MATS: Wrap up

The Make Art That Sells experience was quite amazing. It was intense. It was challenging. It was liberating. It was frustrating. It was eye-opening. It was affirming.

Intense: 5 weeks, a mini assignment each Monday, a main assignment on the Wednesday, due on the Sunday. Posts almost each day (sometimes videos of 30minutes+) on the market we were exploring that week. Information overload, but what amazing information.

Challenging: Definitely getting out of the comfort zone. Trying to complete a professional quality illustration in 4 days. Thinking about my art (and myself, my role, what I want my art to be) in new ways.

Frustrating: I felt like I never had enough time in each week and could have kept going for ages on each piece! (This is a good thing I guess. But so is knowing when to stop!) At one point I started to fall behind in class posts and was struggling to catch up. But in the end, I was mostly pretty happy with the pieces I put up. (except was disappointed in myself for the Children's Book week)

Liberating: Trying new things. Things I'd always wanted to try but never given myself the time or the freedom to try them. Having fun doing things I wasn't sure I would like!

Eye-opening: Seeing what all the other amazing artists in my group game up with was truly inspiring (sometimes daunting) but mostly motivating to work hard and achieve a higher level with my own art.

Affirming: This is what I want to do. I think I can do it! Finding some new directions to take my work in.


The class was definitely good push to try new things and discover other avenues to get my art into the world. I look forward to revisiting some of my pieces because I would have loved to have had some extra time to work on them during the class. I also look forward to reviewing some of the class posts because there was SO much amazing information given out, I'm sure I missed some along the way. But I feel like I am armed with all of the necessary info to enter any one of the markets we studied. It's just a matter of making some amazing art and getting it out there!!!

These are the pieces I created during the class:


You can see my posts here: Fabric / Home Decor / Children's Books / Wall Art / Gift

Another wonderful part of the class is the incredible wealth of information from classmates, as well as feedback and support through the Facebook group. Lucky for us, the fb group continues on indefinitely and we still use it as a sounding board and support network.

These are a few of the amazing pieces from some of my classmates: (soooooo much amazing work let me tell you!)

Rebecca Jones

Anna Whitford

Mary Tanana

Linda Tordoff
Kirstie Cookman

Hui Yuan Chang

Hung-yu Chen

And here are some of the other participating artists with blogs who are blogging about the class. Take a click to see incredible art from these talented people!!

Katie Wood - http://www.katiewoodillustrations.blogspot.co.uk/
Anne Waters - http://annewatersdesign.com/blog/
Aisha Khan - www.aishaandherwork.blogspot.com
Linda Tordoff  - www.paintlovestudio.blogspot.co.uk
Martina Lenhardt - www.ma-len.blogspot.com
Melissa Doran - www.goradiate.ie
Jo Chambers - www.studiolegohead.blogspot.co.uk
Son Atwal - www.applekaur.com/blog
Bari J. - http://www.barij.typepad.com
Eva Marion Seyffarth - www.eva-marion-seyffarth.blogspot.de
Rachael Schafer - www.rachaelschaferdesigns.com
Danielle McDonald - http://reddogandjude.blogspot.com.au/
Renske de Kinkelder - www.renskedekinkelder.com
Jordan Vinograd Kim - http://www.foundandrewound.com/blog/
Emma Schonenbergh - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emma-Schonenberg/175939639128136
Aileen Tu - http://aileentu.com/blog/
Sarah Ehlinger -  www.verysarie.com
Jen Burbridge -  www.madebyburbs.co.uk
Carolina Coto - www.carolinacotoart.com
Claire Lordon -  www.clairelordon.blogspot.com
Anna Whitford - www.rosanna-rossi.co.uk
Mary Tanana - http://www.barij.typepad.com
Jennifer Wambach - http://jennartdesigns.blogspot.com
Victoria Johnson - http://victoriajohnsondesignblog.blogspot.it
Nic Squirrell - http://nicsquirrell.blogspot.com
Melinda Hopkirk - www.crouchriverstudio.com
Jennifer Appel - http://www.jaillustration.com/
Wendy Brightbill - http://www.agirlandherbrush.wordpress.com
Andrea van Dalen - http://dreamkeeperfae.blogspot.nl/
Ohn Mar Win - http://illustrationsouljourney.blogspot.co.uk/
Jill Byers - http://jillbyers.blogspot.com
Sarah Gager - www.sarahgager.com
Angie Sandy - http://www.angiesandy.com/blog
Diane Neukirch - http://dianeneukirch.blogspot.com
Larisa Hernandez | https://www.facebook.com/pages/Larisa-Hernández/166215440228435
Kathy Weller - http://www.wellerwishes.blogspot.com
Lisa Deighan - http://www.lisadeighan.com
Deb Trevitt - http://www.debtrevitt.com/blog/
Tara Lilly - http://taralillystudio.blogspot.com
Nicole Piar - http://www.ghostkittendesign.blogspot.com/
Stacy Peterson - http://stacypeterson.net/blog
Emily Dyer - http://www.emilydyer.com/blog
Antje MO (Martens-Oberwelland) - http://antje.art.com

