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2020 Year Review and Income Breakdown


Ooohh 2020 was most definitely a year we won't soon forget (but would really like to.) With a global pandemic and the whole world pretty much in lockdown (plus sooo many other happenings such as civil unrest, natural disasters etc etc.) life looked pretty different. But even with all of the bad of 2020, personally 2020 looked pretty nice for me and my family.


I am very grateful that my family has been in great health as well as all of our friends and fortunately haven't seen much change in our day to day lives besides not being very social. (I must confess we aren't very social to begin with so it wasn't too difficult to adapt.)


The only major difference for our family was having Johan working from home and spending even more time with the kids together. Being home with my family has meant that we have bonded even more. Had home cooked meals everyday together. We have been able to focus more on each other and enjoy each other's company playing games, puzzles, building in lego or just running around. Instead of visiting with friends or going on day trips on the weekends we have stayed in our county exploring the nature around us berry picking and bringing picnics. In all honesty it's been wonderful.


This year was a little different for a couple more reasons too.

  1. I've been on half maternity leave for the past 4 years including 2020, only working when the kids napped and sometimes at night or on the weekend. (But usually not because I like work/life boundaries.) I usually only got about 2-3 hours of working time per day. Starting in September though we put both kids into preschool. This meant that I started to have an actual full time working schedule again for the last 4 months of the year. Yippy!

  2. I took 10 weeks of vacation in 2020. You read that right, 10! I took it really easy last year and learned to take a break. It was incredible of course for my mental health but also for the dynamics of our family and our overall wellbeing. One of the main reasons I want to work freelance is this flexibility with my time. It is such an incredible luxury to be able to take as much time off as I'd like.

Alright, moving on to my income breakdown. Like last year I am not going to share the actual revenue numbers because money is so subjective. What I think is a little you might think is a lot and vis versa and I want to stay away from the comparison game. I am happy to talk numbers for specific projects etc and have several resources for that including a Pricing Skillshare class and my Wednesday Facebook videos. Besides the income received from these revenue streams I also receive benefits from the Swedish government for childcare, maternity leave and sick pay etc, which is not included here. I can also disclose that I made approx. 25% more in 2019 in comparison to 2019 due to having a little more time to work and focusing a bit more on teaching since freelance projects were low. If you are interested in reading my 2019 breakdown you can find that here.


This is what my 2020 income pie chart broke down to:

  • 49% Skillshare. I am incredibly grateful for Skillshare this year and it has helped to keep my income stable through out this pandemic. Thank goodness! When freelance projects weren't coming in and licensing and art sales came to a stand still my Skillshare minutes were sky rocketing. This is one of the silver linings for 2020 as many more people were at home with loads of extra free time to take online classes and learn new things. I am also incredibly grateful for the Skillshare team and the rest of the Skillshare Top Teachers. I have received so much incredible support there!

  • 21% Academy. Next up for my biggest piece of my income pie was my EmmaKisstina Academy. This includes all of the learning resources that I have available from workshops, e-books and guides. Together with Skillshare creating learning content and teaching has been 70% of my income this year. I am very grateful that I was able to pivot more into teaching this year when the creative side of my business wasn't as fruitful. In coming years I would love for this split to be more 50/50 teaching and selling art.

  • 14% freelance. I didn't receive a single project from a new client in 2020 but I did work on several projects with 4 recurring clients. Can't stress enough how important it is to have great relationships with your past clients. This percentage also includes a few direct sales of artwork as well.

  • 9% Etsy and POD sales. My shop and other online selling platforms have not been a priority for me for years but they are still active and bring in some money here and there which is a lovely bonus. I would like to make building out my shop more in 2021. It will be interesting to see what percentage it will grow to by the end of the year.

  • 7% Agent. Last but not least I made a few sales via my agent Pink Light Studio. This number was a lot lower that I had expected, but the pandemic hit the licensing world hard and it was pretty disappointing. Considering the amount of time I spend on creating new artwork for my portfolio to only see a 7% return is really sad. Crossing my fingers for more success here in 2021! I want to note that though it was disheartening to not receive so many sales via my agent last year she completely kicked butt when it came to keeping motivation, morale, and inspiration up for her artists including myself. It has been incredible working with her this year and I have added a lot of great art to my portfolio.

So that's it! Though 2020 hit us with a curve ball and I had to focus more on my teaching content rather than my creative work I am still very pleased with the outcome of the year. There was still 30% made from doing creative projects and selling art and I'm very happy with that. Going forward I hope that I can make this more of a 50/50 creative split as I don't want to transition into full time teaching. I still very very much want to be an illustrator and draw for a living.


Are you a full or part time creative business owner? Share your pie chart! What did your breakdown look like in 2020?


Here's hoping 2021 will be a positive year for us all.


Thanks for reading.

xoxo Kristina

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©2020 BY KRISTINA HULTKRANTZ.