Lilla Rogers’s Global Talent Search

If you’ve been reading my posts over the past while, you will know I’ve been taking Lilla Roger’s Studio Class “Make Art that Sells.” It’s been an amazing and inspiring experience! As the perfect follow-up, her agency has been holding a Global Talent Search in which the winner gets an unprecedented prize.. Two years of representation with Lilla Rogers Studio along with exclusive licensing deals with a mega roster of clients. To put this in to perspective, the studio only represents 39 amazing artists in the entire WORLD, so to put another spot up for grabs to the entire creative community is an epic opportunity. If I’m being honest, it’s pretty much *swoon-worthy*!

The first project brief was to create a playground themed journal cover as if Paperchase were our client, including the word “Journal” somewhere on our piece. I thought about my memories of playing in parks and also the collection of antique toys and equipment that were stored at my grandparent’s farm when I was little. All my work, including the lettering was first done by hand with ink and then scanned and cleaned up digitally.  It was fun creating so many different icons, playing with the scale and interplay of the Kraft background paper and the coloring of each.
We have just found out that there are 1500 entries from over 30 countries. Insanity! I can’t imagine how hard of a time Lilla and her team are having whittling the number down for round two. I’ve seen a fair amount of entries, particularly those of my MATS classmates, and all I can say is wow – it will be quite a task! Tomorrow the top 50 are announced, I can’t wait to see all the beautiful work that comes from this. And of course, I wait with bated breath to find my own fate 🙂 Good luck everyone!

Yay! – Cupboard Terrarium Update

For MATS home decor week (week 2) I ended up submitting “Little Worlds” from my Cupboard Terrarium collection, for the project submission pool. I later found out that I had been chosen as one of the few designs Lilla Rogers reviewed in her weekly video! *cue girlish shriek* To say I was excited and honored was somewhat understated 🙂

It was suggested I draw my hanging terrariums a few more times to get the styling down. They are so fun to make and I really am growing comfortable with using paint again, which is a great thing! I’ve been concentrating on the other weekly projects so cleaning up the scans of these has been slow but here is a quick peek.

Lilla Roger’s MATS: Week 5 – Gift

Alas, this week has been a bittersweet one in Lilla’s lovely classroom! Class ends very soon and our final project was due today. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the support and camaraderie in the classroom, going strong even now when everyone has the relief of the assignment off their shoulders! It has be an insane and wonderful five weeks, being pushed outside my comfort zone and nurtured by such an amazing mentor. I can’t even believe how much I have grown and evolved as an artist in such a short amount of time, and how much courage I have in my work, a sentiment also echoed by many of my classmates!

This week was learning all about the gift market, which encompasses a pretty wide range of objects. For the mini-assignment, we had to gather collections we own and photograph them. I had a bit of a panic, first thinking I didn’t collect anything (fabric hoarding is necessary, I swear!)  and then realizing that the things that I did identify as a collector of were copyrighted works that I knew wouldn’t work for the assignment (artwork, figurines, comics).

Once reviewing the main assignment, things became much clearer. We had to create a zippered pouch using photo-collage, florals, our collections, and a saturated bold color palette that would demand attention! The trend that this type of artwork is based around is called “Hyper-Lush” or “Photo Floral.” I decided to start with my collection of urban decay and abandoned building photos which I have been shooting over the past few years. I find these places extremely beautiful and textural, which was a big component of the assignment. In addition, I also used images of florals I had shot during the week and created original typography and icons to further push the idea of exploring these types of spaces. So much fun!
I think this project was the hardest for me, but I feel like I conquered it successfully in the end 🙂 I would really love to get this fabric printed and try making a few of these!

Lilla Roger’s MATS: Week 4 – Wall Art

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.

© Copyright Ashley Lotecki, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Snail and the Rose Tree” Book Cover Illustration

Last week in Lilla Roger’s class was children’s book illustration week! As I talked about in my previous post our main assignment was to illustrate the cover or a two-page spread for the melancholy story by Hans Christian Andersen, “The Snail and the Rose Tree.” This is what I came up with! The artwork was done using traditional mediums (gouache, ink, and conte), then compiled in Photoshop. The lettering is also all hand done with the tablet, although I did play with using painted typography as well.

In my interpretation, the snail is brightly colored and his expression is the only sour looking thing about him here. In the story, the snail constantly states his grand plans to do something amazing and evolve beyond everyone else, criticizing the rose tree for *simply* making beautiful flower, but in the end does nothing with his life. I wanted to enhance his verbal remarks and show him as “peacocking” in a manner of sorts through the colors and patterns on his body. This was fun but took quite a while to get a hold of my concept! I’d like to try some more of my own story adaptations 🙂

Lilla Roger’s MATS: Week 3 – Children’s Books!

Wow, this week has been intense! The theme is children’s book illustration, which is super exciting because it is firstly a really appealing area of design with all the cute characters and stories to depict, but also because of the ability for style to be so individualized with less boundaries. The interpretations to story itself, the emotions and expressions we decide to depict, and the layout including typography really is a very personal process. What I have seen of my other classmates work this week is mind blowing and so unique, not one project looking like any other. Which you might not expect with a class so large as ours, I mean surely a few might resemble one another. But no! One person even did needle-felting on linen this week.. Mind blown 🙂

We started the week drawing snails! Snails in different poses, with different expressions, in different mediums. The main assignment ended up being a cover or two page spread for the short, and somewhat depressing story, “The Snail and the Rose Tree” by Hans Christian Andersen. In addition, we got to create our own lettering for the titles! As with my designs from last week, I decided to keep working in traditional mediums instead of digital, even though digital is my comfort zone and I basically haven’t painted in over ten years since last week! I even busted out my Conté, which hasn’t seen the light of day in a few years. Color! Fabulous color!

Here are some snail studies from this week. Once finding what the story was actually about, I had to reconsider how happy all the snails I had been creating were, but it was still a ton of fun! And I have a bunch of characters I can continue with on and create other artwork with.

Some of the custom typography that I experimented with.
This one cracks me up!

I really have a surplus of work from this week, this is only a selection. I burned through probably half of my sketchbook in less than 7 days! Feels good to be so inspired and challenged 🙂

My Cupboard Terrarium Plate Collection!

Here are my final designs for MATS class this week, entitled “Cupboard Terrarium.” I embraced my love for succulents and  my new found joy painting with gouache, creating a line that I think very accurately represents my style. I would love to have these plates produced but also think the artwork could be applied to fabric as well. Going to think on that one 🙂