Month: October 2013


Make Art That Sells begins today – are you in?

Do you wish there was somewhere you could go to learn how to make your work more commercially viable, whilst staying true to yourself?

Do you wish there was a one-stop-shop for understanding the hottest markets in the world for selling art?

Do you wish you had access to someone who has been in the industry for decades, who knows how it works, who sees trends coming, and who understands where your work fits in?

Do you wish there was a way you could ask questions about art which don’t seem to be answered anywhere else?

Do you wish there was somewhere you could go that felt like a safe and happy place, where your journey guide understood what it’s really like to be an artist for a living, who has been through tough times and good, and who understands both the business and the emotional aspects of such a life?

Do you wish you could be part of a community of like minded artists who get you, support you, and cheer you on?

Well you can, and there is such a place. It is called the Lilla Rogers Studio School, and the course you need is Make Art That Sells.

This course begins TODAY and this is the last chance you have to join it this year. The course will not run again until Spring 2014.

We are keeping registration open for latecomers until midnight GMT on Thursday, but class has begun today so we urge you to sign up quick and GET CRACKING!

PS Don’t just take our word for it – read our amazing testimonials here!


Q&A Friday with Lilla: On life as an artist

Lilla loves questions, and she was asked a great deal of them in Make Art That Sells, so we thought we’d share a few with you. Over the past couple of Fridays we have been posting a few real questions from students, along with Lilla’s responses. We hope these are helpful as you develop your own work. This week we are focusing on life as an artist.


Q) What happens when an artist is facing a difficult situation, things like sickness, or loss, or financial issues? How we can keep creating with joy in difficult times?

A) This is a very real question. When I’ve gone through difficult times, my studio was a place of refuge. Commissions and work can be a healthy way to escape. The demands of assignments can be a good focus. All of my employees are mothers, so we all go through the ups and downs of children (several are teens!), and we have all commented on how the Studio is a place to put worry out of our minds for the time being. Another idea is to paint and draw your emotions; good, bad, ugly and weird. There’s a lot of relief and clarity that comes from that. Joy doesn’t need to mean all rainbows and smiles in your art. It just means you’re making art that comes from a joyful experience.


Q) How do you deal with envy?

A: It’s absolutely normal and common to feel envy at another artist’s success or amazing work. Artists don’t talk much about their personal feelings of envy. I don’t know why. Maybe we’re uncomfortable admitting to petty negative feelings?

To really be spiritual though, is to step back and remember that there is room for everybody. Art is actually not a competition. The more great art that’s out there, the more people buy more great art!

My best advice for dealing with envy is this: Rather than focusing on others, just keep focusing on your relationship with your work. Do what you do best and have fun with it. (Take it out for a nice dinner and a movie… LOL).

No-one can ever compete with your own unique vision.


Q) I am my own harshest critic. How do I stop this taking over?

Creative people have a fine mind and heightened sensitivity. You’re able to create something new and original, beautiful and unique.

This is the good part.

However, the difficult part is that this same intensity can be turned inward and can produce a sense of inadequacy. You may feel that your work isn’t good enough, you’re not doing enough for your career, or someone else got a great project and you didn’t.

I would like to suggest that you ask yourself “Am I feeling inadequate?”

Take a read on how you’re feeling. Then say to yourself, “Adequate, not inadequate. That’s good enough for now.”

Try this throughout the day.


Q) In the beginning when you are struggling to make ends meet from your art, it is easy to feel pulled in many directions – the need to make art, the pressure to sell it, the importance of promotion, the demands of admin, etc. How do you manage your time in a way that allows you to move forward?

A: What is the secret of life for the brilliantly creative person? Time management. I hear you groan, but you, as a creative whizz, need to make time management your friend and do it in a lovely way so that it fits your personality. Break things down into tiny chunks so that you chip, chip, chip away in little bits toward your goals.

Even before you begin managing your time, it’s vital to think about – and write down – your values and your goals. You might list just two or three things. Next, list all the activities involved to achieve those goals. Finally, clump them into similar activities and place them on a calendar so that you have a timeframe for achieving them. I write extensively about my Clump System in Part A of Make Art That Sells – this can really help you juggle everything.