MATS: main assignment Week 4 - Wall Art

This week's assignment for Wall Art was to create a piece of abstract art!! yikes! I'm not sure if I've ever done any pieces of abstract art before.

We were given lots of images for inspiration, and asked which one resonated the most with us. I really loved this one by Jill Ricci, so decided to use it as a starting point for my painting.


I first collected some interesting patterns from my collage paper library....
  

and got working....


part of the brief was to work with a restricted colour palette. Mine was Blue and Red, so this is what I came up with...


I carved some more stamps to use! I'm having so much fun with custom stamps.


and here's where I got too into making the piece and forgot to take photos! I stamped and painted in acrylics on top of the collage, did some paint splattering, and then added some 'bling' - some turquoise sequins I had picked up at the art supply store earlier.


part of the brief was to include floral elements (tick) and also some text. So I did some more hand lettering, and added it in digitally.


and here's the final piece!


I am very happing with this painting. In fact I think i am happiest with this piece out of all of them from the course. I'm not sure I would want to delve more into this market necessarily, but it was definitely fun to create, so who knows.

Next week is the last week of the course! Hard to believe. I'm actually excited for it to be over and have a bit of time to reflect on everything we've learned, and also to have a chance to catch up because I've been struggling to keep up with all the info each week. so stay tuned!

Next Week: Gift market
Click here to see last week's main assignment in Children's Books


Time lapse tree

Well the baby hasn't arrived yet, which has given me time to get together this time lapse video I took of me doing a painting for my latest book "Cherish Your Skin".

SO, now I can tell you that it is a book that will be distributed in the USA and Australia, through the Cancer Council here, and published by Bright Sky Press. I had lots of fun doing it, and it has a great message to boot! Namely, about being SunSmart and taking care of yourself in the sun, something Australians should be particularly conscious of -- the sun always seems hotter down here. Blast that pesky ozone layer.



This is my favourite painting from the whole book and it was fun to set this up. I hope you enjoy a look into how I paint!




I-F: Shadow



I can just picture these two flitting in between the shadows and the sunlight at your local pond. I really enjoyed doing the watercolour background on this, and for the first time in a long time I have added some digital elements (the pattern in the background) which I'm really happy with.

This will be by submission for the Illustrators Australia A3 print show, which forms part of the Northern Exposure Festival. The opening is Friday June 17th, so come along if you can!


Ahoy! Painting animation


I've been wanting to do something like this for a while:
this is a little animation of the stages of the watercolour painting of 'playing pirates' that I started some weeks ago.

the colour difference at the end is because most images were taken with a camera except for the last which was professionally scanned. (painting was too big to fit in my scanner)

I used the animation capabilities in Photoshop for this. It was pretty easy, but I had to take the smooth fades out because it was making the file size too big. What do other people use to make videos/slideshows for the web?

(i hope it works!)

work-in-pirates

I've gotten into the habit of doing a quick colour study in Photoshop before starting a new painting. I generally work out a colour scheme using either the Kuler plugin in Photoshop or the colour scheme designer which is very cool, or sometimes I'll even take it from the collage paper I want to use. Here is the one for Ashton's pirates painting which I am keeping in primary colours:


here's how it's looking at the moment:


9 x 5 = 20

The Illustrators Australia annual 9 x 5 exhibition opened this past Friday with the theme of "20" as it is our 20th anniversary this year. It was part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival and it was a fun time had by all! We had lots of people through, lots of food and drink consumed, and lots of artwork sold (including mine, hooray!)

I had a very good night. Lots of good conversations with fellow illustrators which is always such a treat! We are such a solitary bunch aren't we? so good to talk shop once in a while.

