Month: October 2013


Happy Halloween from John Coulter

Happy Halloween, Lilla!

I have 4 new Halloween puzzles for sale at Barnes & Noble and online. My Cat in the Jack ‘O Lantern puzzle from last year is still available too! Trick of Treat!


Linda Ketelhut travels to Joshua Tree

Hi Lilla,

I’ve had a growing obsession with succulents since I first set eyes on one. I thought I could be satisfied with a casual purchase at the local nursery or a quick photograph while out on a walk….. And then I went to Joshua Tree. To some, a beautiful park to go camping and rock climbing. To me, a vegetation wonderland. Cacti, algae, desert shrubs, wildflowers….h e a v e n.

I was in awe discovering the different varieties of cactus in this stunning terrain. It was one of those weekends that left me feeling renewed and inspired – and more than ever wanting to channel my adoration into art. I thought I’d share a photo diary of some of my favorite Joshua Tree moments, along with a new Desert Collection inspired by the dusty, washed out colors of the California desert.

I hope you enjoy!


Giant granite boulders are a surreal backdrop for all the various plant life, while what must be thousands of Joshua Trees dot the land as far as you can see.

In their own modest, quietly expressive way, cacti are at once spare yet full of personality . Fragile, yet durable. Each one unique in shape and proportion. The “leaves” almost will you to pull them apart and reconfigure them as if pieces of a puzzle (are you sensing my obsession……).

left photo by Jen Causey


GUEST BLOGGER: Josephine Kimberling is inspired thanks to GTS and MATS

Hi Lilla!

I wanted to reach out to you and let you know the ways your Global Talent Search and Make Art that Sells classes have affected my work and creative process!

First of all, being a part of the Global Talent Search brought out a competitive side in me I didn’t know I had! It wasn’t a ‘mean, climb over anyone I can’ kind of competitiveness , but a ‘push myself as much as possible, to do the absolute best work I can’, kind. Your creative briefs were really inspiring and took me on a journey to create art that I don’t usually create, which awoke a creative excitement inside of me!

With MATS, I took the class as a way to give myself permission to experiment, as deadlines really push me. I wanted to use the class as a chance to explore my creative style and try to find a way to mesh my traditional media skills and experience as a textile designer with my current, graphic Illustrator, vector style that I am currently licensing. It truly felt wonderful to pull out my paints and other traditional media and get lost for hours learning and growing! I’m still experimenting and figuring it out, but it feels great to be on this path and for the ideas to be flowing!

From working in-house for 12 years, I know the technical side and production process very well which I find has been limiting my creative work. Through GTS and MATS, I’ve learned to make art that I love first. Learning more about the variety of industries out there and what they look for really helped to broaden my horizons and show me that I need to spend 10,000 hours on developing other facets of my creative talents, and not stay stagnant in my comfort zones.

The information from these experiences has, in a way, given me permission to create what I love, experiment, and push myself.

Since being involved in GTS and MATS, I’ve been cranking out new work to juice up my portfolio. I’ve been using textures and paint. Having my illustrations make it through to the 3rd round in GTS has given me the confidence to explore Illustration more vs. solely creating pattern work, where I am comfortable. It’s been a very exciting time and a little bit of a roller-coaster ride that I’m excited to be on!

So, thank you Lilla for bringing your genius to all of us creatives, for sharing your knowledge and expertise, and for using YOUR talents to spice up the art world!

To read more on Jospehine’s experience, click here.


Trina’s Illustrations for The Little Book of Wedding Etiquette and thoughts on listening whilst working

I loved producing the twelve illustrations and cover art for this book for Running Press on Wedding Etiquette. Now months after the project when I look again at the the artwork all I can recall of the time is it being winter and listening to an audio book of “Tess of the D’Urbervilles“. So I have a jumble of 21st century USA wedding etiquette and 19th century English milk maids in my head. I always think one of the most privileged aspects of working an illustrator is the opportunity to fill a space in my head with music or stories or documentaries whilst doing the “knitting” section of my work. – Trina


GUEST BLOG: from our lovely, Sarah Walsh!

