Hi Lilla!

The new Print & Pattern Geometric book is out & I am honoured to be featured! My two page feature showcases my ‘Shapes & Squares’, ‘Textured Geo’, ‘Textured Abstract Ovals’ and ‘Circular Eccentric’ designs as well as mentioning my sister site Make it in Design. I am also proud to be featured alongside many of my students from ‘The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design (the e-course)’!

You can visit the Print & Pattern blog here for tons of inspiration and buy the book here!

Love Rachael xo




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Continuing our series of alumni successes, here is part 3.

We asked class participants for examples of their successes since taking the course, and were staggered by the response, bearing in mind that some people only took the course a few months ago. Here is part 3 in our series. Read part 1 here and part 2 here

Students have since secured licensing deals in the gift, editorial, baby apparel, bolt fabric, wall art, greetings, home décor, paper and fashion markets, many have won competitions and a number have been signed for representation.

It’s also really important to say that people join Make Art That Sells (MATS) at different stages of their creative journey. Some are nearly ready to seek out work, others less so. For many people the greatest breakthrough is a new level of confidence in their work, a fresh love of creating, or a deep feeling of connection with others in the community. Success looks different for everyone. The licensing deals, competition wins and studio signings are the easy things to measure. The impact it makes on people’s lives – on the way they see themselves as artists, and the way the see their work – is perhaps the thing that we are most proud of.

Here is a selection of class participants who have a lot to celebrate since taking Make Art That Sells. If you want this for YOUR art career, join us for the next class which began on Monday 2 March! There is still time to squeeze in. Come and join us!


Emma McGowen


The original MATS piece containing the all-important spoon!

A teaspoon drawn during MATS Bootcamp won me a weekly illustrated column on The Guardian website that ran for seven months and got me shortlisted in a Hallmark competition!

Since doing MATS last year I’ve been shortlisted in competitions run by Hallmark and Tigerprint for greetings card and gift wrap designs, and been selected to appear in Pattern People’s eBook showcasing up and coming pattern designers. Last month, one of my patterns appeared on the Print & Pattern website, which was a big thrill. None of that would have happened without Bootcamp.

Once again it’s been like lighting a fire under me. Thank you, MATS. Long may it continue!

How a spoon got me a Guardian commission:

I occasionally write for the Guardian and one of my editors had seen some of the work I’d produced for MATS. When she was commissioning a series of illustrated ‘How to Mend’ columns she remembered a line drawing of a teaspoon in one of my designs and asked if I could produce some sample illustrations in the same style. Illustrating a weekly column for a global online audience is no small task, especially when you get the copy just days before the piece goes live. But it was an absolute joy to see my drawings on the homepage of The Guardian website and to see how much traffic and comment the columns generated. You can see the columns here

See more of Emma’s work here: emmamcgowan.co.uk


Irene Chan


Since taking MATS I have:

  • Licensed art with Oopsy Daisy
  • Commissioned artwork for a birthday card for a manufacturer, coming out in summer 2015
  • In the talks on commissions and licensing with children’s board books and fabric licensing

I have not painted with a brush since I graduated from school, and have always done designs and illustrations digitally. One of the biggest things that MATS pushed me to do was to try with paint and watercolor, and I went from literally hating it in the beginning to completely embracing it now. That is the style that most art directors responded to as well.

My style also changed so drastically after the class. Lilla made us think about drawing a lot of icons. My illustrations used to only have one thing to look at, but now I tend to add a lot more things for the viewers to look at and it adds in a layer of depth and sophistication to my work.

I also loved the minis Lilla gave out, and the confirmation that it is OK to draw things in bits and pieces, and compose it later together. I loved the Q&A session with Lilla, It is the once in a lifetime opportunity to actually ask questions and gets answers directly from someone so successful in the business.

See more of Irene’s work here: http://www.eneri.net


Antoana Oreski


“I’ve improved a lot in lettering and patterns and I know that I wouldn’t have won all the competitions and got such awesome licenced jobs if it wasn’t for Lilla’s teaching and her course! So THANK YOU Lilla from the bottom of my heart! You’ve helped me to be me! “

Since taking the class last year, I have:

  • Won the Hallmark’s ‘Cool 4Kidz’ Competition (with a pattern designed in class)
  • Won the Tigerprint’s ‘Kids Character’ Competition
  • Got licenced with Oopsy Daisy (submitting my portfolio of work from MATS and GTS)
  • Was a runner up in Tigerprint’s ‘Christmas Pattern’ Competition and got amazing comments on my work from the judges which mean the world to me since I’m kind of a newbie to pattern world.
  • I also won 11th place in Ricola Package Design out of 450 submissions and some cash prize and Ricola promoted my piece on their official FB page and Pinterest site.
And just a month ago one of my existing clients EPICASE decided to work with me on continual basis creating cell phone case designs for them cos they really like my new work I’ve been showcasing on my site. And this is all mostly due to all the work I created in class.
See more of Antoana’s work here: http://antoanaoreski.wix.com/antoana


Nadia Hassan


I am now represented by Pink Light Studio as a direct result of the work I created during MATS A and Assignment Bootcamp.

