Happy New Year | My 2016 Design Goals

As I reflect on the past year and look towards 2016, I definitely feel like this year is going to be a year full of change. While I've been giving most of my energy for the past two years toward my "side" business (which frankly, became my main business at the beginning of 2014), I have been a bit restless working solely within the confines of the digital scrapbook market.

Happy 2016 | shannonmcnab.com

And although I never like to make "New Years Resolutions", I still think it is important to choose a few goals – things to focus on that keep me moving forward in my business. Right now, here are my two main design goals for 2016:

1. Focus on Continuing Education

I've always been interested in trying new techniques or learning a few new-to-me keyboard shortcuts in Illustrator, however, I've barely focused on my creative development as an artist over the past two years. The result is that my business is not where I'd like it to be.

Education is such an important part of growing as a designer whether you're a newbie or a veteran in the industry. It's funny to me that I continually tell my pattern design students to keep learning and practicing, yet I haven't been taking that advice myself.

So one of my main goals for 2016 is to sign up for a few design classes that I've been wanting to take. Not only will it help me gain a fresh perspective on my work, but I also believe it really does help reignite that passion I have for what I do.

2. Work on my Drawing & Lettering Skills

If you've been following me on Instagram this past year, you may have noticed that I've been posting a lot more doodles and hand lettering in my sketchbooks in recent months. While I absolutely adore Adobe Illustrator and can work happily on the computer for hours on end, I've really been yearning to work in more traditional mediums lately.

Practicing my hand lettering skills | shannonmcnab.com

Fancy computer programs and fun digital gadgets like Wacom tablets are great, but they'll only get you so far. The best way I know how to get better at something is to practice... A LOT. And I didn't do that much practicing in the first half of 2015 (and I feel like the quality of my design work suffered as a result)

I know my pattern making skills are great, but I feel like I still have lots I can improve on in regards to my illustration and hand lettering skills, so that's where my focus will be in 2016.