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


4 thoughts on “Make Art that Sells – Part A Recap

  1. Vivayne says:

    Don’t feel bad! You did great. I think its hard when you have time to draw & not time to put it all together. Think we learned a lesson there!. Also it was like we had blinders on & couldnt see the whole picture. Great class & excersizes, but some people just operate on their own time! Like us! So, first week was weird like just getting adjusted to the schedule. I overlooked so many of Lilla’s suggestions & learned to listen better. 2nd week, you kidding I loved your first set! I think the borders were maybe I’m a little busy but the colors were absolutely great. So were the flowers! I think trying to incorporate too much of what Lilla suggested is what hurt you. That is how I ended up with my borders & words..ert! Language of the birds woulr have been awesome without the effects & maybe a more matchy tree….TONS better than my mess! As for week 4 & 5 well, they were just fun & it showed in everyone’s work!

    • Carolina Coto says:

      Thanks for commenting Vivayne! I think I was super critical with myself while I was taking the class, just like everybody else I think! I enjoyed the class so much though, like you said, it was a great class, a fantastic class and exercises I would say. I feel prouder now of what I did in the class than when I was taking it, maybe it doesn’t show in the post, but I am ;) I’m so looking forward to continuing growing :)

  2. thehungryartist says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty! I really appreciate it. I’m thinking of taking the class, and I’m kind of paralyzed with fear because it’s so not what I do. I’ve never done anything like this, though I’ve been in the book industry for many years. I know it’s what I want to do and that it will be really good for me, so I’m 90% sure I will do it. It’s just great to read about others’ experiences and see your amazing work. Thanks again!

    • Carolina Coto says:

      Hi! Thanks for your comment :). I don’t think you would regret joining Lilla’s class. It was so, so, fantastic. Good luck with your decision (I’m rooting you will choose to do it :) )

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