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Hey Bunnies!

Take a look at our SUPER SASSY Jillian’s artwork on these new fashion’s just in time for Easter! Check out Haute Look and  find one for your very own special baby bunny.

- Hip! Hop!  Jennifer

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1 commentblog / new products

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Friday, March 14th, 2014
Q&A with Lilla

question of the dayWALL

It’s Friday so it must be time for Lilla’s popular Q&A column, with questions from the previous class of Make Art That Sells. 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! We will be sharing a host of questions and answers over the next few Fridays so stay tuned!

Q) If you do know artists whose main income is licensing, how long have they been in the field and what’s an average number of licenses that one might need to have their income mainly from licensing?

Lilla: There is no average number of licenses that they need. They have been in the field for a number of years. It takes time to build up, just as it does for any business that you would start, whether it’s a shop or an internet business.

Most of my artists work in many or most of the 10 markets that I teach in Make Art That Sells. Therefore, they are able to bring in a very nice income with licensing deals, book illustration, and editorial/advertising work for example. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you must allow time to build up your business, but the cool part is you can never be fired from your job, and you can keep growing and make all your own decisions regarding the direction of your own career. Yay! I totally supported myself including paying my entire apartment rent and studio rent in New York City by drawing pictures for almost a decade, and then in New England until I became an agent. Did I work hard? Yes? Was it awesome? Yes! After being an illustrator, I morphed into being an agent, then I launched my own craft jewelry line, then wrote a book, followed by creating this very e-course with the brilliant Beth! I personally love a lot of freedom and career control, and I bet you do, too. This course will give you what you need to know and will help you make your work the best it can be for each market. And guess what? It gets so much easier as you go, because one thing leads to the next. But remember, great art sells, and that is why you are here!

Q) Do you have any advice on finding out what style and medium works best for each person and how to figure out which style to develop?

Lilla: Wow, I love that question. I wish I could create some brain wave electrode magic device to do so! The answer is found in your gut. When you use paint, do you love it or hate it? When you smush around pastels are you in heaven or find it irritating? That’s why art is about the search to find your truest passions. When I’m excited about something I know I’m on track. I feel it in my body. Mediation and yoga are helpful in this regard. Our culture teaches us the opposite of this, so don’t feel badly if this is initially hard to do. It gets much easier with practice.  In fact, when a child is passionate about art, that is how I measure talent.

Q) If you sell/license a design can you use the same icons in other designs for that same market or do you always have to change them a little bit?

Lilla: You must change them up. You can’t sell the same designs to competitors in the same market. If in doubt, show the two to your clients and see what they have to say. Get their opinion. Over time you’ll get a feel for it.

Q) Is there variation across the different markets in terms of financial return? I don’t mean just in terms of fee per design, but do particular markets buy more designs? And do top designers command higher fees?

Lilla: Top designers do command higher fees. As you get busier, you can increase your fees. I don’t know if I have an answer for which markets pay the best. Cards don’t pay much per card, but you can often sell lots of cards to a client if they like your style. If you hit it right with apparel, then you can sell a lot to those folks, etc. All of our artists work in a number of markets and that’s how they make a living. It takes time to build up you client list so know that this is not a get rich quick game.

Q) For those of us who are still developing our styles and are not yet working as freelancers, the path from ‘here’ to ‘there’ can seem a little overwhelming. Can you outline a sort of “action plan” of steps for getting started (after doing lots of artwork, of course)?

I go into this in more detail in Make Art That Sells (MATS) Part A but in a nutshell, you would first reflect upon all that you’ve learned. What are you most excited about? What art did you do the most successfully in class? You would continue to make more pieces until you have a number of strong pieces. You put them on your website and do e-mailings to art directors at companies. Also review the info from each MATS week about how to get work in that market, and use this as a basis for an action plan.

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Got your own questions for Lilla? Join us for the next round of Make Art That Sells. Class begins March 31.

Book your spot here!

2 commentsblog / Make Art That Sells

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Thursday, March 13th, 2014
SILVIA DEKKER in UPPERCASE!

Hi, Lilla, I’m very excited to let you know I’m going to be in the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide! (Forthcoming spring issue #21). Almost 300 artists submitted their work, 100 will be featured in UPPERCASE. One of my patterns is also in this video: http://uppercasemagazine.com/surfacepattern where UPPERCASE publisher, editor and designer Janine Vangool talks about pattern design. The pattern that’s featured in the video is from my Mermaid collection. I can’t wait to see the Spring issue!   Many thanks, Silvia

 

Silvia Dekker's work in Uppercase video

Silvia Dekker Mermaid collection

no commentsblog / interviews

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Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
Look what Nisee made…

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It’s so hard to condense something as full and rich as Make Art That Sells into just a handful of key lessons, but Denise Holmes (aka Nisee Made) has done it beautifully with this animated video:

Are you ready to start making more commercially viable art whilst staying true to yourself? Do you want to get inside the head of art directors in ten of the hottest markets for art, and find out exactly what they are looking for? Do you want to become part of a community of supportive artists who are just like you? If so, you need Make Art That Sells.

Banner_RegisterMATSA&B_330

The next class starts on March 31. Don’t miss out! Find out more and register here.

1 commentblog / Lilla Rogers Studio School / Make Art That Sells

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Saturday, March 8th, 2014
Precious words

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One of the fantastic things about online courses is the opportunity to be part of a lively and inspiring community of people like you all over the world. Although you don’t necessarily meet in person, it often feels like you know the other people – and sometimes they even become close friends. So we love to see video messages from our class participants, and get a peek into their lives and learn more about them. Here is a short message from MATS course graduate Ohn Mar Win, sharing what she learnt on Make Art That Sells. So sweet…

Are you ready to start making more commercially viable art whilst staying true to yourself? Do you want to get inside the head of art directors in ten of the hottest markets for art, and find out exactly what they are looking for? Do you want to become part of a community of supportive artists who are just like you? If so, you need Make Art That Sells.

Banner_RegisterMATSA&B_330

The next class starts on March 31. Don’t miss out! Find out more and register here.

no commentsblog / Lilla Rogers Studio School / Make Art That Sells

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Friday, March 7th, 2014
Q&A with Lilla

question of the dayWALL

It’s Friday so it must be time for Lilla’s popular Q&A column, with questions from the previous class of Make Art That Sells. 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! We will be sharing a host of questions and answers over the next few Fridays so stay tuned!

Q) What percentage of fabric is printed in spot colors versus “full color” printing? (Perhaps that’s not the right terminology — I’m referring to full color artwork that is created conventionally.) Is that just as popular (or acceptable) with art directors and manufacturers than spot color artwork?

Lilla: Most fabric is printed in spot colors, but as I mention in the course, fabric companies love traditional media and will either separate the colors for you, or will print digitally (full color printing).

Q) The bolt fabric assignment asked us to avoid all primary and secondary colours. Is this only for us to try something new (assuming that we normally use those colours), or are there other reasons? I see lots of primaries and secondaries on some of your artists’ work.

Lilla: It reads “Avoid using all primary and secondary colors in equal amounts”.  Use some more than others, and try non-primaries and non-secondaries like neutrals such as tan, pinky-beige, or dove grey, for example.

Q) For bolt fabric, is it better to rotate the images so that there’s no right-side up?

Lilla: If you are licensing to a bolt fabric company, you don’t need to do this unless you like to. This is something they will do if need be. You want to wow them with your cool subject matter, great icons, and super color palette.

Q) In regards to designing a bolt fabric line, how far in advance do you recommend working?

Lilla: Winter holiday art is usually bought in the summer. Many companies buy 6 months in advance, so you would show your work for spring in the autumn, and your summer work in the winter, etc., but it varies a bit from company to company and market to market. And work that is not seasonally-based, like your kitchen pattern, can be shown at any time.

Q) You mentioned that fabric companies will turn our art into repeats themselves and it’s not necessary that we do it, but rather concentrate on making great art. Is that often the case?

Lilla: Yessiree! Make great art! And that is why you are here in the class. That is our experience with all of our artists’ work with many fabric companies—you don’t need to make repeats per se. By making a piece with sprinkled-around icons, the company can make the repeats.