“I’ve lost count of all the positive changes in my creative career since completing MATS A and enrolling in Assignment Bootcamp. I’ve seen my work improve in ways that I didn’t even know were possible, and at a rate that I definitely didn’t know was possible! With Lilla’s invaluable guidance, I am learning how to develop my signature style, while also exploring and experimenting with new techniques, media and subject matter.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be immersed in a supportive community of hundreds of talented artists, and to learn from them every single day. My favorite “side-effect” of MATS, and the one that I least expected, was how much I look forward to Mondays when class is in session. Every week feels like Christmas as I wait to find out what the next assignment is, and what exciting new discoveries I will make as a result!”

See more of Nadia’s work here: www.nadiahassan.com


Kim Malek


The most important thing I learned in my MATS courses was how vital it is to play and have fun. Yes, people really do buy your joy. Now I spend more time doodling and exploring with no objective in mind. And this is helping me refine my style and focus in on what makes me unique.
Lilla is such a gifted teacher. She really know how to structure assignments and give advice that helps you find and strengthen your own voice. And, the community aspect of the courses is amazing. There is such a warm, supportive network of artists giving feedback, sharing tips, celebrating successes. I have really upped my game. I’ve learned more in depth about some markets, developed technical skills and have given myself permission to explore and grow. And I’m not done yet!
Key jobs won as a result of taking MATS:
  • I’ve signed contracts with 3 new licensees in home decor, who have each selected more than a dozen images to produce.
  • I will have my own line with at least one of them.
  • Some of the images are directly from MATS projects, and some are images from my portfolio I revised after taking MATS.
  • I received an editorial commission for a map, specifically for the style of my map assignment from MATS.

See more of Kim’s work here: www.malekstudio.com


If you want this for YOUR art career, join us here for the next round of Make Art That Sells.

Class started on Monday 2 March, 2015 and there is still time to squeeze in here.


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Monday, March 2nd, 2015
Manifesto Monday part 3

Welcome to Manifesto Monday, where we share some of the Manifesto artwork submitted by our Make Art That Sells Alumni.

Would you like to experience the Make Art That Sells class yourself?

Class began TODAY! (Monday 2 March), 2015 and registration is open here.


Jules Gissler 


Bley Hack


mani_Alison_JanssenAlison Janssen


Nicci Nathanson


Ann T. Jones


Join us for the next round of Make Art That Sells.

Class started TODAY (Monday 2 March, 2015) and there is still time to squeeze in here.


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MANI Liz Alpass 400

MATS graduate Liz Alpass

We love that moment before class begins, when the Facebook community is buzzing with anticipation, artists from around the world are introducing themselves and sharing links to their gorgeous art, and we are getting ready to open the classroom doors on Monday.

MANI Cindy Chischilly 400

MATS graduate Cindy Chischilly

Make Art That Sells (MATS) has become more than just an online class. It’s a movement, and a philosophy.

MANI Kelly Angelovic 400

MATS graduate Kelly Angelovic

We asked our alumni to share what they feel is the MATS manifesto, and we were blown away by the results. Here are a handful of the many submissions we received, which give you a flavor of the generosity, warmth and talent that comes from this class. We hope you’ll join us!

MANI Melanie Chadwick 400

MATS gradate Melanie Chadwick

If you want to part of this movement of artists doing what they love and making a living from it, join us for Make Art That Sells Part A/B, starting on MONDAY (March 2). Sign up here, but hurry, class begins TOMORROW (Monday March 2)!

The Lilla Rogers Studio School team

MANI Michelle Brown 400

MATS graduate Michelle Brown

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Friday, February 27th, 2015
Flora Waycott takes on a challenge-

Hi everyone, here is a little video of me accepting a little task from Lilla – I look forward to showing you what I do!

xx Flora

YouTube Preview Image

ps: We just can’t wait to see what she creates…

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Friday, February 27th, 2015
Q&A with Lilla – Part 4 (from MATS A)

question of the dayWALL

Our ‘Q&A with Lilla’ series is back! This is where we share questions from the previous class of Make Art That Sells.

