Category: Artists’ Insights


Rebecca Jones ambushes Lilla’s Instagram Feed…

We had so much fun following along with artist Rebecca Jones’ day on Lilla’s Instagram.  Since winning the Global Talent Search 2014, Special Studio Award, she has been very busy working with dream clients!  Rebecca lives and works in Australia.  Here is a glimpse of what a day in her life is like…



Setting out for the day in this beautiful dress.


Working on some Christmas projects for clients.


Shipping out prints to her Etsy customers.


Working on some woodland creatures and textures for a new client.


Cozying up at the end of a long and productive day with her favorite book.

Thanks Rebecca for sharing your day and beautiful work with us.  For more of the Rebecca’s work, see her portfolio here.

Stay tuned for the next Takeover Tuesday and catch another glimpse into a life of one Lilla Rogers’ working artists.





Making wallpaper with Spoonflower

Spoonflower lets you print on fabric but they also print on rolls of wallpaper. Sooo, I decided to take one of my designs and turn it into wallpaper to cover an accent wall in my kitchen. To complete the look I even made some tiki wooden wall art! – Jenn

wall1 wall2 wall4


Suzy Ultman, guest blogger @ Flow Magazine!

Suzy Ultman is a major talent – no doubt about it. See Suzy’s smart writings and wonderfully, delightful illustrations at Flow here and here and here and here! – Jennifer










Visit Marco Marella’s studio in Italy!


Hi! Here are a couple of studio pics. i am working on a series of canvases for a small gallery show, these are quite different, stylistically, from my main body of commercial work nonetheless i think it’s important to explore other paths and most of all it is important to find some time to dedicate at personal projects, finally my computer generated work greatly benefits from this healthy practice, not to say my soul! – Marco







Rachael Taylor – Inspiration from Boston Marina

Hi Lilla! Today I wanted to share with you some more photographs from my USA work trip. After visiting the New England Aquarium, I walked along the waterfront & stumbled across some truly amazing colours & textures at the boating marina. I must have spent at least an hour documenting all the imperfections & beauty. Enjoy!





Vintage Floral pattern collection collage from Silvia Dekker

“I made a collage with patterns from my Vintage Floral pattern collection. I had so much fun I think I will be doing collages with my other collections too!”

All my best, Silvia


Collection Bohemian Folk Silvia Dekker



Collection Vintage Floral Silvia Dekker




Trina Dalziel reflects on going back to school with “make art That Sells” ecourses.

I’ve been freelancing for over seventeen years and I’ve also taught on several Illustration Degree courses – but going back to “school” this year has been a delight for me.

These projects are my responses to Lilla’s amazing online course, “Make Art That Sells”, aimed at professional illustrators and designers worldwide.

The majority of my commissioned work has always been for editorial (which is my first love!) and publishing so being challenged to create work each week for a different market – stationery, party paper, home decor etc has been wonderfully stretching. And I’m keen to carry the things I’ve learnt and new skills I’ve developed over into all sorts of projects and commissions.

– with best wishes, Trina

Scrapbooking – Vintage typewriters and cameras


Map of Famous People connected with the area around Crystal Palace


Party Paper on a Winter Folk Art Theme


Christmas Card



Guest Blogger : Emily Balsley reflects on MATS and the GTS Finals

Hey Lilla!

Now that Make Art That Sells and the Global Talent Search are over I finally have the time to sit down and reflect on the last six months. What a whirlwind it has been! I went into the course a fairly “green” illustrator and I have come out of it ready to take on the world one illustration at a time – with new skills, self-confidence, focus and drive.

Before Make Art That Sells, I had been slowly building my portfolio, never quite comfortable with sharing it, as I didn’t think it was ready. And now, between the ten weeks of MATS and three rounds of the Global Talent Search, I have SO many solid pieces – my website has been transformed! And I can’t wait to start promoting it.

When I first signed up for the course, it was hard for me to justify paying so much for this class when I was hardly making any money as an illustrator! But that was the point of the course, right?!? With encouragement from my husband, I decided it was time to do something for myself and look at it as an investment for my career. And now that it’s over, it was worth every penny.

