Month: February 2015


Make Art That Sells starts on Monday! Are you in?

MANI Liz Alpass 400

MATS graduate Liz Alpass

We love that moment before class begins, when the Facebook community is buzzing with anticipation, artists from around the world are introducing themselves and sharing links to their gorgeous art, and we are getting ready to open the classroom doors on Monday.

MANI Cindy Chischilly 400

MATS graduate Cindy Chischilly

Make Art That Sells (MATS) has become more than just an online class. It’s a movement, and a philosophy.

MANI Kelly Angelovic 400

MATS graduate Kelly Angelovic

We asked our alumni to share what they feel is the MATS manifesto, and we were blown away by the results. Here are a handful of the many submissions we received, which give you a flavor of the generosity, warmth and talent that comes from this class. We hope you’ll join us!

MANI Melanie Chadwick 400

MATS gradate Melanie Chadwick

If you want to part of this movement of artists doing what they love and making a living from it, join us for Make Art That Sells Part A/B, starting on MONDAY (March 2). Sign up here, but hurry, class begins TOMORROW (Monday March 2)!

The Lilla Rogers Studio School team

MANI Michelle Brown 400

MATS graduate Michelle Brown


Flora Waycott takes on a challenge-

Hi everyone, here is a little video of me accepting a little task from Lilla – I look forward to showing you what I do!

xx Flora

ps: We just can’t wait to see what she creates…


Q&A with Lilla – Part 4 (from MATS A)

question of the dayWALL

Our ‘Q&A with Lilla’ series is back! This is where we share questions from the previous class of Make Art That Sells.

In Lilla’s Make Art That Sells classes she often gets asked about how to sell work in particular markets, so we thought we’d share some of those questions and answers with you.

The next Make Art That Sells classes will start 2 March, 2015 and registration is open here.

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! These questions were asked during the MATS Part A class last year.



Q. Are there seasons, months, or even times during the month that are better (or worse) to approach art reps or different markets with your work?

A. We now almost exclusively use our Global Talent Search to find great artists to represent, and that happens in late summer. Before we began the GTS, however, there was no good or bad time, except for the obvious bad times like major holidays and right before Surtex in May. I assume that’s true for other agents.

Q. When drawing a children’s book cover, what are the important things to show on the cover for the illustrations? Is it ok to show the result of the story end?

A. It’s great to show the main character(s) and the setting and the vibe of the story. Of course the title must be prominent. I would not show the ending.

Q. I would like some advice on setting up a logo to market my brand – what makes a good logo? I feel like I could use some pointers so I have one that doesn’t detract from my art. Also should you include your website info in your logo?

A. What’s great about MATS is that you can see each week some great logos on the art presentations. You want your name to be legible and easy to read quickly; you want gorgeous colors; you want the look and feel of your logo to match your work. Create two logos; one with your website and one without, so that you have a choice depending upon the project. We don’t have our website on our logo because our name is also our website, and it is easily googled.

Q. I understand about not using vintage imagery (like clip art) that is pre1940- but what about fabric? Can you use fabric from your local fabric store as is, do you have to change it to use it or is it better just to stay away? Where I work we can purchase the fabric and use it as an actual attachment (i.e. make something with the physical fabric) but we can’t if it’s a collage that will be photographed and sold – clarification would be helpful.

A. Here’s the deal with fabric. It’s perfectly fine if you buy a piece of fabric, and make a doll, and then sell it on Etsy, because the artist and manufacturer get paid since you purchased the material. The artist gets her royalty for your purchase of the actual fabric. However, you cannot reproduce the fabric and resell it, under any circumstances.

Q. Do you and your clients prefer to see a digital portfolio (on ipad) or a printed portfolio when meeting in person?

A. These days either is fine. I just went to Land of Nod when I was in Chicago and brought my iPad to show my artists’ work. It’s probably going to be the way to go in the future.

Q. It almost feels impossible to create a worthy portfolio while “my big serious corporate job” takes 45 hours of my week. I have read several illustrator /artist blogs who say you literally have to quit your day job, and just dive into the world of illustration/art full time- the work will come. Trust the universe they say! But who’s gonna pay the bills in the meantime?? Do you have any advice for those of us trying to transition out of “Big serious corporate jobs” or some other “not as fun as painting all day job”? Where do we start? How do you know when your ready to ‘jump’?

