Sunday, 22 July 2018

Here's What No One Tells You About Starting Over

Alex Tan Photography | Death to Stock

Recently I relocated and have started a new chapter in my life with my partner in crime, gotten myself a part time job, been ill for over a month, had four bees’ nests and obtained so much mismatched furniture my anxiety can’t cope sometimes. I am left out of balance with myself and life in general. 

Even after relocating a few times in my life I thought that I would have this down. After the goodbyes and all the unpacking what happens next?

Here's What No One Tells You About Starting Over:

Things Are Not Always Perfect

Relocating doesn’t always run smoothly. For instance, I am still unpacking, waiting on furniture and trying to establish a good routine. Due to this I am feeling behind on so many things and it can get overwhelming.

Some days you may not know what you are doing and that’s ok.

I assumed that when I went freelance full-time that I would have everything figured out but then I moved to a more expensive city and had to rethink my new life. So, I got myself a little part-time job to ease the stress of my finances. The job is manageable and means all of my bills are paid for at the end of the month without taking up too much of my time.

When we moved loved ones gave us unwanted home goods and this was much appreciated as we didn’t have much money left to nest in our new home. So, what if the furniture doesn’t match? I say this as the perfectionist side of me is being impatient and wants everything cohesive and well placed. You have plenty of time to get yourself in order and the things you want to do. No one is perfect you shouldn’t feel bad because things are not what you expect them to be.

Doubt Will Rear Its Ugly Head

Relocating is never easy. You will doubt yourself. Am I making the right decision by moving away? What if it all goes wrong? what if I fail? These doubts and much more can flood your mind.

Me I get homesick sometimes and miss my friends but then I remember why I moved away. It is what was best for me. No one can dictate your life but you. Changing your mindset and doing your best to build your new life can be an incredible experience.

Growing up I knew that people wanted to see me fail and I have countless times, but I am still going and still learning with each mistake and achievements. Haters will hate but the only voice that matters is your own. Carry on doing your thing and be proud of how far you’ve come. Even if it something big or small you did that, and you have every right to feel good about that.

When I have self-doubt I keep myself busy, journal, do yoga, have a bath, listen to podcasts or watch vlogs created by talented and inspiring people to lift my spirits. Everyone is different do what works for you.

 Making Friends Is Not As Easy As It Used To Be

In real life and online you have to go out of your way to make connections with others and put in the effort. The world is pretty fast paced now and if you are moving or already have moved to a city like myself then it can be difficult forming friendships.

Now I am one of those people who struggle to make friends easily but that is ok because I do value my time alone and prefer the friends I gained growing up with and the ones I have made from previous jobs.

Organically you will meet people overtime. In most of my jobs I have made friends for life. I even got myself a part-time job a month after I relocated and started a new chapter in my life.
Some of the people I have met are lovely and I get to know them more with each shift. I am not saying I will be out dancing and dancing with them on the weekends but connecting with people makes the job a better working environment.

Getting to know the neighbours can be daunting for some. A lot of curtain twitching was happening when we were getting settled. I like to think we are boring sometimes but clearly people were curious about us.

Through passing we have met a few of our next-door neighbours who are pleasant and one of them even has a little Staffordshire bull terrier who is amazing and loves belly rubs! 

Alex Tan Photography | Death to Stock

Have Some Fun

After moving I ended up with a chest infection and felt deflated with everything but after I got better I tried to perk myself up with some things. I explored my new city. A couple of searches on Google and some walking around to explore was just what I needed. I found a large beautiful park and some good food places to try out.

Discover new and exciting activities in your new location or even set yourself a new challenge that is personal to you. Some days I love going out to the cinema, a music gig or a gin and food festival but then some days I want to reorganise my wardrobe and have a clear out and have Netflix on in the background. These activities might not sound fun to some but each to their own. What makes you smile?

 Reinventing Yourself Is A Challenge

Starting afresh and becoming the new you can be daunting. There are parts of you that you may not like and want to make some changes.

I imagine myself sometimes becoming an instafamous artist just like that with loads of money in bank and going on round the world trips living the high life. Then the realist part of me is like get a new fashion look, get my jobs done and get my projects off the ground. Even these tasks don’t happen over-night.

Go at your own pace and make the changes you want.

Right now, I am clearing out unnecessary clutter, having a more of a positive outlook, avoiding drama, concentrating on getting settled in my new home and what I can do for my business to grow.

When things do not go to plan treat yourself to self-care. You are number one!

Look To The Future

The future can have so many possibilities. It is exciting! Dreaming up ways of different outcomes to an amazing future can give you the warm and fuzzies. To make the future you want plan and execute how you wish to get there.
I recommend a mood board. The first mood board I created of the life I wanted for myself included an art studio, a big house by a lake, a cute dog and a huge wardrobe room of clothes. Since then my mindset has changed and the way the world is I wish for a peaceful mind, doing the work that I love, a happy life with my partner, a cute pet obviously and roof over our heads.
Maybe you are not where you thought you were going to be at a certain stage in your life but do not let that stop you. The future has so many possibilities just like you.

