Decades ago I trained as a teacher. Before I’d had a chance to work out what I really wanted to do. Does anyone know what they want to do at 18, or what they’re good at? I did a pretty good job at pretending to be a primary school teacher for a while. But it nearly broke me on more than one occasion. My parents had encouraged me to get a teaching degree to have a profession, something to fall back on. They didn’t realise that it was a profession I didn’t want and wasn’t suited to. That changed this year though.
Teach what you love
It’s just easier. I started teaching illustration to adults this year at our local college. Honestly, it’s the most enjoyable and satisfying teaching I’ve ever done. It helps that my second choice of career as an illustrator is something I love and that I am constantly growing and learning in myself. We’ve all had teachers who are passionate about their subject and it’s easier to learn from them. I’ve had a taste of that this year and I can’t wait to get back to it in the new year.
Time to reflect
So, how’s the end of the year going for you? Started making lists and losing them and wandering around the shops in a daze? I do it every year. Shopping malls are nightmare places designed by evil sadists. Craft markets on the other hand are delightful places full of lovely arty people. Before this year I never appreciated the work that goes into selling at markets. It’s physically demanding and often doesn’t make sense. But it’s one of the most effective ways to meet the people who are interested in your products and which products sell well in which areas. I’ve studied and carried out plenty of online market research, but nothing beats the real thing. Speaking to your customers face-to-face.
This year’s highlight
Apart from enjoying the markets and finding a job that I enjoy as much as illustrating children’s books, there was one event this year that stands out. I finally got to go up in a hot-air balloon. If you ever get the chance to do this you must. It’s magical in every way.