Mid-Year Goals Review 2018: My Best Year Yet? Do I Need Yearly Goals? ~ Sunray Sister


Today I am reviewing my goals that I set at the start of 2018, and I thought I would share my reflections and plans with you! Read on to find out more…


In my 2018 goals post I reviewed my goals from 2017, and laid out some new objectives for 2018. I also decided to choose an overall goal: to thrive from my art. I broke this down into a few business targets, as well as other more personal aims for the year:

  1. Art products & services
    • Complete 365 day art challenge (end of October)
    • Start other personal projects (small series of paintings to be sold as originals and prints, and/or used as examples for my portfolio)
    • Start a private commission service (doing personalised paintings for individuals)
    • Send personalised work to artists I admire
    • Do live portraits at events/markets
    • Sell prints and other products
    • Create an online portfolio (via this blog) using all of the work above
  2. YouTube videos
    • Upload every week (where possible)
    • Reach total 10,000 views across all videos
    • Gain 500 subscribers
    • Interact with the community
  3. Instagram posts
    • Post every day & use stories
    • Reach 1,000 followers
    • Interact with the community

Personal goals:

  • Listen to podcasts, read books & articles, watch videos about art & artists
  • Practice yoga & go outside everyday
  • Learn more about nature & try gardening (including looking after house plants!)
  • Use my planner to schedule time
  • Find a part-time job to help save money
  • No new clothes, and try capsule wardrobe system (less decisions)
  • Join a local choir or other club
  • Continue writing pen-pal letters
  • Make a mixed-media sketchbook for collage and experiments


Now that we are over halfway through 2018, I thought it would be a good time to revisit my goals, see if any need changing, and also consider how to implement them in my everyday to-do list, to actually keep them at the front of my mind and always be working towards them; towards being a thriving artist!

The first thing I noticed when looking back through these lists, is it needs a lot more detail, and perhaps some bigger, higher things to aim for. Although, this could really become a 5 year goals list, or ’30 goals to reach before I’m 30′, (which is in 5 years!!!).

Overall, looking back through my 2018 goals list, I feel like I’m well on course to achieve all of them, and some I already have achieved!

This leads me to think, I don’t really need yearly goals, since things seem to change so often, and I just need to break bigger targets down into smaller steps anyway. What I do need, and have been creating in my bullet journal, are monthly goals. So I will share those with you, starting with my goals for July:


  1. Create a business plan for Sunray Sister
    • simple overview style
    • official version
  2. Develop online marketing – both for Sunray Sister and Gallery Twenty
    • post 365 art to Instagram daily
    • write and schedule blog posts in advance
    • plan and schedule Gallery Twenty social media
  3. Work on portrait commission service and promotion
    • share my service via social media
    • create personal examples to send to people I admire, and who have some influence online
  4. Develop new products – sell in Gallery Twenty, markets and online
    • collage kits
    • printed notebooks
    • jewellery… more details to reveal soon!
  5. Develop workshops – hosted via Gallery Twenty
    • …another exciting avenue to explore – I won’t say too much yet!
  6. Develop my art style and processes – research other artists
    • diving into mixed media and collage some more
    • rather than scrolling through Instagram, consciously seek out individual, significant artists who are masters of their technique, and learn from them.
  7. Manage my finances
    • create a personal survival budget
    • start doing bookkeeping
  8. Follow daily routines and a weekly schedule
    • keep to my morning and evening routines, as written in my bullet journal
    • try out a weekly schedule, where each day is assigned a certain focus (e.g. Mondays for admin, social media, blog posts etc., Tuesdays for commissions and making products, Wednesdays for experiments and new ideas etc. etc. etc!)
  9. Build my private piano teaching 
    • promote online and find more students
    • develop more teaching tools/techniques from books and videos
    • improve my own playing with daily practice
  10. Start a personal writing journal and reply to pen-pals
    • use ‘The Vein of Gold’ by Julia Cameron to write out my worries and serve as a release of brain fog.
    • write back to my pen-pals!
  11. Organise my clothes/spring clean!
    • try altering pieces that I haven’t worn yet
    • consider selling those I’m not going to wear or alter
    • re-arrange the rest to make better use of space


There you go! My goals for July 2018. I might combine a reflection of how these went into my usual happy highlights post at the end of the month, and also share a new list for August. Let me know what you think!


