, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Make Art That Sells by Lilla Rogers

I’m taking an online course with Lilla Rogers called “Make Art That Sells” and I’m such a mix of inspired, challenged, frustrated and excited all at once. Lilla Rogers is an agent who represents artists who create gorgeous art and get amazing licensing deals. From the Lilla Rogers website, “We have done amazing projects from art for water towers, games, books, fabric, puzzles, ad campaigns, annual reports, TV commercials, ornaments, magazine illustrations, children’s books, wall art, posters, salad dressing packaging, museum exhibit art, and on and on.”

Some of the artists represented by Lilla are Mike Lowery, Suzi Ultman, Mati McDonough, Helen Dardik and Allison Cole, to name just a few.

I became aware of Lilla thanks to my artist friend, Lisa Loria. She posted a pic of Lilla’s book “I Just Like to Make Things” on Facebook and I just had to learn more about it and buy it. After flipping through the book, I had to learn about the Make Art That Sells course.  Next thing I knew I was signing up!

I’ve been dabbling in arts and crafts all of my life, from the time that I was creating with watercolors at 3 (with the amazing skills of a 3 year old!) while my mom painted in oils, hand sewing since I was 7 and stitching on an antique Singer treadle sewing machine when I was 9. From there I progressed to creating and selling baskets that looked like teddy bears when I was 14 to scrapbooking when I was 25. When I finally made the decision to go back to school and get a degree my heart wanted to go to art school but my financial situation dictated that I go to business school. So, I graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in Business Management in 2000 and kept trying to keep art in my life.

After creating some doodles in an Art Journal Round Robin that I loved I decided that I needed to get serious about learning more about drawing and the process of making art. So, I signed up for the Make Art That Sells class to force myself to learn how to make art and have it sell! I’m also hoping that I can get a better idea of myself and develop a signature style. Each time I create a project it has a completely different look and feel.

It’s very exciting to be in this course and see the art that each artist is creating. There is such an amazing variety of styles and it’s fun to see how each person interprets the assignments. I’m truly blown away by the high caliber of work that these ladies are creating. Some of them already have their art licensed for fabric and book illustrations and there might be a couple might be newer to the craft like me but I don’t think so because all of the designs are top level professional work. I just look at their designs and am floored by the absolute whimsy, creativity and imagination that they are bringing forth. I feel like such a baby when I compare my designs with theirs but the great thing is that these women are inspiring me and freely sharing their tips on how to create specific effects in Illustrator. It’s just really incredible in so many ways.

Each day Lilla posts an update in the classroom and we read through it. Last Tuesday we were given a warm up exercise and told to start sketching out berries and vintage Pyrex casserole dishes in order to get ready for our assignment on Wednesday.

SCarletCalliope Berry Sketches by Christine Barker

I happily researched vintage pyrex dishes, created a secret Pinterest Board for my inspiration ideas, sketched, doodled, colored in and played around with different images of raspberries, oak leaf hydrangea berries, strawberries and revisited some of the vintage kitchen drawings that I used to create a felt vignette for a friend’s journal in the Round Robin.

ScarletCalliope Felt Vintage Kitchen by Christine Barker

On Wednesday we were given our assignment to create some designs that would be appropriate for bolt fabric that someone would use to create handmade goods for the kitchen, like oven mits, aprons and such.

 After creating my sketches and scanning them into my computer I attempted to bring them into Illustrator but after all of my efforts to learn how to use the program I just wanted to throw my Mac out the window. I’m just a baby learning to crawl with Photoshop and Illustrator and I aren’t even talking right now. It’s crazy how frustrating it can be when you know exactly which tool is the best for a given project but without the skills to use it it’s just a total fail. So, I ended up editing my drawings in Photoshop and doing the best I could with my limited skills.

ScarletCalliope Bolt Fabric Design by Christine Barker

It was so much fun to choose the palette and play around with the different colors. One thing that I need to work on is layout. I challenged myself to layer the items together but with the limited amount of time that I gave myself I wasn’t able to achieve exactly the look I was going for. Overall, though, I’m pretty happy with the end result and I’ve gotta tell you that I surprised myself. I generally use Photoshop for adding watermarks to photos and I’ve created a couple printables for Halloween but this is the first time I used this many features in Photoshop and I’m so proud of myself for learning how to use some features I never used before. I couldn’t have done it without my husband, Phil. Thankfully he’s been using Photoshop for a couple years and I can ask him when I run into stumbling blocks and can’t find the answer with a Google search.

I’m looking forward to Week 2 of Make Art That Sells and learning more and bringing my creative visions out of my head and onto paper. I’ll post an update next weekend so you can see if I’ve made any progress and learn if Illustrator and I are on speaking terms yet!

Thanks for stopping by!


Christine Barker