Thursday, November 21, 2013


Ok - the Make Art That Sells(A) blog tour is officially underway. I have included the current schedule below. There is a huge amount of talent hidden in amongst this group and if you are interested in learning a bit more about the course, or seeing what other students have come up with for various projects then this is the tour for you! 

Basically the way it works is that on the given dates, each person will post a special review of their experience and thoughts on the course. (This list may be subject to change as more students get on board with it! There are also lots of timezones covered so the dates are a guide.) I am scheduled for the 4th of December, and am looking forward to gathering my thoughts to share with you then. The first three reviews have already been posted, so off you go! Get touring! x



Martina Lenhardt-

Melissa Doran-

Sarah Gager -

November 27

stephanie corfee -

November 25

Son Atwal Sonia Atwal -

November 26

Sarah Ehlinger-

Jordan Vinograd Kim-

November 27

Jen Burbridge -

Carolina Coto -

November 28

Eva Marion Seyffarth -

November 29

Anna Whitford -

December 2

December 3

Melinda Hopkirk -

December 4

December 5

Renske de Kinkelder-

December 6

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Back to the real world...

Now that the Make Art That Sells course is done and dusted, it's back to the real world a bit now. I feel like I have been in this magical place for the last few weeks and I allowed myself to just get caught up in it all.

This meant putting a few projects on hold for a while, but of course they have now all become urgent!

I have had to call in my parents to come and help baby sit for a week or so, in order for me to get some work done! (They live about 4 hours away!) They are heading home on Monday, so I need to keep at it over the weekend to make the most of my time.

Here is a bit of a peek at one of my current projects. I hope to share things in more detail soon, but for now I just need to get on with things. It's part of a series of 'readers' (books for children who are just learning to read), so the images, layout and text all need to be quite clear and simple. 

I have hand painted the characters with black line work to create focus for them, and all backgrounds and incidental detail is flat colour with no outlines - again to allow the characters to be the main focus.

Check out the full series here until I can share more detail with you. 

Friday, November 15, 2013


Just wanted to give this little guy a bit more of a feature!


Ok, I thought I'd better sneak in a post about our last assignment (even though I am supposed to be doing my freelance work!) I can't believe the course is finished and I feel a bit flat these last few days. I miss it!

Anyway, our last week was learning about the GIFT market. This is such a broad market and there are so many opportunities for artists and designers in this area. Our Mini assignment this week was to gather personal things that we "collect", to photograph and draw. There were some beautiful ornate and vintage collections shared in our facebook group, and it made me realise I am a bit of a "plain Jane!". 

If I had to confess to being a collector of anything it would have to be books and kids stuff!  I have always been drawn to the fun and colour of the kids world, (long before I actually had kids myself) and I put together a small collection of wooden items for my inspiration.

I did not really get any time to sketch and play for the mini this time, but once the assignment was revealed I really enjoyed just playing with ideas based on toys. The assignment was to create a HYPER LUSH zipper pouch crammed full of as much 'stuff' as we could manage!! It needed to really "WOW" and "POP" to create something that would really stand out in a portfolio or at retail.

Given that this assignment allowed me to concentrate on a theme I was really passionate about, the ideas just flowed this week! I have so many ideas and lots of pages full of sketches. I am looking forward to revisiting these pages again at another stage. 

 This was the sketch that excited me the most, so it became my starting point.

First up, I scanned the sketch and traced over the shapes in Illustrator to create some vector artwork.

Colour is my favourite design element, and I always LOVE the thrill of seeing my characters in colour for the first time!! So here's my little music box bear.

I was tempted to draw up some of my other characters to interact with this guy, but I thought this week I would use a 'focal point" and make him the starring role!

I did not really have a game plan or layout sketch this time, but decided to just dive right in! Lilla encouraged us to use any bits and pieces from previous weeks work and I remembered some water colour experiments that I did not use.

I focused in on one section and repeated it over a yellow background...

...then layered it with some textures from my wall art painting. 

I loved how the colours worked together with the bear, but he was already getting a bit lost on the background.

