Saturday, February 6, 2016

Make Art That Sells Home Decor - Week 1 & 2

At the beginning of this year I made a promise to myself to work as illustrator and improve my craft. I made a commitment to up my game with my marketing skills to get regular work as an artist illustrating books and products like cards, journals, fabric and who knows what else. It's a great big world out of there for artists who are working to make a living. And more importantly I wanted to marry together my world of beads and art - playing back and forth between the two with similar themes.

I signed up for Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells Home Decor course a few weeks ago and just jumped in, pushing aside fears and focusing on making art that I love. I have been sneaking in moments early in the morning, painting in my evenings and even a few hours late into the night. I like to start each day with my sketch book and brush pens before heading into the bead studio.

The first week of the class was intimidating. You are taking the class with some amazing professional artists.

But Lilla is part art agent, part art instructor and part art psychologist!

She is so encouraging and knows how to take all those overwhelming feelings and channel it into productive lessons and energy.

There was a huge learning curve for me in the beginning trying to mock up my artwork into home decor items that could be made of metal. (The first one shown above is actually a redo of my assignment that I submitted.) It was a clunky attempt but I'm giving myself time to learn - that's why we take classes, right - to learn not to be experts as soon as we start.

This week was much easier. The painting is my favorite part and I jumped in creating several main images and lots of smaller accents to use in my fabric product mock ups. I wanted to capture the feeling of my summers here in Michigan with Queen Anne's Lace, chicory and monarch butterflies. Some things were happy accidents but that's okay. After a week I am getting the hang of the basics of using Photoshop to transform my illustrations into these fun designs.

After scanning in all my art work and cleaning it up I realized I had enough for two themes with the butterflies for one set and one featuring wildflowers in country chic containers. 

We have three weeks left in the class and then it will be time for the Make Art That Sells Bootcamp and then I am signed up to take Lilla's self-paced MATS A course that focuses on 5 of the top selling art markets. Thankfully time management and learning to work quicker are part of the course! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February iPhone Wallpapers

I created a new wallpaper for my iPhone and wanted to share it with you. Snuggling, quiet winter nights, chocolate, cozy sweaters and mittens - spring is still months away so we might as well enjoy the good things about February! 

I've been learning some different ways to work and my brain is exploding from taking Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells Home Decor class. I'll share some of my work from the class soon. The first week was a blast, but quite a learning curve. 

Download the wallpapers here:

Monday, January 11, 2016

Winter Blues - Sledding Illustration

Spent my weekend sketching and painting. It's a winter wonderland here in Michigan and that means I'm hibernating. I'm a fan of the snow but not the cold. So I like to look at it from the warmth of my cozy home or live vicariously through my art. 

A little nostalgia for these two kids running errands for the family. Can you imagine a time when kids went to the local grocery for their mom, all by themselves? I grew up in a tiny town and we often went to the corner store to get a treat. Penny candy was the bomb - our poor teeth! We'd find a quarter and thought we were rich. 

I can remember my elementary teacher telling us about inflation when I was in third grade and a candy bar was a quarter. She asked if we would buy a candy bar if it was 50 cents and we all balked, a dollar - no way. But hey, inflation. Okay, that's enough of traveling down memory lane today. It's making me feel old!

This gouache painting is quite the multi-tasker, I'm entering it for two Instragram challenges this week - #12monthsofpaint - their theme this month is blue and Katie Creatie's #wedrawtheyear. Her theme is sledding for this week. My goal for this month is to add more kids and families to my portfolio, so yeah goals! 

Thursday, January 7, 2016


  A few paintings from this week.

A meadowlark in a field of Queen Anne's lace and chicory. I've been wanting to add more nature images to my portfolio so this is the first one. 

The next two were created for the #12monthsofpaint challenge on Instagram. This month's theme is blue. 

This is a study of zebra pansies, which I just discovered this week thanks to Pinterest. I wish these would have turned out more stylized and less realistic but I guess that's the danger of looking at photo references. I need to draw them out from several sources and then draw exclusively for memory to put more of personality into it.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hello January Wallpapers

I wanted to create a wallpaper for my iPhone and participate in the Instagram #WeDrawtheYear challenge, so I combined the two. One of my goals for this year is to create a wallpaper for each month.
I haven't done this before so hopefully it works this way!

Click on the images to download them in their full size.

iPhone 5 wallpaper

iPhone 6


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year Wishes

2015 was a whirlwind of writing books, traveling to teach and making beads. I am now the author of 3 jewelry/bead books. That feels pretty awesome!

I've worked on a plan for the new year to focus more on illustrating and cultivating daily habits of sketching and painting. I've given my website an update and will be signing up for Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells class later this month. I wish I could have taken the live class, but the timing never worked with my travel schedule. 

Here's to a very creative and productive 2016 - cheers! 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Gift Tag Printables

Merry Christmas! Decided it was time to make a new set of gift tags for the season for my last minute gift wrapping.

They were all inspired by holiday beads that I create.

I'm offering these as a free printable for your personal use. 

Download them here