Remember, too, that facts are your friend. If necessary remove some of your financial pressures so you are more happily making art. To do so, you need to be realistic about how long it takes to build a brand and a career. You may need another source of income for some time. Give yourself time. Build that into the calculation. But work hard and put in lots of hours in your career. What you spend time on is what you value!

Additionally, support is your secret weapon in the fight to do all the various tasks that are required of the independent artist. Delegate anything and everything you can. Invest in hiring others at any level you can afford.

There is no denying that the journey you are on requires a ton of work. But it’s so worth it. You have such freedom in your life, and you are your own boss. You can create a life that is full of adventure. There will be lots of surprises along the way, and opportunities that you never knew existed will come to you. I, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way.


Q) Don’t you think that making art that sells is selling out?

That is a fabulous question. 1)It’s only selling out if you are selling out to yourself and your own vision. 2) When you look at the fabulous products of companies like Land of Nod, Blue Q, and Paperchase (just to name a few), and scads of many amazing picturebooks, for example, do you think those artists have sold out to get that work in the world (and enjoyed by so many)? I don’t.

Let’s define selling out. In my mind, it’s dumbing down your work so that you make money. My whole career has been about doing the opposite, in my own work, my agency, and my e-courses.

Any time you sell a piece of art, whether it’s through a gallery or to a manufacturer, you are involved in the conversation of commerce and aware of your market and who is buying. Only when you do a piece strictly for you own self are you potentially free of that. So the question is, how can you make art that sells while being the most true to yourself? For me, the answer is to understand the market, and then elevate it with your art. It’s a dance that takes time. I believe my artists have mastered that very well.

Finally, we live in a time when, unless you are a farmer, you need money to eat. And so you accept the fact that there is some kind of compromise involved. Look at it from another perspective – how totally amazing is it that you can pay the rent with your art-making? This is a relatively new phenomenon in the modern world. For most of civilized history, only a few painters could make livings by painting portraits of royalty or biblical scenes for the Church (the main two big clients). So, from that perspective, it’s a pretty amazing time we live in. I say to my kids, “How cool is it that I bought my first car from making pictures?”

The question becomes, how can you get that gig while doing your very best work?


If you want the chance to ask Lilla your own burning questions, sign up for Make Art That Sells (starting online THIS MONDAY October 7). This is an industry first – a real opportunity to learn how to make great art that sells in the top ten hottest markets. Don’t miss it!



Have you ever dreamt of having a portfolio and career consultation with a top art agent? Well this is your chance! For the first time ever Lilla Rogers is offering a private one hour portfolio review and career consultation (via Skype) to TWO lucky artists.

This is a rare, incredible opportunity to tap into three decades’ of experience from someone at the forefront of the art licensing industry. Lilla Rogers Studio has sold art for products worth over $100 million. Lilla knows what is hot, what is on the horizon and where your work fits in. Find out more here!


Announcing the Global Talent Search 2013 Winners!

After four months, 1500+ entrants from 30+ countries, three rounds of competition, more than 10,000 public votes and many hours of deliberating, we are over the moon to reveal the winners of the 2013 Global Talent Search! It was so hard to choose from our outstanding six Finalists that we have decided to give two awards – the Grand Prize and a second Special Studio Award. Two art careers are about to change forever. Drum roll please…


Grand Prize Winner:

ZOE INGRAM, Australia

Congratulations Zoe! The finalists were asked to design for a home decor line with Midwest CBK. Here’s a glimpse of Zoe’s winning work for the competition (we will be sharing more in the coming days):

We loved the very fresh take on birds with the integration of the doilies, the zany/happy freedom of her style, and her sensational color palette. She has a distinctive look that we know will become recognizable and is highly marketable. Artists that can do patterns, lettering, icons, and people are able to attract a vast array of work – and she has proven herself in all of these areas. She’s expert in traditional media as well as digital media which is a terrific combination. Plus she can paint.