Before you go I would like to tell you that we have an exciting event coming up at Gallery Twenty to welcome our first ever guest artist, Lucinda Dono!

The event takes place next Friday the 13th of July, between 6 and 8pm in Getliffe’s Yard, Leek. It’s free, and there will be free drinks and an exclusive 10% discount on everything in the gallery. Lucinda will have her work in the gallery for three whole months, so there will be plenty of opportunities to see her work alongside the other eight members’ creations if you can’t make it on Friday. Let us know via the event on Facebook, or pick up a paper invitation from the gallery.

Speak soon, stay creative!

Peace and love,



My Etsy Shop & New Product Ideas ~ Sunray Sister


I’ve got an exciting little update to share today: I got a fancy printer!!! Now I can take my original illustrations and turn them into lots of cute products, which I will be selling in my Etsy shop and Gallery Twenty very soon.

Let’s look at a few of my ideas…

Etsy shop screenshot
My Etsy shop – soon to be updated!

Ok, so… I have a LOT of ideas, but don’t worry I won’t try to create them ALL at once…let’s just say I have a bit of a weakness for shiny new projects!

But I would love to eventually produce prints, notebooks, colouring books, zines, letter-writing sets, postcards, greetings cards, stickers, earrings, brooches, necklaces, tote bags, tea towels and more, all with my own illustrations on them!

For now, I have chosen just a few that I think I will be able to produce most easily and immediately; they might work, they might not, they might need a few developments and adjustments… I will soon find out!

Of course art prints are the most obvious and simple product for me to make. So I will definitely be offering lots of print versions of my original work! Alongside prints, I could also make greetings cards and postcards, which require a similar process.

Notebooks are another option. I would simply print the cover on an A4, (and possibly A5 too) sheet, then fold it in half. The inside of the notebooks would be single signatures with plain paper, and be either stapled or machine stitched to hold everything together.

For all of these new product ideas, I will also need additional packaging ideas and consistent branding. I actually quite enjoy this part of the process, and I can’t wait to print out some fancy Sunray Sister packaging! You can see some of my plans specific to each item in my handwritten notes above and below.

Still in the category of stationery, I would absolutely love to have my own stickers!!! These would require a bit more arranging and designing on the computer, but once I work it out I think they could be a great addition to my Sunray Sister merchandise!

I’ve heard that other people get terrible hand cramp from hand-cutting stickers for their shops, so I’ve decided to use a circle paper-punch. This means all my stickers would be in one shape, but I quite like that restriction.

For something a little bit different, Fraz suggested I try shrink-plastic (or ‘Shrinky Dinks’). You may have tried these out as a silly children’s craft, but you can actually get shrink plastic to print onto. This means I could print out my paintings, and turn them into little charms to attach to earrings, necklaces and brooches.

Overall I think I may like to create ranges or lines for Sunray Sister, where I use one theme/design, and apply it to multiple products. This doesn’t mean just copying and pasting, but thoughtfully considering what works best for each product, and how all the items could work together.

These new products will be available in a couple of weeks online, and even sooner at Gallery Twenty here in Leek. In the meantime you can still find portrait commissions available in my Etsy shop! Stay up to date with all things Sunray Sister by joining my brand new monthly newsletter.

I would also love to know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to create? Please let me know and send any feedback you might have!

Live portrait drawing examples

This weekend you can meet me at ‘Art in the Yard’, a pop-up market taking place in Getliffe’s Yard, Leek. I will be drawing live portraits outside Gallery Twenty, where you can also find my work for sale inside! Have you read my post about joining the gallery?

Remember to sign-up for my very first email newsletter if you would like to stay in-the-know about all my new work, inspirations, events, behind-the-scenes snapshots and more. The first monthly letter launches TOMORROW! Eek I’m excited. Speak soon sisters, stay creative!

