Month: March 2014


Global Talent Search 2013 champion Zoe Ingram shares her experience of winning


12 months ago Zoe Ingram was working as a freelance web designer, earning a living but her ‘heart wasn’t in it’. That was until she took Make Art That Sells, and then entered the Global Talent Search, and everything changed.

Click below listen to an interview between Zoe and MATS/GTS producer Beth Kempton where Zoe shares her experience of the course and competition, It is hard to believe that she was nervous at the outset, unsure of whether her work was ‘good enough’, and never drew in a sketchbook. One year on she has been crowned the GTS winner, signed by Lilla Rogers Studio and in the last six months alone has landed licenses and commissions from a host of prestigious companies including a book deal, a home décor product line, a fabric collection, greeting cards for IKEA, and seven foot tall garden totems!

If you have are on the fence about the Make Art That Sells course, or worried about whether it is worth you entering the Global Talent Search, PLEASE take 20 minutes to listen to this interview and know that it could be you!

Scroll down to see some of Zoe’s lovely sketches and final artwork.





Zoe’s GTS Round 1 entry


Zoe’s GTS Semi-Final entry


Zoe’s GTS Final entry

Are you next? Register for the Global Talent Search here!


Big Event! Lilla is going to be interviewed by Jennifer Lee!

Big Event! Lilla is going to be interviewed by Jennifer Lee, best-selling author of the Right Brained Business Plan. She will be sharing her always-interesting views on licensing, being an artist, how to overcome obstacles, and much more.


Our BIG event is almost here! Grab your seat now. It’s free! The 4th annual Video Summit starts on April 7th Come celebrate the launch of my highly anticipated second book, Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way, during my 4th annual Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit. This year’s event is all about growing a profitable and lasting business on your terms. Join me, a panel of inspiring entrepreneurial experts, and thousands of right-brainers worldwide April 7th-18th for practical and proven business-building resources that are as playful and passionate as you are. I’ll be sharing more info in the coming weeks, but wanted to make sure you were able to grab your no-cost ticket NOW.



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) When you show the adjusting levels of a final jpg, you are obviously editing it out of vector mode. Will that be frowned upon by a client who wants the file in editable vector format? Would you have to go back to the vector file and rematch it to the final adjusted file in Photoshop (which would be difficult to match exactly)?

Lilla: Great question. I adjust levels in class to show the difference in the work. If you work in vector, then work in the colors you want at that time. I tend to find that vector people don’t need adjusting levels in their work as much as Photoshop people who tend to scan in art. Scanning tends to add a dull grey cast.

Q) When submitting designs, is it OK to send out multiple submissions simultaneously? What if two companies end up wanting the same design? Would they not get upset if you send them a submission and later tell them it is unavailable?

Lilla: Yes, it is OK to submit multiple submissions. If you send a newsletter with new work, it’s obvious that you are sending to lots of people. If you send the work in an email, it’s all in how you phrase it. You can follow up and ask if they are interested, and if not, send it to the next person. You can send to a bunch and see who bites first. Should two people bite, you tell the second one that someone is already interested but you can create new work just for them in that style. But to be honest, it’s rare to get two bites right away, so I wouldn’t worry too much about this.

Q) When adding designs to a website, should they be password protected? Don’t some companies prefer to buy artwork that has not been posted publicly?

Lilla: It’s good to have a mix of art that is on your site so you attract interest and then some that is either password protected or you simply have on your computer that you send in an email, or a Dropbox folder link, etc. Apparel markets tend to care more about work not seen, but other markets don’t care as much. And don’t forget that a lot of the work you’ll get will be for commissions of brand new work.

Q) Is watermarking just a transparent layer in Photoshop over the top of the artwork? Would you advise that we put this on when adding images to Pinterest?

Lilla: This is an ongoing question. I like when the artist puts their name on the art like a signature or a mark, but when it’s a big ugly watermark I don’t like that.

Q) I heard that it is bad form to go to Surtex and similar trade shows as an illustrator without a booth and walk the floors handing out promotional material to Art Directors, etc., as it undermines all the illustrators that have invested time and money in a booth. Is this true?

Lilla: Yes, that’s true. You can go to look at booths to see how they display art, what the art is like, how it works, meet up with fellow illustrators, go to the conferences and trend lectures, hand your business cards to agents if they are not busy, chat with other illustrators in their booth if they are not with a client, etc. Just be sensitive.

Q) How do you create a password protected gallery for your own website, where the images cannot be downloaded?

Lilla: If you don’t know how to do it for the platform you use I would suggest you ask a web developer to help you. But you don’t need to do a password protected gallery if you don’t want to invest just now. You can simply let people know that you have lots more and you can send them work via email or dropbox, etc.

Q) Is it possible to have 2 agents?

Lilla: Generally, no.


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!


Macrina Busato in Connecticut Cottages & Gardens

Hello Lilla,

The new March 2014 edition of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens  is on the newsstands now.  Here is my illustration for a very interesting article titled: Mr. 1947 THE RISE AND FALL OF A NOTORIOUS WINE COUNTERFEITER. An amazing story! – Macrina


Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 11.39.18 AM


Imagine my surprise…

…. when this week’s Land of Nod catalog showed up in my mailbox! Allison Cole’s Knightly Night bedding, wall cards, alphabet rug and her most excellent, funny little cloud pillow! Enjoy! – Jennifer











Suzy Ultman + Igloo Letterpress Die Cut Key Cards

See this lovely Paper Crave’s blogpost on our very own, Smart Suzy’s key cards!  Enjoy – Jennifer






So what have you been up to?


Just had to share this – Diane Neukirch explains just what kept her so busy during the Make Art That Sells class…

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.


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


A current take on easter dresses from Jelly the Pug

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









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.


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!



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: 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