Can you believe these amazing plates? Zoe created in response to the assignment for Home Decor week in our Make Art That Sells class. We fell in love with them the minute we saw them. I am quite fond of the “seedling” lettering as well. I remember commenting on the plate that she submitted for class (the plate on the top left) and saying in the weekly art review, “This is a perfect piece.” Can you believe she created all four in one week? Her years as a graphic designer show.

It was clear that Zoe already had the talent, and then Make Art That Sells helped her understand the market potential for her work, and present it beautifully.

We are thrilled to announce that Zoe has won TWO YEARS’ INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATION BY LILLA ROGERS STUDIO, with a host of licensing deals and international promotion including:


– A SCRAPBOOKING LICENSE with PRIMA MARKETING INC. Zoe will work directly with Prima’s own Creative Director and in-house Design Team through the development process, giving her the hands on experience to learn about this industry from the inside out.

– A HOME DECOR AND GIFT PRODUCT LINE WITH MIDWEST-CBK. Margo Tantau, Midwest-CBK’s Vice-President of Design & Creative, will personally work with the Zoe to create a smashing product line of gift and home decor products, such as wall art, lighting, textiles, ceramics, and specialty products, all offered with the voice of Zoe to help her build an identity and strong brand footprint in the marketplace.

– A LICENSE FOR A JOURNAL COVER with gorgeous UK-based stationery company PAPERCHASE.

– A LICENSE FOR A DECORATIVE GARDEN PRODUCT WITH STUDIO M, the new artful home and garden division of Magnet Works, Ltd.

– A FEATURE IN WHERE WOMEN CREATE BUSINESS, the top creative business magazine from Stampington

We are thrilled to welcome Zoe into the studio fold and cannot wait to start working with her.
But there’s more – we were so blown away by the finalists’ work that we added another prize…

Special Studio Award Winner:

Daniel Roode, USA

Here’s the winning work Daniel created for the third and final round of the competition:

Can you see why we had to add another prize? His submission is a fully-realized product line with a strong graphic read with a charming retro feel, and lovely textures. And check out his calligraphy!

We are thrilled to announce that Daniel has won:


HOME DECOR AND GIFT PRODUCT LINE WITH MIDWEST-CBK. Margo Tantau, Midwest-CBK’s Vice-President of Design & Creative, as one of the judges of the Global Talent Search, was so blown away by Daniel’s work that she offered this prize. She and her team will personally work with the Daniel to create a gorgeous product line of gift and home decor products branded with Daniel’s name.

We couldn’t be happier to add these two awesome artists to our studio family, alongside all our other talented artists. The other four Finalists are also brilliantly gifted, and we will be showcasing them and their final entries here on the blog over the coming days. We are grateful to our judges, to everyone who entered the contest, and to everyone voted and supported the participating artists.



If you are an Art Director… Want to talk to us about licensing or commissioning work with our newest artists? We’d love you to contact us. Hurry! These artists are going to get booked up fast. And of course we have all your favorite artists, too.

If you are an artist… Want to see your career skyrocket? We would strongly encourage you to consider joining the next round of Make Art That Sells(which starts on Monday). The course clearly had a major impact on Grand Prize Winner Zoe Ingram’s work, and helped her take it to the next level. She said on her blog “I learned so so much during the e-course and I don’t think I would have made the top 50 had I not taken part in it.”

If you want to learn how to make great art that sells in the top ten markets for art internationally, whilst staying true to yourself, there is no other course like this out there. There are still a few places left if you are quick – register here!



Have you ever dreamt of having a portfolio and career consultation with a top art agent? Well this is your chance! For the first time ever Lilla Rogers is offering a private one hour portfolio review and career consultation (via Skype) to TWO lucky artists.

This is a rare, incredible opportunity to tap into three decades’ of experience from someone at the forefront of the art licensing industry. Lilla Rogers Studio has sold art for products worth over $100 million. Lilla knows what is hot, what is on the horizon and where your work fits in. Find out more here! The deadline to enter the 1-1 competition is 7pm EST / 12 midnight GMT Sunday 6 October.