The Global Talent Search 2014

This month I participated in The Global Talent Search where hundreds of talented artists competed to win representation by Lilla Rogers. The assignment had us drawing inspiration from terrariums. I explored colors, lines, shapes, textures, compositions etc. I have piles and piles of drawings and paint textures. Here you can see my process for creating:

I did not submit any of these pieces as the final. I just wanted to keep playing with color, compositions and drawings to see where it would take me. I really love the process of creating and often will get caught up in a rabbit hole of exploration. I just love the possibilities of what something could be. And to say "this is it" is so hard, especially for a Libra like me! Without feedback from the outside world, it really comes down to what I would pick for myself. The decisions was weighing on me all week. In order to decide, I had to really think about what my usual style is, and what kinds of techniques I normally like to use. The final piece I submitted was this:

The reason I chose this piece over the others was because:

a) I really love these colors!
b) It feels like me.
c) I love to draw with dipping pens. All of these drawings were spontaneously created out of joy after completing the above versions!
d) At some point it feels really good to just commit to a piece and say "Yes this IS it!"

So after happily clicking on the submit button, I came crashing down from the decision and turned my computer into the Apple store for a minor repair. What a relief to turn things in and take a breather!

HA! I'm an artist, I don't take breathers. :-) I promptly came home from dinner and took all of my waning post-GTS energy and POURED it into these peaceful watercolors... of... you guessed it! TERRARIUMS. Whatever the outcome will be from GTS, I am happy I participated and it really just confirmed the things I already know: I love to create, I love to draw, I love color and of course I love to paint. 

The Bootcamp Wrap Up

It's been 6 month of Bootcamping for me with Make Art That Sells by Lilla Rogers. It's been another great journey in art making! Here you can see the progression:

This was the first month and I was pretty happy with my cuckoo clock assignment. I learned a lot about color this month as Lilla pushed us to try new things.

The next assignment was for bolt fabric drawing lots and lots of jello! This was a challenging month! I ended up going with these silly dogs working out to jello props. I did a million versions before this one, like I said it was pretty challenging trying to incorporate jello into a design, so I ended up using the dogs to add a little sense of humor.

The next month was for editorial which was great. I love this market! I've been doing a lot of editorial assignments since taking Lilla's class last year. Hooray and thank you Lilla! This time I wanted to stretch myself and try a few new techniques with mixing textures and vector. I found it really fun drawing faces and that challenged me. I drew many many faces on paper first before trying to draw faces in Illustrator. I would love to do some more pieces about meditation. Since this assignment I have also become a regular at practicing meditation and yoga! Thank you again Lilla!

The next assignment was to draw a ship in a bottle for wall art. I really enjoy wall art as a market, but was challenged by the idea of a ship in a bottle. I decided I wanted to abstract the bottle and use geometrics as a way to reflect the ship's sails but also add texture to it. I have tons of other drawings so I would like to revisit this assignment when I have more time.

The final assignment was my favorite month of all. You were to draw your beverage every day and make a piece of art you would hang on your wall. I really enjoyed the process and felt free to explore non digital designs. This is called the Berry Mojito Sparkler which was a new drink at Starbucks that I tried. I really love the way the colors and textures turned out and I made it entirely with acrylic and oil pastels, on paper! I made a lot of pieces for this month, so I actually submitted a different design, but now of course, I wish I had submitted this one instead. :-) It's all a learning process on what I like and don't like. Something I'll be continuing to learn indefinitely I think. Lilla's class was a great way to push me and try new things. As usual I love taking her classes and always feel like I've learned a lot.

Now that Bootcamp is over I'll be throwing my hat in the ring for Global Talent Search 2014 with Lilla Rogers! I'm just going to be myself and have fun!

MATS Bootcamp: The Nautical Assignment

This month we did sketches for a nautical theme. We were asked to draw things like a ship in a bottle and other nautical things. The final piece is for wall art. Here are some of my sketches:

I have a lot more ideas to explore with this theme, but for this assignment here's what i came up with.

Then I decided to simplify the background a bit and make the colors more aqua. Here's the final version:

I also thought it would be fun to turn it into a journal cover.

Meditation Assignment for May

I've been busy working on a new assignment over at Make Art That Sells Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers. The first week we were given dolls to draw and were told to just focus on faces. I had so much fun with this part! Here are some of my sketches:

The next part of the assignment was to create an editorial piece for an article on meditation. I wrote down notes from the article, and picked the scene that I wanted to illustrate. The concept I picked is about battling the voices in your head as you meditate. I was immediately drawn to this idea, Using my funny faces, I scanned them in and started redrawing them in Illustrator. This was such a fun way for me to work. It really got me excited as I am exploring this new style! Here's the quick sketch I did for the idea of it:

Here are some of my watercolor sketches that I used for the hairstyles:

I also tried another version based on the word "transcend" but I ended up ditching this idea in favor of the "voices in her head" idea.

I've been experimenting drawing on paper vs. with the pencil tool in Illustrator. I find the pencil tool to be a great way to replicate a natural drawing that I would have done on paper. It's a great way for me to go back and forth between the two. I picked my color palette and started building up the drawing. I used my watercolor sketches as the base for a lot of the hairstyles in the drawing too which was fun. 

I decided to pull back on the color and narrow it down to blues, warm oranges and pinks only.

For the last stage, I brought it into Photoshop and settled on a yellow background, added my textures and hand lettering for a more finished look. Here's the final piece. Like Lilla says, as long as you are having fun, people will buy your joy!

