TDAT x Glad Recipe Competition – MATS Showcase

I have another wonderful showcase of MATS submissions! A little bit ago, They Draw & Cook held an illustrated recipe contest with Glad in which designers needed to create a layout with 3 recipes using one healthy ingredient as their main component. My fellow bootcamper the fabulous Jana Curll, whom I greatly admire, actually ended up winning the  with her beautiful piece “Oh, Happy Apple!” (linked below). All the pieces submitted by my MATS friends are so unique and beautiful, I highly recommend you check out all the links 🙂

Tomato Love by Janna Krupinski
GOT too much MILK? by Antonija M.
Chef Jasna’s Fab Figs by Antoana Oreški
Ginger 3 Ways by Sonia Apple Kaur Designs
Strawberry Smooch x 3 by Brooke Albrecht
Pomegranate on Parade by Brooke Albrecht
One Chicken, Three Dishes by Ashley Lotecki 
Krazy for Kale! by Tracy Mattocks
Oh, Happy Apple! by Jana Curll 
Amazing Tofu 3 Ways by melissa iwai
Chicken: 3 ways! A Schafer family recipe by mary rachael schafer
Radish Rhapsody by Emmeline Hall
The Pretentious Pine Nut by Ann Jones
Bacon, Get in My Mouth! by Ann Jones
Blueberry Super Fruit by Ann Jones
Pineapple Throwback by Ann Jones
Rocket Ship by Ann Jones

TDAT x UPPERCASE Map Competition – MATS Showcase

I recently did a post on my “Curiosities of Toronto” map showcased on the wonderful website They Draw and Travel. I submitted it for an illustration competition they are putting on with the fabulous UPPERCASE magazine (closed now, but results tbd) for which the artists created a map of curious and unusual places where they live or grew up. There are so many lovely submissions, and quite a few of them are from my lovely MATS friends. I decided to do round-up post so you can check out all of the Bootcampers’ wonderful submissions! Here you go 🙂

So Much to Do in Manitou, Colorado by Stephanie Olivieri
Gibsons, British Columbia by Jana Curll
Welcome to Bremen Altstadt, Germany by Tessa Rath
Purple Mountain Majesties in Colorado Springs by Wendy Brightbill
DC LOVE by Susanne Kasielke
Greater Providence, Rhode Island Hot Weiner Tour by Jill Howarth
Curiosities of Toronto, Canada by Ashley Lotecki
A Tour Along the Kamo River in Kyoto, Japan by Reika Hunt
What’s so great about Portsmouth, UK? by Jen Burbridge
Cincinnati, Ohio by Brooke Albrecht
My House in Forest Hills, Queens, New York by jane sanders
Adelaide, South Australia by Kate Mason
A Beautiful and Magical Visit to Prague, Czech Republic by Petra Hämmerleinova
Orlando, Florida: Beyond the Mouse by Lori Weitzel
A Grand Adventure in Japan by Nicole LaRue
Magical Serifos by JOANNA CHRYSOHOIDIS
High Towers in Stockholm, Sweden by Anna Berger
LeRoy, NY, Birthplace of JELL-O by Jennifer Wambach
Portsmouth, New Hampshire by Shannon Hays
Fanciful Map of San Francisco, California by mary rachael schafer

Good luck everyone!

Lilla Rogers MATS Bootcamp – February

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In February I started taking part in Lilla Rogers Bootcamp! Each month for six months, we are given a professional project brief and have a few weeks to work on it. At the end of the month, everyone’s designs are showcased on Lilla Rogers actual agency website in a special gallery! Pretty awesome!  Beyond getting to stretch my creative muscles, it is so very lovely to in a new vibrant community and seeing all the new work pop up. If you can believe, there are over 550 other artists!

February’s theme was cuckoo clocks! It was a bit funny, as I had actually been working on a pattern collection with a similar theme. Because of this I needed to consider how I was going to go in an entirely new direction from that as well. I started with doing rough pencil sketches for the mini assignment, basically the “lead up” to the actual design brief from Lilla.

The actual project was to make a phone cover or case using our cuckoo themed artwork. A phone cover has a shape and size that is not suited to all manner of artwork so I decided to create a placement graphic versus doing a repeat pattern of some kind. My design is titled “Double Decker Cuckoo Cottage” 🙂 My interpretation of the cuckoo clock was in a more rustic way, as a woodland cottage and the forested environment it would be found in.

You would not believe the amazing array of adaptations from the group of artists in Bootcamp with me. Wow! I definitely recommend you go and see for yourself, you can check out the February Gallery here on Lilla’s website (mine is on p 5 if you were curious!).

Lilla Rogers’ MATS Course – Week 5: Party Paper

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!

Lilla Rogers’ MATS Course – Week 3: Scrapbooking

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!

Back to School – Lilla Rogers’ MATS Course Week 1-2

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!

Pluvial Crockery – Textile Collection

School starts back up again this week and life is just a little hectic right now! Because of that, I’m not sure when I will be finishing the next letter in my unconventional alphabet series so I decided to share some textile designs I did this summer. I actually showed the preliminary drawings back in my first week post about Lilla Roger’s MATS course! The patterns are themed around mushrooms and pyrex, with a vintage vibe. My original intention was to design for bolt fabric but I think these could be applied to a variety of products. Lots of icons to work with 🙂 This collection is called “Pluvial Crockery.”
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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.