Make Art That Sells : Editorial

I'm running a bit behind in my blog posting, so here's a little catch up!

MATS continues and this week it was looking at Editorial Illustration, mostly work for magazines. I have done some editorial work in the past and have to say it isn't my forté. I am not one of those illustrators who comes up with the clever concepts to illustrate difficult topics. But over the course of the week Lilla showed us a lot of her personal work from her many years as an illustrator, and i realised that there is a lot more to editorial than illustrating a headline. (or there was anyway, I'm not sure how healthy the editorial market still is for illustration these days...)

Anyway, I was sort of dreading having to illustrate an article, but was very happy to find our assignment was to illustrate a map!! which I love doing. We were supposed to do a map of our current city/town, but because I already did one of Melbourne for They Draw and Travel (click here to see) I decided to illustrate Montreal instead, my birthplace, and first love :)

I first did a bit of a sketch to figure out which elements I would be including (and also canvassed my Facebook Montreal friends for suggestions, which was very fun and interesting!) I find I can get a bit too detailed with doing maps. I love it, but I'd also like to try doing something a bit freer and more abstract. anyway, here's the sketch.

then I did the background in watercolours.

and added lots of little icons in a few styles:



and stampy...

 and then the lettering.

I put it all together in Photoshop and voila mes amis!

Next week is the last week of the Make Art that Sells class, which is sort of hard to believe! We are focusing on the party paper market (paper plates, cups, wrapping paper, etc)

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

MATS: Main assignment Week 1

Well I made it through the first week of the Make Art That Sells course. It has been so inspiring already, and I feel like I am back at university with the amount of energy I have for this and also the amount of time I have spent drawing and creating in the last week!

Our first week was all about Fabric design. Our assignment was to use our sketches of berries and casseroles from our mini assignment to create a professional level fabric pattern.

I decided I really wanted my pattern to have a traditional hand-created feel, because a lot of modern patterns have a very flat, 'digital' look to them. One technique I've been wanting to try for a while is creating hand-carved stamps, so I figured what better time to try?! I made a few different stamps which was ooooodles of fun...


some spoons and cake stands...

and some leaves...

and then after a conversation with my husband who always has good ideas, I decided to include a few different things, so I did some drawing and painting too...

Then I scanned them all in, along with some scrapbooking paper I have, and arranged them in Photoshop. I didn't really have a plan for how I would do this. Normally I would do a sketch to work from but I decided to let it come together a bit organically. This is the first piece I came up with...

I really like the '4 and 20 blackbirds' reference, but something wasn't feeling 'right'. I'm not sure if it was the colour scheme or the composition. 

So after I put my little boy to bed tonight I had a glass of wine and started over. I started from scratch with mostly the same elements and came up with this:

And this one feels a lot better to me. As I said to hubby "I'm not blowing myself away" but it feels like it sits better. I'm happy to submit this one. Here's what it looks like repeated:

Had sooooo much fun this week. I've enjoyed creating this work and could definitely see doing this as a fun break from watercolour washes to do some more iconic work.

(see my mini assignment for this week here if you missed it)
Next week: Home Decor. Bring it on!!

Jonah Charlie Tree

This is a commission for a present for a little baby boy. I hope he likes it!

I've been experimenting with using hand carved stamps (all the blue leaves) -- something I've been wanting to do for ages. I've even had the tools hanging around for YEARS and never used them. So finally they have been inaugurated. It's pretty fun but I definitely need to practice! 

Happy holidays!

Startree - watercolours, custom stamps, collage

May your holidays be happy, and your new year be sparkly!

Thanks to all of you who read this blog. I really appreciate your readership, even when there isn't always that much to read!

Here's hoping 2012 has been a wonderful year for all of you. On this side of the pond, it has been a year of highs and lows. Birth, life, and death -- we experienced it all this year. A difficult and joyous year at the same time.

Thinking about the new year illustration-wise, I'm hoping to redesign my website and definitely make it sparkly, including a shop where I can sell prints. Also preparing to have a solo exhibition at the end of next year so I'm really excited about 2013.

And this is our first Christmas with our little munchkin.... so it is sure to be a lovely time.

much love, stars and gingerbread to all of you out there. Stay safe, happy and healthy!



I'm excited to announce that I've joined the ranks of the artists at Squigglefly. They are a digital stamp company and have a wide range of artists and stamps available for download and use, and even a team of designers who use the stamps in examples and provide tips and tutorials!

Here are some of the stamps I'm offering straight off, some of these will be familiar to you if you've followed this blog for a while ;-)

my artist page is here