Peace and love,

Rachel x

Joining a Local Gallery! ~ You’re Invited ~ Sunray Sister


I have some exciting news to share today: I have joined a local gallery! Keep reading to find out what this involves… but first a bit of a last-minute invitation to our special celebration tomorrow evening, Thursday 24th of May, from 6-8pm. Find more details on the event page on Facebook. If you’re in Leek or nearby, we’d love to see you there for a chat and some fizz!

Rachel bedford


Located in the magical, cobbled alleyway, Getliffe’s Yard – tucked away off Derby street in the heart of Leek – Gallery Twenty is a co-operative business which only opened its doors in October 2017.

Starting out as a group of nine artists, the team has set up an incredible gallery to showcase and sell stunning paintings, ceramics, glassware, jewellery, textiles, sculpture and everything in between; all lovingly and locally produced to create the most beautiful gifts and decorations to collect and treasure for years to come.

Two members have recently said farewell to the gallery as they continue their creative journeys elsewhere, and I have stepped in to fill the space. I feel so lucky and grateful that I was in the right place at the right time to apply for this incredible opportunity, and that the team chose me as their newest member! 


At the moment I have my original framed illustrations in the far corner of the gallery, set up on some shelves and on the wall, plus a couple of portrait commission examples, which can be ordered via my Etsy shop, or in the gallery.

The fact that my work is in a gallery hasn’t quite sunk in yet; it’s all a little bit surreal! I am really happy with my display though, and can’t wait to add more creations soon.

Speaking of which I have a lot of plans for work I want to create in the future, not only original paintings but additional products and merchandise. More on that in another blog post next week!


Of course we have endless plans and schemes for the gallery’s future; since we are a co-operative we all have a say in what happens. There will be events and workshops, a website and blog, and much more besides. I’m not sure how much I can tell you right now… except watch this space!

One thing I can share is our next big event on the 2nd and 3rd of June, called Art in the Yard. This will see Getliffe’s Yard filled up with new independent artists sharing and selling their creations. Keep an eye on the Gallery Twenty Facebook page or Instagram profile for more information, and if you are a local artist there may still be time for you to apply!



That’s all for now, but I’m sure I will have lots more to share about this new branch of my creative career very soon!

Remember to join my special welcome event over on Facebook or find your way to Gallery Twenty in Getliffe’s Yard, Derby Street, Leek, between 6 and 8pm this Thursday 24th of May, and celebrate with us! If you can’t make it I will also be in the gallery all day on Friday, as it’s my turn to run the shop. We are open 10:30am-4:30pm on Tuesdays-Saturdays, plus the first Sunday of every month.

See you back here on Sunday for another blog post. In the meantime, stay creative sisters!

Peace and love,

Rachel x

First Ever Leek Market and Open Art Exhibition ~ Sunray Sister


How are you? I hope you’re having a wonderful week and the beautiful weather isn’t distracting you from your work too much!?

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, and I just wanted to share a quick blog post to reflect on a couple of exciting creative events that I took part in recently.


First of all, as I mentioned in a previous post, I had a stall at Leek’s Sunday Supplement market on the 6th of May. This was my first time as a trader at the market, and overall I had a very positive experience!

Of course I had the usual doubts and worries, especially about whether I would have enough work to fill the table. On the day however, I soon discovered that I had more than enough work. I was actually really happy with how my stall looked! Additionally we had really great weather, which brought lots of people out into town.

Thanks to Fraz helping out, I was able to walk around the market and see all the other lovely stalls. In particular I saw a few artists that seemed similar, yet different, to me that I would love to collaborate with and exchange our experiences as creative entrepreneurs.


The only negative aspect of my first market experience in Leek was a lack of customers. I had a good amount of people actually come up to my stall, and quite a few of those picked up pictures for a closer look or flicked through my handmade cards. Most of those people took a business card, which I really appreciate.

A few passers-by showed interest in the live portrait service, but seemed frightened by it; having someone stare at your face for five minutes is a pretty daunting prospect I suppose! So I need to work out ways to make the live portraits more appealing and make sure people know exactly what is involved in the process. Any ideas? 