In Lilla’s Make Art That Sells classes she often gets asked about how to sell work in particular markets, so we thought we’d share some of those questions and answers with you.

The next Make Art That Sells classes will start 2 March, 2015 and registration is open here.

You can see what a wide variety of topics are covered – and you might even find the answer to that burning question you have been wanting to ask! These questions were asked during the MATS Part A class last year.



Q. Are there seasons, months, or even times during the month that are better (or worse) to approach art reps or different markets with your work?

A. We now almost exclusively use our Global Talent Search to find great artists to represent, and that happens in late summer. Before we began the GTS, however, there was no good or bad time, except for the obvious bad times like major holidays and right before Surtex in May. I assume that’s true for other agents.

Q. When drawing a children’s book cover, what are the important things to show on the cover for the illustrations? Is it ok to show the result of the story end?

A. It’s great to show the main character(s) and the setting and the vibe of the story. Of course the title must be prominent. I would not show the ending.

Q. I would like some advice on setting up a logo to market my brand – what makes a good logo? I feel like I could use some pointers so I have one that doesn’t detract from my art. Also should you include your website info in your logo?

A. What’s great about MATS is that you can see each week some great logos on the art presentations. You want your name to be legible and easy to read quickly; you want gorgeous colors; you want the look and feel of your logo to match your work. Create two logos; one with your website and one without, so that you have a choice depending upon the project. We don’t have our website on our logo because our name is also our website, and it is easily googled.

Q. I understand about not using vintage imagery (like clip art) that is pre1940- but what about fabric? Can you use fabric from your local fabric store as is, do you have to change it to use it or is it better just to stay away? Where I work we can purchase the fabric and use it as an actual attachment (i.e. make something with the physical fabric) but we can’t if it’s a collage that will be photographed and sold – clarification would be helpful.

A. Here’s the deal with fabric. It’s perfectly fine if you buy a piece of fabric, and make a doll, and then sell it on Etsy, because the artist and manufacturer get paid since you purchased the material. The artist gets her royalty for your purchase of the actual fabric. However, you cannot reproduce the fabric and resell it, under any circumstances.

Q. Do you and your clients prefer to see a digital portfolio (on ipad) or a printed portfolio when meeting in person?

A. These days either is fine. I just went to Land of Nod when I was in Chicago and brought my iPad to show my artists’ work. It’s probably going to be the way to go in the future.

Q. It almost feels impossible to create a worthy portfolio while “my big serious corporate job” takes 45 hours of my week. I have read several illustrator /artist blogs who say you literally have to quit your day job, and just dive into the world of illustration/art full time- the work will come. Trust the universe they say! But who’s gonna pay the bills in the meantime?? Do you have any advice for those of us trying to transition out of “Big serious corporate jobs” or some other “not as fun as painting all day job”? Where do we start? How do you know when your ready to ‘jump’?

A. Wow. I love this question. When I was in my early twenties and a full-time middle-school art teacher, I was so burnt at the end of the day all I could do was nap! But I did try to make art here and there. I even wrote and illustrated a children’s book, took a personal day, took the bus to New York City and showed it to three publishers. None went for it. )-:

I saved some money, quit teaching and went to San Francisco to get an MFA in painting, and got a part time job as a secretary to the Sales Manager at the Bay Guardian newspaper. I actually didn’t get the MFA in painting; I switched schools and got an MFA in Illustration! I quit to teach calligraphy in the evenings in my apartment and that paid the bills! Those were the days when life was inexpensive (pre-computers). You can read more about my early art life in my book.

But enough about me, and not sure how helpful that was! So back to your question. I would be way too freaked out to quit a full time job without a really solid plan. A plan might be to take courses and e-courses (of course I think MATS and Bootcamp are superb!) and build up a solid portfolio. Then, I would cut back on everything you can then save:

  1. A year’s worth of income


  1. Six months’ income and plan to get a part-time job when you quit your job, or a lucrative Etsy shop


  1. Firm up another source of income

This is because you must allow at least a year or more until you have a steady income generation. Do not set yourself up for crazy stress.

To answer the next part of your question: Yes, Once you create a space for your dreams to manifest and take the first step the universe will totally support you.

