If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few posts where I mentioned that I'm updating my Nature Guides. Since you guys have been the best support system to me since I opened my shop doors, I want to explain exactly why I've decided to make these updates.
In the summer of 2017 I designed about a dozen nature identification bundles using stock images that I had collected over the years through my pursuit of a career in graphic design. They are beautiful images and I love them all!
As I printed them and packaged them to take shop photos, my mom told me she thought I should have used my own artwork. "Pfffft, that would take me forever!" was my response. (Why is it that even as adults when we KNOW mama knows best, we still ignore her advice sometimes??) I continued down my original path, not giving a second thought to her comment.
When I introduced my guides to my Instagram followers I never could have imagined the amazing response I received! You guys loved them and I was so blessed by your support. I explained that my part in the design was graphic only but that didn't stop you all from loving them.
However, as my little Instagram continued to grow, some of my lovely new followers were assuming that I had painted all of the artwork myself. I lost count of the times I said, "oh thanks, but I didn't paint those!" It's perfectly typical for businesses to use the artwork of other people in their products. But the more I was complimented on "my" artwork, the more it just didn't sit well with me. And the more a desire to share my own work unfolded!
At first I resisted that desire because (like I originally explained so wisely to my mom) that would take me FOREVER. And plus I could crank out like five times more products using artwork that was easily available to me online. But the more I considered how unique and original I wanted my work to be, that desire to create my own artwork eventually won out.
So last fall I introduced a couple of guides using my own work to test out my skills and gauge the response of my IG friends. I didn't explain that "these are my own artwork", I just added my art to the lineup in my shop. I was a little terrified because I didn't have much experience in painting, though I'd always wanted to learn how. But the response was SO encouraging! You guys loved my new guides just as much as my original ones! That was all I needed to know to take things a step further and completely redo my guides until every single one was my own original work!
So I set out on a brave new journey to be an artist! I've been working for months on revamping all of my original guides so that they are 100% my own. Already I've seen so much improvement in my ability as I've learned how to manipulate colors, find my favorite supplies, and stepped outside of my comfort zone to try new techniques. I went so far as to letter each header and create my very own fonts so that everything, down to the smallest punctuation, is in my very own hand. And I've discovered I LOVE to paint!
A few other advantages of offering products that are completely my own is that I'll own all of the rights to my work. No backtracking to read fine print licensing to make sure I can do "such and such" with this image. That also means I'll be offering products that are completely unique. No one else on the internet will offer the artwork that I offer. Creating my own illustrations also frees up endless possibilities for the guides I can create. Despite the vast pool of art resources online, there are still limitations to what's available. Now I can just MAKE whatever art I'm looking for!
But the greatest advantage of all is the amount of pride I'll have in saying, "yes, this is my work!" And some even greater news for you guys is that if you've already purchased the old guide you can get the new one for free!
So, after that very long but necessary explanation, I hope that y'all are as excited as I am to see my new, updated, completely original guides all come together. I pray for your patience as I slowly introduce each one into my shop. Y'all send me amazing ideas for new guides and I have taken note of them all. Please know I am working super hard to get new ones out for you guys. I'm also working on simple unit studies to go with each guide and the possibility of printed materials (because a LOT of you have told me you prefer pre-printed resources for their convenience.)
There's so much to celebrate and look forward to here at Brave Grown Home! I hope that you'll stick around to see what's to come! I am so excited for the future and I'm SO thankful for each and every one of you!
P.S. Here's a sneak peak at a few updates: