Side Hustle: a journey of creative freedom and clarity. Also, bullet journaling really is all that.

For the last 6 months I’ve been trying to get my side hustle off the ground. It has been a mind-boggling amount of work, and I’m nowhere close to where I need to be to make this a viable side stream income.

I feel like I’ve made a thousand false starts, but I’ve also learned a ton about:

  • WordPress, Shopify, Instagram, Etsy integrations
  • Marketing, Affiliate marketing
  • Creating repeating patterns
  • Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Captivate, Procreate
  • My fancy Epson printer
  • Print on Demand (PoD) sites: Redbubble, Society6, ShopVida, TeePublic
  • PoD Dropshipping services: Gooten, Printify, Art of Where, Printful
  • Bullet Journaling

And most importantly, I’ve learned about:

  • My own limitations
  • What it is exactly that I do and don’t want to do
  • What doesn’t work

I’m clearly still working on what does work. I have a full-time and very demanding job. I also have a family that needs to be fed and paid attention to (whateverrrrr). I was giving myself an unrealistic schedule for my side hustle (blog every single day!) and felt like a failure when I didn’t even come close to meeting my own expectations. There are many times where you just feel like throwing up your hands in defeat.

Bullet journaling to the rescue!  I finally caught on to the bullet journal craze; it really is all that. Honestly, it’s been a game changer. I even have a personal bullet journal and a work bullet journal. It’s helped me find a ton of clarity and I created a schedule that I feel like I can live with.

First I identified all the things that I want to give my attention to regularly:

  • Creating screenprints, illustrations, and all over print patterns
  • Making tutorials
  • Blogging
  • Uploading to Print on Demand Sites
  • Market Research and Marketing (blurgh)
  • Free Creative exploration
  • Self education

This list is TINY compared to what I was originally trying to accomplish.

To make this doable in my busy schedule I’ve defined out a 6 week cycle that consists of creative output (illustrations, patterns, screenprints) and some sort of product creation (uploading stuff to PoD sites, making tutorials), self education (Skillshare FTW!) and creative free play,  and finally putting myself out there (blog posts, the dreaded marketing).  Each week contains Free Friday, where I can just do free creative exploration and play which most often results in nothing, but sometimes results in a kernal of an idea that grows into something wonderful

Here’s the schedule:

WEEK 1

  • Creating: Screenprints
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday
WEEK 2

  • Creating: Illustrations
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday
WEEK 3

  • Creating:  Over Print patterns
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday
WEEK 4

  • Creating: Themed exploration
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday
WEEK 5

  • Creating: Tutorial
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday
WEEK 6

  • Creative Exploration Week!
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy

I started this last week and it was more wonderful than I could have imagined. Having an entire week devoted to screenprinting gave me so much freedom to give it my full attention rather than be thinking about all the other stuff I had to do. I wanted to play with my new screenprinting toy that my husband got me and do a simple three color print. I decided to do my very favorite food, artichokes!

Since I create the screenprinting separations digitally, it also meant I had a digital file to play with, which I did and uploaded on products on Redbubble and Society6:

This week was Illustration time, and I created some fox illustrations (by request) and I LOVE how they have come out, here’s an sample of the first illustration I did:

fox-standing-full.png

My next blog post will be about the creative process that happened and all the resulting art and products I produced from drawing a single fox.

That’s plenty for now!

— Davida

Crazy Quick Illustrator CC Tip: Toggle between Pen and Direct Select

I’m kicking off a new series I’m calling Crazy Quick Illustrator CC Tips.

I’ve been teaching myself illustrator for the past few months, and have learned a ton of amazing tips and tricks. I’ve decided to start recording some of them for myself and other illustrator noobs.

This is the first in my series: Hold COMMAND to toggle between Pen tool and Direct Select.

Here’s a video to see it a bit mores slowly: