Month: February 2013


Make Art That Sells now open for registration (Hurry! Free signed book for first 50 registrants.)

Click here to find out more about Make Art That Sells

You know when you have been working on something HUGE for months, and then the moment comes when you unveil it to the world?

Today we officially launch Make Art That Sells – a pioneering new online course where I share my decades of experience in the business to help you take your art from good to great, and great to lucrative. Never before has an art agent shared so much about how to make commercially viable art for ten of the most exciting markets. Find out more in this short video.

Registration is open now: CLICK HERE TO SECURE YOUR PLACE.

Hurry! The first 50 people to register get a free signed copy of my book ‘I Just Like To Make Things’, so grab your spot now.

See you in class!


Lisa Congdon and Gertrude Stein

From Lisa’s blog:

“Most illustrators or designers will tell you that every now and again a job comes along that makes your heart skip a beat. Late in 2011, I got one such call from Chronicle Books. They asked me to illustrate a collection of Gertrude Stein poetry called Tender Buttons, Objects. When I got the call, I was currently going through my second period of obsession with Stein, her life and work, after seeing the phenomenal exhibit Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. My first period of obsession occurred in the early 90′s when I was in my early 20′s. At that time, I read everything I could get my hands on about Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas, and their life in Paris.

So when I got the call, I was more than excited. I was ecstatic! This was for me a dream job.

If you know anything about Stein’s poetry, you know she played with words, and many of her poems don’t really make much sense. Here’s an example of a poem from Tender Buttons, Objects:

‘Enthusiastically hurting a clouded yellow bud and saucer, enthusiastically so is the bite in the ribbon’

And so I also knew this would be a challenging assignment, illustrating abstract poems. But I reveled in the idea of putting pictures to Stein’s words, as difficult as it might be. Chronicle graciously allowed me to concept all of the illustrations myself. This was the most creative freedom I’d ever had in a job, and I loved it.

Of course, I did get stuck a few times, and my editor and designer were there to help me concept ideas. In the end, we came up with about 40 illustrations for the book. Here is a sneak peek at a few of my favorites (without accompanying poetry; you’ll have to buy the book to see that!):

All the illustrations are gouache and graphite on paper.

Tender Buttons, Objects will be released this Spring, around March, so stay tuned. You can pre-order the book here on Chronicle’s website or on Amazon.


Trina’s Great Britain

Trina writes:

“I created this for Pedlars Product of the Month Competition. The theme was to create a piece of Wall Art on the theme of Great Britain. I think this is quite a nostalgic view of Great Britain – our industries have declined, our buses and Jaguars aren’t so beautiful now and our hedgerows don’t seem so full of flowers! Though we do still have lots of deer and puffins.

Pedlars is a UK company that sell things for the home plus vintage specials every Friday.


Behind the scenes of Make Art That Sells

Filming Make Art That Sells with Lilla Rogers [Image: Beth Nicholls]

BETH NICHOLLS, PRODUCER OF LILLA’S E-COURSE, MAKE ART THAT SELLS, WRITES: There are more and more e-courses popping up all over the internet and some are better quality than others but generally I think this democratisation of education is fundamentally a really good thing. Gooodbye restrictions of location, timing, access etc, hello flexibility, anytime/anywhere availability, and international connections. Do What You Love has come a long way since we launched our first e-course two years ago, and we make it a priority to keep learning, researching, trying new things. When you have delivered courses to thousands of people in more than 50 countries, you soon realise that technology can be scary, but it is also fascinating, and is absolutely your friend if you can take the time to understand it, or find someone else who can!

We are often asked for hints and tips on developing e-courses, so I thought I’d share some behind-the-scenes images from the filming of Make Art That Sells with top artist agent Lilla Rogers, which opens for registration next week (we already have a massive waiting list so get on it if you are interested!)

[Image: Beth Nicholls]

This brand new course is particularly exciting for us because we get to work with industry veteran Lilla Rogers, who is sharing what she has learnt over three decades as an illustrator and top agent. Lilla is an incredible woman – so knowledgeable and savvy, yet so philosophical and kind. She cares for her own artists like a mother hen, and I am thrilled that we get to expand her virtual nest through Make Art That Sells!

I travelled to Boston last month to film with Lilla and our professional cameraman Kevin Balmer, who joined us from Portland. Prior to the trip we had spent hundreds of hours developing the curriculum, drafting the content, selecting images, building the virtual classroom, planning the production schedule etc all via the miracles of email and Skype. By the time we all got together at Lilla’s studio for four full-on intensive days of taping, we were so excited to get going with the filming piece. Fortunately Lilla is a natural in front of the camera, and was able to share her insights and knowledge eloquently, generously and often humorously on film. Her studio is a colourful, visual feast, full of real products that feature her artists’ licensed work, and we can’t wait to share the videos with participants when the course launches.

Here is a sneak peek of us at work!

Make up (always worth getting a professional on the case when you are filming in HD – thanks Maura) [Image: Beth Nicholls]

Getting the mic on [Image: Beth Nicholls]

Talking through the talking points! [Image: Beth Nicholls]

Lights, camera, action! [Image: Beth Nicholls]

Me in Producer Mode [Image: Beth Nicholls]

Always time for some art from the illustrator in Lilla! [Image: Beth Nicholls]

I hope you enjoyed that little behind-the-scenes tour! If you have ever wanted to learn how to make art that sells, directly from someone who has sold art for products worth over $100 million, then get yourself onto the waiting list for Make Art That Sells. You will be the first to hear when we open for registration next Tuesday (and you can bag yourself an exclusive discount!)


New fabric wall adhesives from Chocovenyl

Here are the newest pieces in Jillian’s, Helen’s, and Adolie’s collections for Chocovenyl. See more here.

Jillian Phillips

Helen Dardik

Adolie Day


Stellar contributor line up for Make Art That Sells!

BETH NICHOLLS, PRODUCER OF LILLA’S COURSE, MAKE ART THAT SELLS, WRITES: We are so thrilled to announce an incredible line up of top industry talent as contributors to the upcoming new course Make Art That Sells. Not only do you get access to Lilla Rogers, one of the world’s top agents, you will get industry insight and advice from a host of art directors, senior designers and others at the cutting edge. These include:

ANTHROPOLOGIE: Lauren Graham, Producer

CHRONICLE BOOKS: Kate Woodrow, Senior Acquisitions Editor

PAPERCHASE: Gemma Parris, Card Buyer

EK SUCCESS BRANDS: Deb Tagtalianidis, VP – Creative Direction

ROBERT KAUFMAN FABRICS: Evie Ashworth, Design Director, Retail Division

REAL SIMPLE MAGAZINE: Alexandra Mooney, Senior Designer

OOPSY DAISY: Carly Gray, Creative Director

… and more to be revealed soon!


We already have a MASSIVE waiting list for this course, so if you want to be among the first to be notified (and bag an exclusive discount) then get on the waiting list now. Registration opens next Tuesday, February 26, 2013 when all course details, price and date info will be released.


Lilla on Illustration Mundo’s “Ask a Pro”

See more here, but here is a tidbit: – Julia

“Is the artist having a great time with creativity? Is it reflected in their site/blog, their projects? Are they following their passions and making lots of art and things? Maybe some of it isn’t even commercial but it’s just awesome and for themselves.”


Meet Lolly, Evelina, Ines & Frankie…

Sarajo writes:

“Hi! Here’s the announcement I sent out for the launch of my new collection of

dolls for Land of Nod, along with a little background about what inspired them. Enjoy!”


An illustrated book review of Lilla’s book

From Tammie Bennett’s blog:

“The second i heard Lilla Rogers was releasing a book i put it on my amazon wishlist. her agency, lilla rogers studio, represents so many of my very favorite current artists. my work isn’t ready for her yet, but hopefully someday. last week i saw on twitter that her book was being released earlier than planned, so i obviously dropped everything and ordered a copy.

in a strange twist of fate, one of my bubbies had a bad case of the flu and was on the couch the entire week. so i was a good mother and sat with her and snuggled on the couch. reading lilla’s book, of course. my daughter is an artist, too, so she enjoyed the pictures (of which there are many!)

i wanted to do a review of the book and all i kept coming up with was an image in my head of how the book made me FEEL. (remember, feelings are a big part of my 2013) so you will have to check out the image [below] for my illustrated book review.

lilla makes me feel like it really is possible to make money with my art if i continue to work really hard at creating lots of work. lots of GREAT work. lots and lots of practice. she gives great advice on overcoming obstacles to creativity. and an awesome 12 step program to make great art.

the chapter on getting to know the marketplace for your work is really helpful, with interviews from lots of art directors in all different types of markets. you’ll get a glimpse into the minds of art directors working in bolt fabric, children’s picture books, children’s print apparel, home decor, licensing, gift market, and others. i love the sections in this chapter where lilla includes a little place for you to assess your art :: what potential markets are for you and your work?

lilla includes a chapter on creating goals and a timeline, and she gives a great outline for your game plan. very inspiring!

the book is loaded with real-life examples from artists, illustrators, art directors, lilla and even her mom!”

Buy Lilla’s book on Amazon here.


Helen’s latest & greatest patterns

It’s wonderful to have such Helen lusciousness come over the transom during a New England white-out. – Julia