The Wonders of Attending “Virtual” School- MATS Blog Tour

I’m writing this post as part of a blog tour that my classmates for “Make Art that Sells” (a.k.a MATS), Part A class organized.

Through the month of October, I virtually attended Lilla Roger’s amazing “Make Art that Sells” class. The class is five -jammed packed with wonderfulness- weeks long. 

Every week we studied a different art market and every week we were given a design assignment for that market (if you want to see what I came up with every week, please check my post about it here :) ). At the beginning of the class, Lilla gave us a “Make the Most of It” Planner. I filled it up enthusiastically the first day, committing to at least 2 hours a day, which was already double of what was estimated as the minimum (7 hours) that we needed for the class every week. Well, little did I know that I would sometimes spend 10 hours non stop in one day, in front of the computer or with my iPad, or with the sketchbook, working on the main assignment or the “mini” assignment that was given in preparation for the main one. I don’t doubt that this was the case for many of my classmates.

My classmates, my wonderful classmates. The class was marvelous, amazing, but it turned into something even more terrific (am I running out of adjectives that mean “super great”??) with the Facebook group that was created for the class, and the brilliant people that were (and still are) part of it and the interactions that took place in the group through these 5 weeks -interactions that are still taking place today, 4 weeks after the class ended (and I reckon will still be taking place a year from now)-.

Lilla Roger’s way of teaching, injecting us every day with positivism and words of wisdom, turned this class into an incredible artistic journey of growth and discovery, an art boot camp if you will.

We would share our progress in the Facebook group pretty often, sometimes every few hours! (I promise we were working hard! but hey, we all needed some feedback here and there!) and through the five weeks it was just so great and exciting to see everybody’s work and to get feedback from such talented people.

Other two classmates are writing about the class today as part of the blog tour, they are Jen Burbridge, whose work you can see here: as well as Aileen Tu, who’s work you can see right here:

I want to share my favorites from the work they each did for the class, my favorites from Jen were her beautiful plates for week 2, Home Decor:


and my favorite from Aileen was her super fun lush zipper pouch for week 5, Gift:

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 11.30.12 AM

Beautiful stuff huh??? Too bad there’s time and space limitations and I can’t share my other million favorite assignments submitted by my classmates, buuut, if you want to go check them out by yourself, please make sure to visit the blogs of the other talented artists and designers that are part of this tour, you won’t regret it, I promise!

Here they are:

Aisha KhanLinda TordoffJill ByersMartina LenhardtMelissa DoranSarah GagerHungYu CHENStephanie CorfeeSophie VerhilleJo ChambersSon AtwalAngie SandyRachael SchaferSarah EhlingerJordan Vinograd KimJen BurbridgeAileen TuClaire LordonEva Marion SeyffarthAnna WhitfordMary TananaJennifer WambachVictoria JohnsonEmily DyerNic SquirrellMelinda HopkirkDeb TrevittDanielle McDonaldJennifer AppelWendy BrightbillRenske de KinkelderNicole PiarAndrea van DalenOhn Mar WinDiane NeukirchLisa Deighan.


Make Art that Sells – Part A Recap

As I mentioned in my last post, I had been sneaky taking online art and design classes and not blogging about them like my virtual classmates were. Tomorrow I will post about the Make Art that Sell class, as part of a blog tour that my classmates organized, but I would like to post a “pre-post” about the class, sharing some of the work that I created for the assignments.

Week 1 was about Bolt Fabric. We were assigned to create a design for this market using sketches we’d created with berries and vintage pyrex style casserole dishes.

Scan copy Scan 1 Scan 2 Dutch Berries


This was my final design for that first week.

I actually felt that this first assignment was one that I submitted with confidence and that I felt proud of. I felt the quirky motifs looked like “me”, I was not going to feel this confident, and definitely did not feel proud of the assignment I submitted the week that followed.

