Friday, December 6, 2013
So I dug deep into my pockets and bought myself a booth at Surtex next May!!! BOOTH 447 folks!!!! Don't forget! I am sooo excited. I haven't been back to New York since I left 5 years ago and I can't wait to go.
I'm going to blog about all the preparation and the build up as I go along. This is the situation now!
So far I've got -
A place to stay - my lovely friend's apt in down town Manhattan (I can't wait to see her again!).
A free plane ticket - husband's air miles - yes! (though not booked yet).
A booth - choked on the price but will be worth it.
A lot of work but not enough.
12 years experience living in NY - no probs finding my way around.
A map showing where the booths of all my new arty friends from MATS will be. Can't wait to go for a little wander.
I haven't got -
An ipad - I know, I know. I don't want one either but I'm going to have to get one to show my portfolio.
A very clear idea how to present my work aside form the iPad. Binders, Look Books, Blurb books (?).
A clue how to decorate my stand - where do I get vinyl banners in Italy? Should I get extras? Printed cushions, framed wall art? Should I have it shipped to NY? Should I rent a shelf for a mere $150 (I think that's the rate!) What are the rules about hanging stuff etc?
A clue whether to bring someone to help me or not. Do I really need to pay a day rate just so I can go for a wee once in a while?
A decent logo.
Postcards, business cards etc - waiting for logo!
A website with a products page - must do a few adjustments to website in general.
So - a few things to throw me into a blind panic - wish me luck!
Thursday, December 5, 2013
I've been checking Print and Pattern - http://printpattern.blogspot.it - everyday for the last few days, keeping my fingers crossed that Marie had selected some of my Christmas designs to show and today was my lucky day! There they were - new designs and photos of the CR Gibson range. I was so pleased. It really made my day!!! Thank you Marie!
Last month my Halloween designs were featured but I was so completely consumed by the Make Art That Sells course that I didn't post about it. I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween with them but I didn't manage to - this testifies to the intensity of that course as ordinarily I'd be shouting it from the rooftops! Click the links under the pics if you'd like to have a look at the features!
Monday, December 2, 2013
So here it is in all its glory - the result of 5 weeks of hard labour on the Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells Course.
What can I say? If you're thinking about doing it just get your credit card out and sign up! The last course I did was my degree and that was a long time ago. Since then I've been working as a designer and I honestly wasn't sure if I needed to do a course, thinking I'd probably covered most of the course content in my day to day working life. However, every single time I'd go online, on Pinterest or Print and Pattern or someone's Facebook page, references to this course would keep popping up and the reviews were always great - and they were often written by really talented designers. There was talk of painting and sketching and breaking out of those 'comfort zones' (I'm breaking out of my comfort zone when I use the phrase 'comfort zone' - it makes me think of Simon Cowell). There was lots of discussion about growth and joy and being who you are - and I began to think - hmmm - this is about more than just making cute pictures to sell. This looks suspiciously like a route to self discovery - to finding out about yourself as an artist; what inspires you to create with real enthusiasm, what defines your taste and makes you unique, and why that has a massive (commercial) value!
Years of sitting at a computer drawing flowers and snowmen can unlock some of these answers - there is an awful lot to be said for just showing up and putting in the hours. But when you're sitting alone everyday with a singular objective of pleasing (and hopefully selling to) an often imaginary client you begin to fear experimentation. There have been times in my career when I've felt like a design cranking machine, a chameleon changing to suit the environment with no authenticity. Authenticity - trueness to myself - this is what I wanted to buy into and that's why I signed up because it seemed to me that Lilla Rogers was holding the key!
And she was!!! She sold it to me in exchange for five weeks of the most intense, focused creativity I've ever experienced and it was brilliant! I'm still doing the post-mortem and I've yet to figure out how the pieces of the puzzle fit together - how I can incorporate all this bubbling knowledge and enthusiasm into my day to day work life. One way in which I know it's had an immense impact is that I'm painting again. After more than fifteen years. For that alone I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Lilla.
