As the shadows grow long on 2020 and the light transitions to that warm glow of hindsight, it’s pretty easy to reflect on what a bad year it’s been. And for many, it’s been horrific with no real end in sight for many around the globe. The pain and loss of life quality this pandemic year has brought will no doubt be the worst life-event many people on this planet have endured to date.
But, as the clock finally ticks over into 2021, I’m liking to think that 2020 brought a lot of upsides as well as gloom. For one, it ushered in some major changes to how many people treat their working lives and how they value their personal time. It saw people lose or quit their jobs and create new business endeavours out of hobbies and pastimes … things they love and things they love doing. People turned to the Internet to bring their businesses to life and discovered the intricacies of combining online social interaction with selling their products. The pandemic forced people to change many of the core beliefs in their lives … ideologies they were born into that worked so well for their parents and generations before them.
People like myself, who have been self-employed creatives for many years, turned our backs on traditional market places in order to focus more on online commerce. I’ve been selling work or promoting my services online since the first days of commercial Internet … the early 90s … and have had a string of websites and social media pages over the years … most of which have come and gone in varying stages of success. I had always made sales online but the true focus of my creative business has always been face-to-face selling in artisan markets where public interaction is a key ingredient to success.
But, 2020 changed all that … quickly unfolding as a very different year to be self-employed. I had been firmly locked into the routine of weekly markets for 20 years and was subconsciously looking for an excuse to have some time away from the face-to-face and re-gain the freedom to explore a few ideas and work on some new sales channels. The global pandemic was just the ticket … and what a ticket it’s been.
I have explored leather crafting, made some jewellery items and engaged in a painting and drawing course. The limitation of making market stock every week was lifted in favour of just making items to fill online orders. And yes, my income dropped to a fraction of what it was before but I chose to focus on the positives of being able to just do what I wanted rather than agonise over the losses. One of the choices I made was to re-invest in my online presence and, although I don’t have a huge amount to show for it yet, I’ve achieved a lot of small goals … it’s a work-in-progress and the building out of a platform to move forward upon.
This website has come together as the new frontispiece for Gilmour Design and it should continue to grow in line with how I see my creative work moving forward in the next couple years. I also created a dedicated shop site … Gilmour Design Shop … which will eventually integrate into this site as a ‘shop’ section.
It was a hell of a ride, 2020 … but it forced a lot of change … out with the old and in with the new … bring on 2021.