Markets, Painting, Updates

Fairy Tree Studios 2022 News + Updates

Hello, everyone, and happy 2022! I know you probably couldn’t tell from my lack of updates here lately, but the year has been off to a really good start for Fairy Tree Studios. I had some much-needed downtime (and mostly managed to not feel guilty about not being “productive”) for the first half of January, then did some important (but not very Instagram-worthy) planning and sketching for some future “big” paintings. I also took some time to think about where I would like to go with Fairy Tree Studios in 2022. I’ve got lots of ideas — some of which I’ve already started implementing. Here’s a status update and some details on what’s next (plus one thing I won’t be doing anytime soon).

One of my new loose floral watercolor paintings; I’ve been practicing roses especially.
  • I hit the 100-order mark on Etsy just before the end of 2021, which was a really exciting milestone for me. Since then, I’ve shipped a few more orders and refreshed some stock; the “PIY” kits are still quite popular and I’ve run out of a couple designs again already.
  • I took a (mostly intentional) break from posting here and on social media. I noticed a lot of other businesses and artists doing the same after a busy holiday season, and it freed up some mental space to focus on creation and planning for 2022. Meanwhile, Instagram changed something in its settings again and, even with a slightly larger group of followers than I had this time last year, the engagement I’m seeing on my posts has dropped dramatically. Other artists have commented on it too; Instagram is really pushing their Reels format (in fact, they’re planning to bring it to Facebook soon too) but I don’t have the interest or the mental energy to record and edit video on top of everything else. Video is a format that’s never appealed to me and, at least for now, it’s not a priority. (That’s not to say I’ll never record a process video, but don’t expect them to be in regular rotation anytime soon. I will continue posting photos of my paintings, though, as well as sharing them here.)

My reluctance to embrace video might mean that Instagram is a less viable way to draw an audience, but I’m hoping to make up for that by doing more in-person events this year. In fact, this is the biggest change I’m hoping to make for FTS: scaling up the number of markets that I participate in. I’ve discovered a couple of very promising resources which should help me do that, and I’m very excited about them:

3×4″ loose watercolor florals
  • First, I registered Fairy Tree Studios with an events organizer who puts together markets throughout the year in Central Illinois, which means that, as they’re announced, I can sign up without having to go through the whole application process.
  • Second, I joined a Facebook group where events coordinators in Central IL share details of the markets and festivals that they’re seeking vendors for. The group is very active, and I’ve seen dozens of events announced in the few weeks since I’ve joined. Not all of them are a good fit for Fairy Tree Studios, of course, but there are several that I’m really hoping to participate in. (Now I’m encountering the problem of not knowing my weekend work schedule far enough out yet; folks are already putting out calls for events in June, July, and August, and I’ve seen a few as far out as November.)

It’s hard to be patient when I’ve just made this exciting new discovery, but I’m trying. And as I line up events, I will of course announce them here.

On the creative side of things, I’ve been painting quite a bit lately too. I re-listened to one of my favorite book series in January, which motivated me to spend lots of time in my studio, and I’ve thankfully been able to keep that momentum going. I’m having fun painting in a smaller-than-usual format, specifically 3″ x 4,” and I’ve been really practicing my loose florals. Other things I’m working on include:

More watercolor florals, in which I practiced some new techniques
  • Stationery design ideas (note paper and envelopes)
  • Two new train paintings (both in the drawing stages right now)
  • Redesigned business cards and Etsy banner (out of necessity, as I can’t get my previous business card design through Zazzle anymore)
  • Larger (8×10″) and more detailed floral paintings (two different irises and a parrot tulip in progress so far)

And if all that wasn’t enough, I made a new batch of moon journals (with a second batch in progress) and added a couple of new prints to my Etsy shop.

So, that’s the news for now; expect more regular updates from here on out, as I’ve got a few topics already lined up for future posts, including a series on participating in markets (based on what I’ve learned so far) and some thoughts on art and work (and overworking) that I’m hoping you’ll enjoy reading as much as I do writing!

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