I think there are a few key reasons for my lack of customers. The first is the fact that I’m an unfamiliar face both to the market and to Leek itself, (I only moved here last August), therefore people don’t know me or my brand yet. The second reason is possibly that people don’t want to buy original artwork, instead they want products such as jewellery or stationery, which is something I am looking into. And the third and final reason is simply that my target audience was not in Leek on that day. But I’m not too worried about this since we live in a digital age of global connection, and I feel very lucky to be able to bring together my audience from all over the world!


In other news the Staffordshire Moorlands Open Art Exhibition finished on Saturday the 12th of May. Unfortunately I missed the closing ceremony, but I have since collected my three moon-lady mixed-media artworks, and they are now on display somewhere else, which I can’t wait to tell you all about very soon!

moons_three together

I absolutely loved being a part of the open art exhibition. Having my work on display out in the real world makes me take it more seriously, and it becomes more than just a thing to share on social media, which it shouldn’t be anyway. I am also just really proud of myself for meeting the application deadline, and creating three new pieces especially for the show; three pieces that are a huge step forward in the direction I want my work to go. I’m incredibly excited for the work I will create next…!


Coming up on the blog in the next few weeks I will be announcing where my moon ladies are now, launching my newsletter, sharing some new projects and ideas for new products, and giving you a sneak peek into my studio. Lots of exciting things on the horizon!

Let me know what you’ve been up to. Stay creative sisters!

Peace and love,

Rachel x


Sunday Supplement Leek May Market! ~ Sunray Sister


I will be at my first ever Sunday Supplement market in Leek, this Sunday the 6th of May! The event is organised by the Totally Locally Leek team, and takes place between 10:30am and 3pm in Leek town centre.

Shop local and support small businesses!

There is always a huge selection of stalls at this monthly market, including food and gifts made by local artisans and entrepreneurs. Shopping local is not only great for each individual business, it also supports the whole community! Even buying just a card or something small will make a huge difference. But more than anything I would love it if you just came and said hello!

My stall will be offering original art both framed and unframed, handmade greetings cards and examples of my made-to-order custom portraits, as well as a live portrait drawing service! I will also have a sign-up sheet for my monthly newsletter, which launches on the 1st of June.

Examples of my live portraits – get yours at my market stall on Sunday!

Live portraits take about 5 minutes, and at the end you get to take home a completely unique piece of original art! I use high quality A6 size card, and draw with an archival Pigma Micron pen, meaning this personal portrait will last generations if it’s framed and looked after properly.

Since testing this service for the first time last December, I have been thinking about how to bring more colour into the portraits, since I usually love creating artwork with watercolour paints and coloured pencils.

For one of my recent 365 day project pieces, I drew a portrait on tracing paper, and layered it on top of a watercolour background. I think this mixed media technique is so effective, and could be a solution to my colour dilemma, if I prepare lots of watercolour backgrounds in advance. So this may be an alternative live portrait format also available at my market stall.

watching stars edit_365
Mixed media portrait – a new format for my live portraits?

I have actually only taken part in two markets so far, and both included the textiles work that I used to create when I first started Sunray Sister. So, this market will be my first time selling my paintings!

I wasn’t sure how to display this new kind of work on a stall, so I went to Wilko and picked up a few props, dug out some fabric and wooden pegs at home, and voilà! I think I’m pretty happy with this market stall set-up. The table will be bigger than this, but I need to allow space for promoting and drawing my live portraits to one side of the table, plus I will have my greetings cards either on a board or in a couple of baskets. I can’t wait to show you some photos of the stall on the day!


Sneak preview of my market stall set-up!

If you’re in the Leek area, please come out and enjoy the market this Sunday 6th of May, and if not, check back here next Wednesday when I will let you know how it went! Of course in the meantime you can keep up with my work online via Facebook and Instagram, and support me through my Etsy shop, where you can order portrait commissions.

Until next time, stay creative sisters!

Peace and love,


Open Art Exhibition, New Work and Other Updates ~ Sunray Sister


I currently have some of my original artwork in an exhibition! I created three brand new mixed media pieces for the Staffordshire Moorlands Open Art Exhibition, (click the link to see the Facebook event page). All three pieces got accepted and are on display right now until Saturday 12th of May at The Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery in Leek. So, if you are in the area, go and check it out! There is a wonderful collection of work which I am very proud to be displayed alongside; don’t forget to choose your favourite in the public vote!