I can’t imagine how many hours of planning went into this class, but thank you so much for putting in all the effort. It really shows. The lessons were well thought-out. The interviews with the experts were en pointe. Splitting the assignments into parts really helped me grasp the approach and process. And let’s not forget the points you continued to drill into us week after week such as:
-Icons hold all the power.
-How can we tell if we have a strong composition and color balance? Shrink it down to a thumbnail, of course!
-Now I know incorporating neutral colors into my palette is oh, so important (though I’m still working on this one!).
-My number one takeaway? People buy my joy. My goal as a maker has always been to bring a smile to someone’s face. And now I know the secret – put myself into my work and people will be inspired. I love that I can take a crazy thought, channel it through my pen, and it transforms into a piece of art that people want. That’s magic.

In addition to the classwork, I have been blessed with many new friendships. My classmates have been so warm, supportive and generous. Though, I have to say – creating among hundreds of highly skilled artists can be pretty intimidating! There were many times I happened to catch a glimpse of their works-in-progress on Facebook and I thought there was no way I could compete with that. But I realized we all are amazing in our own way. We are all artists. We all have similar goals – we want to share our art (our magic) with the rest of the world. And as you constantly reminded us – there is a place for us all! I truly believe that.

When the Global Talent Search came along I thought this would be another good opportunity to create a solid portfolio piece. I never thought I would get through to the final round! Working through the three rounds, and utilizing the skills we learned from MATS Part A, I went to town. I had a blast working on the first two assignments and somehow managed my stress level to the point where I hit “send” and never looked back. I tried to keep my cool and took the “whatever happens, happens” approach. Admittedly, round 3 was a bit more stressful, as the final prize was on the line! When I heard the final results, yes, there a was a moment of disappointment. But then I realized I MADE IT TO THE FINALS OF THE LILLA ROGERS GLOBAL TALENT SEARCH. Wowsa! That is something to be proud of.

Today I am ready to start putting myself out there! As I look at my updated portfolio I know this is the time. Getting through to the final round of GTS has provided the confidence and validation that I am on the right path. This is what I’m supposed to be doing, and I couldn’t be more excited about what opportunities lie ahead.

Lilla, I cannot thank you enough for this wonderful gift! Emily Balsley

To register for Make Art That Sells click here.






Zoe Ingram shares her MATS + GTS experience!

Hi Lilla,

I’m just popping in to share a little post GTS update. I thought It would be good to share a bit of my experience so far.

It’s been almost two months since the end of GTS and I think I’m finally getting my head around what just happened to me. The experience, I can only describe as a roller coaster ride. There was the thrill of starting work on a new brief and then the nervous wait after submitting and then the elation at hearing that I’d advanced to the next round. Three rounds of extreme and intense emotions but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Since the announcement back at the beginning of October, things have been full on, fast paced but thankfully Lilla, Susan, Jennifer and Julia have all been there helping me to get settled in. What an amazing team! There has been a lot for me to take in and digest and work through and now that MATS B has finished I was going to say that things have calmed down a little bit for me but actually, that’s not really true, it’s still full steam ahead with stage 2 of my book illustrations with Quarry, a fabric collection with Robert Kaufman, greetings cards with American Greetings and Printsource preparations all of which are dream jobs!

So what exactly have I been doing since the end of GTS? Well, lots of drawing that’s for sure! But I love drawing so it couldn’t get any better! I have also been working closely with Margo Tantau at Midwest CBK on my new line with them which I am crazy excited about and they are now working on the range and it will be going into production very, very soon.

I have also come to understand the importance and value of having a good support network in place and people to talk to in the sometimes solitary world of illustration and in particular, working from home. I make a point of going to my local library cafe at least once a week to sit and draw. The ladies who work there ask me about my work when they see me drawing which is lovely. Another great support network that I am very lucky to be part of is Forest Foundry collective, an amazing group of 7 other artists from all around the world. We keep each other motivated, inspired and support each other everyday.

I received a little email from Lilla the other day asking me if I can believe my life now and I promptly replied that no I couldn’t and would I ever? The whole experience from MATS A, to GTS, to MATS B has really, really been out of this world and has changed my life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Lilla & Beth have created for me. It was, without doubt, the best choice I ever made to do the course and GTS. I almost didn’t sign up for the course or the competition but had 20 seconds of insane courage and did it. It’s been the best and happiest time of my working life so far and I believe it’s only going to get better.

I think the moral of the story that I’m trying to get across here is that dreams really can and do come true. Don’t hold back, just do it, whatever “it” may be to you and with a little bit of hard work and determination who knows what might happen. I believe that a lot of what has come to me has done so because I have been open, willing to take a chance, using positive thinking and a lot of determination and hard work. If you’re thinking about doing MATS and GTS next time, go for it, you really have nothing to lose!

