MATS: Home Decor Week 1 & 2

The Make Are That Sells Home Decor class started a couple weeks ago - I just now have time to sit down to write a little blog update. I am so excited to be taking this class for a second time! 

For interest, I thought I would show you the pieces that I did back when I took the class the first time in 2016, compared to this new class. I will show week one and two this post.

MATS Home Decor 2016: Metals  

MATS Home Decor 2016: Metals

 

MATS Home Decor 2017: Metals

MATS Home Decor 2017: Metals

MATS Home Decor 2016: Fabric

MATS Home Decor 2016: Fabric

MATS Home Decor 2017: Fabric

MATS Home Decor 2017: Fabric

I don't know about you, but I honestly feel that I can see quite a bit of growth between the two. I plan to go back and redo the metals week for this go around, using the better mockup photos that I have found online. 

I also noticed that I definitely have a "style" when it comes to the florals. The 2017 Fabric week, I always used my iPad Pro to created the images using layers in Procreate. I think I might stick with digital work throughout the course. I am finding that I really do prefer it a lot of the time, particularly for this class and it's time intensiveness. 

I will do another MATS post in a week or two, showing the progress for those substrates too!

Have you taken a MATS class? Or perhaps another online class for illustrators that you really enjoyed and found value in? I'd love to hear about, if you'd please leave a comment on this post!

Make Art That Sells: Bootcamp 2017

Just finished my last assignment for the Make Art that Sells Bootcamp 2017 class. I didn't get all the assignments done this time, but I did what I could. I am already signed up for the next two classes, Children's Book Illustration and Home Decor.

 

Digital Drawing

I recently purchased the new iPad 10.5" and Apple Pencil. I'm not kidding when I say it's changed my life! I have been drawing every single day since I brought it home. It's changed the way I can work - I can work anywhere becauseI don't have to worry about carrying around pencils, erasers, sketchbooks, etc. AND I don't have to worry about making a mess.

I have fallen in love with Procreate, especially since it has the record option to show the entire drawing process for each piece. I think it's good for other artists who might just be starting out to see that every piece starts out as bares bones, and that sometimes you will start over entire parts to get it right. 

I created a YouTube channel to be able to share the Procreate drawing videos with you. Hopefully soon I can start doing some "how to" drawing vids!

The Ugly Truth of a Studio Reorganization

I've seen a lot of articles on studio reorganizations. Have you ever noticed how often even the "before" looks no where near as horrible as your studio does? Like may they tidied upa bit before they took their "before" photos?

Well, I'm going to show you my real before. The only thing I have done so far, is start putting the random items into tubs, and I moved a table. That's it. 

I am a quilter as well as an illustrator. Up until about a year ago, I solely focused on art quilting. I got a little burned out (but boy is that quilting bug biting right now!) So I have a LOT of different supplies that I've been trying to juggle in this studio space. I admit, I do have a rather larger studio space, but let this be an example that even when you have a lot of space it doesn't mean it's space that is readily capable of working for you and your supplies. 

Although my space is big enough, what it's lacking is viable storage space. The bookshelves, while nice, do not lend themselves to storage of most of the items that I have for my work. So I am finally accepting that I need to really put some thought into adding in items that function as working space AND as storage. (HELLO IKEA!)

I will show you the after results when I get done (some day?) And I will be sure and document the storage solutions I decide on! Until then, please feel free to share in the comments, any unique storage ideas that have helped you wrangle your studio into happy organization!

Of course my first priority was setting up the cat tree for my little ones, and this is Zoey helping organized and clean! 

*Bonus The first in the "My Studio View" series, is the parade of turkeys. Filmed while writing this post!

 

Zoey: The Supervisor

Zoey: The Supervisor

Lilla Rogers MATS Children's Book Week 4 (aka NO! It can't be almost over!)

