MATS Bootcamp 2015

I had such a good experience last year with Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells bootcamp class that I'm taking it again! I really enjoyed the variety of the assignments and all of her invaluable insights into the market. Plus having the accountability and community of other artists was very helpful. I see my style develop with each assignment.

January kicked off with a fun assignment—Edwardian brooches! Lilla chose this subject for us because they are full of detail, decorative, retro, charming and easy to draw. They also lend themselves to many different styles and mediums. 

I spent the first week, (the mini), drawing every day, even it was just a little bit or while watching tv (Downton Abbey seemed appropriate). I did these all by hand, playing with pencils and working on a variety of paper colors. I still love using the brush pens the best, they have a really nice imperfect line quality. 

A week later, we got our assignment to create a journal cover with Edwardian Brooch inspiration!
I did some more sketching and had an idea that incorporated some text, but after working on it for a while I went in a different direction. The text version seemed too busy and not strong enough—I wanted to make it more fun. Lilla also gave us color palette inspiration which was great for me, because I was feeling like I've been in a color rut. 

This is the color palette Lilla gave us which was inspired by a window display in New York.

This is the color palette Lilla gave us which was inspired by a window display in New York.

The new direction I worked on was this sketch of a bold cat face with jeweled flowers bursting from its head. I really liked drawing the animals and insects during the mini. 

This guy inspired me too (when he's not sitting on my work).

This guy inspired me too (when he's not sitting on my work).

Next, I worked on top of the pencil sketch with tracing paper and the brush pen. Once I have all of the pieces, I scan them and take them into Illustrator where I make them vector art. I also painted some new background textures to add to my library.

Then I play with the palette and layout, using lots of layers to keep everything organized and easier to work on.

Here is a screen shot of my working file.

Here is a screen shot of my working file.

As I work, I often send versions to my friend Cindy who is also taking MATS and she gives me great feedback. She suggested to add more texture and make the kitty's collar jewel a mouse instead—so fun! Once I had the cover designed, I worked on the layout of how it will look in the gallery. I mocked up the design elements on a pencil and added some text—the word 'sparkle'.

Here is the final design. I think a tween girl would totally dig it, (or maybe a 'not so tween' girl as well)!


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

I hope you all are having a peaceful holiday today with family and friends. Another year has flown by and 2011 is right around the corner! It's hard to believe this was the fourth year of being my own boss and running my own business. I've met some really great people and gotten to work on some fun projects over this past year. Last summer I met Willi Galloway from one of my favorite gardening/food blogs DigginFood. She asked me I was interested in partnering with her on a project we could both share on our blogs—desktop wallpapers with a calendar for each month of 2011. I happily agreed and starting thinking about themes, imagery and eventually landed on the idea of modern homesteading. It works with the things she blogs about plus I thought chickens and goats would be fun to draw.

So here is my gift to you, my loyal blog readers (hi Dad) and anyone looking to brighten their desktop with some colorful images. January starts off with little birds at the feeder which I enjoy seeing in my own backyard every day. There are three sizes to choose from—just select which one fits your monitor and click on the link to automatically download the file.
I decided to take the images I created for the desktop wallpaper and create a set of 12 notecards with envelopes and stickers. I'm really happy with how they turned out! If you would like to purchase a set which comes in a cute cotton drawstring bag, please visit my Etsy shop.