I don’t have much in the way of work that I can show yet as it’s all in development and a bit top secret but I can show you a couple of pieces from MATS B and the huge pile of sketchbooks that I have amassed in the past few months with a little peek inside! – Zoe






GUEST BLOGGER: Daniel Roode (GTS winner)

Many life changing events have transpired in the past month, and I just want to share and honor my good fortune. Most of you know me as the Special Studio Award winner in the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search and I need not alert you to the fact that Lilla and her team of agents are at the top of everything that is cool, modern, and groovy. I am now fortunate enough to be in the stable of amazing talent that they represent. It’s been a month now since I won a coveted spot and I still can only say “Holy smokes!”

When I heard about the GTS, I simply thought it would be a really great way to get the creative juices flowing. And for sheer lack of confidence, I almost didn’t even enter the contest. What a colossal mistake that would have been! I had also made a promise to myself that I would make a real concerted effort to get agented this year and gain some momentum on my career. But before I knew it the year was half over and I hadn’t made any attempts at representation at all, so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it through this contest. Great Daniel, try and get representation in the hardest way possible. :)

I loved the idea of the competition, you get a briefing from Lilla, have a two week period to create your submission and a small break in between to await the results to see if you qualified to the next round. I was enticed by the array of assignments that I would be presented that I would not have normally thought of doing myself. Creating a journal cover, designing art for a tote bag sold at a farmers market, and creating an entire line of home decor with almost no limitations. Such cool fun projects! After I’d entered a bit before the deadline, I eagerly awaited the first assignment.

Round 1 had us create journal cover with a vintage playground motif as if Paperchase was our client. I felt okay with my submission. I’d like to say that I slept soundly the day the semi-finalists were announced and woke up to the news bright eyed and bushy tailed but it was quite the opposite. I stayed up late, I couldn’t sleep. I hit the refresh button on Lilla’s blog like a caffeinated lab mouse. The anticipation was overwhelming. Finally the wait was over and I slowly scrolled through the list, my heart was racing, “This is the moment of truth” I thought, oh my god I think there’s been a mistake. I don’t see my name?! Oh it’s alphabetical, there’s still a chance! There I am!!! Holy Shit. I made it! Indeed it went down just like that. Warm joyful tears ran down my cheeks. Happy.


Round 2. Getting through that first round really helped me push through to the next and take on a challenge that, at the time and it seemed utterly impossible for me to create a fall tote bag to be sold at a farmers market. But this is partly why I signed up for this. To apply myself in a way that I normally wouldn’t think of. I’m mostly used to making work that appeals to the children’s market and this assignment had us creating something that would appeal to adults as well. Tricky. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do and in the end it turned out to be close to what I thought I would make. And, as an aside, that’s what I love about creating art. You have an idea, you try actualizing it, and for better or worse you bend to where the pictures are telling you to go. With faith in this process in mind, I submitted my work, waited for the results, repeated the process above: barely sleep, refresh blog, scroll, thumping heart, … warm tears of joy rolling.

tote mockup

Round 3. Well if I felt daunted by the first two assignments this one really had me twisted. Design an entire line of home decor with almost no limitations on color or subject matter. We had to design exclusively for an adult audience and had to choose from one of a few categories. I chose the category called “weekend retreat”, which allowed for silvery, golden fallish and wintery hues and tones. At first I did a riff on Red riding hood that I was truly in love with but after my Skype session with Lilla and her A-Team of crack agents it was apparent that I had skewed to young. And as an attempt to age it up I had also inadvertently made my wolf scary. Oops! Not what I was going for. :) So I had to put my thinking cap on and turn around my work into something that was cohesive and line ready. A real ‘make it work’ moment as they say.



I hit submit on my final piece, said a prayer. Not a lot happened in between that I can remember. A couple of restless bland weeks had finally passed and before I knew it the moment of truth had arrived. I repeated ALL of the aforementioned rituals above but this time the stakes were higher and i was pulsing. I wanted to jump out of my eyeballs. Just to have gotten this far was a wild dream. All of the artists had submitted outstanding and mesmerizing work. Being here, with them, I felt validated. Realizing I had won a studio prize was like opening up that gift that you had asked for but never knew would be yours to open. And HERE I AM! I could have never expected this wild journey to have taken me here, but feel extremely grateful that I’m exactly where I need to be.

Thank you Lilla, Susan, Jennifer, Julia, Patty, and Margo and everyone who was rooting for me! – Daniel

Samples of Daniel’s GREAT work from the Make Art That Sells e-course: