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! 


  1. Absolutely incredible! I love these! I want cards of them and prints in my studio. I can see you licensing your work to stores all over the place and think you can set your sights on that. All those quaint shops in South Haven should be clamoring for this work that blends so well with your beads and jewelry. You are a brand maven that I admire so very much (I am just lucky to also call you 'friend':) Keep up the inspiring work! The world needs so much more from you! Enjoy the day! Erin

  2. Beautiful pieces Heather! This is inspiring. I'm excited for you. I'm sure you'll find a market. Your work is gorgeous and has a definite theme/feel to it. If this is the gorgeousness your creating now, at the beginning of this course, one can only imagine where you'll head with this. Thanks for sharing with us.

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