Month: December 2023


Take a field trip with Lydia Graves!

All right kids, it’s the end of the year and no one can concentrate anymore. It’s time for a field trip!

Let’s visit artist Lydia Graves in her town of Birmingham, Alabama, and see what’s happening.

Lydia Graves
Lydia grew up just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, got a BFA in drawing and painting, and then became a nanny and portrait painter.

While working on her master’s degree in Art Education, she discovered the world of illustration and fell madly in love.

The image above was inspired by one of Lydia’s favorite cafés in Birmingham. Read more about it below!
Where is the field trip?


This field trip is in the Forest Park neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama. It MAYBE looks a bit like the below (but maybe not).

Above: A double page spread from Make Art That Sells Character Play class
Where are we going?

We are going to one of my favorite cafes/shops called General (IG: @generalbham)

Is it far from your home?

It’s only a few miles from my house and a block away from my teaching job. (images below)

What is it about this spot that inspires you?

Everything from the hand-painted murals to the displays is charming and intentional yet somehow still effortless.

I’ve been working on illustrations for puzzles so I used their shelves as inspiration for my most recent one. See if you can find the items that I used as inspiration (in the first image of this newsletter)!

How often do you go?

I try to go a couple of times a month when I have time enjoy an oat milk latte, maybe have a treat (above) and draw in my journal (below).

Thanks Lydia!

See more of Lydia’s amazing illustration work here.


Our artists’ books are getting recognition

Our artists’ projects have garnered some great recognition! See below for accolades we are proud of, plus new books & products out now.


Contact us to assign or license art. We’re happy to help you find the perfect artist or gorgeous images for your project!


Sarah Walsh
The “Goddess” book, illustrated by our beloved Sarah Walsh, and published by Nosy Crow, is crushing it worldwide.

Already translated into multiple languages, it scored a spot on the coveted NEW YORK TIMES gift guide, as well as a starred Kirkus review.

Way to go, Sarah!

Buy it here.


Ruth Burrows
Congrats to Ruth Burrows!

Wonderfully Wired Brains has been shortlisted in this year’s Books category for the MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023!

MadeforMums is UK’s number one site for parenting product reviews and it is a huge honor to be recognized by them.

Buy it here.

Mara Penny
Hsinping Pan


Gorgeous Holiday cards available now
Studio Eleven Papers

Buy it here.


Buy it here.


Jenny Miriam
Internal illustration from “Colors of the National Parks” (Duopress Labs)

Buy it here.

Kay Wolfersperger
Julia Christians
Happy lettering by Kay for “The Bronx is my Home” (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)

Buy it here.

Another amazing Mabel book

by Julia!

(Nosy Crow)

Buy it here.




See Anke Rega’s Affirmation Card Set with a twist!

Check out Anke Rega’s brilliant affirmation card deck and sneak a peek behind the curtain of her creation process!

Contact us to assign or license art. We’re happy to help you find the perfect artist or gorgeous images for your project.


Anke Rega
Anke writes: One of my big projects this year was an affirmation card set for business and success.

This was my first time completing an entire card set like this, It was so fun–I love to tackle big new projects. I also enjoy illustrating for personal growth and inspiration with my illustrations so this was perfect for me.

The set has 50 affirmations/illustrated cards.

Fifty affirmation cards for Business and Success.

Published by Christina Sternbauer.

What did you love about this project?

I love to come up with special ideas which are also a challenge. At some point when I started to sketch for this project, I was taking a break relaxing and just dreaming, and all of a sudden the idea popped in to my mind to make a puzzle out of the cards, so that you can put all the affirmation cards together to make a bigger image.

The idea was there. It was exciting to have this new concept in mind.

I started with a raw sketch of the big Illustration, to fit in the 50 affirmations.

Then I went into the details of the single cards and areas. I did detailed sketches of single cards to fit them into the bigger illustration, all with space for lettering too.

I filled smaller spaces with other elements like stars, florals, diamonds, and colour next to the single affirmations.
What medium did you use for the illustrations?

I started working with watercolor, but in the middle of the project I switched to work with Procreate as I found a way which looks quite like my traditional watercolors (thanks to Ruth Burrows’s book!)

This saved me a lot of time with editing all the elements and the lettering.

What are your favorite art materials?

My favorite art materials are my watercolors, gouache, and a lot of pencils for sketches (they go really fast).

How long did you work on this project?

I started to work on this in January 2023 and it just printed in October, (with other projects in between) so about nine months. (Oh, it’s like a child… 😆)

How do you surround yourself with inspiration?

I love to look at great books with illustration and art. Or have flowers around. Or go to a good bookstore and just wandering the streets.

How do you start your day?

I start the day with a mix of mindset work, alignment meditation for the day and yoga, a cold shower, and for sure, a good coffee. I started to wake up quite early this year as I extended my personal growth time in the morning. I usually start working at my desk at 10am.


My cat Luci. She just turned 18.

Thanks so much Anke! Anke’s incredible Affirmation deck will be available soon.

See more of Anke’s beautiful illustration work here.


Be quick! Our massive sale at MATS ends today! 🤩

LAST CHANCE: Our huge annual sale ends TODAY! Save at least 30% off everything, and up to 50% off our career-changing bundles!


Find our sales page here and explore everything that’s available in our huge annual sale!

We’ve got everything you need to transform your art career in the year ahead, with inspirational courses – including three NEW courses for 2024 – powerful assignments, tons of motivation and support, and bucketloads of incredible tips and advice!

How do you get these cool gigs?

Take Make Art That Sells classes!


You can’t ignore it anymore… Christmas is right around the corner.

If you celebrate and are looking for unique gifts, why not support an artist directly instead of buying at the big stores? Scroll down for some fun online shopping!

Katie Vernon
Cute, quirky, and colorful prints and originals by Katie Vernon.

Check ’em out here!

Kay Wolfersperger
Get a little Frenchie with framed art prints featuring original illustrations by Kay Wolfersperger developed during her artist residency in Lacoste, France.

Visit Kay’s online shop here.


Maruga Koops
Maruga writes:

I love to design colorful and cute art. In my Red Bubble shop I sell some of my illustrations on products. My favorite product in the shop is the art print from the positive thinking girl with flowers (above, right). I have this print hanging on my own wall and I love to see this as a reminder every day. More designs are coming in the future.

See Maruga’s beautiful designs in her shop here!


Kim Fleming
Kim’s shop is full of fun designs for the holidays and beyond.Find a variety of products such as greeting cards, mugs, T-shirts,even pet bandanas!

Come take a look.


Anke Rega
Beautiful products and art prints by Anke to brighten up and inspire your every day.

Visit her store here.