It’s crazy to think there’s a mere fortnight between now and the next decade. This year has been a massive year for me, my business and my family. For all the things that have come and gone, I can honestly say it’s been a year that has tested my limits, pushed my boundaries, stretched my creativity and challenged me both professionally and personally. Let’s take a look back at the year that was.

January is generally a time that is quiet. Low key. Time for admin and planning. Not here. January I painted a massive mural for Bombay Sapphire and Madame Brussels. It’s also the month I first started creating digital work in Procreate after purchasing my iPad Pro and (over)thinking about it for way too long. I also lost one of my clients because I wasn’t brave enough yet to illustrate my own florals. Oh how far we have come.

February saw a whole heap of new followers after Tin Lun featured me on Goodtype (still floored and thankful). I also started working with Melbourne Metro and Cross Yarra Partnership as a freelancer through Artisan Recruitment. Some of you may not know but I do freelance recruiting on the side of Jasmine Designs. Basically any station you see in Melbourne that is currently being built and has branding or artists murals on them? That’s me in the background creating mock ups and elevations. Also helps the Super account too!

March was truly March Madness, with lots on the go. March saw me painting a mural in a morning at Westfield Fountain Gate, driving to Geelong to deliver Be.Bangles new packaging to them and way too many meetings to mention. Personally, big things happened. I started with a psychologist on a mental health care plan. I was suffering from overwhelm and drowning. Never be to proud to say you need help, it was the single greatest thing I did for myself this year.

April was the month of change for Rohan and I personally. We moved house into the apartment we live now. And Rohan got down on one knee and proposed! (Say it with me, finally!) On the business front, I hired Frances, my amazing VA to handle all the newsletters and started to learn how to delegate my workload. I also started what has become an amazing relationship with Everyday Lingerie Co, a client I can honestly say is my dream client (passionate, results driven, pays invoices on time. Tick).

May saw me writing words of motherly love at Lululemon and painting signage for Market Stall Co for Garage Project. Both wonderful jobs in very different ways. Sidenote, as I write this I realise I filmed the signage painting process and never actually put the footage together… isn’t it funny that the things that are for you sometimes fade in importance when you get busy. May also took us to Fiji, on my first proper disconnected from work trip (mainly because WiFi was stupid expensive for anything more than 30mins). It was in Fiji I really started to find the joy in drawing and illustrations, creating my first illustrative type piece. Which was pretty perfect timing, as it was the same month Typism Book 5 came out and ya girl was a featured artist. Booyah!

June started with a bang, being published in Intelligent Media magazine. Such an incredible experience and super validating. I also started to push my style and illustration with Procreate, creating one of my favourite pieces to date, my You Succ piece. Along the same lines, I posted one of my other favs for #homwork, a weekly lettering challenge by Lauren Hom (one of my idols). June was also the month I had to say no. No to budget that didn’t reflect my value. To terms that didn’t reflect my interests. Those no’s were hard, I’m a people pleaser, but they needed to be said.

July I really started honing in on what I wanted professionally. I wanted to do murals. That meant setting up a page on my website all about it (wanna see?) and starting to send out my Mini Mural Magic pieces into the world. I also tried my hand at producing, filming testimonial videos for Lanteri Partners on their clients and staff. And to top it all off, I moved offices, just to make life more interesting, and moved into a new office in Footscray with Simon and Kevin.

August saw the brand and website launch of Emily Edgeley, an incredible public speaking coach. I really loved how this project all came together. August was also Typism time, where I spent 4 jampacked days running around the Gold Coast, ferrying speakers and filming inspiring talks. Of course I cannot do a recap without mentioning my little man. Chorizo came to us in August, turned our world upside down and changed our lives forever. And finally, I featured in the Tools of the Trade exhibition put on by Melbourne Lettering Club (my piece is here).

September, birthday month! I turned the big 3-0 and I gotta say, it was pretty sweet. BBQ turn Tetris and Mario Kart tournament. Yes please. Then came one of the experiences I will treasure forever, I was chosen to head to Utah for LetterWest Retreat on a scholarship. No words (except maybe these in the blog I wrote) will describe that experience. I was also featured (again?) on Goodtype, this time by my friend and pun buddy, Nikita. We also launched the Everyday Lingerie Co brand and damn they looked good! From packaging to promotion, socials to swingtags, this brand is something I am so damn proud of.

October saw me interviewed by Danielle from ELC, proclaiming to the world that I love my bum. Yep. I also taught a Procreate class to an Aveo Retirement Village, created brand new packaging for Barkberry Manor, and had my mum over from Adelaide. October showed me the importance of balance and not to rush what doesn’t need to be, that sometimes the self-imposed deadlines we give ourselves need to be removed for creativity to happen.

November I painted 2 murals and two large illustrated signs in a single week. If you were to ask me why I did that, I could honestly not tell you. Timing is a funny thing. The first was for Moonee Ponds Central, a Christmas themed mural, and the second was for Warrior One Yoga. Both very different in pretty much every way! I also created some digital advertising and internal presentations for GoCardless, an online banking company and created onscreen graphics for the AMA Awards night. Digital and Analog, in the same month. Crazy.

Which brings us to December. As I’m writing this, it’s still early. There’s Christmas cards for corporate clients at the printers, Christmas painted commissions I’m partway through, planning for the first few months of work for 2020 and the final settlement on our apartment about to go through. All very adult and grown up, not sure how to feel.

Other notable things this year were creating advertising and stop motion videos for Long Haul Spa that we’re featured in Doha Airport, completing my third year publication cycle as designer for the Australian Medical Association magazine, Vicdoc, and helping other creatives navigate through problems with instagram coaching. It’s been a hell of a year.

I think we can all agree 2019 was just a lot. It had super highs and super lows. There were moments I though “hell yeah, I’m a business woman! I got this” and others I couldn’t breathe from panic and overwhelm. I know everyone has had their moments, and I truly hope that when you look back on 2019, you can look back with relief. Relief that it’s over, that it’s passed, but also that it happened, and that not only a new year, but a new decade awaits us, with all the promise of tomorrow. It’s a good year to have a good year.

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