Hi Lilla and the lovely ladies of the studio :)

So this is my first guest blog post on the LRS site and I’m very, VERY excited about it :)

I joined Lilla Rogers in late spring. Here is the post here. Becoming a part of the studio obviously a dream come true! For years I would often daydream about it thinking “This is like fantasizing about going to the moon-never going to happen”. But I started putting myself out there more and more, working my tail off and trying to be positive and genuinely open to anything. Low and behold-Lilla and I started a dialogue via Pinterest. I discovered her class and it was JUST what I was looking for. I threw down the moolah that was worth every penny and more and signed up for MATS. Along the way I was offered a spot in the studio but as I’m writing this it sounds so casual. I WAS SO trying to keep my cool as things began to unfold and didn’t want to get my hopes up. Every other day I was trying NOT to hyperventilate. We are our own worst enemies people :) Anyway, here I am. So nice to meet you!!!!!!!

The piece I decided to share today is a piece I did for MATS and it holds a special place in my heart for two reasons. One, because I did it mostly without the computer, which I’m very proud of. I tried to relax and just let things happen. Command Z is my best friend so this was hard for me to do. And number two, because the quote means so very much to me during this time in my life. I have been so fortunate the past year. But there have been some challenges as well, because making dreams come true inherently comes with many obstacles that put you to the test. As I’m writing this we are expecting a little one any day. Yep, I’m a ticking baby bomb. Our little guy Finley is due September 19 but we all know how that works. On the opposite end of the spectrum I have a 17 year old daughter who now lives 8 hours away and is finishing her second week of classes at Columbia in Chicago. Being apart from her has been soooooooo challenging. My heart hurts just thinking about it. But she is off making HER dreams come true. So…..that said, I’m about to do this ALL OVER AGAIN. And that is a very scary yet exhilarating thought. I often wonder if I can handle this?! But I know deep down I can, because I WANT to handle it. My heart IS willing. I’m lucky enough to even be IN the position-to have this richness in my life. So yes, I firmly believe in the quote in my piece down to my core. When my heart is in it I create my best work and in this case, there’s quite a bit of emotion in this piece, and maybe some prego hormones too! I hope you like the piece I share with you today :) Sarah


Lisa Congdon: My Art Was Stolen for Profit (and How You Can Help)

If you follow me on social media you are probably aware that on Monday morning I found out that the wholesale company Cody Foster copied my original work for use on holiday ornaments in their 2013 catalogs. The copy is so blatant — down to the design elements on the animals’ jackets — that it literally made my stomach turn when I saw it. An online acquaintance who is a vigilante for all things Cody Foster Copycat (they have been at copying the work of independent artists for years) alerted me. She keeps a Flickr set of all the rip offs that she has found.
Some info about this particular artwork: it came from my imagination. There are no photographs online of actual animals wearing jackets just like this. The patterning and elements on the jackets are very emblematic of my style. You will see them repeated in a lot of my artwork. The only way Cody Foster could have transferred the same imagery to their ornaments is by using my artwork as reference.

