Burn Out

I’m going to do my best not to apologise whilst I write this, because let’s be honest. I’ve spent most of this year apologising for my lack of posts, lack of interaction, lack of art, lack of products, lack of… me.

The truth is, this year has broken me a bit. After the last few crazy years and pushing through and staying strong, 2022 brought an intense kind of burn out that has wiped me out. For the past few years, for various reasons, I have been fighting to keep everything going and to keep my business alive and a happy place full of goodies to make people smile and bring a bit of light to the world.

I’m stubborn by nature, so naturally, when faced with this challenge, I jumped head first and fought back. It worked. Of course it worked! If you have the motivation and the passion, you can achieve it, but of course, it has come at a price. After over two years of this mega work and pushing and creating and after a year of health ups and downs and my mental health taking a bad turn, I now find myself a bit tired.

But again, I’m not going to apologise even though I feel as though I should. I am also not writing this for sympathy or anything else. I don’t tend to share much personal stuff with the world, as I am not fantastic at words. That’s why I mostly stick to pictures, but I just feel like I need to get this out.

This is the first year I haven’t had a new Christmas collection. I didn’t have many new autumn designs really either. I took on so much custom work. I was working all the hours possible on that and I’m now here realising that I have no time for new art and to be honest, I’ve been working on some BIG projects that have left me a little bit low on creative juices. I’m struggling to even paint or draw for myself at the moment. But again, that’s due to burn out.

I’ve had to make the tough decision this year to actually take a step back and prioritise myself and my health over my business, which again feels weird, but it’s also necessary. I’m actually feeling nervous even writing this because it feels wrong to write it down here. Like admitting I need to take a break is a bad thing. It really isn’t, but it feels so wrong. I feel like I should be pushing more and creating and doing more and just going back to how I was before, but at the same time, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to go back to that version of myself is to actually take a break.

So this year there will be no new artwork or designs for the festive season and I will be closing both of my shops on December 15th. My last postage day will be December 16th and then I will be closed until the new year and hopefully a long break over Christmas will allow me to recharge and regain the energy I need to run my business.

It’s not personal, it’s not a cry for help. It’s an artist looking after herself for once and making sure she’s ready for all the fun the new year holds. Because I might not have managed to get all my new ideas ready this year but you can guarantee I’ll have them ready next year. And that feels bad too. Oh it’s so hard when you have so much you want to do but you’re just too tired to get there! My head is so full of new ideas that are so exciting but my body just wants to rest. Again, burn out.

But these new ideas are ready for the new year once I’ve recharged and have my muse back!

I just want to add a huge thank you to everyone who has stuck with me for the past few years and all the new faces and friends I’ve made. You remind me why I do this crazy job in the first place and in all honesty this job is one of my biggest passions. It’s a huge part of who I am and I am unbelievably grateful for everything I have with this business. I’m hoping to do a year round up post in December and you can guarantee it’s going to be overflowing with gratitude!

Thank you if you read this far and thank you for supporting me and my artwork!

Maybe throughout December I can do a few fun things and posts but for now I’m just going to take things one day at a time. I think that’s a good way to go for the rest of the year. Small steps and one day at a time.

Have a fantastic week!

Also if what I’ve written about today sounds familiar, you may be feeling the burn out too! If so please remember to look after yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup is so painfully true. Don’t be like me and wait until you’re completely exhausted before looking after yourself. Remember to recharge!

Something Wicked!

It’s that time of year again!

It’s spooky season!

I also haven’t been updating yet again… It’s been a really tough year here at the badger studio so I do apologise for that! I hope I can get on top of everything again in the new year but for now I’m just taking things one day at a time!

Both my Etsy shop and my shopify shop have got some seasonal and spooky goodies available at the moment! And should I mention the dreaded festive goodies that have also started arriving in the shops? Not yet? Okay, maybe next week I’ll post about them!

October has been a busy month, I tried to do my own Inktober and managed to get to day 9 before I crashed and didn’t have the creative energy to keep going. It was a shame as I was really enjoying it but I just didn’t have the energy in the evenings.

I did however get to create some amazing custom pieces that annoyingly I can’t show or mention too much at the moment as they’re going to be gifts so it’s all a big secret but I loved working on them. I’m looking forward to doing a big roundup of my custom work at the end of the year as a bit of fun!

The new winter designs are also coming along nicely, I don’t have as many this year but they’re going to make a fun addition to the already fun collection. Hopefully I can share them all soon.

Okay, going to keep this short for now! So I hope you’ve had a great October and have a spooky fun halloween!

Open for Business

I am so very excited to announce that both my Etsy and my Shopify shops are now open!