The other way in which it's impacted my life immeasurably is by exposing me to a great big group of new friends!!! Massively talented arty friends! They're dotted all over the world and through the MATS Facebook page we've been able to connect with and support each other through-out the course and beyond. It really is indescribable how valuable this community has become to so many of us. Having the opportunity to ask advice, show new work, support fellow designers and just feel great warm waves of encouragement is so motivating. This summary is my post for our Blog Tour, where we are featuring each other's work and blogs in rotation. This week I'm really happy to show you the work of Jennifer Wambach and Emily Dyer. Below are some of their designs for the weekly assignments. It's amazing how varied our interpretations of the themes were. As you can see we approached the assignments in completely different ways, showing each other very different artistic viewpoints of each subject. Emily does a lot of cut paper work and used this technique in her Language of the Birds illustration, creating a darkly nostalgic effect that went very well with the tone of the story. Jennifer's book cover inspired her to write a really funny blog post about getting drunk before you create and quite a few of us said we wouldn't mind joining her!
Jennifer Wambach - http://jennartdesigns.blogspot.com
|Bromeliad Plates by Jennifer Wambach|
|Language of the Birds by Jennifer Wambach|
Emily Dyer - http://www.emilydyer.com/blog
|Language of the Birds by Emily Dyer|
|Berries and Pyrex Fabric by Emily Dyer|
My new MATS mates and their blogs - have a look!!!
Aisha Khan - http://www.aishaandherwork.blogspot.com/
Linda Tordoff - http://www.paintlovestudio.blogspot.co.uk/
Jill Byers - http://www.jillbyers.blogspot.com/
Martina Lenhardt - www.ma-len.blogspot.com
Melissa Doran - www.melissadoran.com
Sarah Gager - www.sarahgager.com
HungYu CHEN - www.rainbowfishchen.com
stephanie corfee - www.stephaniecorfee.com
Sophie Verhille - http://blog.sophie-verhille.com/
Jo Chambers - www.studiolegohead.blogspot.co.uk
Son Atwal Sonia Atwal - www.applekaur.com/blog
Angie Sandy - http://www.angiesandy.com/blog
Rachael Schafer - www.rachaelschaferdesigns.com
Sarah Ehlinger - www.verysarie.com
Jordan Vinograd Kim - http://www.foundandrewound.com/blog/
Jen Burbridge - www.madebyburbs.co.uk
Carolina Coto - www.carolinacotoart.com
Aileen Tu - http://aileentu.com/blog/
Claire Lordon - www.clairelordon.blogspot.com
Eva Marion Seyffarth - www.eva-marion-seyffarth.blogspot.de
Anna Whitford - www.rosanna-rossi.co.uk
Mary Tanana - http://groovitydesigns.com/2013/11/29/make-art-that-sells-blog-tour/
Jennifer Wambach - http://jennartdesigns.blogspot.com
Victoria Johnson - http://victoriajohnsondesignblog.blogspot.it
Emily Dyer http://www.emilydyer.com/blog
Nic Squirrell - http://nicsquirrell.blogspot.com
Melinda Hopkirk - www.crouchriverstudio.com
Deb Trevitt - http://www.debtrevitt.com/blog/
Danielle McDonald - http://reddogandjude.blogspot.com.au/
Jennifer Appel - http://www.jaillustration.com
Wendy Brightbill - http://www.agirlandherbrush.wordpress.com
Renske de Kinkelder- www.renskedekinkelder.com
Nicole Piar- http://www.ghostkittendesign.blogspot.com/
Andrea van Dalen - http://dreamkeeperfae.blogspot.nl/
Ohn Mar Win - http://illustrationsouljourney.blogspot.co.uk/
Diane Neukirch - http://dianeneukirch.blogspot.com
Lisa Deighan - http://www.lisadeighan.com
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
A few weeks ago I had an email from an American lady, Sara Sousa, asking where she could buy my 'Give Thanks' fabrics so she could make a dress for her 'feisty little 3 year old". I wasn't able to be very helpful as they are only sold in Joanns and she'd already tried her local branch. When I replied, however, she said she'd already found them (2 hrs away!) and sent me studio photos of her little girl wearing the dress she made! Wow!
