- Nayda Cruz
2020: Year in Perspective
In 2020 I learned and grew SO MUCH. Still I -feel- I did so “many tiny stuff”. The thing is that I need to look at them from the perspective of December 2019. When all of this “stuff” seemed SO overwhelmingly big. Like huge monsters telling me that I wouldn’t make it and, as a consequence, I wouldn’t be successful…EVER. I know you know the feeling.
So, I decided to sit down and share with you all the, “tiny”, beautiful advancements I did in 2020. I will also share the tools I used to conquer the monsters! So that this, instead of making you feel small, helps you to grow along with me.
1. In 2020 I redesign my website and added a blog.
I designed my first website in 2018 and it was more like a landing page. It only showcased my editorial design services. It now presents all of what I do, which includes editorial design, surface design, my teaching, my shop and my blog! Yes, this very blog that you are reading. I have always loved to write. It is something that I am looking forward to growing the next year.
What I used: For my website design I use Wix. I found it to be very friendly to use and a bit more powerful than Squarespace, which I use for other personal projects. In Wix you can find little question marks in every area that takes you to explanations on how to do things. You can also find many videos in their YouTube channel, which are very helpful. I was able to add and edit the blog section very easily. In summary for every roadblock that I have encounter, I have found and solution, and have been able to solve it myself.
2. In 2020 I set up a mailing list in my website.
For the longest time I have heard, time over time, that having a mailing list is the smart thing to do. So, I decided to set it up in my website even if I still need to work on my strategy. At least is there. That’s a planted seed that 2021 will nourish.
What I used: To set up my mailing list I used Convertkit. After a research I decided on this service because they have been very helpful to me with all of their free content. I strongly suggest you subscribe to their list and enjoy all the constant free content that they give. As of right now I am using their free plan that allows me to manage up to 1,000 subscribers, to create landing pages and forms, to send email broadcasts, sell digital products and they provide an excellent support.
I just shared that I set up a mailing list in my website. Well, there are laws that regulates websites. Specially if you collect personal information from people. No matter if they do it willingly. I research this topic widely because there are many options: from free services to lawyers who can charge you up to $1,000 USD. I am a small business and that doesn’t exempt me from following the law. But is not wise for me to spend a big amount on money on something that is not yet providing a revenue. Still, I knew I need it to do the right thing, so I did it.
4. In 2020 I copyrighted my first ever set of designs.
This is definitely one of the things that may scare us the most. Because it feels so legal and the copyright.gov website can seem confusing. But you just need to take some time, get familiar with it, read, watch the videos, write them emails (they do answer!) and just do it!
I registered 10 of my designs as a “Group of Unpublished Works” for a one-time fee of $85.00 USD. I live in Puerto Rico, which is part of the US. So, I did it through the copyright.gov website. Here you can access a direct page that will help you with many questions you may have: https://www.copyright.gov/gruw/
5. In 2020 my digital presence grew more cohesively.
I started to post more frequently and consistently across different media. This is definitely something I am planning to work on in 2021. If you are in any of these platforms I would love to connect with you!:
6. In 2020 I started to teach on online!
This year I decided to start working on my revenue streams. So, I started teaching on Skillshare. Teaching is something I have always had in the back of my mind. So far it has been so good. My husband, who loves videography, is a huge help in this process. He does the filming and editing process for me. Still, I enjoy the class creating process. I have created two classes so far and you can watch them here:
Design for Non-Designers: How to Create a Functional & Attractive Design
File Formats: When to Use JPG, PNG, TIFF, PDF, EPS or SVG
This has been a nice passive income. Skillshare pays you monthly for every premium minutes watch. I doesn't matter if just one person watch your class three or four times or five minutes. Every minute is counted individually and is payed at the 16 of every month. If you are interested you can read all about teaching in the "Teacher Handbook".
I also offered a private workshop about InDesign for Bonnie Christine “Flourish” community. Which was so heart lifting. I did enjoy it a lot.
7. In 2020 I opened a Society6 shop.
I have always wanted to create products. I have been thinking about this for the longest time. From when I was in the university studying graphic design. So, I decided to take a step towards it and open a Society6 shop. Which is so easy to do, they handle the shipping and tax stuff, and you enjoy seen your design on products. You do need to work on promoting them. But I did it because there is so much to gain and so little to lose. Because you know, I already copyrighted my designs ;)
8. In 2020 I designed three books and a movie poster.
2020 took away some work, but it brought new ones also. People who have put their dreams away, but because of quarantine, they found themselves with more time in their hands that they can manage. So, they used it to work on their projects. You can see some of my editorial work here.
9. In 2020 I did the 100 Day Project!
You can read all about my experience on my blog post “#The100DayProject” where I share why I did it, how I keep consistency and what I learned.
10. In 2020 I read 7 books:
“Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon
“Keep Going” by Austin Kleon
“Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon
“The Magnolia Story” by Chip & Joanna Gaines
“Anxious for Nothing” by Max Lucado
“The 1-Page Marketing Plan” by Allan Dib
“The Psychology of Graphic Design Pricing” by Michael Janda
I read these in this specific order. So, you can have an idea of the timeline. This blog post is already pretty long, so I won’t go into detail about them. But they all helped me shape my business mind. Because there are so many areas that we must take care while been a creative entrepreneur.
So, as you can see, I didn’t accomplish all of my dreams this year. But all I did moves me closer to them!
My 2021 planner have a great quote that I feel is the perfect one for this new year: “Overwhelmed is not having too much to do, is not knowing where to start.” (Tonya). This 2021 I intent to don’t let myself be overwhelmed. Because, I have learned, that overwhelming leads to feeling “inadequacy” that tries to become the queen of our lives. This happens to everyone. It does not has to do with our “success” or “failures”. Is just this generation “trend disease”.
In 2021 I promise myself to be more conscious about this. More intentional in my thoughts, plans and time.
I believe so wholeheartedly that 2020 was a year of preparing the soil and pouring the seeds. Next year is about growing them.
Remember, put things into perspective, because without the smaller steps, we wouldn’t be able to get to higher ground.
I wish you, not a productive 2021, but a healthy & mind controlled one. Once you have that, you can have it all!
This blog is a space to learn about design and how it intertwines with life; and also about technical aspects of design. I invite you to join my email list. This way you will receive a message every time I publish a new blog. I respect your privacy and will never share your personal information.