A delayed recap of "make art that sells"

Happy first day of fall! That means it's super late to catch you up on my Lilla Rogers "Make Art That Sells" part B e-course experience, but better late than never right? So here goes the quick recap... Week 3 was for the scrapbooking industry. More paper-related things = yay! The theme for our project was "ink bottles". We were to create a scrapbooking page of stickers, as well as patterns for coordinating sheets of paper. This seemed like a fun industry, and I definitely plan on going back through my notes to see how I can build more work and start proposing some of it to manufacturers.Katie_Vaz_BonVoyage_2B_WK3


Week 4 was for the editorial industry. We were "warned" ahead of time that this week would be intense, and it was, but in a good way. The project was to illustrate a map of the city/town you live in, and to pick out points of interest since there isn't enough time in a week to design a full town map. So I focused on the local businesses here.



Finally, Week 5's industry was party paper, so things like party plates and cups and gift wrap paper and so on. The project theme was folk art, so we were supposed to combine that with the idea of celebration and parties. I wanted to explore drawing animals some more, because I'm always intimidated to draw things with faces (I think I'm getting better though!), so I went with a folksy woodland theme. This is one of my favorite things I've created so far I think.



So, in the end, this e-course was awesome, and I plan to take the part A class within the next year. I created illustrations far beyond what I thought I was capable of, and I've already gotten new freelance projects because of it. I think I'm actually starting to turn into more of an illustrator than a designer, but I kind of like it. If anyone is reading this that is considering take Lilla's e-courses, DO IT. It is worth every single penny. Besides the crazy amount of information you learn about the industries and licensing and the awesome projects, it will feel like a wonderful support group/ therapy session. My fellow classmates were so supportive and it felt like we all cheering each other on each week. The part A and part B classes felt more intimate than the Bootcamp class, but that's because those were smaller groups so it was easier to get to know everybody. Before I signed up for the first e-course back in March, my motivation was dwindling and I was ready to throw the towel in and go be "normal" and get a "normal" 9-5 office job. It was a tough winter for some reason, and I really started to lose faith that I was going in the right direction. I felt like I was basically just wasting all my time. I am so, so, so thankful that I took a chance with that course, because it 100% recommitted me to my career goals. One of the biggest things I took away from this course is that as a creative person wanting to make a living as an illustrator, my success and my day to day life will look different from "normal" careers, but that's okay. It's not necessarily better or worse, just different. When I was feeling very down earlier this year, one of the major things that made me feel that way was comparing myself to other people I know. Comparison is the thief of joy, amiright? I'm happy with the decisions I've made to get where I am, but when I looked at how far other people are in life and at "being adults", I started feeling ashamed that I was maybe behind. I don't own a house or a fancy car and I haven't gotten married or created a small human being yet. But I do love being creative and getting to make stuff with my hands every day. I will get to all of those other fancy adult things in due time. After the Lilla Rogers  course, I realized there are plenty of people like me, and I saw a lot of examples of illustrators who do make a comfortable living doing exactly what I want to do. I needed to be exposed to a community of people who want and/or have a life like I want. And that's exactly what that course did. We are not alone!!

Because I was so happy with my progress in that course, I signed up for the Make Art That Sells Bootcamp class that took place over the summer. I missed the first two months because of the Part B class I took, but I still got 3 cool projects out of it and I can always go back and do the first two on my own.

So May's assignment was editorial industry, and the theme was a meditation article and we were to draw PEOPLE. Remember when I mentioned I strongly disliked drawing things with faces? It's an irrational fear, because after being forced to jump right in and go for it in this class, it's not as hard as I thought. In fact, I might even go as far to say it's quite fun. I need to keep at it and perfect my own personal style of drawing them, but I believe I've at least accomplished getting over my fear of it.


IMG_4068Look at that, I drew more people and even experimented with watercolor! Woo hoo!

The next month was for the wall art industry involving a nautical theme. I experimented with more here with the combination of line art and watercolor paint. I also continued to be fearless and draw more stuff with faces! I got a pretty adorable whale out of it.



Then finally, the theme of the last month of Bootcamp was a piece of art based on our favorite beverage. We were to illustrate something we would want on our own walls. Unlike the other projects where everybody shares their progress and gets feedback in the Facebook groups, we were supposed to keep these to ourselves until the assignment was due. This was to help us focus on entirely what makes us happy without the influence of anybody else's opinion. It was a brilliant idea, because I created a piece I am very proud of. I used typography and illustration together. I love hand lettering, and also love illustration, but hadn't figured out how to marry them both. I'm happy with how it turned out, and would like to incorporate more of this style in my Etsy shop.


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