If you’ve been following me for a while you will know that I’ve been trying to get everything up and running for a few months now and it just kept getting put back or something else would come up which was incredibly annoying but it’s made opening the shop even more amazing!

A HUGE thank you goes out to my boyfriend who basically got everything running for me because he’s blooming amazing!

My shopify shop is UK only so far but my Etsy shop has some international options still. Digital orders are also still open worldwide.

I will have more updates over the next few weeks including my autumn/Christmas shop updates! So keep an eye out for that.

I hope September has treated you well and that you’re excited for Octobers arrival tomorrow! I know I am, it’s one of my favourite months of the year and I am ready for the fun adventures in nature, painting and updating the shops with fun goodies!

I’m even tempted to join a month challenge… maybe. We shall see if I have the time! If you got this far, thanks so much for reading and your continued support for me and my artwork. It really does mean so much to me.

Wishing you an October full of small happy moments.

Siobhan x

Summer Update!

It’s been a busy year so far at the badger studio which has left me a bit quiet on here and social media so I thought it was about time that I posted an update about everything that’s going on right now!

What’s currently going on with Silly Badger Designs?

My Etsy shop is currently closed whilst I am busy catching up on custom work, I have a bit of a fun list including logos, detailed portrait illustrations and a book! Yes, a book that I’ve been keeping quiet about as I was unsure whether the customer would appreciate me sharing about it but I will just keep it vague. All I will say is that it’s a lot more work than I was originally expecting!

My Etsy shop is also closed whilst I’m getting the Autumn/winter designs finalised, products made and getting my new shop ready to launch!

Thanks to my partner who has actually spent a good part of today working hard to help me get my Shopify shop ready, I am now planning on launching the new shop later this month so keep an eye out for more information on that soon! I’m hoping to open it with some discounts (for newsletter subscribers) and fun freebies!

Along with all of this I’ve been getting on top of my admin, I actually did my tax return early this year! and I’ve been creating new fabric designs that are now available in my Spoonflower shop.

What’s coming soon to Silly Badger Designs?

September

  • Well as previously mentioned I will be launching my Shopify shop later this month and reopening my Etsy shop. There will be new items available in both shops including some of my new autumn designs and products.
  • I’m currently working hard to get the new designs and products made. I’m very excited because I’m getting some products printed and I love receiving them in the post. It’s so amazing seeing your own designs printed.
  • I’m also working on some craft kits and will hopefully be able to offer both digital and physical versions of these.

October

  • Full Autumn/Winter and Christmas updates will be going live in the shops and I will be opening a limited amount of places for Christmas custom work. More on this in a later post.
  • I will be updating my print on demand shops including my fabrics and Redbubble shops.
  • I will hopefully be adding some digital products to my shops and adding some craft kits! Again more on this in a later post.

November

  • This month will mostly involve me getting orders packed and sent along with completing custom work for the festive period.
  • I will be ending international delivery mid to late November on my Etsy shop as I just don’t trust the postal systems this year and I don’t want any of my customers to be disappointed with their delivery/orders.

December

  • This is the month where things start to calm down a bit and I get ready to take my Christmas break. I’m not 100% decided on when the shops will be closing but I will let everyone know closer to the time.

It’s definitely a lot of work right now and I do feel like I’m running around all the time but it’s going to be worth it. All of my new ideas are giving me back my passion and motivation for my business and it feels great to have that back again.

So for now I shall continue to be busy working behind the scenes and getting these new goodies ready to go! Maybe I’ll even manage to find the time to share my work in progress with you!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely summer and are looking forward to the new season, here’s a recent work in progress sketch so that I actually share some artwork and not just words today!

Silly Badger Designs

Creative Comparisons

I’ll start this post with the tip of NEVER compare your work to someone else’s work. It’s not worth the heartache because you will always tear your own work apart and think it should look like something else. Makes no sense but the human brain isn’t logical.

However I do think it’s actually quite fun to compare yourself with you past self and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing recently!

At the beginning of this month I was feeling a bit burned out from deadlines so I decided to close my custom orders for a couple of weeks to give myself a break and to catch up on some new designs for the shop. I was ready to create but I had no inspiration. Instead I just stared at a blank page feeling the pressure to create something build up. So I decided to go back to some of my original ratty designs that I created 7 years ago and try to recreate them.

My little Milo got a fantastic make-over

These original designs are so different to how I create now, I still love them but it’s also so much fun to actually see how much my style has evolved over the years. I love where my creative adventure has taken me and also that I’ve found so much love for textures. The next example gave me nightmares though…

Little Evie

Evie’s original toes (literally haunting my nightmares), the iffy inking and my poor scanning and editing skills have made me cringe so much since I found this one. But at the same time it’s also given me that fantastic feeling of achievement to see how far I’ve come.