‘Maiden’ at the Staffordshire Moorlands Open Art Exhibition
‘Mother’ at the Staffordshire Moorlands Open Art Exhibition
‘Mage’ at the Staffordshire Moorlands Open Art Exhibition

The work I created for the show is a trio of moon ladies, titled ‘Maiden’, ‘Mother’ and ‘Mage’, to represent the waxing moon, full moon and waning moon. You can view each piece online via the homepage of this blog, where I have my online portfolio, as well as on Instagram and Facebook where I shared the trio as part of my 365 day challenge. Unfortunately they were not hung together at the exhibition, which I would have preferred, but I am still immensely grateful to have my work on display.

I’ve become extremely interested in all things spiritual recently, and the moon is just one element of this new journey of discovery! And of course I love creating portraits, so I personified three stages of the moon’s cycle as the main concept for the artwork.

For these pieces I wanted to go a step further with the materials I used. So far I have been using one or two materials at a time, and keeping the work quite flat. However, I absolutely adore looking at and creating mixed media artwork and collage. So, for these pieces, instead of just painting each composition on one piece of paper, I gave each element its own separate layer; one for the background, one for the moon, and one for the portrait. I then cut out each element and layered them on top of each other.

Not only does this process create a more interesting final result, it also meant I could really concentrate on the texture and detail of each layer; I didn’t need to worry about going over the lines or breaking the flow of the paint, especially for the background which was a lot of fun to create. Needless to say, this is definitely a direction I will be taking my work in the near future, so look out for similar pieces very soon!

moons_three together
‘Maiden’, ‘Mother’ and ‘Mage’ – original mixed media artwork created by Rachel Bedford

In other news a very exciting development in my creative career has just taken place, and I can’t wait to share more about this in the next few months! I will also be doing my very first market in Leek, on Sunday 6th of May. If you are in the area you will be able to purchase original framed and unframed art from me, as well as get your portrait drawn by me in just a few minutes! I am so excited to share my work in this new setting, and will be writing a whole blog post about the market next week, and have an event on Facebook with more details.

Remember to vote at the Staffordshire Moorlands Open Art Exhibition
Fraz taking in the beautiful creations at the exhibition

Remember to go and vote at the open art exhibition if you’re in the Leek area. As always you can follow my 365 day art challenge, which I started in November 2017, over on Instagram and Facebook.

I really enjoy sharing these little updates here on the blog, and I will be launching my first email newsletter on the 1st of June featuring similar content; more on that soon!

Speak soon, stay creative sisters!


Peace and love,


Custom Portrait Announcement! ~ Sunray Sister


Today I’m launching my official custom portrait service. I’m looking forward to painting some lovely faces and cute pets. Find out more in my latest YouTube video, and head to my Etsy shop for further details!

Text as shown in video description on YouTube:

☆ Order a custom portrait of your partner, family, pets, or other loved ones from my Etsy shop now! ☆ Perfect for Valentine’s day! ♥︎

Today I have a super quick video sharing the details of my new custom portrait service which I am launching in my Etsy shop! Find further details under each listing on my shop, linked below.


Thanks for watching, feel free to ask any questions in the comments or just say hi! I have lots of other videos on my channel to do with art, crafts, adventures and pen-pals! ☺︎

Peace and love,
Rachel x

☆ My links ☆

♥︎ Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SunraySister
♥︎ Portfolio & blog: https://sunraysister.wordpress.com/
♥︎ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sunraysister/
♥︎ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunraysister/

☆ Music ☆

♥︎ ‘Zen Valley’ by Josh Kirsch/Media Right Productions
From YouTube Audio Library: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music


Peace and love,

Rachel x

Making 2018 My Best Year Yet ~ Sunray Sister


In today’s post I am looking back on 2017 and the goals I set for myself, then discussing my ideas for the year ahead! Settle in, it’s a long one…!!!

