.
- Develop a distinctive style. Bit more of a tricky one, but I’d really like to nail down a specific style that I most enjoy creating in, and make it my own. Considering I am really only just starting out in the world of design and still exploring different techniques this is pretty hard to do, however my plan is to keep trying out different things while persisting with each one a little more, allowing myself to remain varied while still giving myself a chance to get confident in a particular style which I can then make unique to me.
- Develop the MJP brand. I’m starting to become very interested in the world of branding and creating a unique brand identity, so what better company to start off with than my own? Fonts, colour schemes, patterns, brand illustrations and even a new name and logo - this one is going to take a bit of time and dedication, but currently other than a logo, MJP doesn’t have much of a brand - and this is something I am just itching to get stuck into.
- Brand/rebrand a company. The natural next step after rebranding my own business - because while rebranding your own ‘baby’ is one thing, but working with an external client to create a conclusive brand identity is another. I’m talking brand styling, website, marketing - the works. Bearing in mind this is what I am currently aiming to do career-wise, I’d like to achieve this one sooner rather than later (and more than once!) to build up my portfolio.
- Work on my online presence. Spruce up my new website with some custom code. Order confirmation emails and newsletters. Social media strategy. This sort of all comes hand in hand with the development of my brand, but takes it further into becoming an established, reputable business. Another thing that will take a lot of time and thought, but this is something I want to at least have started when I come out of full-time work this autumn.
- Develop my motion graphics skills. Another thing I have a real developing interest in and would love to be proficient at in the future. I fully believe that animation is the future when it comes to marketing, social, and even web-design - so one of my main focuses for the year ahead (and beyond) will be to build my portfolio in this area.
- Further develop my coding skills. ReactJS is a coding language I’m eager to learn in the future, as well as Ruby/Liquid to help me adapt my Shopify site. I’ll need to update my existing coding knowledge first of course, but I plan to dedicate some time to this at some point.
- Teach. So, now onto the more ambitious… I’d love to get to a point where I can share some of the knowledge I have gained throughout my journey in this field so far. Even if that simply starts with some reviews and perhaps step-by-step tutorials on this blog, I know that I’d relish being able to share what I’ve learned, and help others develop their skills in the world of design.
- Downloadable freebies! Again, something to help others! Whether that’s just downloadable phone wallpapers to brighten your day, or even worksheets to have a go at lettering or illustration - this is an area I’d love to get involved in one day.
- Paint a mural. Will someone please let me paint on their wall? (Pretty please)
- Wedding Invites. One of my absolute dreams is to be able to design custom wedding invites. From initial concept to final print and production, this is one project I would be thrilled to get involved in.
- Create a procreate brush. I need to learn how to do it first, but this is something I’d love to have a go at!
- Attend a design conference. I am always looking for more opportunities not only to learn, but to experience new things and meet new people. Attending a design conference would be a great way for me to delve into this field in a way I may not be exposed to elsewhere.
- Do a branding campaign. Okay, this one is a bit more far-fetched than the others and will be much more likely when I’m further on in my career, but one day I would really love to get involved in a branding campaign - to see my work on posters and in digital advertisements would be so great!
- Illustrate a children's book. Another goal for one day in the future... but how amazing would it be to have my drawings inspiring the imaginations of young people?
- Further develop my lettering and illustration styles. This one will forever be ongoing. While I may set aside time to focus on coding or branding styles or my business goals, illustration and lettering are what started this all and I can’t wait to see how I develop in these fields in the future.
They say that if your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough - and I can safely say that the list above is definitely a little intimidating. At the end of the day whether this list were to take me 12 months or 12 years, it’s all about progress. Now to put the time in and make it happen.
And of course if anyone has any tips… please let me know!