Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Lilla Rogers Making Art That Sells: Assignment Bootcamp

December 18th 2013

I've decided to take the plunge and do the Lilla Rogers Course:  "Making Art That Sells: Assignment Bootcamp"

I would like to start to make a portfolio of surface design and need a bit of a push to make this happen - so this is it. 

Each month you are set a Mini assignment to get you going on some sketches and then a bigger assignment a week later. The idea is that by July I'll have the makings of a portfolio. Here's the details - you might like to have a go too? 

Introducing the all new Make Art That Sells: Assignment Bootcamp from Lilla Rogers.
In response to popular demand from graduates of MATS Parts A and B, we are excited to unveil an exciting new online experience to help you create professional-level art in a supportive, nurturing environment. Sound good? Read on…
Do you crave…
title-decoration-02Professional level assignments to stretch you to create fresh signature pieces that are ready to sell in multiple markets?
title-decoration-02The kind of assignments that are proven to get work?
title-decoration-02Cutting edge trend and inspiration from an art agent who licenses and commissions projects for her artists every single day?
title-decoration-02A structure for staying on track and accountable, so you can create a strong body of work over six months?
title-decoration-02Access to a community of talented, supportive artists?
If so, you need…

Make Art That Sells: Assignment Bootcamp!

Dates: Feb – July 2014*   

(*Please note there will be no assignment in April when Make Art That Sells A & B are running)

Price: £99 (approx. $159)

I'm not sure if I will be able to produce a whole body of work as I'm also going to be completing my illustration portfolio at this time but I'm going to be using this course to give me a starting point to experiment with ideas. 
I'm really looking forward to it because it will be a chance to play and see where it takes me. 

Thursday, 3 October 2013

October 3rd 2013

Children are funny aren't they?
They change your life to the point where you can't actually remember what life was like before.
What I do remember, is that it definitely used to include some lie ins until noon at the weekend and a love of minimalist home decor - but hey, those days are long gone.

Above all, being a parent means you have to learn to be exceptionally good at multi-tasking.
There are just so many things to be taken care....most of them mundane and all seemingly essential.
Seriously, if making breakfast, signing log books, writing cheques for school trips, feeding the cat and answering in depth scientific questions about interstellar planetary relations, whilst loading the washing machine ever becomes an Olympic sport, I'm in with a chance at the gold medal.

I'm not complaining though - I signed up to this with eyes wide open when I decided to have a family - it's just funny and slightly mind boggling.

I thought I'd share a couple of the recent questions from my 8 year son William. These questions usually happen whilst I'm trying to get ready in the morning, or sometimes on the walk to school. I have to hand it to him - they're all great questions and I love the fact that he has an inquiring mind....but it's all a bit much at 8 o'clock in the morning.

"How many cm's do you grow in a year?"

"Mum, ......the speed of sound .......(long pause....), I don't get it....can you explain?    !!!!!!

"Mum, how long, in comparison to dinosaurs have humans been around?"

"Is Pluto blue?"

"Mum, what's it like on Saturn?" (of course, I was there just the other I'd know)

"How many miles away from the sun do you have to be before you don't burn?"

and finally the one which nearly tipped me over the edge.........

"Mum, how fast does space grow?"

Life is never dull.:)


A new illustration which I also thought I'd share today ...

Meeting the Bear

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

"Hello Cookie"

October 1st 2013


A new range of card designs featuring the lovely "Cookie". She hopes you're having a good week.
These designs are available for licensing.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

A Fresh Start

September 2013

It's all been happening recently.
I gave up working in a primary school in July which was a difficult decision because it was a job I loved. I did this to concentrate on my art career. Ive given myself a year to see where I end up. Yes, it's scary and exciting all rolled into one.

Now the summer holidays are over and my children are back in school..and so my fresh start has begun.

I can now be in my studio full time surrounded by other amazing to be part of such a talented group of people. Jeweller, surface designers, costume makers illustrators and a photographer. Its so exciting and I feel really lucky to be doing something I love surrounded by lots of fabulous creative people. I get to draw all day!!. Have I mentioned I love drawing? Thought so.