A. Wow. I love this question. When I was in my early twenties and a full-time middle-school art teacher, I was so burnt at the end of the day all I could do was nap! But I did try to make art here and there. I even wrote and illustrated a children’s book, took a personal day, took the bus to New York City and showed it to three publishers. None went for it. )-:

I saved some money, quit teaching and went to San Francisco to get an MFA in painting, and got a part time job as a secretary to the Sales Manager at the Bay Guardian newspaper. I actually didn’t get the MFA in painting; I switched schools and got an MFA in Illustration! I quit to teach calligraphy in the evenings in my apartment and that paid the bills! Those were the days when life was inexpensive (pre-computers). You can read more about my early art life in my book.

But enough about me, and not sure how helpful that was! So back to your question. I would be way too freaked out to quit a full time job without a really solid plan. A plan might be to take courses and e-courses (of course I think MATS and Bootcamp are superb!) and build up a solid portfolio. Then, I would cut back on everything you can then save:

  1. A year’s worth of income


  1. Six months’ income and plan to get a part-time job when you quit your job, or a lucrative Etsy shop


  1. Firm up another source of income

This is because you must allow at least a year or more until you have a steady income generation. Do not set yourself up for crazy stress.

To answer the next part of your question: Yes, Once you create a space for your dreams to manifest and take the first step the universe will totally support you.

I know that in my experience, the universe doesn’t take the first step. When you take the first step, the Universe kicks in. I think that’s because taking an action—and that first step is the hardest—changes our beliefs. In other words, it sends the message that we mean business. By signing up for this course, for instance, and putting your time and money where you mouth is, you are creating an energy domino effect. Have you noticed?

Finally, how do you know you’re good enough? Because you’ve had success. Your etsy shop is selling well and/or you’ve sent out work and gotten interest and even some jobs.



Got your own questions for Lilla? Join us for the next round of Make Art That Sells. Class begins on Monday 2 March, 2015 and registration is open here.




Lilla’s failproof strategy for incredible artist growth

In the final two videos of this short series, Lilla shares her failproof strategy for incredible artist growth. It’s about the way she teaches, and about the way you learn and stretch yourself.

Firstly, what’s so special about the Make Art That Sells class assignments? How does Lilla tailor them to maximize artists’ growth, and what does this mean for you?

Secondly, what’s in the weekly art review Lilla does in the Make Art That Sells classes? Why is it such a major factor in the incredible growth we see in MATS artists over the five weeks of the course? And why is it such a valuable learning tool for making art that sells? Find out here:

If you feel you could benefit from watching Lilla’s weekly reviews, and growing as an artist through the MATS professional-level weekly assignments, join us for Make Art That Sells Part A/B, starting this Monday (March 2). Sign up here, but hurry!

The Lilla Rogers Studio School team



Insight Spotlight: Expert advice from Juanita Dharmazi of Galison

Welcome to our ‘Insight Spotlight’ column, where we share insights from industry experts in some of the hottest markets out there. This week we are pleased to offer expert advice from Juanita Dharmazi of Galison


Primary Market: Galison’s primary market is gift and stationery. It’s a very trend oriented market. It’s very competitive and fast moving industry. I love it because it challenges you to keep on coming with innovative new ideas & products, including finding fresh new talents to collaborate.

How can this market be lucrative for an artist?

It allows artists to work on variety of commissioned art and don’t you think it’s amazing when you see your work in your favorite stores?

What is going to be hot in your market in 2015 such as subject matter, colors, products?

Metallic – different hues of gold/bronze. Pastel color with foil.

What kinds of products/offerings are a growth sector for your company?

Products that can serve as both individual purchase and gift items

What do you look for when buying new art?

I like to see something new, fresh and unique. I like art that could set a trend (so not necessarily need to be on trends). But what I like the most is working with the artist itself. It’s important for artist to be able to take direction without losing her/his own voice.

Is there any rhyme or reason to why some products sell well and why others don’t?

Trends of the season, price point, product innovation and functionality.

What is the one thing you wish artists would do differently when pitching art to you? Or what do you love that they do when they pitch to you?

I respond to the ones who do their research and pitch their art that will adapt to the company’s needs instead of just some random art. And of course, I love working with someone who shows enthusiasm toward the company.

What one piece of advice do you have for artists trying to sell their first piece of art in that market?

