Happy (almost) 2018! I hope everyone is enjoying this last week of 2017. Now that the holiday craziness is over and my email inbox is *mostly* under control, I've been taking some time to rest and read all the recommended reading on Reese Witherspoon's book club list (no but seriously y'all have to read The Alice Network and The Last Mrs. Parrish)! Before diving into 2018 to do's and resolutions, I wanted to reflect on and share some of my favorite moments from 2017.
Behind the scenes, I started off the year with a bang.....and by that I mean with a really expensive, totally my fault, one car fender bender in a parking garage. But this is a highlights reel and we will only be talking about the GOOD things, so keep in mind all other fender benders and low points will be left off this list! I just wanted to emphasize that first, ya know?!
In January, I started working with my first ever intern Hannah. It was a challenge and learning experience for me to pass of tasks to someone else, and I am so grateful for her help and patience! She helped me organize information for new map print designs, came up with the "EH-happy" saying and hashtag, and so much more. Big thank you to Hannah if you're reading this and also my Fall interns Katherine and Amanda for yall's help throughout 2017! So amazing :)
As a fun way to cheers to the new year, I also added this "coffee before talkie" mug.
I spent most of my time on the computer in February. I designed my first wholesale lookbook for retailers and planned out a lot of marketing content for the year. Aside from that, I did manage to add 8 new map designs to the shop: Winston Salem NC, Greensboro NC, Asheville NC, St Augustine FL, Sarasota FL, Grand Rapids MI, Salt Lake City UT, & Seville, Spain. They're available as prints here and mugs here.
In March, I spent a lot of time with my paint brush developing a new collection of art prints. It's always refreshing when I'm able to carve out time to paint whatever I want with no particular agenda in mind. I do try to balance my crazy imagination with what someone would actually want to hang on their wall though! I also celebrated National Stripes Day with J. Crew and Buzzfeed included my monthly to do lists in this article.
I kicked off April by adding the new collection of fine art prints I'd been working on called the "brightly decorated life" series. Throughout the month, I spotted my art on Olivia Rink, Girl Meets Bow, Romper, and The Richmond Prepster. I also set aside time to learn new skills, specifically how to create pattern repeats and the basics of Adobe Illustrator. I took a local SkillPop class and a few online Skillshare and CreativeBug classes as well. Since then, I've been sharing some my repeating pattern designs with the #evelynhensonpattern hashtag on instagram. I'm still playing around with what does and doesn't look good, but I have big long term plans for these!
In May, I was so excited to see that the personalized pet mug was on People.com as a Mother's Day gift (because what dog mom wouldn't want one)! In case you haven't heard me tell you the backstory on the personalized pet mug before, it started as a joke gift to my sisters one Christmas. We love, love, love our four dogs and I frequently sneak them into my illustrations (a few of which can be found here). I thought a mug with their faces on it would be a funny gift. And once I created one for them, I knew I had to make this possible for as many of yall as I could! I naively thought I would be able to paint 10 or so dogs and cats......but of course 10 dogs quickly turned into 50 and I ended up with 100+ illustrations. What's crazy is that I still get emails from people who can't find a perfect match for their pet! Regardless, the personalized pet mug has been a best seller ever since!
Other highlights include this CharlotteFive article about my work (thanks again Colby!) and my friend Paige Minear featuring the freezer treats print in her one room challenge bathroom makeover, which I still think is the cutest thing ever!
In June, I wrote a blog post sharing all my favorite art materials (read the post here)! It's a frequently asked question so I'm glad I made time to compile everything into a shareable post.
In July, PBTeen started selling my artwork online here. As someone who grew up adding half the PBTeen catalog to my Christmas list each year and had the entire collection of their pink polka dot items, I'm psyched to see my art on their site (especially since I had known about it happening since October 2016).
I finished off the month with more new map designs (30A, HHI, Bald Head Island, Palm Beach, VA Beach, St. Simons, Macon, Ann Arbor, and Pawleys Island) and the new mug "dream pig!" Over the last year or so, I had been getting several instagram messages and emails with a request for a pig mug (some people are REALLY obsessed with pigs I guess), but I didn't immediately have anything punny/creative for the mug. It really took awhile for me to come up with the "dream pig" part. I'm so glad I waited until the right saying popped into my mind though because it's seriously my new favorite mug.
In August, I released a limited edition cross print series to support Hurricane victims and was able to raise over $1,000 in donations thanks to yall's support. I had zero expectations when I released the series and couldn't believe how much money my art was able to raise. Moments like that, when I'm able to use my art to serve others, are truly my favorites.
And it what was a MAJOR highlight for me.....Reese Witherspoon shared my art on her instagram here! Just when I thought I couldn't love her more :)
In September, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Palmetto Bluff, and Kiawah Island all joined the map series. I also celebrated buying my first camera with some homemade watermelon frosé!
In October, I moved into my first EVER studio space! You can read more about the move here. It proved to be a productive move because I immediately got to work on designing THREE amazing *new* products: 1. the monogrammed notecards 2. these fun stickers 3. the new personalized travel map print (a task that required me to paint over 100+ places...... I'm sweating even thinking about how long it took to complete)!
My friend Amy also included my art on her under $50 gift guide here (everything she does is SO cute)!
November began with the map print series being featured on the 2017 Southern Living Gift Guide. It was so fun to see my art printed on the pages of one of my favorite magazines! A few other noteworthy moments include.......
1. Anthropologie started carrying two of my early floral works online here. It's so cool to see my art on their site, especially since the works they are selling were pieces I painted as a stressed out college student who had no idea what she was going to do after graduating.
2. And, just in time for gift season, Toss Designs and I collaborated to create the cutest skiing giraffe pajamas! They are now sold out, but consider this a sneak peek of many exciting collaborations happening in 2018.
Oh, December! I know the holidays are crazy for everyone...but when you work in the gift giving retail world, it's really crazy. There were still quite a few highlights in the midst of the chaos though. For starters, I was selected as one of ADPI's 30 under 30 in their 2017 Adelphean issue, the "happy pawlidays" card was featured on Teen Vogue, my work was featured on Charlotte Agenda's millennial gift guide, and the "so happy" engagement mug was featured on The Knot instagram. Even better, all the commissions I had been working on were finally gifted to their recipients, and it was so, so special to hear about how well the gifts were received (I shared a small gallery of some of the paintings here). I'm so appreciative to everyone who included me in their gifts this season, and can't tell you how grateful I am! Below are two favorites and you can see a gallery of more commissioned pieces here.