So this is my year to try to find a way to make money from what i love doing...that's drawing by the way.

What have I done in the last few weeks?

I was lucky enough to go to the Nosy Crow Conference in London "Everything You Always Wanted to know About Children's Book Publishing(but were afraid to ask)

It was a fantastic day, packed with information. Kate Wilson the Director of Nosy Crow introduced many interesting speakers including Lucy Mangan from the Guardian who talked about why books are important.   Tracey Corderoy, childrens author, gave an inspirational talk about school visits and presenting your book to your audience. There were question and answer sessions delivered by authors and editors. John Reed spoke about branding and media tools. Melissa Cox, New Title Buyer at Waterstones, spoke about what she looks for in a new book.

This day was a light bulb moment for me. I could see  that the choices Id made in my life have been for a reason. The time spent working in primary school, staying at home with my children in their pre-school years, reading with my kids from 3 months, all the silly crazy stories ive made up for them and all the years of drawing, painting doodling and all made sense. Illustrating childrens book is what I want to do.

Ive been thinking a lot recently about using photoshop to get pattern and found objects into my work. So this is what Ive been working on over the past few weeks. I want to combine my love of line drawing line with my love of pattern. I been seriously getting to grips with Photoshop.
So over the last 2 weeks Ive created 6 new card designs...(nearly finished) and a book illustration with my new photoshop techniques.
The path has been a bumpy one, Ive made lots of mistakes and on occasion the air may have looked slightly blue...but Ive learnt such a lot...about my work and..about myself.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Bear's Bath

Phew! What a busy few weeks. I've been making a lot of decisions. I've handed in my resignation at work, (a job which I love btw), to really concentrate on my illustration. From September, after the children go back to school, I'll be a full time, self employed illustrator. - gulp! Big Big step, but SO exciting!!

I've been deciding which direction my work should go in - making decisions based on what I really love to do: childrens book illustration, sketching out characters, finding expressions and capturing a moment in time. I've also been using photoshop to enhance my images. 

Here's this weeks piece. 

The Bears Bath

Monday, 11 February 2013


I am really pleased to say that I am going to be exhibiting work at the Winchester Discovery Centre from the 26th February. I have two walls to fill - one is going to be fine art based and the other will be leaning towards children's book illustration - I have got most of the work done - but just need to complete two more paintings. 

Strange how ideas come isn't it? I have been mixing ideas around in my head for days - it's almost subconscious - what I'm hoping for is a scene to miraculously pop into my head - I think it's never going to happen and then, out of nowhere it just appears and somehow a lot the things that I've been considering appear in the picture in my head. Anyway, just thought I'd share that as it never fails to take me by surprise!

So today, the picture that emerged was that of a dragon and very little boy. The boy is holding a wooden sword and is just in the process of realising that the enormous dragon that is looming over him just might be friendly. 

I've been reading a lot of "How to Train your Dragon" recently to my 8 year old son - so I'm guessing the idea may have stemmed from the books. Fantastic read, by the way and lots of opportunity to do silly character voices  whilst reading ....or is that just me?

So I'm going to show this work in stages as it happens.

Here's todays start on the picture....

will post more tomorrow.

Stage number 1

Stage number 2
Little boy and dog get some colour. 
The boys jumper went really wrong to start with - lots of green stripes and the perspective was all wrong - argghh!!Panic mode nearly set in - why did I find painting really easy yesterday and today it seems very laboured - anyone else suffer from this? Anyway, with a bit of over painting with gouache I think it looks a lot better than it did!

Stage number 3
I have stopped painting for a few days due to a very painful back and shoulder. I hate it when I cant paint - don't you? -there's something missing - painting or drawing is definitely something I need to do to make me happy. 
Anyway, tonight I was feeling a bit better so I painted for half an hour. I managed to add more colour to the little boy and the dragon. Not finished yet but it's emerging.

The Final Stage

I thought I'd show you the final painting. I really enjoyed painting this and can feel another dragon picture coming along soon. Hope you like it!!