I’m reflecting upon our magical 3-day Annual Artists and VIP Retreat

I’m reflecting upon our magical 3-day Annual Artists and VIPs Retreat this past week, now in its 5th year. It began as an idea we had, sipping coffee and dreaming up cool ways to do business.

Ideas + plans = new reality.

This year’s Retreat was such fun, but also super great for business. It’s what I call a feminist model of business–embracing things like physical beauty–loads of fresh colorful bouquets in vintage vases; it’s about healthy and abundant buffets; it’s about cozy and plentiful spots for people to relax and chat in the sunshine. It’s about a 🎸guitarist and wine 🍷 in the early evening with golden light. But it’s also about a bit of wackiness like playing vintage bingo.

Mix up the ingredients: beauty, coziness, nature, and play. Next add giant helpings of some of the most brilliant illustrators working today plus some of the top art directors in the business.

We are already getting juicy commissions as a direct result. Business is kind of a dull word for simply putting people together and benefiting both parties in a lucrative way. And when it’s about art, then it’s about adding more beauty to the world. And right there you have my business philosophy. Have fun with business, enjoy business, play business like it’s a game.

I’d love to share some of the highlights with you.


In addition to eleven top artists, we were honored to host Frances Soo Ping Chow, Creative Director, Running Press; Carolyn Eckert, Art Director, Storey Publishing; Marissa Giambrone, Art Director, Quarto; Ashley Halsey, Art Director, Sellers | High Note; Jo Obarowski, Creative Director, Sterling Publishing; Melia Parsloe, Associate Designer, Page Street Publishing; Julie Philibert, Senior Design Stylist, Brewster Home Fashions; Gibbs Rainock, Art Director, Hasbro; J Walker, Designer, 2Communiqué.


Our artists made lovely portfolio magazines to give out to the art directors:

Above: Portfolios featuring the work of Åsa Gilland, Sarah Papworth, and Julia Christians.


Above: Click photo to see Sarah Papworth flipping through her amazing sketchbook. This video post got over 14,000 views on Instagram!


Giveaways from the artists: Kendra Binney, Jennifer M Potter, Kelly Anne Dalton, Bambi Ramsey, Asa Gilland, Julia Christians, Erica Root, Jessica Allen


Speed Art Dating

The highlight of the Retreat is Day 2: VIP Presentations and Speed Art Dating. This is the glorious opportunity for our artists and the VIP art directors to sit together for 10 minutes and chat about the artists’ work. Oh yeah, and vintage tablecloths.

Kendra Binney (top) with Jo Obarowski from Sterling Publishing


Carolyn Eckert, Storey Publishing (left) with Erica Root


Ashley Halsey, Sellers Publishing | High Note (left), with Mara Penny


Jessica Allen (left) and J Walker, 2Communiqué


Åsa Gilland (left) with Marissa Giambrone, Quarto


Wine and Cheese Gathering

After a rich and lively day, the artists, Studio ladies, and the VIPs unwind with wine, cheese and music in the golden early evening light.

Click on the video above to get a small taste of our wine and cheese event in my garden.


Thank you to all the ADs who attended!

Art directors: Interesting in participating next year? Reply to this email!

Watch for our next newsletter where we show the Artist days at the Retreat: Show and Tell, Snoop Groups, Sketch Scavenger Hunt, and more.


Blurb magazines

ADs at the Retreat loved the gorgeous magazines we gave them featuring Card and Decorative art (left) and Children’s Book art.

—> Art directors, please contact us to request your very own gorgeous copy! Please include your title and company name with your request.



I hope you enjoyed the show! Want great art for your project? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be delighted to assist you with any of your art needs. Get to know us here!
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Founder, Lilla Rogers Studio
Co-Founder, Make Art That Sells courses
P. S. Read what our clients have to say about working with our agency here!

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