make art that sells Tag

Above: Geometric Patchwork Backpack

This year, I decided to take part in the wonderful Make Art That Sells Bootcamp. For those not in the know, this is a 5 month course set up by art agent, Lilla Rogers. Each month a brief is set and students create artwork for their portfolios in direct response to this brief. It’s challenging, exciting and a real learning curve. I took part in the Bootcamp 2 years ago, and it was a fantastic experience where my work rapidly developed, and resulted in commissions for me.

So, in 2017, I decided to give it another go, and we have just come to the end of our March brief which was to design an abstract pattern for a backpack.

Designing abstracts can be quite difficult when your work is very illustrative and decorative. Using my reference sketches, and photos I was eventually able to come up with some simple icons and shapes that could be connected together to create my pattern. It’s a youthful, playful print which I am quite happy with.Abstract geometric pattern for a backpack designed for Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp

 

At the end of each month, I am going to write myself some small goals for the following month. I recently joined an accountability group with a few other illustrators and designers. We share goals both short and long term, and will catch up with each other to see how things are going. It’s a great way to remain focused and feel both supported and motivated.

April Goals:

  1. Blog at least twice per month to look at what work I am doing, commissions, or coursework.
  2. Design greeting cards for upcoming occasions and holidays.
  3. Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp for April.
  4. Add more prints to my online shop.
  5. show new work to clients.
  6. Send a newsletter out.
  7. Go to the British Museum
  8. Visit art exhibitions in London.
  9. Draw daily in my sketchbook.

Wall Art was the flavour of the month and the theme was scenic vintage plates.

After researching and sketching a little (a very little due to time restraints), I started focusing on folk style houses.

The main assignment was to paint on a round wood slice, and with some experimenting I opted to do a digital illustration rendered onto the wood.

You can see my final artwork below and you can access the entire class gallery HERE.

I’m looking forward to starting MATS Part B on Monday now. I enjoy the intensity of this course and how much I can learn and grow in just 5 weeks.

I’ll be doing my weekly blog roundups during the course so check back here then.

Have a creative day!

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I’m taking part in the Lila Roger Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp.

It’s spread over 5 months, and starts this Monday. It will be a great opportunity to create a piece of art every month that will help me get work in the markets I am interested in (kids, fabric, home decor, paper goods).

You can see examples of my work created in MATS Part A HERE and HERE

I’ll share sketches and final pieces each month.

Until then, Happy New Year.

Alice

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Wow! This year has flown by for me. What has actually been 12 months feels like 6 and it surprises me how much you can achieve in that perceived time-frame. Below I am going to outline a few projects that have stood out  for me, and some personal things from this year:

1. WWT Waterlife Magazine

I was happy to start the year working on an editorial project for a trust that I admire and am passionate about. When I was 15, and in the first summer that the Wetlands Centre was open (around 2002 I think), I did my work experience feeding birds, planting rice paddies and getting sunburnt. It was wonderful! Having the opportunity to create illustrations for their magazine was like re-visiting an old friend.

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2. France

It’s become my second home this year having visited Paris, Lille, Epernay, Reims, Chalons en Champagne and Nime on multiple occasions. Here is a photo from my trip to the South Of France in July.

Le Grau De Roi

3. Make Art That Sells

At the end of October I signed up to the Lilla Rogers Studio Make Art That Sells course. That turned out to be an excellent decision, as during those short 5 weeks, my creativity improved and I had a new passion for designing again. I have since signed up for the Assignment Bootcamp starting in January, and will be joining Part Be of MATS in March. My drawing pencil is tingling with excitement already!

Week 2: Home Decor

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4. My Boyfriend

At the end of November I celebrated 1 year with my boyfriend, Aurelien. He’s French, which will explain all the visits to France this year. We have been very lucky to travel as much as we have and I look forward to more future adventures with him.

Eastbourne Portrait

5. Secret Projects

In November I worked on a really exciting project with a great client. The brief was wonderfully free and open, and I look forward to sharing the results in 2015. I also signed a temporary contract with Cinnamon Joe Studio, and have been busy designing new prints for stationery and kids clothes. Since MATS, I have a new sense of what I want my career to be, and being a full time freelance designer for a studio like Cinnamon Joe is that dream. If things go well with them, I hope to be able to share with you some of my sold designs out there in the world.