I know that in my experience, the universe doesn’t take the first step. When you take the first step, the Universe kicks in. I think that’s because taking an action—and that first step is the hardest—changes our beliefs. In other words, it sends the message that we mean business. By signing up for this course, for instance, and putting your time and money where you mouth is, you are creating an energy domino effect. Have you noticed?

Finally, how do you know you’re good enough? Because you’ve had success. Your etsy shop is selling well and/or you’ve sent out work and gotten interest and even some jobs.



Got your own questions for Lilla? Join us for the next round of Make Art That Sells. Class begins on Monday 2 March, 2015 and registration is open here.



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In the final two videos of this short series, Lilla shares her failproof strategy for incredible artist growth. It’s about the way she teaches, and about the way you learn and stretch yourself.

Firstly, what’s so special about the Make Art That Sells class assignments? How does Lilla tailor them to maximize artists’ growth, and what does this mean for you?

Secondly, what’s in the weekly art review Lilla does in the Make Art That Sells classes? Why is it such a major factor in the incredible growth we see in MATS artists over the five weeks of the course? And why is it such a valuable learning tool for making art that sells? Find out here:

If you feel you could benefit from watching Lilla’s weekly reviews, and growing as an artist through the MATS professional-level weekly assignments, join us for Make Art That Sells Part A/B, starting this Monday (March 2). Sign up here, but hurry!

The Lilla Rogers Studio School team


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Welcome to our ‘Insight Spotlight’ column, where we share insights from industry experts in some of the hottest markets out there. This week we are pleased to offer expert advice from Juanita Dharmazi of Galison


Primary Market: Galison’s primary market is gift and stationery. It’s a very trend oriented market. It’s very competitive and fast moving industry. I love it because it challenges you to keep on coming with innovative new ideas & products, including finding fresh new talents to collaborate.

How can this market be lucrative for an artist?

It allows artists to work on variety of commissioned art and don’t you think it’s amazing when you see your work in your favorite stores?

What is going to be hot in your market in 2015 such as subject matter, colors, products?

Metallic – different hues of gold/bronze. Pastel color with foil.

What kinds of products/offerings are a growth sector for your company?

Products that can serve as both individual purchase and gift items

What do you look for when buying new art?

I like to see something new, fresh and unique. I like art that could set a trend (so not necessarily need to be on trends). But what I like the most is working with the artist itself. It’s important for artist to be able to take direction without losing her/his own voice.

Is there any rhyme or reason to why some products sell well and why others don’t?

Trends of the season, price point, product innovation and functionality.

What is the one thing you wish artists would do differently when pitching art to you? Or what do you love that they do when they pitch to you?

I respond to the ones who do their research and pitch their art that will adapt to the company’s needs instead of just some random art. And of course, I love working with someone who shows enthusiasm toward the company.

What one piece of advice do you have for artists trying to sell their first piece of art in that market?

-Do you research and your homework. Pitch art that is suitable to the company.
-Follow up but not excessively
-Never give up. If you don’t get through the first time, don’t get discourage, keep on updating and submitting your new work.
– Continue to be positive and inspired and enjoy the whole creative process!

About Juanita


Juanita is the Creative Director at Galison Publishing, a stationery and gift company in New York City which focuses on creating well-design paper products in the form of fine art images and contemporary art and design.

Growing up in Indonesia, Juanita has always had a passion for the stationery world. She loved collecting letterheads, cute rubber erasers, stamps, and creating her own notecards for special occasions.  Juanita moved to the United States at the age of eighteen to pursue her college degree in graphic design. While doing her summer internship with a design company in New York, she fell in love with the city and decided to pursue career in the Big Apple. For Juanita, New York has been a source of inspiration, from strolling down Soho to making flea market trips and from browsing through street art festivals to gaining insight from the museum visit, she finds ideas from everything around her.

When not sitting in front of her computer, Juanita enjoys travel, food tasting from all around the world, an afternoon walk with her four legged friend and being entertained by her newborn baby boy.

Find out more at www.galison.com

Juanita is one of the esteemed judges on the Global Talent Search judging panel.


Want to learn more about making more commercially viable art whilst staying true to yourself? Join our acclaimed online course ‘Make Art That Sells‘, led by top agent Lilla Rogers. Next class starts March 2 – find out more and register here!


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Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
Jenn Ski and Zoe Ingram on Dot and Bo

Jenn Ski and Zoe Ingram are now selling some awesome work on Dot and Bo… To purchase your very own and for more work check it out here and here.





Jenn Ski’s prints


Zoe’s Lamp Pendant

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