Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lilla Rogers MATS e-course Part A

Click Here to learn more about Lilla's School!
I am always trying to keep moving forward as an artist and designer and knew that I needed to push myself... try a new approach to the design process. I took a break from my fabric design obsession in May and June to take the Lilla Rogers 'Make Art That Sells' E-Course. (Part A).

I loved it!

I learned about Lilla and her Art Agent skills at the SURTEX Show in New York in 2012. I attended the show to find out more about the Art Licensing Business, and how to copyright my illustrations and designs. I wanted to know if I needed an agent if I wanted to work as an illustrator or do designers typically represent themselves? I attended seminars at Surtex to help me with those questions by Tara Reed, and others and learned that it is a personal choice. I could submit my own designs to manufacturers and retailers through their artist submissions page on their websites, or submit a portfolio to an agent who could submit my art to clients and help me to secure contracts for licensing.
Week 1 'Bolt Fabric'

The Show was fabulous and I walked the floor to get an idea of what type of illustrations and design are selling to manufacturers and retailers today. I was blown away by the booths and designers that displayed at the show. The art agents had some of the largest booths representing their artists to the buyers at the show. Lilla's Booth stood out to me as having really fun and colorful artists and I stopped by to get a business card. When I got back to Florida I signed up to get emails from her website.

This Spring Lilla announced that her Make Art That Sells (MATS) course would be available online. I decided that this was just the right class to upgrade my skills to the professional level needed to secure art jobs today. The course lasted 5 weeks and focused on 5 different segments of the surface design industry.
My week 2 'home decor' assignment!

Each day of each week I logged in to Lilla's online classroom where she had videos, interviews with industry leaders, examples of successful products in the market and one assignment to be submitted each week. The course was intense and fabulous!

Part B of the course starts Monday October 7th, 2013. I can't wait to dive into the second half of the MATS Course!! I am going to try to blog my progress this time on the assignments so stay tuned!
Week 3 'children's book' assignment!
My week 4  'wall art' assignment!
Week 5 'gift' assignment!  

Available as a 'cut and sew' pencil case at Spoonflower.com

Lilla's Book!
Click on the icon to learn more!

Modern Love for Milk + Honey Shoes!

This week Spoonflower paired with an online shoe company called Milk + Honey, and asked their designers to come up with a small scale geometric print to be used in their shoe collection. 
At Milk + Honey you can completely construct your own shoes. The website is really fun and allows you to  choose a pump, sandal or flat, fabric or leather, ankle strap design, etc. ...the possibilities are endless. Check it out!
Design samples were 8x8". Voting started on Thursday Sept. 19th and continues to Thurs. am (EST), Sept. 26th 2013.  Don't forget to vote!
Shoe mock-up for Milk + Honey!
Modern Love (Milk + Honey)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Asterisk Quilt* Blocks!! ...From My 'Country Fresh' Modern Quilt Collection!

It was my turn to pick a block for our 'block party' group and I loved the idea of an 'asterisk' quilt block using my fabrics mixed with coordinating solids and any solid grey. The blocks are to be a finished size of 16.5" x 18.5".  
We meet again on September 21st and I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with!

These are the progression of my blocks...

Block #1

...choosing fabrics

I cut my block on a diagonal.
Added a second strip to make an X.

After adding my third strip, auditioning strip #4.

Cut this area away to reduce bulk and multiple seems.

Trimmed up the asterisk block and added fabric
 on 3 sides to complete the 16.5 x 18.5" block!

And here is how Block #2 progressed... 

Block 2 started with a square of solid fabric.

Auditioned Asterisk in my pattern of choice.

Added my strips and then cut out the bulky
center piece to make room for strip #4.

Added piece #4 and trimmed my rough edges.

Surrounded my Asterisk piece with solid grey and trimmed the block.
Added the top piece to the block and trimmed.
Machine appliqué an additional Asterisk on a
square of solid tangerine fabric and pieced it in a strip
on one of the edges, and added the final
strip to the right of the block.
Finally trimmed the block to the finished size of 16.5 x 18.5".
On Saturday I get to see what the rest of the 'Block Party' group members came up with for their Asterisk Blocks!! I can't wait!! I'll share pictures of their blocks next week! These fabrics from my new collection were designed in these colors specifically for my Modern Quilt Guild in Jupiter Florida! All of the fabrics are a part of my 'Country Fresh' Modern Quilt Collection. (Available Here)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Kuler Spaces... New Adobe App. for color!

My color palette !  I took a picture using my iPad of my sketch.
Mahi mahi watercolor sketch.

I had a lot of fun walking around my house taking pictures with this App and coming up with various color palettes. This Mahi mahi watercolor sketch from my sketchbook was my favorite for this challenge. I generally gravitate to these colors, but I decided to go for it anyway!

Spoonflower had asked their designers to be inspired by their environment. Create a color palette for your design using KulerAdobe's color palette creation tool using the free iPhone app or web browser version. You use your phone or iPad's live capture or upload an image to create a color palette from one of your favorite spaces. The winner of this contest will receive a year-long subscription to Creative Cloud
Design previews will be shown at the fat quarter fabric size (21" x 18"). Deadline for entry was Tuesday, September 10th, 2013, voting opens September 12th! Please Vote!
This is my pattern design that was inspired by Adobe's color palette creation tool Kuler!
'Kuler Mahi 2.0' fabric design for Kuler Spaces Spoonflower Contest!