6. My Niece

What a gift she really is! It’s such a wonderful pleasure being an aunt and it has made family get together’s all the more special. When you come from an exceptionally small family like I do, any new addition is greatly received and my niece Phoebe has certainly had an entertaining 1st year. Here is a little picture of her about a month before her 1st birthday.

Phoebe

 

It’s been well over a week and a half now since my final week of Make Art That Sells Part A ended.  In the final week, we looked at the gift market and how gloriously exciting it all is. There are just so many opportunities out there and Lilla Rogers outlined a few of these in our weekly posts.

For our assignment in the final week, we had to design a zipper pouch based on collections from our house. I pulled together some items including stamps, owls, shells and photographed and drew them. It was so surprising how much character I found when drawing the owls, and I knew these would form the basis of my design.

You can see below drawings I made and the final piece I created. The process was so interesting and I kept in mind all the tips Lilla had imparted over the previous 4 weeks. Things like “obsessing the minutiae” really resonated. I always made sure to look and see what else I could add to make it really pop.

To finish off the final week, my piece was also chosen in the review, and Lilla mentioned how she loved the notebook with  the co-ordinating pattern I created. She also loved the layout and presentation of my piece. This is something I have been working hard towards as well. Presentation is key when showing you work to potential new clients.

Overall, the 5 weeks were a great experience for me. It was so inspiring and has pushed me to be more creative than ever. I have never drawn so much!

MATS has truly invigorated me to achieve more and try more. I am now looking forward to taking part in the Assignment Bootcamp starting in January. This is a 6 month long course where we get one project per month which will be so great for my portfolio. I’ll be sharing more about that when it starts.

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My MATS course is rapidly coming to close now *sob*. I am at the end of Week 4 already as I write this and I am so happy with everything I have done and learnt so far.

In week 3, we looked at children’s picture books. Our assignment was to create either a cover or double page spread of Aesop’s Fable, ‘The tortoise and The Hare’.

I chose to do the cover, and after finishing a large commission I knuckled down, sketching tortoise characters and trying to develop a sense of the story.

You can see my development drawings below, as well as my final submission.

After the weekly review for which my piece was included, I think there are certain things I would consider changing. An example of this would be to give a feel of the imminent race and to make the tortoise look more earnest perhaps, and giving this race everything he has. I’m not sure if character development is my strong point yet, but I really did enjoy designing this cover.

Next week I will do a round up of Week 4, where we are exploring the wonderful world of Wall Art. It’s a nice, free week of work and creativity. I look forward to sharing that with you.

WIP Sketches

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So, I have completed my first week of Make Art That Sells and what a week it’s been! This week we covered the bolt fabric market, and as much as I thought I knew about fabric and patterns, I certainly learnt a lot. Lilla Rogers is one of those completely nurturing teachers that you kind of wished you had earlier in your life. She is enthusiastic about everything and in turn, makes you enthusiastic about your own work.

In one week I feel more objective about my style. I am analysing things in more detail, and putting an extra layer of depth into my work. I think it still retains a lot of my personality, but there is so much more to look at and see. These are things I need to be consistently aware of in future work.

Our theme for this week was Root Vegetables and Casseroles. We spent Monday and Tuesday loosely exploring the theme with drawings and experimentations. I did more drawings in those two days than I have done in a very long time.

On Wednesday, we received our main assignment which was to create a pattern based on this theme and using our drawings. I spent my time working up my main pattern in Illustrator and creating two co-ordinates to go with it. I tried very hard to be aware of the tips we had been given during the week, and I mixed up shapes, scale and textures within the work.

Below you can see some pictures from my week from development to the final submitted piece, called Kitsch Kitchen.

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I have made a big decision today. One, that I hope will greatly affect my career in a positive way and help me grow as an artist and designer.

The decision I made was to join Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells e-course. I have consistently been impressed with the quality of work from graduates of the course and thought that this may be what I need to supercharge my work.

Many people often think that I have quite a successful career as an illustrator, and whilst I have had some good projects and clients over the years it’s never been as busy as I would like. Designing for the commercial market and particularly for fabric, gifts and stationery and kids clothes is my ULTIMATE DREAM, and I hope that Lilla and this course will help re-direct me on the right path to achieving that.

The course starts on Monday, and yes, I am feeling a little nervous and overwhelmed. I feel like I am going to school for real, for the first time. I have even found a brand, spanking new and empty sketchbook that was on a shelf ready for all my feverish drawings and ideas.

I’m ready for a new challenge and I’ll keep you all updated with the course in a couple of weeks.