It’s funny how we so quickly forget everything we managed to pack into a year. I ran through the best of 2012 and best of 2012: bridal bouquets (with the best of intentions to do a best of 2012: pet portraits that apparently fell to the way side)… now let’s see what 2013 had in store:
A New Website! 2013 many big changes, including a new (professionally built) website with built-in e-commerce which allows me to host my own shop and accept event registrations, and the re-branding of Studio Eriksdotter.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Cooper House and when we hit the launch button in mid-April I couldn’t be more proud. Remember the old site?
The old front page.
The old blog interface. What a change. I think my (somewhat OK) HTML skills took me far but I definitely felt the limitations and needed the help. Sure it was expensive, but my motto has always been “you have to spend money to make money,” and Cooper House was definitely worth it. Having a great brand and website that represents you well really makes it more fun to push yourself and your company even further.
Cocktails & Canvases! I started teaching painting classes last year and it has been so rewarding. I wanted to have a more intimate connection with my customers (I used to get my fill during art shows but with a day job, and a full commission schedule I’ve taken a break from all that), so that’s how C&C came about.
All in all, I think I hosted ten Cocktails & Canvases in my home, both open registration and private group classes. You can see photos from all the events here. This is something we’re definitely continuing this year and there are three classes open to registration for right now. Check out the events page for more.
Annual Open Studio event! Then there was the Open Studio, for a second year in a row. Gosh, this is a FUN event. This time, I hosted together with Stella & Dot so I could bring some extra bling to my customers. It was such a wonderful time to connect with people who’ve followed me for many years or just found me the other day. See photos from the event here and here. The next open studio event is scheduled for May 3rd where I’ll be exhibiting with my Mom – two generations of Swedish artists.
An Assistant! Several of the projects I leaped into last Spring were possible because of my (then) assistant, Katie-Beth. She joined me for ten hours a week from January through June as an intern in PR/Communications (my other passion and day job). It was so much fun having her around and I’m so proud of her. In the fall, she landed an internship with Clear Channel Communications, just wrapped up a two-week study abroad trip to Ecuador and is now focusing on finishing up her studies at George Mason University.
New Marketing Collateral! My collaboration with Erin and Tim over at Cooper House didn’t end with a new site, I also worked with them on several new marketing collateral, like these new fun business cards…
And, just in time for the holidays, they helped me develop a fun and unique gift card in the shape of a book so all last-minute shoppers could still give a pet portrait for Christmas. Of course, it works all year round for any last-minute gift giving opportunity – why not Valentine’s Day?
New notecards! With the launch of the new site, I thought we needed some new fancy notecards in really nice packaging. I love having my new logo on the back.
Commissions, commissions, commissions! Last year kept me busy with commissions up to right before Christmas. In total I finished twenty-three custom orders in 2013, and painted a total of thirty-three paintings. It has been such an amazing feeling to be so in-demand and always booked six-months in advance. What another artist can say that? I get to do what I love, be in my studio and paint pieces that people love. In the above photo, I’m celebrating booking four commissions in one week!
The busy commission schedule left me no time for the balance I have been craving in my life, nor time to just play around and see what comes out on a blank canvas. So change is going to come in 2014. Less commissions, and more experimental painting.
A wonderful media mention! The very popular cat blog, I HAVE CAT, did a feature on me and my pet portraits and did a lengthy write-up about my cats. I love dogs and cats equally, and a proud cat woman. This was a wonderful way to spread my art. You can read it here.
Amazing feedback! One of the most valuable things that happened last year was the wonderful feedback I received from YOU. I worked so hard at a marketing mailing campaign, poured in money into it, just to wait and hear crickets. You connected to my story and showered me with love. Also, I shared my longing to still have a wedding, and dared to ask Why Do You Buy From Me? Thank you for filling my heart with love when I dared greatly. I’m so grateful.
A jam-packed Life & Time category! On a personal level 2013 was a year of “movement.” Both Casey and I started working out, separately, twice a week with a personal trainer. For me, my shoulder was still not rehabilitated after a year in physical therapy, so Jenn (the awesome trainer) had her work cut out getting my shoulder better (which took like six months) and then getting me in shape – a challenge for sure since I had been sitting on my butt 15 hours a day for the last several years.
On top of that, I decided to train for a half-marathon, which eventually became too much with my already insane schedule (a leg injury didn’t help), but Casey and I ran a couple of 5K’s together as part of the training which was fun. I think we’ll get back into running shorter distances soon and plan to participate in a few races.
The year brought travels and a visit from afar. Mom and I headed to St. Thomas to celebrate her 60th birthday (part 1, part 2 and part 3), and then Casey and I headed to Spain in September (part 1, part 2 and part 3) to hang out with my best friend, Linn and her family. We also enjoyed the company of my Aunt who traveled from Sweden to stay at my Mom’s for a few weeks.
2013 was the year with love in the air! Casey and I attended three weddings (Adamstown, Md, Eastern, Md and Richmond, Va), and it was so wonderful to see our friends say their “I do’s.” I’m such a sucker for romance.
Besides moving into shape, and physically moving as in traveling, I also moved spiritually and became a certified healer. Over eight days in the summer, I took a course to improve my healing and psychic abilities – for myself and to bring more light into my art and to spread healing energy.
Lastly, the end of the year brought some remodeling (moving out the old and in with the new – see how I did that?). We FINALLY upgraded our bathrooms. Like my energy coach, Colette Chase, said “People often forgo the importance of glorifying a room in which one is cleansed in so many ways.” Instead of walking into my bathroom for the last five years thinking “man, I hate that floor” “I can’t wait to redo this,” I feel peace and grounded when I’m in my bathroom, a necessity for me. How can we otherwise recharge our batteries and give it our all to ourselves, as wife, cat mother, painter, daughter, sister, friend, coworker…
I hope you’ve enjoyed looking back at the best of 2013! Stay tuned for all the paintings from last year.