Annd, because my artwork sold, I always like to share the love... so I bought Penny Lovelock's piece, who, besides having the best name in the world, is also one talented painter!! See for yourself:

Cute eh? I love the humorous blackbirds. I'd like to frame this and hang it in my kitchen!

I have so many posts about different things that I want to do... children's books I have acquired, the process of illustrating my current book, but I am still working hard at the moment. but soon.... very soon..... I will have a bit more time on my hands, so stay tuned sports fans.

IF : Modify

At the moment, I'm modifying my painting techniques. Experimenting, trying new things, new media. I've had this Chinese Watercolour Techniques book for ages that I've been wanting to try. They make it look so easy! I'm trying to use watercolours more intensely - it's easy to let them get all washed out and I prefer the really bright, deep colours.

My poor chook looks a bit worse for wear here, but I had fun with this anyway...

I-F: Similar



These two guys are similar in style, but different in nature!

They are two acrylic + collage paintings I made to sell in my friend's store, but when I finished the giraffe I just loved him so much I couldn't sell him! So he's still in my studio, looking at me with his cheeky smile, hehe.

Doing paintings like this is so much fun and makes me think about doing more and opening an etsy store ... but it's a bit daunting.

isn't it?

Experiments 1 & 2

I've been feeling lately that my work needs to go to that next level, and I'm trying to figure out if I can do that in watercolours. I'm not sure - I still get really frustrated with them sometimes, and I feel that I can't always get the effects I like. I looked through my collection of children's books and other artist books and all the styles I was really drawn to were more of an acrylic or oils look. I'm not giving up on them yet, but I'm trying my hand at acrylics to see if that gets me where I want to go.

I sat down and wrote out things that I enjoy doing:
- incorporating drawn patterns or collage
- simple shapes and characters
- limited colour palettes (complementary especially)
- lots of texture!

and I thought I'd try to redo this rather simple illustration I did digitally years ago, in a few different styles to see what grabs me:



this was the first one I did. still feels a bit too much like a child's drawing, i think maybe it's the outlines.



this one is getting a bit better... I like how with acrylics I can make the collaged paper part of illo as opposed to it sitting on top of the paint. I used coloured pencil for a few outlines, but only where they were needed. This is feels good so far - may keep going with this for a bit...

9x5

Every year, Illustrators Australia has an exhibition called the 9x5, where each member is sent a piece of wood (that is 9" x 5") in the mail to paint, decorate, deface, etc., and then they are auctioned off. This is the first year I'm participating, and the theme is Connected.

here is my piece, acrylics and ink on wood.



and I must give credit where credit is due, the idea for this came totally and completely from my hubby. Thanks, A!

a few more in the series

Here are some more in a new series of acrylic paintings:

This one is heading off to my new little niece who was born on the 23rd of August. Her name is Claire and she lives in Boston with her mother and father and big sister.


These are heading up to Brisbane with the other two.



and this one was for a friend who's been going through a tough time...



and I'm quite happy today because since being back from travelling I haven't had any (paid) illustration work, but just this week the phone has started ringing again. so hooray for that! more deposit for the house I'm sure we'll find very soon. ;-)

new medium, new work


what's that you say? acrylics? didn't that girl only do watercolours?

well yes, a bit of a change for me here, and I'm really excited about it. I haven't painted on canvas in ages and never with acrylics, but I decked myself out this week and got into it - and I'm loving them. They don't dry nearly as fast as I thought they would, coming from an oils background (though I did have some choice moments talking to my canvas when trying to blend colours - 'no, no, not yet! stop! damn.' )

Anyway, my friend's sister is opening a homewares shop in Brisbane where she's going to have a "kid's corner" so these are heading up there to warmer climes (although it was beautiful in Melbourne today - bring on Spring!)

I'm really happy with the way they turned out. I think the bits of collage work well and make them feel a bit 'special'. Canvasses are great because you can just hang them straight on the wall and don't have to mess with framing which can be expensive. These ones have the thicker edge so they look good hanging without a frame, and I've varnished them so they are well protected from sticky little fingers. I'm thinking I might start approaching some kids shops in Melbourne too. you never know what might happen!

I've decided to 'market' this new style under my lil-kim bloggy name, so I'm going to have this little easel which only stands about 4 inches tall near the paintings. and it's time to make up some more business cards too because I'm all out! time for a freshen up anyway....