My year in review 2023 – a year of awareness and growth💥

In this blog post, I want to think back on my year in 2023. Did I reach my goals? What happened? How did my art business and personal life change? What helped me get better? There are so many things to remember, and it’s great to write them down here to look back on later.

I’ll talk about my online art business and Animal Art Club. I work with clients who want to learn how to draw animals using pastels. I’ll also share what I did in my spare time. Here are some things about my year in 2023. It was a year of growth and moving forward, stepping out of my comfort zone, growing as a person and leader, and a year of Awareness. That was my special word for the year.

I want to make life more colorful for artists and animal lovers. I help them draw animals that look real with pastels, so they feel happy and confident as artists. I’m always trying to learn new stuff, get better at teaching art, and help you as best as I can! I learned that being patient and practicing every day can really make a difference. I have proof and evidence of how enjoyable it is to share my art knowledge with others and watch them improve as well. It’s amazing to see my students’ art evolve and grow, especially when their animal portraits come to life! This is incredibly valuable and well worth investing time in!

 

My year in review 2023 – a year of awareness and growth💥

What were my goals for 2023? And how did it go? 🎯

  • Grow my drawing school Animal Art Club to 500 members and improve this space for artists from all over the world.
    I could reach this goal, we have 450 wonderful members now in Animal Art Club.
  • Hire a team member:
    I hired a VA and ended up with two amazing ladies finally
  • Reactivate my YouTube channel:
    YES, I did it and we are now creating consistent content on YouTube
  • Fly to Australia and attend a business retreat from my mentor Tracy Harris in Sydney.
    This was a scary goal and a big step for me. After many doubts and negative beliefs: I DID IT!
  • Start my own podcast!
    This will happen 2024! I definitely will give it a go!
  • Quit my office job and work as my own CEO in my art business:
    YES!!! I wanted to leave my office job for over 20 years. They did not want me to go, so I work still 4 hours per week for them, but finally, it will happen end of April 2024 and I can concentrate on working on my business.

My word of the year 2023 was AWARENESS 🌟

My chosen word for the year was “AWARENESS.”

I aimed to lead a more intentional life, paying closer attention to the small yet beautiful details around us. This includes appreciating the warmth and brightness of the sun when it shines, the aroma of flowers, delighting in the cheerful chirping of birds, and embracing a sense of gratitude for what we have — be it good health, fitness, or the nourishment from eating healthy foods.

I wanted to be more attentive to my body and overall well-being. Too often, we find ourselves living life on autopilot, a life by default rather than actively designing it according to our dreams and aspirations, to create our life by design.

While it’s relatively easy to set goals and harbor dreams, transforming them into reality is often a more challenging task. To be truly aware means understanding what’s achievable and then taking the steps to make it happen. This includes making changes, such as spending more quality time with my daughter, family, pets, and friends.

Did I fully realize my goals? Not always. There were moments when I became more conscious of certain aspects, yet there were also times when I reverted to old habits, like eating the same things or making excuses for not exercising or taking time for myself. We all know how easy it is to fall back into familiar patterns!

However, I did become more aware of how I could help others, particularly through drawing animal portraits. I recognized a need in our community for this skill, and I became aware of the significant impact my online art business and Animal Art Club have on other people’s lives. They not only add value to my clients’ lives but also enrich my own. My awareness of this has grown, and I am committed to continually enhancing this experience.



Creating 12 months of content for ANIMAL ART CLUB 🐶

This wasn’t just a highlight, it’s been a journey with me throughout the entire year! And this is what excites me, what I absolutely love doing! Drawing realistic animal portraits in pastels for you, capturing each detail on camera, explaining every step thoroughly, and offering insights into my unique drawing method – these are the things that light me up. I’m dedicated to creating tutorials that enrich our amazing community’s learning experience. Here’s an overview of the animal portraits our members had the opportunity to draw this year:

Throughout the year, we’ve focused on bringing a variety of animals to life through pastel art. Every tutorial was designed to guide you in creating lifelike and detailed portraits, enhancing your skills and passion for animal art. It’s been a joy to see the progression in everyone’s work, witnessing the transformation from simple sketches to intricate, vivid portraits. Each piece is a testament to our shared love for these magnificent creatures.

Here you see an overview of the portraits my members could draw in Animal Art Club this year. My student received every month a new lesson. I film them and explain every step in detail. We have drawn a Tabby Cat, a Kangaroo, a Lynx, a Chestnut Horse, a Giraffe, an Elephant Baby, a Fox, an Australian shepherd, a Golden Retriever, a Little Duck, a Hare, and a Sea Turtle in 2023.

12 animal portrait drawing lessons in pastels in Animal Art Club

ANIMAL ART CLUB – A PLACE WHERE ARTISTS COME TOGETHER!
Learn step by step, how to draw realistic animal portraits, refine your drawing skills, come into this amazing community of fellow animal artists to draw your art, share your art, get inspiration, and receive feedback. ➡️ Join here the WAITLIST.


ANIMAL ART CLUB is 2 years old! Let’s celebrate! 😍🥳

In October 2021, a new chapter in my life began with the birth of the Animal Art Club, a dream project that started with 17 incredible founding members. My vision was more than just creating a space; it was about building a vibrant community where artists, united by their love for animal portraiture and pastels, could gather.

This club was meant to be a haven where the joy and passion for art were palpable, where every stroke of pastel brought not just color to the canvas but also joy and fun to the heart. I envisaged a place where artists from diverse corners of the globe could converge, share their techniques, learn together, and forge lasting friendships. It was all about making the art of drawing a joyful journey and empowering artists to become proud of their work and grow in confidence.

As the months rolled by in 2022, the Animal Art Club blossomed beyond my wildest dreams. Our family of artists grew exponentially, reaching a remarkable count of 300 talented individuals from various parts of the world. And now, as we step further into the current year, our numbers have soared to an astounding 420 members!

This growth fills my heart with immense pride and joy. 😍🥳 Each member brings their unique style and perspective, rapidly progressing and creating stunning animal portraits with their pastel pencils. The diversity and talent within the club are truly awe-inspiring, and I hold deep appreciation for every single artist who has joined us on this journey at the Animal Art Club.

My drawing school Animal Art Club celebrated the 2nd birthday this year!

Member of the month in Animal Art Club 🐱

In an exciting development this November, we introduced a new tradition within our community – the ‘Member of the Month’ award. This initiative is a way to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding contributions and artistic achievements of our members. It brings me immense pleasure to extend hearty congratulations to the very first recipient of this accolade for November. This recognition is not just about their skill but also their spirit of creativity and community, which resonates with the core values of the Animal Art Club


I quit my office job – a next step forward 🚀😍

This year, I made a big decision. In January, I quit my office job where I had worked for over 20 years. Working there was easy for me because I did the same tasks over and over. It was convenient. However, I wasn’t learning anything new or making progress. It was also hard to work as an employee while trying to grow my own online business. Focusing fully on one thing is important. I needed more time to take care of my wonderful students in the Animal Art Club, my art school. I had to create drawing lessons, record and edit videos, handle administrative tasks, and make content for my YouTube channel.

So, I knew it was just a matter of time before I made this change. And I did it in January. I am really proud of this decision. They didn’t want me to leave, so we agreed that I would stay for 4 hours a week until April 2024. But after that, I’ll be completely in charge of my own business! I’m very excited about it!

I will also have more time for my daughter, our family, my horse, and myself. Having ‘me time’ is so important, as it helps create a life by design, doing things that we love. I plan to have a special adventure with my family every month! Creating memories is very important.


My first team members! 🤼‍♀️ 💛

As my online business and membership at the Animal Art Club began to grow, I quickly realized I had much more work than I could handle alone. It’s true that when a business expands, the workload increases too. This is when I understood that it’s impossible to manage everything by myself. So, I started to look for help, because delegating tasks is essential for business growth.

That’s when Angelee, an amazing community manager and customer support assistant, came into the picture. Alongside her, I found Bethel, who is incredibly talented at editing videos and managing our YouTube and Pinterest presence. We are all working together and learning from each other. It’s a new journey for us. I need to guide them through the processes and show them how we do things, but they are picking up fast and contributing immensely to the business. Their support has become an invaluable part of our daily operations. It’s a great reminder that teamwork is key in any successful venture.

With this wonderful team in place, I can now turn my attention back to what I love doing the most. I can dedicate more time to crafting new lessons for the Animal Art Club, creating helpful resources, and developing exciting new courses. This allows me to support my students more effectively.

I’m there to answer their questions, encourage their progress, and help them become confident artists. My focus is entirely on helping them master the art of drawing animal portraits with pastels, and advancing their own artistic skills. It’s all about providing the best service and guidance to my students, which is the heart of what we do at the Animal Art Club.


My journey to SYDNEY and how this helped me immensivley in personal growth 🦘🐨

This year, to grow both personally and as a digital entrepreneur, and to ensure I offer the best support to my students in the Animal Art Club and in my drawing courses, I took a significant step. I joined a high-level mastermind in Australia. Yes, that’s right, Australia!

It was such a long way from home, literally on the other side of the world, and it felt like stepping into an entirely new and exciting place. The mastermind I attended was the Inner Circle Mastermind, led by Tracy Harris from Mums with Hustle. Throughout the year 2023, Tracy was not just my coach and mentor but also a guiding light, helping me grow immensely, both in my personal life and in my business pursuits. Tracy is truly a remarkable person and an inspiring leader. I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have been a part of such a wonderful mastermind family in Sydney.

