These past few weeks have been quite a whirlwind! Last week was the final in Lilla’s MATS course (I plan to do a separate MATS debrief post for the entire experience later!) which focused on party paper. Now.. What is that, you may ask? Party paper is a category within the Gift Market entirely devoted to paper goods – paper plates, paper napkins, gift wrap, invitations, and so on.
Our assignment was to reference the theme of Ukrainian and Bavarian folk art and create our own party paper designs. I worked on created stylized artwork that still read as my aesthetic but pulled elements from what makes folk art unique– the subject matter, layout, selective colors – and interpreted it in my own way.
I ended up having a blast doing these pieces. I think the rooster looks hilarious, he’s kind of got a cheeky look to him (and a bit of a booty! hah). Each piece has unique artwork – no icons are repeated between the plate, napkin, and cup. I also tried a different way to add texture to my illustrations this week and really enjoyed the end result. Florals are an artwork type that I have not explored much, but this project definitely has increased my interest in working with them. I’d like to try out some surface patterns next!
The subject of study for Lilla Rogers’ MATS e-course last week was Scrapbooking! The market has really exploded since my first encounters as a child – no longer just traditional patterns and artwork, it also contains very quirky, stylized, and trendy themes as well. Something for everyone! The products available go beyond sheets of beautifully printed paper, now including things like stickers, stamps, buttons, and crafted paper cut-outs.
Our assignment this week was to interpret the theme of cameras and typewriters, both objects that record events in our lives, and create a page of art that could be used for a scrapbooking collection. I had a fabulous time! As you can see, I channeled the vintage incarnations of cameras (analog rocks!) and typewriters alongside a variety of memory evoking lettering and related objects. I wanted to give a scrapbooker the ability to put their own photo images inside the Polaroid and film illustrations lower on the page, so I made them into frames instead of adding my own illustrations inside. I also took the opportunity to play a lot more with color and adding texture on this artwork and am quite happy with the results! I will definitely be doing more of that in my future work 🙂
I’m also taking part in a monthly blog parade link-up with a few of my very talented MATS classmates, you can check out all their posts on Linda Tieu’s blog here!
Two(ish) weeks ago, I started Part B of the e-course Make Art that Sells by the fabulous Lilla Rogers. If you are familiar with my blog, you may recognize the name from earlier this year when I took Part A of the MATS course. It was an absolutely fantastic experience, so when the second session was available for registration I knew I wanted to join again! Part B focuses on 5 new markets (one for every week of the course): Paper, Baby/Children’s Apparel & Decor, Scrapbooking, Editorial, and Party Paper.
I was full of excitement to get started, but unfortunately after the first few days of class I had to divert my focus to a family emergency and the passing of someone I was close to. I wasn’t able to finish my first week project yet – Christmas greeting card designs; or my second week – camping themed graphics or prints for children’s wear, but I do have my preliminary artwork inked up which you can see below. I will eventually get caught up and make sure to post my work on here once I do!
My goodness, what a week! For class we reviewed the wall art market which was very interesting and provided new challenges as it has much less restraints compared to any of the other markets covered so far. The weekly assignment was to create a square abstract collage-style wall art with painting present in some way, along with a floral motif, and a word/quote. We also had to work on a restricted palette and I was assignment the colors red and yellow, with unlimited neutrals.
As this assignment required painting of some type, I decided to take the plunge and buy a large wooden canvas to work on (24x24in). This was a bit intimidating as I haven’t painted on this type of wood before, and haven’t painted with acrylic or done art on anything this size for over ten years now! I was also never big in to collage, so that was another challenge. All good things to get me out of my comfort zone 🙂
I started with painting the canvas white and then my color base. I really enjoyed how it turned out and thought I could make some really lovely fabric with it.. thoughts for the future!
I didn’t want to use any collage materials that could be copyright protected, so I chose to make my own patterns on paper using acrylic and markers, which I cut out in fun organic shapes. Some are adhered directly to the canvas, and other collage pieces I mounted so they sit a few millimeters off the board in order to add more varied dimension. The style of my piece took on a very different aesthetic than I expected it to, much more fun and cute! I found myself creating a type of environment within my work, including a little bunny resident. The word I used as per the assignment requirements was “love” which I placed in a speech bubble above the bunny. My camera was giving me grief so the colors aren’t accurate to the artwork, but you can get a good idea of the composition in the image below. This piece is called “Hoptic Reality.”
A few close-up shots below. Collage has grown on me a bit…But I especially can’t wait to paint more! It was a wonderful learning week, I know next week will be very interesting. I feel like it will probably be an emotional one, as it will bring both joy of more learning and sadness for the class ending.
This week I began the long anticipated e-course Make Art That Sells organized by Beth Kempton, and instructed by the AMAZING Lilla Rogers, of Lilla Rogers Studio, a woman I have major respect and admiration for. The class explores 5 different markets: bolt fabric, home decor, children’s picture books, wall art, and gift, has intensive weekly assignments, and alongside insights and lessons with Lilla, there are also a bunch of amazing guests that are experts, successful professionals, and agents from these industries.
In addition, there are so many people taking the class alongside me whose work I recognize, blogs I already follow, and art that I have been admiring for a while now. The level of talent in the group is absolutely insane! And not limited to a specific area of art either, I was enamored with the range of hand craft, fine art, and digital. It’s wonderful to be in such a lively community with support and encouragement.
I knew this class would be intensive and the first week did not disappoint. I started late by a few days, so it was a bit of a scramble to get caught up but ended up finishing my first assignment with time to spare! This week was based around the bolt fabric industry and we got to explore the inspiration of vintage Pyrex style casserole dishes and mushrooms for our assignment. The combination of a geometric subject and an organic one was an interesting project, and I had a great time doing my hand sketches. In the past I almost always started my textile patterns and illustrations directly on the computer, aside from some initial quick doodles for reference (my hand done illustrations were saved for other types of work). The past few weeks I have been concentrating on closing the void between my hand drawn artwork and that of my digital so this assignment was perfect for me. A sneak peek at some of my mushroom illustrations are below!
My conclusions for the first week:
As I expected, Lilla is an inspired and compelling teacher, and she knows her stuff! Based off this week I know that I will have an amazing collection of work once I finish this course, and have an even more solid plan going forward.
The lessons are extremely well planned, written out, timed in terms of release to the class and deadlines, and inspiring. I was discussing the course today and mentioned that if this was a university, every graduate would be at the top of their field! We were also given a very clear schedule as to what lessons would be available on what days, due dates/times, and encouraged to use a provided schedule in order to allot the amount of time we want to dedicate to the course. Very useful!
The talent in this class is immense. It’s almost inexpressible how much brilliance is combined in one classroom! I think only someone like Lilla could bring so many amazing artists together in this way.
I recently participated in Module 3 of the e-course The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design run by the fabulous Beth Kempton and instructed by surface pattern design heavyweight Rachael Taylor. It was an intensive program that covered both the business and creative sides of surface pattern design, one that I wish was longer than five weeks! In addition, I became part of a community of amazing artists from across the globe that are all very supportive and uniquely talented. I have always felt a bit like a lone wolf in my creative endeavors and it was amazing to be dropped into a community of dedicated and motivated creative individuals that I admire! As a proud graduate I also got one of these pretty badges. Once I catch up, I hope to post some of my work produced during the class.