I added some white behind him to make him 'POP'! (Lilla uses this expression A LOT...and I guess it's stuck with me!) The bee was getting a bit lost and changing the balance of the white area a bit, so I edited him out!

I don't normally create the artwork on the product template until it's finished, but this time it really helped to remind me of the end product as I progressed.

Next stage was to "LUSH" it up a bit! FUN! I wish I had more time to create various florals and new shapes, but I will work on this more when I re-visit this project to tweak it for a portfolio piece.

With the addition of more and more detail, the finished piece finally emerged.

I am still really happy with it, but will rework it a little if I am to use it in my folio. I also still need to work on some sort of logo for my name, but I am booked up until Christmas with a ridiculous amount of freelance work, so I will rework my assignments a bit more in the new year.

Oh, I nearly forgot. We were also able to include a few extra products to match our zipper pouch. In the end I felt they distracted a bit from the pouch, so I did not include them in my submission, but I was really happy with this one, so thought I'd share it here!

There was some incredible work produced by participants in this weeks assignment and it really was a great way to bring together everything we have learned over the last few weeks. I also thought it was very clever of Lilla to base this assignment on personal collections, because each person could then create with themes that were special to them. This really came through in the artwork. (Incidentally we are working on some plans to create a blog tour of participants in this recent running of the course, so I will share more detail with you when we finalise things.) 

I also hope to share my thoughts on this course, and some self-critiques of my assignments over the coming weeks, so drop by again when you get the chance.

I am also very lucky to have had special permission to share FULL details of one of my current projects with you, including works in progress and various processes, so I hope to find time to get that going for you too! So it's back to work for now...

Monday, November 11, 2013


Ta-dah! My final MATS2 assignment! I am too tired to do a full write up of the processes for this one tonight, but I just had to share this with you. I am so happy with it! Expect a more detailed post about this one later in the week!
Right now I just need some sleep! Good night all!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Sorry it's taken me a few extra days to update you with my course. Things are crazy busy at the moment, and November is going to be a bit full on for me with a heavy freelance workload to catch up on after this course.

Anyway, here's my submission for this weeks assignment! Talk about getting out of your comfort zone! Abstract painting! I have never actually done a canvas before, so this weeks assignment was quite overwhelming.

But Lilla was there to ease us into things with our mini assignment.
We were assigned two colours to work with and mine were yellow and orange! (Thank goodness I have recently overcome my aversion to yellow!) We were asked to collect items of these colours from around the house, and to create a series of lines, dots, textures and markings to scan in. 

 Then the assignment arrived: Create an abstract piece of artwork using only your TWO asssigned colours. Add floral motifs, geometrics and at least one word. Our target market was 25-45 year old women. I usually go for the kids market approach as most of you would know, so this was a tough ask for me. 

I was feeling really nervous about this one, so I started off just using my scanned textures...

 ...but Lilla was right! You just don't get capture the texture and quality of real paint work.

So I dug up some old canvases (I have always intended to try to paint one, but never quite found the time!) and just got started. 

I tried not to think to much about it (as you can see!) and had several pieces on the go at once in the hope that this would free up my style a little bit...

...but once things started to take on a more interesting look, I got scared of ruining it, and scanned it in to complete on the computer! The below image is what I scanned in as completely hand created.

 Then I started adding some layers of texture.

The large collage of the paper bag area was really bothering me and not even introducing a bit of contrast pink was helping things!!
So I simplified things back a little and in hindsight I really love this above image. I think I will revisit this project and tweak this one a bit more.
But I ended up pushing it a bit further down this path.

Before ending up here!

I imagined it as being a rather large scale piece something like the below.

In the end I actually really enjoyed this weeks project. I have been wanting to create some canvases to hang on our walls, and at least now I feel like I have a starting point to create them. In terms of working in this industry, I would love to focus on the kids market (OF COURSE!) and can't wait to try some of the things I have learned to create some kids art.

This week is the GIFT market and Lilla already has us doing some weird and wonderful things. I am hoping to create a brilliant piece this week to finish off the course on a high!