Whether you have just moved or considering relocating it can be an adjustment and have many bumps in the road but the journey to building your new life can be an incredible experience. Enjoy the adventure and take each day as it comes.

Monday, 26 February 2018

My First Moo Products Review


 As it is early days with my artistic freelance career one of my objectives is to keep my expenses low. I was in need of promotional products, so I researched a few printing shops and online stores. I came across Moo.

This online design printing store is stylish and very appealing. Sign-up and apply because they offer a sample pack of some their business cards. 


I do like the foil business cards in the free pack however, I knew I could not afford this at first, so I researched what was in my budget and ideal for my illustration needs. 

You can start designing your business cards right away and utilise the save button to your advantage. This gives you time to create more work, edit and resize your designs to place in the designated space areas on the business cards. I love this feature! 

Whilst I was working on more illustrations and artwork to add the design slots I received an email with a discount I could apply to my business cards. This is valuable! Take advantage of great offers like this to help keep your business expenses low on promotional tools. Plus, by going for the cheaper option it is a great way to test the service out.


I went for the Matte Laminate Business Cards with space for fifty designs. I chose my best and diverse designs for the front of the cards and then for the back I kept my brand name, keywords relating to my business and links to my website, social media and email organised as simple as possible for a well-balanced composition. There are quite a few delivery options, so I opted for standard delivery as I was in no rush. 

The package arrived on time and fitted well through the letterbox. No waiting around for the delivery person!
Inside was a rectangle slide box that holds my business cards neatly, organised and compact, making it easy to carry around and hand out to potential clients. Check out my business Moo promotional materials in the images provided.


Once I have run out I will upgrade my business cards and take more advantage of the design spaces with my next order batch. I am thinking the Letterpress or the Gold Foil Business Cards.

I also highly recommend investing in the Moo stickers. It was an affordable treat for my freelance business. I uploaded my logo brand name in black and white and ordered them in soft rounded square stickers. These are a nice touch to the back of my cello bags for packaging up orders for my online stores. The sticker pack is an excellent and low priced promotional item for marketing your business.


Take a look for yourself and browse the vast array of options that has to offer. Here is a referral code for your new Moo promotional materials enjoy!

Thursday, 1 February 2018

The Start of My Online Business

Fresh Start

I have been away for a while completing my final year of university, working a full time office job and having a rocky but interesting dating life. Now I am here starting out as a freelance illustrator full-time. I am no longer at my previous employment but now self-employed on a creative journey and tackling my biggest challenges.

At first I was in shock but then after a few days I got myself together and started working towards my creative passion. I have always been self-sufficient and it is how I am going to continue to be.

When you find yourself newly self-employed after working since you were seventeen for big companies and in my case it is daunting and that fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. However, I have always wanted to be a freelance illustrator/artist and I am giving it my best shot.

It is not easy. There have been bumps in the road. Mixed emotions. Lots of areas for improvement. They are parts of the journey. I am doing what I love and it will not be smooth sailing but I am happier than I have ever been. 

I budget, pay all the bills on time, have the tools I need, eat better than I did last year, exercise a few days a week, have a weird but great family and friends and have a roof over my head. I am grateful for what I have and as long as I have what I need I can focus on my artwork. 

I used to obsess over printmaking years ago and then was intimidated by it and felt like I was not good enough for this field, so I gave up. This was how I felt drawing portraits as I compared myself to the many talented portrait artists and illustrators around the world. I stopped and felt unworthy of drawing. I felt low but I was still and currently obsessed with art, portraiture and printmaking. The comparison game can be deadly and crush you. I feel it sometimes but getting back into portraiture and printmaking was the perfect opportunity for me to get back into the game and helping form my business. Also, I hated Abstract art years ago but have come to appreciate it and be fascinated by the process. I like to think I have matured a lot more since my foundation art degree 18 year old me. This is an area of art I use to experiment and play around with mixed media in my journals. It is very therapeutic.

I have doubts sometimes but to help me grow I push aside the negative feelings and create. I do not have a distinguished style and a lot of work but I am ok with that. I am on a creative, scary and exciting journey and I feel awesome!

The beginning of my journey so far: 

  • Decluttered my life
  • Invested in the materials and tools
  • Put together a business plan
  • Created a competitor analysis
  • Revamped my website and online stores
  • Gained new online stores
  • Acquired social media business accounts
  • Made a financial report to help me budget
  • Constantly working on my SEO
  • Journaling my ideas down
  • I create 

If anyone has suddenly lost their job, been fired or taken the leap to quit and decided to follow their dream passion I would love to hear about your experiences and journeys.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Commissioned Baby Elephant Sketch







I was commissioned to create a sketch of an elephant for a client. He has an elephant theme in his guest toilet and once he had it framed it went well next to the elephant trinkets on display. I mostly used a HB pencil and graphite pencils to sketch this elephant calf out on to a4 paper.