The final recreated design I’m sharing today is my “Everything will be okay” design. This was a bit difficult as I along with many other people absolutely love the original design so I felt torn over recreating it with an updated style. I still love the original as it’s just so special but the recreated illustration also fills me with happy feelings. I’m glad I took the time to update the design with the others.

Everything will be okay

I’ve really enjoyed giving these designs a new lease of life and it was a much needed mental break from coming up with new designs. It ended up being a great motivator too as it showed me that I have made progress in the last few years even if I beat myself up at times.

There’s going to be lots of fun happening at Silly Badger Designs over the summer months and I’m super excited to share more but it’s a bit top secret at the moment. To be the first to get new updates and sneak previews sign up to my mailing list here (Don’t worry I only email when there’s something new happening, I don’t have time to spam you! XD)

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And if you got this far thanks for reading my rambles! I hope May has treated you well and I look forward to sharing more next month!

Hello March!

We’re only a few days in and it’s already been a busy and exciting month so far!

I started out with a little shop update that was incredibly unplanned. I cannot express how unplanned it truly was as the earliest I was thinking of doing a shop update was the end of March and yet on the 2nd I had all the new products ready to go so I just went for it. I’m so happy I did though as it was a fun and cheerful update that seems to have brightened the shop.

One of the new card designs available in the shop now!

The shop update also included some new art prints that are featured in my portfolio. One of my biggest goals this year is to expand my portfolio so there are some non ratty designs available too including this horse design. This print was inspired by my longing for those warm hazy summer days when you can go for a gentle walk in the countryside past fields of horses that are usually quite friendly and nosy as you walk past them. It was created whilst there was snow and ice outside. Is it obvious I’m craving the warmer weather?

Summer Dreams art print

It’s not my usual art print style but I really love how this illustration came out and I love that it just makes me feel happy and think of happy memories of Cornish holidays.

You can see the rest of the shop update by going to my Etsy Shop

The rest of the month is slowly coming together in my planner and I’m very excited to be sharing more here and on my Instagram account (sillybadgerdesigns) You can see a lot of behind the scenes and updates there and I’m hoping to show some of my sketchbook work on my account later on this month so keep an eye out for that!

In other news my Spoonflower shop is back open with a small amount of ratty faces designed fabrics. You can find a link to my shop in my find me elsewhere page. I’m hoping to add a few more designs to the shop over the next few months and I will also be adding a woven monkey shop once that’s all set up.

Basically the rest of the month is incredibly busy and I’m bursting with new ideas that I can’t wait to make a reality and share! But for now I will leave it with the shop updates, so remember to follow me on Instagram to keep up to date on what’s happening!

And sign up to my newsletter as my first email will be going out at the beginning of April.

Have a happy March! 🙂

Welcome to Silly Badger Designs!

Hello!

Thank you so much for visiting my (new) website and a big special thank you if you’re reading this because you’re also reading my first blog!

Starting a blog has been on my to do list along with creating a website so as I’ve just done one I thought I might as well tick off another big scary thing from the to do list.

I thought as it’s the first blog post I would take a moment to let you know a little bit more about myself and Silly Badger Designs

I currently work from my home studio where I create artwork and illustrations with a mixture of art mediums from digital art to inks, watercolours and pencils. You can usually find me doodling something or packing orders with Merlin, my sprocker spaniel at my feet (or more likely on my lap lately). Either that or he’ll be sitting and glaring at me for not focussing all my attention on him.

And after mentioning the little floof monster, here is Merlin. He features a lot in my artwork and as a crazy dog mum I must share him on here!

Crazy and cute little alien!

I’ve been running Silly Badger Designs since early 2016, my shop is currently on Etsy where you can find lots of printed goodies with my designs on them. Nearly all of my items there are handmade by myself.

You can also find my work on products through my redbubble shop too.

This year I’m hoping to expand my portfolio and take on a few big projects that I can’t really mention just yet as I’m afraid I’ll jinx it! However I’m hoping to have fabric designs available by mid spring. I’ve also started using a sketchbook again after a few years break so I’m hoping to share more from that over on my Instagram and potentially here.

I am also taking pet portrait commissions again. They’re limited availability at the moment as I don’t have enough time to take on many until later on in the year so if you’re interested in commissioning me please let me know via the contact page or go to pet portraits in my shop for more information.

Finally I’d love to hear from you so feel free to come say hi or to let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see in future blogs! You really want to see more Merlin right?

Siobhan