Designing for Home Decor with Lilla & Margo: The Wrap Up

I can't believe how quickly 5 weeks learning about home decor just flew by with the Make Art That Sells team!! Wow what an interesting experience this was for me. I'm quite comfortable designing greeting cards and editorial illustrations, so to think in terms of 3 dimensional products was a fun and exciting challenge!! I LOVE to learn new things (hence my addiction to e-courses haha!). This class was worth every penny. It pushed me to think and create in new ways that I otherwise would have not thought about. I have taken all the MATS classes and some even twice, but this one really takes the cake!!

It was so inspiring to be creating collections alongside so many other fantastic designers! Everyone's style was really different, and it was fascinating to see us all working on similar themes in different ways. I love the MATS community! The positivity and encouragement throughout is really amazing.

I learned so much about each different substrate: metal, fabric, glass, ceramics and wood. I feel like I have a better understanding now of how to approach each material, what the possibilities are, what the market needs and how to keep expanding on one theme for a longer period of time. Here are my final collections. They are available for art licensing. I hope you like them!!

Week 1: Metal

Week 1: Metal

Week 2: Fabric

Week 2: Fabric

Week 3: Glass Part 1

Week 3: Glass Part 1

Week 3: Glass Part 2

Week 3: Glass Part 2

Week 4: Ceramics

Week 4: Ceramics

Week 5: Wood

Week 5: Wood

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!

MATS Home Decor Week 1: Birds & Metal

I am taking a home decor class with Lilla Rogers and Margo Tantau. So far in week 1 I learned how to design products for metal. I really enjoyed this week and learned a lot of techniques! It's fascinating to see how metal can be applied to so many types of things. I really love drawing birds so this was extra fun for me. Here are some of the products I designed this week with my birds:

Pattern Camp Weekend

I spent this weekend fully emerged in Pattern Camp with Jessica Swift and I'm SO glad I did! Since it was also my birthday weekend, I was not sure if I wanted to spend it working or not, but I decided to take the plunge anyways. Learning about patterns is just too fun to pass up! I have taken pattern classes before, so I was not a total newbie, but I really enjoyed her approach. I absolutely loved it!

Warning: This class is EXTREMELY fun!

Jessica broke it all down into manageable bite size chunks. I cannot recommend this class enough if you are interesting in learning how to make patterns. At first I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with a class in such a short time frame, but I really liked working this way!

I was so inspired, learned more about Illustrator and started a new collection of patterns called Charmed Lace. I created a mood board and made new drawings for the collection. I also used some of my ink drawings from Inktober. You might recognize my women's shoes drawings here. I even made a repeat out of one of my abstract watercolors!

Charmed Lace
Pink Medallions
Watercolor Abstractions

What's Been Inspiring Me This Summer

Well I can't believe it, but it is supposedly fall, yet my A/C is working full time and I'm preparing for the next heat wave. I've spent some time this summer out and about and have been so very inspired by all the beautiful things I find around me. I love living in California, not because of the extreme heat, but because there are so many things to do and look at all the time! Although I didn't go on an official vacation, you can see my summer photo collections from my staycation. I'm in love with succulents, the beach, beach florals and pod like leaves of any kind, especially in odd colors. Here are my summer snapshots:


And I love those pastels because of their colors. I love the way they mix on paper. They're a great alternative to watercolor. You can even wet them and it will melt, like butter, no like pastels turning into watercolor.

To see my sketches up to the minute, follow my postings on Instagram.

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.

Doodle Dream for Ambition with Jenipher Lyn

Today I am SUPER THRILLED to be a part of the blog party for my friend Jenipher Lyn's book: How Being Stubborn, Depressed, and Unpopular SAVED my life. 

Her book is super honest, sweeter than pie and addresses important issues like body image, being unpopular, being yourself, depression, ambition and gratitude. Oh, and did I mention her book is chock full of her adorable doodles?! At $18.95 this book is well worth the money and a must buy for any young women facing these challenges, especially during those tricky teenage years! You can buy her book on her Etsy shop, or on Amazon. To find out more about Jenipher Lyn, you can visit her super adorable website here.

So this week we are talking about AMBITION! Hooray! This is one of my favorite subjects so let's break it down. Ambition defined: An earnest desire for some type of achievement, according to

Here's how I see it: Ambition is like your personal compass, navigating you towards the things in life you desire. So listen to your heart! Always! Everyone has a dream inside of them waiting to burst out into the world. So grab a pen and paper people and start doodling out your dreams! I've even made you a handle Dream Chart to kick things off! (Click to download the printable version).

I've also made you a handy quote to use as a reminder that ambition is all about following your dreams!

Everyone has ambition in their own way! Get your copy of the book to turbo charge your inspiration and start your own doodle dream! Use hashtag #doodledream and tell us what your dream is!

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!