One aspect of this experience that really pushed me out of my comfort zone was the journey to the in-person retreat in October. I took a long flight to Sydney, which was a big deal for me. I had never traveled so far from home and Austria before. The longest flight I had ever been on was just 4 hours to Egypt for a summer holiday. But this year, I took the bold step of traveling alone to Sydney. It was such an extraordinary experience! This journey was not just a physical travel but a significant leap forward in my business and personal growth.

In the Inner Circle Mastermind, I met so many amazing ladies. I learned a great deal of useful information and skills that I can’t wait to bring back and apply to my Animal Art Club, to take it to the next level and serve you, my art students, in the best way possible. Because you matter so much to me! I am always striving to learn and improve, all to make sure that I can help you advance in the best way in your art journey.

Additionally, I had some incredible experiences around Sydney. I went whale watching with Danielle Hofer from the USA, who had also come all the way from the US for the mastermind. We had so much fun together! I also went on a trip where I got to see kangaroos and koalas, and I even had the opportunity to hug them. I explored the stunning coasts near Sydney, saw a beautiful waterfall, and we even got to taste some local wine. It was truly amazing.

And then, of course, there was Sydney itself, with its famous harbor and the iconic Opera House. We were staying right in Pearl Harbor, which was absolutely impressive. This trip to Sydney was definitely a major highlight of this year for me!


Sigrun Live in Zürich and how important support is 💯


In November, I experienced another highlight with my coach, Sigrun. After four years, her live event, SIGRUN LIVE, finally took place again! So, I took a train journey to Zürich in Switzerland once more, eager to learn from other amazing entrepreneurs about online business and the best ways to serve our clients. It was two days packed with masterminding, filled with a wealth of new ideas to further improve the Animal Art Club for you!

The atmosphere was buzzing with energy and creativity, and being surrounded by like-minded individuals was incredibly inspiring. This experience was not just an opportunity for learning, but also a chance to connect and share experiences, which has left me brimming with enthusiasm and fresh perspectives to bring back to our community.

Sigrun Live Event in Zurich

Our holidays this year and nice family trips ☀️🏖️

This year, we went on a holiday to Croatia with the whole family, a trip we had promised to my mum for her 70th birthday. We had planned it for last year, but we couldn’t go. So, this year in May, we finally made it. The campsite was wonderful, and we stayed in a beautiful home right at the seafront. It was a fantastic family trip, even though the seawater was quite cold at that time of the year. But since I really like the sea, I didn’t mind the cold too much.

Then in the summer, my partner, our daughter, and I took another trip, this time to Italy, to enjoy the beach again. The sandy beach in Italy is just perfect for our daughter. She loves playing in the sand, and it’s safer for her. I have always loved Italy too – the culture, the scenery, it’s all so beautiful. We stayed in a nice spot on a campsite, living comfortably in our tent. This campsite even had some amazing slides, which were so much fun! Our daughter absolutely loved them, and we had a great time too.


My year 2023 in numbers

  • You Tube Subsribers: 2.793
  • Instagram-Followers: 16.100
  • Facebook-Page: 6.955 followers
  • Animal Art Club members: 420

What else was happening in 2023?

Skiing and sledging in winter
Coloring Easter Eggs
Shadow, my little art helper
Spending time with my horse Rubina
Here we ride the bike to an animal park
My girl finished her first year in primary school, what a milestone!
We visited my brother in Graz.
What a lovely swan family we met here at Ossiacher lake in Carinthia.
We love to spend time with family in the mountains and hiking.
We live, where others spend their holidays!
This year we made it to drive up the Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße. The Großglockner is Austrians highest mountain.
This was a wonderful family trip.
It’s December, we have snow, and searching for some advent decoration trees. So beautiful, when snow is coming!

My goals for 2024

  • Post regularly and consistently on my YouTube channel to give the best value to all subscribers.
  • To start my own Animal Art Podcast
  • To be active on Pinterest and Tiktok
  • To write a book with drawing lessons
  • To make my membership Animal Art Club a very special experience for my clients! I plan to add new experiences and fun things to do!
  • To fly to Hamburg and watch the musical “Lion’s King” I got as a birthday present to my 40th birthday 2 years ago!
  • To fly to Austin/Texas in September and attend a mastermind retreat
  • To double the revenue of my art business
  • To draw more for my own, some portraits only for myself
  • To invest in an art studio, either build one in our cellar or rent a room to have more space for filming and content creation.
  • To make 1 family-adventure day a month and do something fun and special with our daughter
  • To do more for my health and fitness: To concentrate more on healthy food, not eating too much sugar! I love sweets!
  • My motto for 2024: Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t!

 ANIMAL ART CLUB – A PLACE WHERE ARTISTS COME TOGETHER!
Learn step by step, how to draw realistic animal portraits, refine your drawing skills, come into this amazing community of fellow animal artists to draw your art, share your art, get inspiration, and receive feedback. ➡️ Join here the WAITLIST.