Getting my ass off the cushion, finally...

It’s been a long, hot, busy summer. I can’t believe how fast this year has gone and we are now into the middle of September already!

This poor blog got swept by the wayside as I had visitors from the UK, traveled to Poland for the first time, came back to Turkey and went down with a stomach bug, and then saw out the intensity of August by staying in and getting my head down on a design course.

At the start of the year, my aim was to rediscover my artistic nature, and spent time drawing, painting, taking photos and writing, but although really enjoyable, none of it seemed to lead to anything with an outcome. I felt like a retiree, passing the time but without the pension…

I joined on-line communities and did short workshops, and this has all helped with the ‘Hows’ but not the ‘Whys’.

Trying to make a self-generated income from scratch is not an easy mission, especially when you’ve always worked for someone else. All you had to do was follow the brief, tolerate the boss, get the job done and wait for payday. I have never had to learn how to create my own briefs with a target, or find my clients and market myself - it’s a whole new area of experience for me.

‘Find your niche’ is the first mantra- but actually finding how to put my own spin on a situation or skill set has involved a lot of floundering around so far! Everyone has done it already, or does it better… ‘Don’t compare’ is the second mantra.

The eureka moment came by accident when I was pondering on what to send my Mum as a birthday gift. She’s a big fan of my flower drawings, so I hit upon the idea of using a Print on Demand company, Zazzle ( to upload a piece of my work onto a cushion and get it sent directly to her. That way she could have my artwork in her living room, and it would be useful too!

Win - Win Huzzah. !!! Her birthday gift arrived on time, and I didn’t have to spend hours searching for what she wanted or make her wait months till a home visit for her gift. (Our birthdays are always out of whack these days- celebrated ad hoc when we happen to be in the same time zone…)

I didn’t realize this was going to spark off my latest craze. Surfing round the Zazzle site, looking at all the other printed goodies available, I discovered I could create my own shop… That was it - I was hooked. Back in my familiar Graphic Design zone, I think my niche has finally found me!

You can check out other gifts I’ve made using my Roses artwork at my Zazzle store here: or have a browse at the Pinterest boards I’ve started here:

If you’d like to follow along with my fledgling biz progress or just drop by and say hello, please leave your name and details in the box below, and I’ll get back to you :-)

Mel x

Mel Freeborn2 Comments