I just submitted my two page spread for week four of the Make Art that Sells Children't Book Illustration course. I am excited about the progress I have made in the past four weeks, but am already bemoaning that there is one one week left! These classes with Lilla have been invaluable to my growth towards being a professional illustrator. This is my fourth course I have taken with Lilla (and I still have the MATS B self paced course to go through on my own!). It's amazing the progress I have made, but even more important to me is the confidence I have gained! A billion thanks to my family for helping me 1. Pay for these classes and 2. Take care of things around the house more so that I can focus on my work!

One of the most brilliant things Lilla has done, is set up private Facebook groups for the students to connect with each other. I can't tell you how much it means to an artist to have other's on varying points in their own paths to communicate with, commiserate with, and seek encouragement from. As a an at home studio artist, these connections mean more than money could buy quite frankly. There are still posts and conversations from classmates from a year and a half ago! It's wonderful to see other's grow and start achieving their "dream goals". 

So here it is, this is my assignment entry for "Environment". I illustrated a two page spread from The Owl and the Pussy Cat, and focused on what I thought Miss Kitty would pack for their boat journey. Below that, you will see the "boat" that I have come up with for Owl and Miss Kitty. 

Miss Kitty packs for the long journey.

Miss Kitty packs for the long journey.

Owl and Miss Kitty found a very unique boat to travel on!

Owl and Miss Kitty found a very unique boat to travel on!

Storyboarding (and distractions)

This week's assignment will be to create a page spread scene for The Owl and the Pussycat. I've been working on icons for scenery objects, but didn't start my planning for my layouts until today. I've decided I will do a two page spread for one of the following:

Working on storyboard for Make Art That Sells assignment, while watching videos on "Day in the Life of a Professional Illustrator" on Youtube.

Working on storyboard for Make Art That Sells assignment, while watching videos on "Day in the Life of a Professional Illustrator" on Youtube.

"They took some honey, and plenty of money. Wrapped up in a five pound note."
or
"To the land where the Bony tree grows."

Either option gives me a lot of room to play with "extras" in the scene, objects or living creatures, to add to the visual story told in combination with the actual text.

I've also spent about forty-five minutes starting to rearrange my studio to a better layout for me. I'm no where near done, and not even sure what I've moved around will work yet. (There are cats to keep happy in the studio too!)

Also pulled out my Passion Planner, to start getting my time organized. For a treat, I've always pulled out the Flow Diary and the "A Question a day Calender 2017" to take a peak at! I'm hoping come January, to use the calendar as both a diary tool but also as a prompt for drawings/paintings and other artworks.

 

Passion Planner, Question a day and Diary by Flow

Passion Planner, Question a day and Diary by Flow

Heading to the Looking Glass

I have been in love with Alice in Wonderland since I was a little girl. The imagery from the story is like candy for me. I've long admired illustrated books of Alice. For years I have wanted to delve into bringing my own imagination to the story, and today (while recovering from a dental visit) I started on it. Not at the beginning, but rather with one of my favorite characters, the Cheshire Cat. So here he is, my first rendition of the riddling trickster!

I think while I sit and watch TV tonight, I will write up a list of characters and scenes I would like to paint from the story. It's been a long time since I've read it, perhaps another reading is in order. 

What about you dear readers, do you have a favorite character or scene from Alice in Wonderland? Leave yours in the comments, who knows, perhaps I will render your favorite in the near future!

 

Cheshire Cat 8x10. Digital painting done in Adobe Photoshop. Stephie Mae 2016

Cheshire Cat 8x10. Digital painting done in Adobe Photoshop. Stephie Mae 2016

Putting yourself out there...

I have finally "bit the bullet" and signed up for this Squarespace website. The last year and a half has been an incredible process for me, as I worked my way through the Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells classes. 

I am currently in the Children's Book Illustration MATS class, working on illustrating "The Owl and the Pussycat." We are currently in week four, and will be doing backgrounds/settings this week.

Once this course is complete, I will be moving forward with the self-paced MATS B course.

I finally feel it's time for my artist website, to start putting myself and my artwork "out there."

Lilla often tells us to ask ourselves what our BIG goals are. Some of mine are: children's book illustration, t-shirt designs, and I would LOVE to design for breweries!

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