Second week was Home Decor week. We were asked to sketch bromeliads, and then for the assignment, design a set of 2 to 4 plates with those sketches (or new sketches if we wanted) but featuring the bromeliads. I sketched and sketched and sketched. I spent so many hours on it and I was feeling really happy with my drawings…but, I ran out of time for the design. The result was me crying after submitting my design and realizing that it looked AWFUL. The horror. I cried and cried. My husband asked: “really? over some plates?”, ha, he was right, but that’s what happened and it helped me get all charged up with energy and enthusiasm and challenged for improvement over the next weeks. During the following week I actually re worked my plates. Here are the before and after designs, so you can see what happens creatively in your head, when you realize how much was wrong about a design you’ve created. Yeyyy for crying!

Plates-Before Plates-After

And here are the sketches that I created. Too bad they did not translate on the first design!

All Motifs-01

Week 2 was Children’s Picture Books. Because of my whimsical painting style, I thought “this is my week”…well, not quite. We needed to illustrate a Russian folk tale called “The Language of the Birds”. I decided to hand sketch first and then design with the computer, because it was going to be “faster” I thought. Another disaster. I ended up using these hideous drop shadows and terrible pastel colors. The result was not good. Two strikes. Holly cow. Major self doubt started this week. Two terrible designs in a row.  Here’s some of my sketches for that week (which I thought were kind of cute). 


And with a lot of embarrassment  I’m sharing the assignment I presented that week. The worst thing is that I initially could not see that it was not working. I just could not see everything that was wrong with it (starting with that outer-glow-drop-shadow-i’m-such-a-photoshop-rookie-effect…jeez!)










Week 4 was Wall Art…now we’re talking. My confidence was a little bit back a this point. The result was kinda cute, but not really my actual style “style”. Regardless, I was proud to submit this one and I’m excited to keep working on new pieces that will have my style and will be more marketable, because, hey, after all, I did not take a class called “Make Art that Sells” to NOT make work that is super marketable right?










Aaand last but not least, Week 5 was Gift. We were asked to design a super lush zipper pouch (and accessories if we wanted. I designed a wallet and umbrella, fun!). Oh yeah…This was the assignment I was more proud off. Here’s the result:


And, to wrap this up, as this post is already mega long and I will be posting again tomorrow, here are all my assignments together. Not very cohesive, that’s something I definitely have to work on, but I feel that after taking this amazing class I’m many, many steps closer to creating a great, marketable design and art portfolio. Best class I’ve ever taken. More about this wonderful course tomorrow. Stay tuned!

All Assignements

My Poor Neglected Blog :(

It’s been more than a month since my last post. Yikes.  All of my time was completely taken by a class I took the last 5 weeks, fabulous Lilla Roger’s “Make Art that Sells”. Every week we studied a different market, Bolt Fabric, Home Decor, Children Picture Books, Wall Art and Gift. Every week was challenging, every week I was taken out of my comfort zone with the assignments we were given for each Sunday; sometimes I was pleased with what I had come up with, sometimes I cried. Yup. I did. Over a plates design. I did.

I don’t want to go over the details of the class way too much, since my wonderful classmates (now also art friends and tribe!) have organized a blog tour and I will be writing more in detail about the class next week, when I’m scheduled for the tour. I actually should have posted about every week’s assignments, like most of my classmates did, but I’ve been bad, bad. I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by the class and my mind was 120% on it and couldn’t think about writing in my poor, beloved, blog. Also, I have to confess, I was shy to show my assignments sometimes. I didn’t feel my work measured up to the quality of work I saw from many of my classmates, but I think I was being too tough on myself. Aren’t we all artists like that sometimes? Not necessarily a bad thing, I think it help us improve for sure, challenge ourselves, grow!

But I do have to share something right?? I want to share my first fabric collection! Yeww! Yes, I’ve been taking classes and classes and classes lately, and I love it. Another class I’m working my way through right now is “The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design” by fantastic designer Rachel Taylor. I made a small collection of 4 designs, kind of “earthy” and nature inspired, even though some of the motifs are rather quirky and not at all realistic or literal. I’m excited about working more on these and creating more. I really have become passionated about pattern design this year.

So, without further review, here’s “Earthy Delights” ;)

Earthy Delights










What can you picture those designs in? An stationary line? wall paper? upholstery? A penny for your thoughts! and stay tuned for my more detailed post on “Make Art that Sells” class next week.