Isn't she cute! And don't the fabrics really complement her coloring - and these pics are perfect for the time of year too! They really made my day! I am utterly rubbish at sewing and wouldn't have a hope of making something nice from my fabrics so to see them made up into a sweet little dress and worn by a lovely little girl was just fantastic. Thank you so much Sarah!
Monday, November 25, 2013
Over the last few weeks I've been receiving the most enormous boxes in the post and I can't tell you how excited I was to open them. Inside were samples of this range of products featuring my designs - 6 or 12 of each. My studio is full of them! I feel like I should open a shop - but to be honest, I wouldn't want to part with any of them!
I am so thrilled that C.R. Gibson liked my work enough to license all these Christmas images from me. The quality of the products is amazing and I'm so proud to see my work on them. If you'd like to buy any of them then just pop to your local TJ Maxx anywhere in America and you should see them there. There have also been shipments to TJ Maxx in Europe (where it's known as TK Maxx) so I'm hopeful that my Mum is going to find them in England!!!
If you'd like to see other wonderful products by C.R. Gibson have a look at their website - www.crgibson.com.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
The final week of the MATS course was all about the gift market. Our mini assignment involved gathering together a 'collection' of our belongings - things that went together and worked as a theme - and scanning or photographing them. At first I was thinking I might use my collection of pots, jugs and bowls but when the main assignment came through I realized that wasn't really going to work.
I've been 'collecting' old lady embroideries for years - more randomly acquiring them than purposefully collecting - and when I gathered them in a heap and set them next to a few other bits and pieces I have - some old lady brooches, some little ceramic and jade elephants, a 1960's sugar bowl and mug - I could see that the colors and styles went together really nicely.
The main assignment involved setting the images together (preferably using a mirroring repeat, and adopting a 'hyperlush', 'more is more' philosophy) in a design that would feature on a zippered pouch.
I've never done this before. I've been hooked on Illustrator for a while and forgot that Photoshop can offer so much in terms of incorporating a diverse range of imagery that can be edited to my liking - and previous experience of this was limited to the odd scanned drawing and texture.
I really love the vibrancy of the photographic motifs and how they (surprisingly) sit so nicely next to more traditional surface pattern imagery. I'm really pleased with the result and have used many of the motifs again in a new Christmas group (to be posted!).
This course has really opened my eyes in so many ways. I'm going to post a summary of my experience here on Dec 2nd when it's my turn to participate in a blog tour with my lovely new MATS mates! Be prepared for lots of enthusiastic adjectives!!
Have a look below at all the bits I gathered that found their way onto a make-up bag design!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Here's a selection of the bits and pieces I found. We haven't got any beautiful little arty shops in my neighborhood. Just a couple of stationery/gift shops and 'the Chinese shop' (as it's known). But while hunting around I came across some real finds - the gridded paper, the old fashioned paper binders, the paper chocolate cases and the raffle tickets - all in shades of red and blue! Those bed sheets have been hanging round for years waiting to be turned into something too. They belonged to my Mother-in-Law.
I enjoyed this so much. I did another one one to go with it but didn't manage to finish it - but I think it still looks okay alongside the first one in my living room - goes with my cushions!
I am definitely, definitely going to pursue this. I'm not sure this was my most successful attempt at a MATS brief but for me it was probably the most inspiring. It's an area I was only dimly aware of. I longed to paint but needed to know how it would relate to and integrate with the other work I do and now it seems seamless. I desperately want to make time to do an ABC painting, among other things, and start submitting work to Wall Art companies.