What are your plans for 2018? What did you achieve last year? Let me know in the comments, or on Instagram or Facebook.

2018 goals blog

I originally wrote a long post about my 2017 business goals at the end of 2016, just a couple of months after starting ‘Sunray Sister’. But a lot changed during 2017, so I felt I needed to re-consider my goals.

In June, I did a mid-year review; I was then able to write a new list of goals in clear categories. Today under each category I have added my reflection of what I achieved (highlighted in pink):

  • Offline:
    • Create more art, whilst being mindful of impact on the environment – use recycled materials, avoid plastic packaging etc.
    • Combine love of collage, paint and drawing to find/define my style – see Alena HennesseyKaren O’Brien and others.
    • Also explore nature/landscape art – see Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long, also Keri Smith.
    • Absorb inspiration everywhere!

    I created a lot of art in 2017! But didn’t really follow the first three goals above. I still really love the work of all the artists mentioned, but have realised I already have my style, know what materials I want and like to use, and just have to use them and create! It’s that simple. Of course I’m constantly absorbing inspiration! I’m never short of it!

  • Instagram:
    • Post every day – both on my grid (permanent) and in my ‘story’ (temporary).
    • Plan content for whole week in advance – done by Sunday of each week.
    • Focus on art content, with occasional nature related images.
    • Comment on similar posts by people I admire.
    • Reach 300 followers.

    Posted almost every day! From November onwards only missed a couple of days since I started my 365 day art challenge, which also meant my account became entirely focused on art. Also reached 300 followers in December. Still need to comment more on other posts.

  • YouTube:
    • Post every Wednesday.
    • Create videos in advance – uploaded by Sunday of each week. Ultimate aim is to have four videos ready at the start of each month.
    • Focus on art & crafts content, with occasional adventure and lifestyle.
    • Comment on similar videos by people I admire.
    • Reach 3,000 total views across all videos – this is the number which will let me ‘monetize’ my channel once I get to 10,000 views!

    Uploaded 17 videos. Not every Wednesday, and not always made well in advance. But still 17 videos that I’m really proud of. As I’m writing, I have also reached 129 subscribers and a total of 6,282 views across all my videos; inching ever closer to that 10,000 view threshold! Plus it’s really fun to be part of this creative community!

  • Blog:
    • Post every Wednesday and Sunday.
    • Write in advance – ready at least 2 days before post day.
    • Focus on ‘Dear Diary’, ‘Happy Highlights’ and YouTube posts.

The blog has gradually taken a back seat in my mind. At the start of the year I was posting a lot here! As I started YouTube (and realised how much fun it is), the more ‘serious’ article-style blogs faded out, and got replaced with these diary-style, personal reflection posts. These require less research, are more useful to me and I don’t mind if no one reads them!

2017 goals summary (after mid-year review):

  1. Create art to share on Instagram.
  2. Create art to share on YouTube.
  3. Share my journey and behind-the-scenes on WordPress.

I think this summary still resonates with me, and I will take it forward into my 2018 goals.

At the start of last year I also wrote a separate list of personal goals, which I have not yet reviewed:

  • Be vegetarian and try being vegan – I’m now vegan!
  • Walk outside everyday – I’ve been on some awesome adventures.
  • Practice yoga and meditation – practiced yoga on and off.
  • Plan each day – I used a bullet journal, but it’s not quite right for me.
  • Respect chores and create a routine for them – still needs work…
  • Plan meals and prepare in advance – hmmm…
  • De-clutter and become minimalist – not me anymore!
  • Become financially secure and track finances – this needs attention.
  • Practice piano – now and then for fun.
  • Learn cover songs – I learnt a few.
  • Sew clothes from patterns I already own – would still like to do this.
  • Keep a collage journal – Did a few collages last year, will be creating a special mixed media journal soon!
  • Plan special dates with Fraz – lots! Especially now Fraz has a car!

Let’s see where this leaves me now, at the start of 2018. I want to take a more holistic approach, combining my personal and business life, thinking about habits more than goals, and only having a few actual goals.

2018 goals blog (1)

I’m constantly trying to simplify my life and define who I am in neat lists and clear categories. But that doesn’t work! I want to start viewing my work, my life and my values in a wholesome, messy way; where everything is connected.