Q) If someone who licenses their artwork only had time to focus on two or three categories, which are the most lucrative or deepest?

Lilla: It’s a great question. It’s very important to focus on lucrative outlets for your work while staying true to your passion. The answer to your question is that the most lucrative markets are the ones that you are most successful in! You might have a bolt fabric company that keeps licensing your work for collections. Some of my artists that get a handful of lucrative greeting card commissions every month. Some get Target gift cards now and then that pay really well! Some of my artists have products like holiday ornament deals with Crate & Barrel every year. You never know where you’re going to hit! It’s like fishing. And I’m helping you make the bait.

Ideally, you are going to license your art in multiple categories. In the beginning, you are happy to get any category. Cast a wide net and see what you get. All the markets in MATS Part A and Part B have the potential to be lucrative as they are all tied to large companies. You’ll find over the course of MATS that many of the pieces that you create for one market are perfect for many of the other markets! I’ve created assignments for you with that in mind. Cool. And it’s true that people buy your joy, so keep staying tuned in to what kind of art you love to make.

Q) In general, do royalty rates remain the same over time or is that something you can negotiate as you work with a client (especially if your work sells well and you’ve worked with the client for a while)?

Lilla: If, over time, your work is selling well, by all means have a discussion with your client about that. You might say, “I love working with you. It’s been very rewarding. My products seem to be selling well and my royalty statements seem to be quite good. I’m wondering if you would consider discussing raising my royalty rate.”

Q) What should you do if a client asks you to make so many changes to a piece of work that it stops looking like your work? It is frustrating – how can I deal with this?

Lilla: Two things. One, try your best to make it fabulous, even with the changes. It can be hard to do. It requires flexibility. Perhaps they want you to add certain icons, or change the colors.  Those are things you can do. If they want you to draw in a way that is not how you draw, or in a style that is not what you are able to do, then this job is not a good fit. You can pass on taking the job next time. That’s the sign of an art director that is inexperienced.

Q) Should an artist attempt to maintain a somewhat thematic style, or go with the flow and just create based on their instinct paired with market knowledge? Is it a danger that an artist becomes too identifiable with a specific style, or is it a positive?

Lilla: If an artist has an identifiable style, that is fabulous! That takes years to develop, and then the artist is in demand for their “brand”.  All my artists have their own unique style or brand, and companies come to us for our artists’ look. You get really interesting projects this way. The other way is to be a jack of all trades which is fun because you get to do all kinds of things. You don’t need to decide this issue that right away. You make art and see where it leads. Strive for the very best you can be, however, whichever path you take.

Banner_RegisterMATSA&B_550x200

Got your own questions for Lilla? Join us for the next round of Make Art That Sells. Class begins March 31.

Book your spot here!

1 commentblog / Lilla Rogers Studio School / Make Art That Sells

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Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
In a sea of Hallmark cards…

Mike Lowery has sailed my ship!  Enjoy! – Jennifer

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1 commentblog / new products

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Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
We love this animation…

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In this beautifully animated video, Make Art That Sells graduate Jan Avellana shares what the course taught her.

Are you ready to start making more commercially viable art whilst staying true to yourself? Do you want to get inside the head of art directors in ten of the hottest markets for art, and find out exactly what they are looking for? Do you want to become part of a community of supportive artists who are just like you? If so, you need Make Art That Sells.

Banner_RegisterMATSA&B_330

The next class starts on March 31. Don’t miss out! Find out more and register here.

no commentsblog / Lilla Rogers Studio School / Make Art That Sells

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Saturday, March 1st, 2014
Someone like you…

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If you have been wondering what kind of people take Make Art That Sells, and what they get out of it, this short video from the lovely Carolina Coto (a MATS graduate) is for you:

Are you ready to start making more commercially viable art whilst staying true to yourself? Do you want to get inside the head of art directors in ten of the hottest markets for art, and find out exactly what they are looking for? Do you want to become part of a community of supportive artists who are just like you? If so, you need Make Art That Sells.

Banner_RegisterMATSA&B_330

The next class starts on March 31. Don’t miss out! Find out more and register here.

1 commentblog / Lilla Rogers Studio School / Make Art That Sells

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