May MATS Bootcamp - Marine Mashup

The MATS (Make Art That Sells) assignment for this month was a marine mashup of marine life and pattern for a plate design. I focused on the following crustaceans: shrimp, crab and lobster. I researched online, looked in my marine life book, doodled and sketched them first. Part of the instructions in the mini was to illustrate the crustaceans in a dark color and then work on vibrant patterns as well. Even though it is the biggest sin ever to use black watercolor (ivory), I used it for this because I was using it by itself and not mixing with other colors to get a dark shade. I discovered I love working with it and it was fun to work with pure values, black and white.

So once I got that done I worked on my patterns. I used my compass to draw circles and then I painted the backgrounds using cool toned sea-glass colors. Lastly I painted the hand lettering as well. I scanned in all of my elements at 600 dpi and once I got the compositions the way I wanted them, I merged them together in Photoshop. I completed the finishing touches as a mock-up design using this tutorial. I love my final result and if any of my favorite stores like Anthropologie or Crate and Barrel are interested, it would be a dream come true to stock these in your shops. Just sayin'.

Hope you're having a great day!

What I'm Working on - No. 3

edwardian brooch mats assignment So I made the biggest rookie mistake in the book with my Make Art That Sells class and didn't verify the due date/time. I thought for sure the deadline was 5 p.m. EST, 3 p.m. MTN. So I went to upload my image to the January Assignment gallery and low and behold, it closed at 3 p.m. EST, 1 p.m. MTN. What time was it? 1:04 p.m. MTN. Womp.

Lesson is definitely learned. Here is my finished journal cover based on Edwardian brooches. This was not easy because I have been away from Illustrator for awhile and all of the facets, I had no idea how I was going to accomplish it. Using Divide in the Pathfinder was helpful as well as using Object, Path, Divide Objects Below (wonderful tutorial here).

I learned a ton about how I like to work: step by step and compartmentalize the process. Then let it go. IE. Finish sketch phase, finish design phase, finish color phase, etc. Going back and tinkering is crazy-making.

Also, the end goal is to be done, not perfect. I want my best work but if you never finish anything, you don't accomplish anything. In my humble opinion.

Now it is time to relax and play with my little one.

What I'm Working On - No. 2

The Make Art That Sells class has started and I'm loving it. It's uncomfortable too, which is a good sign. The first assignment gives you a "mini" so we were told our topic was Edwardian Brooches. We needed to design our own and draw like crazy. Then after the week is up we get the next steps on what our main assignment is. So now we know that our assignment is to make a journal cover, very cool!

I'm in the second week so all the sketches are pretty much done and I've started working on the digital side with my stylus, iPad and Inkpad app. Once I'm finished with this stage I'll sit at my desk computer and work in Illustrator.

What I'm Working On - No. 1

December is almost over, but I refuse to believe it. I signed up for a class that starts in January called, "Make Art that Sells: Assignment Bootcamp". It is one of Lilla Rogers' classes and I have been curious about her for awhile now. She is a well-known and successful art director and she represents Lisa Congdon, an artist whose work I love by the way. Another one of my friends who primarily uses Adobe Illustrator, Jannie Ho, has taken one of her courses as well. I've heard nothing but good things so I'm excited!

I needed something that had a flexible timeline, promoted community and gave me a swift kick in the behind so my art translates into tangible real-world items. Just more pieces of the puzzle to figure out and I can't wait to start.

Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to in 2015?