Instead of cutting things out, I need to realise that these things are all linked. I say I don’t want to sew anymore, or sing anymore, or create any art that requires products in plastic packaging, but these are all just parts of my creativity and parts of my journey, things to learn! I am forever evolving into new versions of myself, and seeing more and more that I like more, not less! I love layers, I love colours, I love texture. And I can still enjoy order and arrangement.

Enough of the fluffy talk, what am I actually going to do in 2018? I’m going to create art. A LOT of art. More art than I’ve ever created before. I’m going to work harder than ever before. My one goal for 2018 is…

To thrive from my art

My art will THRIVE and I will THRIVE from my art! That is my one goal for 2018.

Of course there are many smaller goals that will make this huge goal a reality:

  1. Art products & services
    • Complete 365 day art challenge (end of October)
    • Start other personal projects (small series of paintings to be sold as originals and prints, and/or used as examples for my portfolio)
    • Start a private commission service (doing personalised paintings for individuals)
    • Send personalised work to artists I admire
    • Do live portraits at events/markets
    • Sell prints and other products
    • Create an online portfolio (via this blog) using all of the work above
  2. YouTube videos
    • Upload every week (where possible)
    • Reach total 10,000 views across all videos
    • Gain 500 subscribers
    • Interact with the community
  3. Instagram posts
    • Post every day & use stories
    • Reach 1,000 followers
    • Interact with the community

…and then there are many more habits, mostly daily habits, that will support these goals:

  • Listen to podcasts, read books & articles, watch videos about art & artists
  • Practice yoga & go outside everyday
  • Learn more about nature & try gardening (including looking after house plants!)
  • Use my planner to schedule time
  • Find a part-time job to help save money
  • No new clothes, and try capsule wardrobe system (less decisions)
  • Join a local choir or other club
  • Continue writing pen-pal letters
  • Make a mixed-media sketchbook for collage and experiments

…and many more things too… but the point is that many of these things cross over and weave into each other, bringing me back to my point about taking a holistic view:

  • I practice yoga everyday and want to start more personal projects, so I could paint ten yoga postures, which could also be used as editorial examples to use in an article about the benefits of yoga. Additionally I could film the process of planning this series, or simply painting the pictures, and upload this to my YouTube channel.
  • Another example is studying nature; I could create a portrait series of people with their favourite house plants and what they love about them. And again create some videos to go with this process.
  • I’ve also discovered that people really enjoy pen-pal related videos, so this reinforces my desire to continue writing letters and making cute packages. From this I might decide to design some letter paper and matching envelopes with decorated borders, and maybe stickers too! Or, for another angle, I could create a more conceptual illustration for an article about the recent resurgence of pen-pals.

By taking this whole-picture view, where everything is connected, the path is so much clearer, and the smaller goals and habits give me defined steps along the way.

I found these resources really useful in setting my goals and habits for 2018, I hope they help you too:

That’s all from me for now! Look out for a new YouTube video on my channel this week. Stay creative sisters 🙂


Peace and love,

Rachel x

Etsy and YouTube Relaunch! ~ special Sunray Sister update!


I have some exciting news!!! My Etsy shop is back in business, and I’m kicking things off with a crazy festive sale. From now until the 20th of December 2017, you can enjoy 50% off my entire shop! You will find unique Christmas cards based on my original artwork, and handmade, embroidered textile gifts.

Check it out now, and support independent small businesses this holiday season!

But wait, the fun doesn’t stop yet; there’s more…!


Not only have I relaunched my Etsy shop, I have also got a brand new video on my YouTube channel, showing all of the products in my shop, so that you can learn more about them and get a closer look. Watch the video below, or over on my channel.

My enthusiasm for producing videos has been revived, and I will be returning to my weekly uploading schedule from now on.

Of course, I will continue to share my 365 day art challenge here, and over on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. I am enjoying the project so far! Read more about what’s to come in this Sunday’s Dear Diary blog post, along with even more exciting news!

Have a wonderful weekend sisters 🙂


Peace & love,

Rachel x