-Do you research and your homework. Pitch art that is suitable to the company.
-Follow up but not excessively
-Never give up. If you don’t get through the first time, don’t get discourage, keep on updating and submitting your new work.
– Continue to be positive and inspired and enjoy the whole creative process!

About Juanita


Juanita is the Creative Director at Galison Publishing, a stationery and gift company in New York City which focuses on creating well-design paper products in the form of fine art images and contemporary art and design.

Growing up in Indonesia, Juanita has always had a passion for the stationery world. She loved collecting letterheads, cute rubber erasers, stamps, and creating her own notecards for special occasions.  Juanita moved to the United States at the age of eighteen to pursue her college degree in graphic design. While doing her summer internship with a design company in New York, she fell in love with the city and decided to pursue career in the Big Apple. For Juanita, New York has been a source of inspiration, from strolling down Soho to making flea market trips and from browsing through street art festivals to gaining insight from the museum visit, she finds ideas from everything around her.

When not sitting in front of her computer, Juanita enjoys travel, food tasting from all around the world, an afternoon walk with her four legged friend and being entertained by her newborn baby boy.

Find out more at

Juanita is one of the esteemed judges on the Global Talent Search judging panel.


Want to learn more about making more commercially viable art whilst staying true to yourself? Join our acclaimed online course ‘Make Art That Sells‘, led by top agent Lilla Rogers. Next class starts March 2 – find out more and register here!



Jenn Ski and Zoe Ingram on Dot and Bo

Jenn Ski and Zoe Ingram are now selling some awesome work on Dot and Bo… To purchase your very own and for more work check it out here and here.





Jenn Ski’s prints


Zoe’s Lamp Pendant


How to get past the bumps in your creative road

Here’s something to ponder on today: The longer your artistic career, the longer your creative road, so the more bumps there will be in that road. The point is not about finding a smooth, flat road (because they don’t exist in this world). Rather, it’s about how you navigate that road, swerving the bumps and creating a mental map so you can deal with them better when you encounter similar bumps further down the road.

In today’s short video Lilla gives some top advice on how to lift yourself out of a creative slump, and get past the bumps in the road of your art career. Remember, Lilla’s creative road stretches over three decades, so she has a lot of experience in keeping it real and raising yourself up!

If you want support and guidance as you navigate the choppy waters of a professional art career, join us for Make Art That Sells Part A/B, starting on March 2. Sign up here, but hurry, class begins on Monday!

The Lilla Rogers Studio School team



February 2015 Bootcamp gallery now live!

The February gallery from our 2015 Make Art That Sells: Assignment Bootcamp class is now live! You can view it here:


The gallery features just over 400 pieces of original art inspired by the February class assignment… to create wall art on wood!



There was so much fabulous work submitted in response to this brief, and we love the ongoing supportive energy in the Bootcamp community. What a generous, talented group of artists they are!



Want to learn more about making more commercially viable art whilst staying true to yourself?


Join our acclaimed online course ‘Make Art That Sells‘, led by top agent Lilla Rogers. Next class starts March 2 – find out more and register here! but hurry, class begins soon!

Remember, MATS is the best preparation for the Global Talent Search which will launch later this year! If you want to hear more about how our previous graduates are rocking it, check out this post and this post.

We hope you will join us and make a serious investment in your professional art career. You’ll never look back.

Lilla and Beth


PS Read what our students say about the MATS courses here.


Manifesto Monday part 2

Welcome to Manifesto Monday, where we share some of the Manifesto artwork submitted by our Make Art That Sells Alumni.

Would you like to experience the Make Art That Sells class yourself?

Class begins on Monday 2 March, 2015 and registration is open here.


Inga Foltz 


Elise Chevry


Cindy Chischilly


Basic CMYK
Karen Craig

Erica Dekker

Madeline Faiella

Join us for the next round of Make Art That Sells.

Class begins on Monday 2 March, 2015 and registration is open here.



Lilla’s big secret for making a great living as an artist

So today’s the day we share Lilla’s big secret for making a great living as an artist (after all, it’s the greatest job in the world) Hint: It’s to do with diversification. In this 4 minute video Lilla opens your eyes to a variety of new markets for your work and shows some samples of the kind of cool product gigs you might get (eye candy alert!) You can discover the secret here:

Exciting, right? If you want to know what the markets are looking for and how you get those cool gigs, join us for Make Art That Sells Part A/B, starting on March 2. Sign up here, but hurry, class begins soon!

The Lilla Rogers Studio School team