Category: The Artist’s Process


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










MOYO Magazine Issue 6

The new issue 6 of MOYO Magazine is here! Inside issue 6 (which is completely FREE) you can find:

+ Product inspiration from Susy Pilgrim Waters

+ Rachael Taylor’s trip to the USA featuring the Lilla Rogers Studio and LRS artist Rebecca Bradley

+ Top tips on manufacturing from The Design Trust

+ Behind the scenes with DENY Designs

+ Product photography with navyblur

MOYO Magazine is completely free and we want to delight as many people as possible with the wonderful world of surface pattern design. Please feel free to share the magazine on your blog and social media and tell your friends about it! Use hashtag #MOYOMagazine to share the love.



Lisa Congdon’s Sketchbook

“I’ve started a new sketchbook for 2014 and have committed myself to playing in it every day with watercolor paints, image transfers, ephemera and ink this new year. I love the look of black ink on watercolor! This is a spread I made last week with a wonderful quote by Rumi.” – Lisa!



JOHN COULTER: Guest blogger discusses working with Anthology

Hi Lilla,

I recently had the pleasure of working with Anthology magazine’s amazing creative director, Meg Mateo Ilasco, on the Summer 2013 issue: “Home is where the Art is.” I was asked to do an illustrated map of Rio de Janiero.

This was a very gratifying job. I did copious amounts of research online for each neighborhood featured, in an effort to get the flavor of each one. I recently showed the map to a friend living in Rio, and he said, “Looks to have been done by somebody only with a native knowledge. Just showed my brother in law (native Carioca) and he was thoroughly impressed as well.”

Here are some of my preliminary sketches, lettering experiments, details and the final.

Obrigado, – John


Allison’s mural

Allison writes:

“I was recently invited to participate in a group show at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA called Seven: A Performative Drawing Project. Seven different artists are given one of the seven walls of the main gallery to paint or draw on. The whole process is recorded with a digital camera taking photos at different intervals that will eventually be compiled into a stop-motion video, recording each artists process. It is a tremendous opportunity and I was honored to be invited to participate.

I wanted to share my process of the creation of my mural in the photos below. It was a wonderful experience to take what started out as a small ink drawing and translate it onto a large wall with paint and big brushes.

I’ve never worked this large before (15 feet wide, 10 feet tall) so I thoroughly prepped and planned before beginning on the project. My printmaking background definitely came in handy for this – I approached everything in layers. I started with many different ideas and eventually settled on the diamond girl character, and colored and mocked up my ink drawing in Illustrator.
The first step in painting the mural was mapping out the hair and face with the aid of a projector and painter’s tape to get the scale and placement correct. I rolled the the navy blue paint for the hair and the yellow paint for the face and neck onto the wall. Next, I created a white underpainting with gesso for the areas of the hair that would become the leaves and flowers. I painted the colors on in order just like I would if I was screen printing: white, yellow, pink, gray, blue. Part of the fun of the process for me is seeing what will happen – the final mural did not turn out exactly as the original drawing, but I’m pretty happy with all of the little changes that happened along the way.

I loved the whole experience and I hope I have an opportunity to paint another mural or large scale piece like this again sometime soon!

The show is up through August 9th, with the closing party August 8th from 6-8pm, please check out the Montserrat Galleries blog for more info:”


Step by step, Adolie Day

Adolie writes:

“Hi Lilla
Here (finally) an overview of my work process.
Here for creating a character, I hope it will answer some questions.
for this first step I draw with anim pencil. Blue
I then turned to the light table to improve it, make it more readable,
clean, adjust my line and add details sharper.
I then add some values ​​in blue ink.
I scan and begins working on Illustrator forms (the tablet).
I draw some bodies, details, printed, peas … and imports them into Photoshop.
Sometimes (not here) I scan funds in watercolor, fabric, I import photos
to bring the material.
For the rest I’m working on Photoshop, with different effects,
brushes and textures that I keep in my palette
A new “beloved” for a top secret note book …”


New work by John Coulter: Seattle Met: Agents of Chaos

John writes:

“Hi Lilla,
Here is the latest illustration I did for the Seattle Met. I’ve been using more textures and limited color with this work.”

Friday: Rebecca Bradley’s Florid Floral Notelets by teNeues


Suzy Ultman’s road to “Happy Trails”

Suzy writes:

“Hi Lilla.
With a majority of my projects, the production path is a straight, predictable line. Every once in a while, someone decides to take a risk and try something new. It’s a process full of problem solving & hard work, but the payoff is fantastic.

For “Happy Trails”, we were entering new Chronicle Books territory, creating a journal made of felt & embroidery. I’ve included images from important points in the process: (1) My very own hand-sewn mock-up which was sent to the factory in China for reference. (2) The production file referencing thread weight & stitch type. and (3) Voila! It’s the final journal in all of it’s felty glory.

enjoy* suzy”

Friday: Get your Paint On! Online class with Mati McDonough & Lisa Congdon


Trina’s New Inky Drawings and Thoughts on Working Big

Trina writes:

“Hi Lilla

I’m sending you some new work. They are ink drawings and mostly about A2 in size. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve ever worked this big and this messy before. It’s easy to blame external blocks – years in a small rented flat with the proverbial British carpets, not enough space on my desk once my computer, scanner and A3 printer are on it, “What would I then do with work so big?”, “They won’t fit under my scanner”, “How would I get that to the art director”….and on and on.

It may be something more subtle though – “artists work big but I’m an illustrator”, “To do a big self initiated piece I ought to have something serious or special to say”, “beautiful paper needs something good on it and it might not turn out good!” or maybe with my ingrained Calvinism “That is just too much fun to consider”!

Now with a bigger space and floorboards and a table in the kitchen for craft projects all the reasons seem silly. But maybe it isn’t so much gaining physical space but just allowing myself mental space to play. I’ve always known, in theory, how important it is to play and experiment as a way to moving your work along but somehow it always gets moved right down my list of priorities to somewhere under “send out mailers” or “clean bathroom” and time goes by!

I’m really loving working this big and the spontaneity of using inks and water. Sometimes starting with a very light pencil outline, but mostly just starting. But with years of drawing elements on separate bits of paper – easy to throw away if not right and then working in Illustrator where the delete button is there as a constant comforter it is a shock when I realise changes can’t easily be made! But I actually find it quite relaxing if I accept that this is part of the process, finding ways to reshape and change elements as “mistakes” happen and accepting I can’t control everything as I go along. If I get to a stage where I can control the results and everything turns out as expected I guess that’s when I should move on to some other technique!”

Friday: Studio Carta Grand Opening


New work by John Coulter: Appuies sur le Champignon!

John Coulter writes us:

“Hi Lilla,

I was inspired to create a poster based on a phrase my French friend David told me: “Appuies sur le champignon.” It literally means “Step on the mushroom” but translates to “Put the pedal to the medal.” I thought this would look good in a kid’s bedroom, to help them get out of bed in the morning.

I’ve included a close-up and a sketch.





Mosaic Eyes