This year I decided to make some hobby resolutions. I have been saying to myself "I should do this" or "I need to try that" and it hasn't worked for me just yet. I found out the other day if I just make a little checklist I can get more done. So I decided to write down my resolutions and see if that helps. I came up with 5 of them and I think they are all really important. So here we are:
1. Keep better records. I need to make sure to save ALL my receipts from doll making expenses. It is so hard to do taxes properly when I am trying to remember if I missed any expenses because I am missing receipts. I also have to remember to put ALL the dolls in the order book. That means random sales dolls, donations and dolls for me too. That way I will have a more accurate count of what I did by the end of the year.
2. I need to make a to-do list every day. That little checklist I discovered can make a big difference to my day. It doesn't help if I am bit by the super lazy bug but it does give me more focus when I am working. I put it in the order that makes sense for my time and stick to it. It really does help me to have a list where I can check things off.
3. I want to make nicer, more realistic dolls. I want to put more details in, more bling, fancy chaps (on western dolls of course) sculpted heads, repainted faces. Whatever it takes to make nicer dolls. I have been reworking patterns a bit this year and I think I should keep doing that. But maybe I also need to alter the way I put the dolls together a bit. I want to have dolls that make people stop and go "wow".
4. I want to take better photos of my sales pieces and custom orders. I thought I was doing better when most of my photos of dolls were on properly tacked horses, outside, good lighting and not an ugly or distracting background. But the way the hobby seems to be going is towards nice studio shots. So I need to try to work out some good lighting in my house full of really bad lighting. So since fancier studio shots seem to be what is helping sell more things it's worth a try.
5. I want to save more money. That's not really a hobby goal but it is a good goal to have. I don't know about other hobby artists but it seems for me that Spring and Summer and a bit of fall are the best seasons for selling dolls. In the winter when there are rarely shows people don't seem to buy much. And the holidays have people holding onto their money very tightly or spending only on their friends and family. So saving more during the better season will make winter (the highest bill season) easier to deal with. Less stress is always a good thing.
2010 was not the best year for me. It had a lot of ups and downs. But we are now into a new year and I am hoping with a positive attitude, some hard work and a little help from friends and family every now and then, 2011 will be a wonderful year. Happy New Year everyone!