Category: thoughts


Blooms of Nigeria

On April 14 more than 200 school girls were taken at gunpoint from their school dormitory in Chibok, Nigeria. You can read more on this and the resulting world response here.

I could not shake the horror from my mind and It came to me to do something to get the word out to the world in a visual way. The girls had gone, disappeared, what could we make to wait for them and make their abscence visible to the world? I came across a list of 180 of the girls names and i wanted to invite 180 women artists to illustrate a flower and dedicate it to their name in sisterhood, and hope. I spoke of this idea to a former student and amazingly talented illustrator Janna Morton and together we created this.

To date we have posted 110+  flowers and we have 70 more growing ! We ask that you take a look through the flowers, post your favourites, follow the tumblr or the twitter @bloomsofnigeria or like Blooms of Nigeria on Facebook. Spread the word- #bringbackourgirls. Its not a charity, its a vigil.

I’d like to post some more about the incredible women who have immediately responded to make these beautiful artworks, and although the project is not a charity, we hope that it does some good. It has certainly be a unifying activity for us and one which makes us connected to the world and reminds us of our humanity. – Rebecca Bradley












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.



My virtual studio: a peek inside

Mati e-course blog


A Suzy inspired Sochi!?!

Like many of you, Friday night I was all curled up in my favorite cozy chair watching the Olympics opening ceremonies. Just imagine my surprise to see this utterly fantastic display!

2014 Winter Olympic Games - Opening

2014 Winter Olympic Games - Opening

2014 Winter Olympic Games - Opening

All I could think of was our very own brilliant artist Suzy Ultman, or perhaps Dr. Seuss!

Here are a few of her pieces. Let me know what YOU think! Enjoy! Go Team USA! – Jennifer

Crate and Barrel

Chronicle Books



Sending help to the Phillipines

All of us at the Studio are filled with sadness for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Should you wish to consider contributing to American Red Cross to send food and supplies, here is the link. – Jennifer



Trina’s Illustrations for The Little Book of Wedding Etiquette and thoughts on listening whilst working

I loved producing the twelve illustrations and cover art for this book for Running Press on Wedding Etiquette. Now months after the project when I look again at the the artwork all I can recall of the time is it being winter and listening to an audio book of “Tess of the D’Urbervilles“. So I have a jumble of 21st century USA wedding etiquette and 19th century English milk maids in my head. I always think one of the most privileged aspects of working an illustrator is the opportunity to fill a space in my head with music or stories or documentaries whilst doing the “knitting” section of my work. – Trina


An illustrated book review of Lilla’s book

From Tammie Bennett’s blog:

“The second i heard Lilla Rogers was releasing a book i put it on my amazon wishlist. her agency, lilla rogers studio, represents so many of my very favorite current artists. my work isn’t ready for her yet, but hopefully someday. last week i saw on twitter that her book was being released earlier than planned, so i obviously dropped everything and ordered a copy.

in a strange twist of fate, one of my bubbies had a bad case of the flu and was on the couch the entire week. so i was a good mother and sat with her and snuggled on the couch. reading lilla’s book, of course. my daughter is an artist, too, so she enjoyed the pictures (of which there are many!)

i wanted to do a review of the book and all i kept coming up with was an image in my head of how the book made me FEEL. (remember, feelings are a big part of my 2013) so you will have to check out the image [below] for my illustrated book review.

lilla makes me feel like it really is possible to make money with my art if i continue to work really hard at creating lots of work. lots of GREAT work. lots and lots of practice. she gives great advice on overcoming obstacles to creativity. and an awesome 12 step program to make great art.

the chapter on getting to know the marketplace for your work is really helpful, with interviews from lots of art directors in all different types of markets. you’ll get a glimpse into the minds of art directors working in bolt fabric, children’s picture books, children’s print apparel, home decor, licensing, gift market, and others. i love the sections in this chapter where lilla includes a little place for you to assess your art :: what potential markets are for you and your work?

lilla includes a chapter on creating goals and a timeline, and she gives a great outline for your game plan. very inspiring!

the book is loaded with real-life examples from artists, illustrators, art directors, lilla and even her mom!”

Buy Lilla’s book on Amazon here.


poetry feeds

Sarajo writes:

“Lettering. Poetry. Inspiration. For no other reason!
Earlier this year I saw Color Moves: Art & Fashion by Sonia Delaunay at the Cooper Hewitt where I picked up a copy of “Blaise Cendrars Complete Poems.” He and Sonia were friends and she created the abstract for his “The Prose of the Trans-Siberian,” included in the exhibit. It was a fold-out sheet six and a half feet tall, with multiple typefaces in color on the right and the as-yet unknown Sonia’s pochoir abstraction on the left. Cendrars famously constructed myths of his biographical details. His given name wasn’t Blaise Cendrars. It is true that he joins the French Foreign Legion (World War I) and survives attacks in May 1914 where 100,000 are lost in a month. A year later he loses his arm in another battle. After the war, he collaborates variously with Jean Cocteau, Guillame Apollinaire, Erik Satie, and Abel Gance (film), and writes a novel about General Sutter (“Sutter’s Gold”) in 1925. His poetry is fresh and inventive and worth exploring.”


Susan’s burros blog post

Guest Blogger Susan McCabe:

After seeing Lisa Congdon, lying in repose in the pages of Martha Stewart Living, I realized, as her agent, it was time to come clean. Hey, I collect stuff too! It’s just not likely Martha will pay my collection much mind. You might get a kick out of it though.

People always ask me, is it a donkey, mule, ass or burro collection? Here’s what I’ve learned. A mule is a domesticated, hybrid animal that results from crossing a mare (female horse) and a jack (male donkey). A donkey is really just a domesticated ass often used to pull carts. Which, of course begs the question, “What is an ass?” It’s a four-footed hoofed animal related to the horse, but smaller, with longer ears, a shorter mane and often a dark stripe along the back. A jackass, is simply a male ass. The main difference between jackass and donkey is their domestication — the ass is wild and the donkey, tamed.

But what about the burro? A burro is a small donkey often used as a pack animal because it is particularly sure-footed. I don’t really know if burros pull carts regularly but ceramic burros often carry baskets laden with goods and they look pretty fabulous in little hats. I reveal to you my stable of burros.

These better behaved donkeys get to display themselves in my dining room.


Lilla’s Time Management Tips for Artists

Good news: You’re getting lots of work. But I can know it’s very stressful. I’ve been there when I was a full-time artist with tons of projects, and here are my tips on time management:

1. Write each item on a small sticky piece of paper (post-it notes).
An item to write down might be:
sketch animals for bag
get ideas for pattern
scan in all line drawings
color in patterns

Break down each item so that it is small.

2. Then, take a large calendar and place those post-it’s onto the calendar, spreading them out until the due dates.

Realistically see how each day looks. Too many post-it’s in a single day? Spread it out more. See how it looks and that will help you decide if you have any time available for any projects. That way, you are making a decision based on facts.

I hope that helps! I still use this method.

Also: get lots of good healthy food for your refrigerator. Prioritize your life so that you only do what’s really important to you.

Good luck!