Monday, September 9, 2013

There's a class for that! My Evolution as an artist...

My girls Olivia & Hanna!
Our family spent most of this Summer looking at colleges with our girls. As we prepare for them to 'fly the coop' over the next two years the thought of us being empty nesters terrifies me. I am wondering for the first time in many years about what I should do now. All those years when life was so busy with the girls in their sports, school plays and play dates that I wished that I had more time for me. For my art. Well I guess that time will be coming ...and it's time to go back to work!

I graduated from The Art Institute of Boston with a Graphic Design Degree and worked in that field for 8 years before taking an extended hiatus from my professional career to be home with my beautiful daughters. A choice I was lucky to have, and I will never regret. I have loved every minute!

Over the past 16 years I have continued to grow as an artist and my interests have taken many twists and turns. I didn't meet a medium that I didn't like. In an effort to learn more about each one, I took classes. Lots of classes...
Mosaic using glass and river stone.
Ceramic 'elephant ear' platter.
Watercolor 'mushroom' study.

Alabaster sculpture. 

Classes in 
stone sculpture, 
mixed media, photography, cake decorating, crocheting and countless fine art classes in watercolor, acrylic and oil. 
Lino cut and print.
Mixed Media photo transfer of my girls.
My friend Lois and I reinvented old pieces of furniture into beau-ti-ous almost-new gems. We re-upholstered furniture, made pillows, cushions and painted signs for our little company Figgy & Fern! But first... we took a class in upholstery!

Our Figgy & Fern booth at the Palm Beach Gardens Farmers Market!!

One of our reinvented chairs! 
Some of our pillow designs using my free-motion skills.
Then there were the online classes. I have an obsession with encaustic art and have loved exploring videos on YouTube by many encaustic artists who have taught me their tricks of the trade. 

 'Orchid 21' by Patty Rybolt (encaustic)
'the dress' by Patty Rybolt (encaustic) 
'waterlily II' by Patty Rybolt (encaustic)
'jupiter beach'  by Patty Rybolt (encaustic tryptic)
'holiday front door' Art quilt 

'turtle' Baby quilt
Felting ...learned on-line
My first quilt!
'spa day'  art quilt using
my orchid photos and beading.
Red eyed tree frog detail from art quilt.
'Heron II' art quilt
'Hanna' Bird Ornament
Then there was sewing... I had opted for typing in 9th grade and missed out on the sewing class in school. My Mother-in-law Pat bought me my first sewing machine when Terry and I bought our first home. She showed me how to do the basics, just enough to make simple curtains for the house. Years later I picked up a copy of Quilting Arts Magazine and Pokey Bolton hooked me. I had no idea that sewing could be yet another medium for my art. I took a basic quilting class at my local quilting store 'Quilters Choice' in Jupiter Florida, and got my first Bernina.  I joined an art quilting group and printed on fabric using my photographs on ink-jet fabric sheets. Then experimented with free-motion stitching, which allowed me to draw with my sewing machine. So much fun! 

'Heron' art quilt
'Olivia' Bird Ornament
I fell in love with the graphic nature of quilting, and wanted to somehow merge my graphic design background with fabric. I wanted to design my own fabrics for my own projects. I started experimenting with dying fabric, then turned my laundry room into a darkroom to make silk screens for my designs. (All learned on the internet. YouTube and online classes are an incredible resource! I watched the Ryonet videos for silkscreening). 

The need to take it to the next step lead me to Spoonflower.  This company allowed me to print my own designs in small or large quantities. If I wanted, I could sell my fabrics on 11 different fabrics or wallpaper, wall decals and gift wrap! The website offers weekly design contests that I have participated in often, and even placed in the top 10 six times this past year. It is a resource for learning how to make a repeatable pattern and use many mediums to merge graphic design, watercolor, collage, illustration, quilt and pattern design with fabric! Love Spoonflower!  
My Spoonflower mini successes had lead me to stretch myself once again. I wanted to learn more about selling my art and fabric designs. My skills need some sharpening once again, so like I have always done in the past, I decided to take a class. All of the classes that I've taken over the years have been about my personal growth as an artist. Now my art has to appeal to clients. Online research lead me to a trade show in New York City where artists can meet up with Industry to sell their art.  So, last year I went to Surtex in New York City to take classes on how to 'copyright art', and 'art licensing' with Tara Reed. I walked the floor to get a feel for what kind of art is being licensed by companies today. There were large manufacturers and retail companies there to buy art to go on their products for their upcoming year. (For things like bedding, paper products and fabric). 

The 'Show'
While walking the floor I saw many licensing agent booths and took note of the artists that they represent. Lilla Rogers was one of the agents at the show. I got one of her business cards and signed up to get e-mail info from her agency.  In April of this year Lilla Rogers Agency announced an on line class she was having called 'Make Art That Sells'
I had already bought her book and loved it, so I looked into taking the class.This class was much pricier than any class that I had ever taken, but I saw it as money well spent. An investment in my future as a commercial artist! 
Lilla Rogers Book!

I participated in Part A in May & June of this year, 5 weeks of intense design, illustration and invaluable industry information for anyone in the art field. The class was worth every penny! Part B of the class begins in October, and I can't wait for 5 more weeks of training. I'll detail some of the projects that I produced from Part A in my next post, and will keep you up to date on Part B as it happens!