How our Make Art That Sells alumni are rocking it: Part 2

Continuing our series of alumni successes, here is part 2.

We asked class participants for examples of their successes since taking the course, and were staggered by the response, bearing in mind that some people only took the course a few months ago. Here is part 2 in our series.

Students have since secured licensing deals in the gift, editorial, baby apparel, bolt fabric, wall art, greetings, home décor, paper and fashion markets, many have won competitions and a number have been signed for representation.

It’s also really important to say that people join Make Art That Sells (MATS) at different stages of their creative journey. Some are nearly ready to seek out work, others less so. For many people the greatest breakthrough is a new level of confidence in their work, a fresh love of creating, or a deep feeling of connection with others in the community. Success looks different for everyone. The licensing deals, competition wins and studio signings are the easy things to measure. The impact it makes on people’s lives – on the way they see themselves as artists, and the way the see their work – is perhaps the thing that we are most proud of.

Here is a selection of class participants who have a lot to celebrate since taking Make Art That Sells. If you want this for YOUR art career, join us for the next class which begins on Monday 2 March!


Anette Heiberg

“MATS taught me how important it is to find inspiration in any assignment so people can see from my finished art that I had fun working on it. Since MATS I have sat aside more time in between my client work to work on my own projects. I have also taken more workshops to push myself into new directions and grow.”
Opportunities/work won:
  • I sold several of the maps created for the editorial assignment within days of finishing the piece, including prints bought by the municipality to decorate the local kindergarten.
  • My children’s apparel assignment won me a runner up prize in the Print & Pattern Scholarship for The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design

See more of Anette’s work here: http://www.anetteheiberg.com


Tjarda Borsboom


“I took MATS A when I just started working on my own as a freelance illustrator. I just resigned (I was a product designer, mostly for mass production for kids) and felt confidence, but also a bit lost. The most important things that helped me right away: I learned how to send my work out. I learned a lot about building a good portfolio and I made the right art for my portfolio.

Besides that there was this big bunch of creative people who are always supportive. A close friend had his doubts about my new freelance career and told me that. This kind of negativity just does not exist in MATS-country. There is always somebody from somewhere around the globe to give you a supportive word and believes in you. My first year as a freelancer was successful and I feel so much stronger now. I hope I am able to take MATS this year again. Bootcamp is already a fact and I love it! The artwork I made since MATS is better, stronger and I am still growing. “
Work and a achievements since MATS A and B (both in 2014):
  • Commissioned for an editorial illustration for Dutch magazine “Zomer” about travelling. This commission was based on the Editorial project I made for MATS B (the map assignment)
  • Runner up in the Print & Pattern Design Scholarship for The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. (JPG: “ABSPD_PATTERN_TJARDA_BORSBOOM”)
  • Got signed for representation by ‘Tekenteam’, a Dutch illustration agency
  • Work licensed for a few Card companies
  • Semi finalist in the Global Talent Search 2014
See more of Tjarda’s work here: www.zwiep.nu

Kim Gann

Kim Gann

“Mats gave me the knowledge to take the steps into Licensing and to Create my Joy.”

Since taking MATS:

  • Fabric Licensing Deal with P&B Textiles
  • Flying Sweetly
  • Featured in Quiltmaker Magazine March/April 2014 issue
  • Second fabric collections shipping Spring 2015 Fancy Feathers


Jennifer L. Wambach


“Picasso is quoted as saying “every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” After growing up wanting to be nothing other than an artist, and after spending nearly 20 years getting further and further away from that goal, MATS has brought things full circle. I’m making more art now than ever before and having a blast doing so — every day I feel like I did when I was a little kid playing in the basement with my mom’s oil paints and pastels (sorry mom!) I’ve truly rediscovered the joy of creating, and companies are really starting to respond to it. Lilla is absolutely right: people buy your joy. How lucky am I that I get to do this every day?!”

 Summary of work won since MATS:

  • I have an art licensing agent: I’m so pleased to announce that as of January 2015 my work is represented by Painted Planet Licensing Group!
  • I’m currently wrapping up a big project for a major scrapbooking company. I can’t yet give any details but it’s been something I’ve wanted to do for years, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to work on it!
  • 6-time top 10 placement in Spoonflower’s Fabric of the Week contests

View more of Jennifer’s work here: www.jenniferwambach.com


If you want this for YOUR art career, join us here for the next round of Make Art That Sells.

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



1 Comment

  • Thank you for your stories – they are truly inspirational. Hearing about other’s paths helps me construct my own.

    February 17, 2015

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