In the world of art & illustration, you can use the artwork of artists on your products as long as you ask permission, sign a licensing agreement with the artist, and agree to compensate them. I sell my images to companies all the time, companies who ask my permission and compensate me for my intellectual property. In this case, I was never contacted, asked permission or paid. That is called copying. It’s also called stealing.
Another thing you should know: I don’t care about the money. What I care about is exposing Cody Foster for what they have done and continue to do to independent artists. The people I want most to expose them to are the retailers who purchase from them. You see, Cody Foster is a wholesale company. Unlike other larger, public-facing retail companies who have been accused of stealing from artists, Cody Foster is hidden from the public eye for the most part. Except for a showroom in Atlanta and booths at gift shows designed to show their wares to retailers, they have a very limited public presence. Their products do not bear their logo. You buy them at your local gift shop or even some larger retailer. You might have Cody Foster products in your home, and you wouldn’t even know it. You can’t even view their catalog without having the login and password reserved for retail stores that purchase from them.
Last night as I lay in bed, I fantasized about being in a room with Cody Foster and his sister. Cody’s sister, by the way, purportedly scours the internet for him and purchases things that they copy. Many artists from whom they’ve stolen (including my sister three years ago), have sales records from her. I fantasize about looking them in the eye and asking them to explain themselves. How is this okay? How do they go to bed at night and feel okay about themselves? How do they justify this grossly unfair practice?
They have settled out of court with many artists. The way these things work, those artists can’t talk about their experience, because they’ve likely signed non-disclosure agreements with the company. This all makes you wonder if Cody Foster builds the legal & lawyer fees involved into the cost of running their business. They have ripped off so many artists, received a lot of bad publicity on the internet over the years, and been approached by countless artists and lawyers. And yet they still continue to steal from artists without apology or explanation.
I want to thank for being the first to write about this story. You can read the story here. But we need more exposure. How you can help: please spread the word of this to everyone you know, especially retail shop owners who buy from them or press contacts at larger media outlets you might know. – Lisa

I am, by the way, lawyered up. I am taking action against Cody Foster. I will keep you posted on how that all goes. – See more here.


Rachael Taylor has been picked to be in the running for ‘Triumphs Next Maker’ competition

Hi Lilla! I am so excited to share with you that I am in the running for ‘Triumphs Next Maker’ in association with Stylist Magazine! This is a fantastic opportunity for me to expand my brand and to follow my dreams! The winner receives £10,000 towards their business and an inspiring celebrity mentor! If you and you’re lovely friends like my work and want to show your support you can vote for me (you will spot my colourful ‘lampshade stack’ image it just takes 30 seconds to click the link & vote). I would be so grateful it would be such an honour to be in with a chance of winning. – Rachael


Check out Lisa Congdon on Daily Candy (and Cloud 9)!

I am so in awe of Lisa – she continues to amaze me, time and time again! Take a look at the wonderful promo and the luscious fabrics! Enjoy! – Jennifer


New products (and sale!) by our artist Mati Rose McDonough

Aren’t these so gorgeous! See more of Mati’s work here, or take our e-course Make Art That Sells to learn how to get this kind of gig. Art directors: contact us to license this work or commission more of Mati’s goodness! – Lilla

No judgment, no force, no expectation. Just the stuff of goodness. Some key ingredients: Light. Space. Comfort.

Art. Time. Tea. A good book, or fifty.

And… pretty.

A little bit of pretty goes a long way. Because here’s the truth: OUR SURROUNDINGS MATTER

This is why I’m so honored to share my new home decor line with you. These little goodies are infused with delight, comfort, color… and yes, a heaping dose of pretty. I love their fusion of form and function. And I love how they bring a dash of magic to any space.

Add some magic to your sanctuary. From now till Monday, I will be offering 30% off all items in my Etsy shop: the lovely home decor, as well as joyful prints and one-of-a-kind original art. Whether you’re seeking a surprise or hunting for a particular treasure, we’ve got you covered. There are vases, bowls, pillows, frames, wall hangings, printed art canvases, and MORE. Check out the full lineup in the etsy shop and enter the coupon code REFRESH at checkout :) – Mati


This just in! Zoe, our Grand Prize Winner got a book deal offer with Quarry!

We are so excited to announce that Zoe Ingram, the winner of the Lilla Rogers’ Global Talent Search, just landed a book deal offer with Quarry Books. We love Quarry. They are the publisher of my book, Make Art That Sells, our artist Mati Rose McDonough’s book Daring Adventures in Paint, and several 20 Ways to draw books by Lisa Congdon, Trina Dalziel,and Rachael Taylor.–Lilla