Make Art That Sells: The Wrap Up

I can't believe I just finished another five intense weeks with Lilla Rogers’ epic class Make Art That Sells. At first I thought I was nuts to retake this course, but boy I'm so glad I did. Something clicked the second time around for me as I had more time to focus and digest the information. I really enjoyed each week thoroughly including bolt fabric, home decor, children's books, gift and my most favorite week of all: wall art. I feel like I have a much better understanding of my style and what I like to create. I am calling myself a hybrid artist, because I like to mix and match my techniques to dance between digital and handdrawn. There are advantages to each, and this time around, I found that experimenting more with Illustrator but also keeping with my handdrawn textures and elements was a fun and refreshing way for me to work. The gift market assignment was based on my collections. Well, what do I collect? Since I'm a California girl, I have a robust flip flop collection. I also dream of Hawaiian vacations and collect anything cat related. So there you have it! My collections were combined into this themed zipper pouch in a hyper lush style using all of my inspirations. And so the Beach Cats were born...

MATS Week 2 & 3

Wow!! I can't believe I've finished Week 4 of Make Art That Sells with Lilla Rogers. Week 3 was all about children's books and the assignment was to draw a scene with a fox coaxing a crow to drop his cheese. Week 4 was focused on wall art and the assignment was to create an abstract piece of wall art. We were asked to include a quote and a floral as well. I really wanted to experiment with shapes, textures and layering. Here's what I came up with:

To create this piece I first sat down and made a bunch of textures. It was bliss! I made so many I couldn't stop. I made a huge mess.

Then I scanned them all in and started working on my shapes, colors and composition.


Once I had the vector drawing I went into Photoshop and opened up my textures. From there it was fun, fun, fun combining them, layering etc. until I got to the finished piece. I also added the quote in Photoshop to have it fit in with the flower. I really enjoyed limited my colors and making the best use of both programs. I am super thrilled I took this class again. I am learning SO MUCH about how I like to work and my process the second time around. Lilla likes us to experiment so now I'll show you a few more experiments.

For the Fox and the Crow assignment, we were told to draw our foxes and crows etc.. then pick a medium for the final piece. I got lost in the joy of creating the handdrawn type and adding texture to the fox. And even had some fun given him glasses to see that crow better. Things started to click and I had a bit of an aha moment switching back and forth between vector and photoshop. Usually I would just work in Photoshop so I am excited to combine the two. This was not possible for me up until recently because my computer couldn't handle having Illustrator open. It would basically just crash all the time and it became so frustrating that I didn't bother opening it any more. Well apparently 8gb of ram was not enough, and someone recommended that I upgrade to 32gb. Ever since then, my computer has been a dream come true. Thank goodness. Because I have loads of ideas and work to do for MATS and clients!!! This month has been a breath of fresh air since installing the ram, and has really let me focus on making art that sells. YAY! I could not be more happy!

Make Art That Sells Week 1 & 2

I decided to take the plunge this month and take Make Art That Sells: Part A & B with Lilla Rogers AGAIN! Yes, the course is THAT good! I couldn't resist. It's amazing how much I am learning the second time around too.

In Week 1 we designed a bolt fabric collection based on a tropical fruit theme. I wanted to explore making a collection with painted icons for this collection. I love designing for bolt fabric!

In Week 2, we designed a plate collection based on a succulent theme. Being a Californian, I automatically LOVE succulents! This was a very fun assignment for me. I decided to really let loose combining my painterly drawings with my flat shapes and these are the results. I'm imagining having a summer luncheon party on the patio with these plates!


MATS Bootcamp in February

I've finished my first assignment for Make Art That Sells Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers. Hooray! The theme was based on cuckoo clocks and we were told to design them for an iphone case. I was really excited with the theme as it reminded me of my trip to Germany many moons ago! I remember being fascinating by a specialty store filled to the brim with these cute little clocks. All of the different clocks were cuckooing out of sync in a haphazard but charming way. As I started sketching, it started to sink in just how much detail there is in one single cuckoo clock. Oh my! I sketched my way through several cuckoo clocks. There were many directions to go in! At first I was drawn to the bavarian folksy dancers, and then I turned my attention back to the birds. I wanted to put a more modern twist on the house, but keep the sense of nature and whimsy that naturally comes with clock. 


This was a good but tough and challenging assignment. I enjoyed playing with my textures and layers but really tried to push myself with the colors. Also I am a "put a bird on it" kind of girl, so it was a natural progression to really emphasize the birds. I think this assignment challenged me to refine my process and keep a really close eye on color. You can see here my first colors were softer and more pink, then I explored a much warmer palette which I really liked.


One small breakthrough I had was in the way that I combined the watercolor elements with bits of flat color to give it more contrast. I really like the way it gave the birds more "pop". I am still refining my process, and I definitely would like to work on my presentation more. It's even more challenging seeing so much amazing artwork roll in on Facebook. I love to see how everyone has such a different style even when the same subject matter is presented. I'm looking forward to the next months assignment and would like to keep developing my process and my style. Here is the final case that I submitted:


Once I was happy with a case design, I had some more time to work on coordinating patterns. Yippy!! I really loved making the bird pattern, and had fun playing with elements such as the musical notes (reminiscent of my visit to the cuckoo clock store). I also really liked exploring the clocks repeating on a dark background. I really had a blast working on these coordinates!