Lilla Rogers’ Make Art That Sells (MATS) Blog Tour

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As some of you may know, I took Part A of Lilla Rogers’ Make Art That Sells (MATS) course which ended a couple of weeks ago. Well, the fun never stops in Lilla’s courses, because there’s still lots of activity going on in the course Facebook group. Many of us have found refuge in the Facebook group post-MATS as a way to keep the creative momentum going to continue working on projects and to give and receive feedback. The group is filled with some of the most talented and supportive artists I have ever met, and I am so thankful to be a part of it, and grateful to Lilla for making it and the course a reality.

In the group, Stephanie Corfee  brought up the brilliant idea of going on a blog tour to share our experiences, and a bunch of us decided to participate. Today is my turn, along with Jen Burbridge and Carolina Coto, so please check out their posts too. Below are some of my favorites of the pieces that they did in class:

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Jen Burbridge – Week 3: Children’s Books – Make Art That Sells

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Carolina Coto – Week 3: Wall Art – Make Art That Sells

So, what has MATS meant to me? Basically, it’s been the art bootcamp I never knew I needed, taught by the Fairy Art Mother of my dreams. The course has really opened my mind and changed the way I think about creating art. I’ve always loved exploring artistic processes, so I have studied a range that includes calligraphy, block printing, stone sculpting, ceramics, mixed media, and photography. You name it, I’ve either done it or it’s on my “To Do” list. But until the MATS course, I’ve compartmentalized each process. For whatever reason, I didn’t mix techniques. Maybe it’s the same reason that causes me to separate different foods on my plate so they don’t mix. I don’t hate when the foods do mix, but for whatever reason, I also don’t choose to do this myself. So MATS helped me to loosen up a little and mix it up artistically. And through seeing how my fellow artists also mix it up, I can see that combining techniques can be fun as well as give a design more depth.

Since this mixing it up is a bit of a learning process for me, I’m not going crazy yet, but for the first time ever, I incorporated my photography into a design. For the final project for the Gifts market, I created a design that is almost entirely photographic, using photos I took from my trip to Holland a few years ago.

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The repeating pattern that can be seen in the background and foreground was created from a photo of one flower, and I composed the rest of the scene from flowers from some of my other photographs. (Can you tell I like flowers?) Underneath it all is a hidden texture layer based on some experiments with sumi ink on paper that is causing some of the color variance. This hyperlush style and mixing techniques are far from my typical creative process, but I’ve actually received a lot of compliments on this piece. If it weren’t for Lilla’s class, I  would never have done a piece like this, and I may never have evolved my creative process in this way. And creative evolution has somewhat of a domino effect. When you have a new way of seeing things, you start to see new things. It will be interesting to see in what ways my artwork evolves down the line based on my shift of perception from this class.

And now, I’m going to leave you with this: A photo of myself at age three, with my bedhead hair (before it became fashionable), cackling and drawing on my makeshift porch, using a TV tray from Fedco as a desk. I don’t remember the last time I felt so much pure joy from creating, but I’m feeling it now. Every day since MATS ended has been filled with ideas and sketches, and I’m so excited to be moving forward in a career where I’m doing what I love.

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Be sure to check in with tomorrow’s artists in the blog tour: Claire Lordon and Eva Marion Seyffarth.

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