Creating Collections For Home Decor Weeks 2 & 3

I've had a very exciting past two weeks taking a class called Creating Collections for Home Decor. I have really learned so much from Lilla Rogers and Margo Tantau of Make Art That Sells. I have always dreamed of designing for home decor so this course has been amazing for me. Week 2 was all about techniques for printing on fabric and Week 3 was all about glass. I especially enjoyed learning about glass. It really opened my eyes to the possibilities of patterns on different substrates. Here are some photos from my process for weeks 2&3:

I tend to work in watercolor and acrylic inks a lot, but after exploring a lot of patterns in these medium, I decided to try out my acrylics for some fresh, new birds. I was so happy with the results! I have never painted on cardboard or chipboard before but it was very fun to paint on. Here are some of my birds:

After a lot of scanning and color adjustments, I put together some ideas for my collections. I just love the idea of scale and texture involved with home decor. It's so exciting to think about products of all sizes and dimensions. Here is what I came up with for Week 2 working with fabric:

For Week 3 working in glass, I wanted to do a set of bird plates and really got carried away with lots of additional ideas! I was really happy with the way my watercolor mosaic turned out and could see it as a large piece of wall art with some metal type to ground it. I would also love to have a set of the gold patterned wine glasses!

Colorful Friday

I've made some color updates to my Sip & Savor collection. I'm especially excited about this pattern design I had on hand called the utensils toss. It's fun to see what a new background can do for a design. All it needed was a burst of color! I've also added a wine repeat design with some very rich berry reds and pinks. I also have updated my tea time design which is now available in two more color schemes, soothing blue and canary yellow. Happy Friday everyone!

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: The Jelly Assignment

I have spent the week working on my vintage jellies and dessert designs for bolt fabric. It was an interesting process this week for me! I explored drawing and coloring the icons by hand with colored pencils and markers. I also went back to some of my usual techniques where I scan in the drawings separately and then add the textures in Photoshop. I think I still prefer the more digital method as it gives me the most control but I had a lot of fun coloring by hand. I think it's ok to mix them as well. The first designs were more directly related to desserts but I surprised my self with this last design where I brought in my doggie character. I had the most fun designing The Jelly Dogs!! As always, I learned a lot from Lilla and my classmates. It's nice to get feedback from the group! Lilla also gave us a color palette suggestion which had me using a lot more neutrals. I think adding neutrals is a great way to change things up. Overall I'm really happy with my progress this week!

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!



Back to school!

I have exciting news! Monday I return to Make Art That Sells Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers. I am SO excited to continue on this journey with Lilla other Matsies. I love having such a strong community of artists to share and explore with. Lilla's classes have taught me SO MUCH already. I am truly grateful for her courses and the art community that has formed. I will be putting my Pattern A Day project on hold, while I focus my efforts on this class, and a few other classes I am taking right now. I am also finishing up my course with Mati Rose called Daring Adventures in Paint. It has been absolutely fantastic! I have really enjoyed exploring the painting process more. I will be posting work here soon. My goal is to continue to grow as an artist and expand into new markets. I find that these classes teach me invaluable information on how to move forward in my career. I look forward to growing and making more new art in the coming months ahead!

Mats Week 3: Scrapbooking

Here is my assignment for Scrapbooking week over at Make Art That Sells. I really enjoyed this one! I was short on time so I stuck to my usual style which is pen & ink, combined with textures. I focused on the icons rather than the background and am happy with the results! I also decided to choose colors with a slight vintage and soft feel. What do you think?


Here were some of my initial sketches... 

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I really enjoyed drawing typewriters and cameras! I also loved adding in the abstract textures. Overall I'd say this market has intrigued me. I would love to explore this market further! 

Mats Week 2: Baby Apparel

Last week we worked on baby apparel designs with a camping theme. I have to say, it was very fun and I learned a lot along the way. My process for this design started with pencil sketches, then brush drawings on tracing paper before I scanned it all in. I usually work in Photoshop but this time, I thought I should work in Illustrator and mix things up. I'm getting used to Image Trace now and was happy with line quality. I really, really enjoyed making whimsical characters such as the silly bug. It seems like this is right up my alley since I make a lot of greeting cards in this type of style. I'm excited about the possibilities in this new market!