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Make Art That Sells

Unashamed plug for Lilla Rogers MATS courses. CPD for Illustrators!

Being an artist is not the Bohemian dream some people think it is or should be.

You work hard and sometimes it comes out great and sometimes it comes out - "Whoa! What happened there?!"

Here's another example - OK some cute there but also some creepy!

But wait... things will get better, at least I really hope so.

The first example is my design for the Bolt Fabric assignment 'Pasta & Peas' and I'm pretty sold on that one, but, and it's a fairly large but - stop laughing - the cats are in a word catastrophic!

The top left cat has skillet face - he's been hit by one!

OK, I put my hands up and admit that everyone has bad days and good days, that I can be way too tough on myself and hyper critical of my own creations to the point of procrastination.

The artistic process seldom starts with a great idea, make it real and go WOW!

Take 'Pasta and peas' - started with a brief that was basically - draw pasta and vintage 'pyrex' - you know the fabulous stuff with iconic fifties style patterns on it.

So step one sketches - no pressure - scribble scribble, Oh that's nice, that's rubbish, doesn't matter no one will see them.

OK I'm letting you into a real 'PRIVATE' area here - aren't you lucky people?!

At this point I realise that I really shouldn't be focusing on the patterns on 'Pyrex' - as 'Pyrex' is trademarked - so re-focus on shapes.

Scanned some drawings, open up Coreldraw - my CAD program of choice - lots of clicking ensues and a range of motifs/icons appear and I arrange them in a repeat.

I must add that Lilla says you don't have to do this but as I've been designing on Spoonflower for a while, and have a previous history of textile print design - I did it at college - I feel I can do this.

I'm stuck - it's not what I want but it's getting there so...

I watch some reviews by Lilla and read lots of interviews etc. and look at what I've done and think "I can do better!".

The peas on that green bowl - yuck - the leaves in the wee striped pot - way too static. Overall impression a bit pedestrian so...

I altered a few things and posted it on Spoonflower so as to check the repeat and see how it was coming along.

Better, breathing now, some bits more so than others... the green bowl is still not right.

More fiddle and twiddle and the green bowl issue gets resolved with a much simpler pattern - as you can see from the collection cover page at the beginning of this blog.

So what happened next - co-ordinates - easy - not really, it's not a brilliant idea to just pull out icons and put them into repeat you need to make things more interesting.

Now since this is getting way too long, and people are snoring in the back seats, I won't go into interminable detail of how each co-ordinate developed - pretty much the same process as with the main 'character' design - but if you want to see the rest of the collection as it stands right now follow this link:

You'll see the first co-ordinate - the leafy lines of pea shoots - quite boring and I personally don't feel they add much to the collection - I might get back to altering them some time -

I'm ecstatic about 'Insalata Mista'!

So what's next?

I'm moving on to the next assignment based on staffordshire pottery ...back to those cats!

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