Some Thoughts on the Year Ahead - VanDuinen Studio

Some Thoughts on the Year Ahead

Greetings to all of my readers and to 2021!

I'm not sure it's ever felt more refreshing to ring in a new year. I have historically not been one to set resolutions, but this year is different in so many ways. I didn't set any resolutions, per se, but I do have a set of goals that I am actually excited to achieve.

Most of those goals relate directly to my art business, like this biggest one: sign my first art licensing contract! 2020 was a year of ground work and slog. In some ways it was fun, but I am fully ready to start seeing the fruits of my labor.

I am also going to do 12 illustrations this year, one for the beginning of each month. January's is already here:

January wreath illustration hand lettering

One silver-ish lining of the past year is that it did a good job of highlighting exactly where we need to focus our passion and determination to truly make this world a better place. My eyes, like many, were opened during the BLM movement and I realized I could be doing so much better in several regards. As I move this business forward, I will be seeking to support minority-owned businesses through collaborations and partnerships. I've already started diversifying my featured artists in the weekly newsletter, which has led me to discover some really amazing creators! I feel like I was frustratingly blind in the past, but there's nothing I can change in that direction. I can only do better from here on out.

The environment is also a major concern, and as a creator, it can be a tricky balance between sourcing all the materials needed, shipping products, and staying mindful of my carbon footprint and other impacts. I've started collecting all the packing materials that are still usable from packages I receive and repurposing them for my own shipping needs. I've also found that brown packing paper can be reused to make pretty, natural-looking wrapping material! In 2021, I will continue to think carefully about the impact of every decision I make.

So cheers to you, dear reader, for coming with me on this journey. My first priority is to create a welcoming, inclusive community around this studio, adding some kindness and beauty to the world however I can. Feel free to reach out to me anytime at with any questions, concerns, or just to chat! I'm around, I'm grateful for you, and I am excited for the future.