Lilla shares a peek into the judging process… and why the artists need YOUR vote!

We are in the middle of public voting week for the 2014 Global Talent Search and have already received thousands and thousands of votes – thank you! Lilla wanted to share a peek into the judging process, give you an idea of what the judges are looking for, and explain why YOUR vote is so important. Plus, she shares a tip on how you can use the voting process to make your own art better!

Not voted yet? Cast your vote HERE!

We’d love to hear WHY you voted for the pieces you chose (although no need to mention WHO you voted for) – please share in the comments below.

We’ll be back tomorrow to announce some additional prizes and hot new judges!


  • Dear Lilla,

    it was a tough choice choosing only 5 to vote for, cos each was unique and charming in it’s own way, not to mention all of the 50 semifinalist are extremely talented! :) I voted based on what I would buy as a mommy of 2 daughters. If I were in a store which design would stood out to me and I know I would pick if I had these 50 thrown at me. 1st of all I love colour, cos girls love colours, bright and vibrant…then how unique/quirky/fun the personified animal is…I also was won by some extra’s that they added too. My daughter even begged me to buy a certain item thinking it was a shop I was browsing through :) LOL and she picked the exactly 1st design I was drawn to as well :) So there you go…my votes are in the hat…wishing you and the judges fun, gun,fun while choosing :)

    September 10, 2014
  • It was very interesting hearing why you’d set this particular challenge and you those outcomes were pretty clear. I decided I’d first go through the whole 50 carefully to get a general view of all entries, without voting for any. However one stood out so strongly there was no doubt I’d vote for that one, so first vote cast immediately. Second vote was pretty easy as this design was really different from the rest and had all the qualities you described. It just made me smile and I thought the composition exceptionally good. I was going for ones I personally was drawn to but also very much thinking about Lilla’s studio and how they might fit commercially. The third was easy as it wasn’t necessarily her strongest design, tho it was great, but she’s consistent, produces great work and has a clear and wonderful style. and it fitted the brief well. The last two were really tricky as there were so many lovely entries. I lingered over several whose past work I really like and it was SO hard not voting for them, but in the end I went with two that had that extra bit of difference. Boy, it wasn’t an easy choice but in the end I felt no doubts! Just some regrets that Lilla can’t take them all!

    by Anne
    September 10, 2014
  • Hello all!
    It was exciting to see the 50 pieces and it honestly gave me so much insight into what the Lilla Rogers brand was looking for because I can see so much similarities among so much uniqueness! As I first voted for a couple based on what appealed to me personally in color, simplicity and character, I took a break to come back and select my last few. I also had the chance to watch Lilla’s video and I took those points into account when making my last selections. What I’ve taken from everyone’s talent is amazing and inspiring…following and friending so many new artists! I can honestly say there is something in every piece that made me smile! I enjoy the processes people have shared to get to their final submissions. I love to find the layers and small design elements that make them unique. I love the different mediums used to make the final pieces. Thanks to all, for sharing a piece of your hearts and mind with us!

    September 10, 2014
  • Like Antoana, I too looked at the designs from a buyers perspective as a mom of both a boy and a girl… And if the design worked for both (gender neutral), it was an added bonus. I was really drawn to those designs that stood apart from the rest and where the main character didn’t get lost in the details but rather came alive and just popped off the page. I’m curious to see if they make it into the finals. Good luck to all!

    September 10, 2014
  • I had a hard time choosing just five. My first criteria was “does the piece give me an emotional response”. There has to be something special about the artwork that would make me stop and look at it if I saw it in a store. So I narrowed down my pieces first by my emotional response and then I thought “would I buy this?” I have two children ages 5 & 6 so I have purchased lots of adorable animal clothing in the past few years. I also worked in bookstores for 15 years specializing in the children’s department so, I’m very picky about personified animals. I really need to see personality and story. The only style of art I wished I could’ve seen more of is art for elementary aged boys. All the art was fabulous but it was heavy for girls or toddlers. There were a couple of pieces I would buy for my son who’s 6 but that was it. Older boys sometimes get the short end of the stick in the artistic clothing department. I love the children’s clothing category and personified animals are my favorite to draw. I guess I know what I’m going to be working on. Good luck to the final 50. All the work is beautiful!

    September 10, 2014
  • Hi Lilla,
    Thank you for the judging insight.
    I work in a French school with children ages 5 to 11, (French schools have no uniforms) so I imagined the designs that would appeal to the kids, firstly, then I judged on the designs that I would be happy to see on a regular basis, ie twice a week, every week for at least a year.
    Congratulations to all the artists as I could see that alot of thought and hard work had gone into their designs.
    Look forward to see who goes through to the next round. :)

    September 10, 2014
  • Loved this video full of great tips and advice and insight. Thanks so much for sharing what you look for in the work and what you’re hoping to offer a newly signed artist. I voted based on what I would buy and what I (or my nieces) would wear. I also looked at other elements in the piece that could be used on other mediums in addition to a tshirt, such as a lunch box or thermos or notebook. I also looked at the overall style and what spoke to me or resonated with me at first blush. Then I went through each piece again with a closer eye. Personified characters are so popular now, so it was fun to see such a clever variety.

    September 10, 2014
  • Hi Lilla! I had already voted before I watched your video blog, but much of my thoughts were the same as you suggested. First off I immediately though “Ooph! I wish I had gotten to the 2nd round to do this assignment…personified animals sounds right up my ally, and so fun!” But secondly, it was straight to which one of these images would I buy, which do I gravitate to? For me it was not hard at all to narrow it down. Color appeal is also so engrained into my way of looking at the world, so my choices were very influenced by hue and palette. Then of course, composition….to me a tee shirt shouldn’t be too busy, unless done subtly, and unless it’s a pattern. And it should definitely be something you wouldn’t find everywhere else, or haven’t seen before.

    I had a great time doing the first assignment…. made my terrarium image into stickers and sold a bunch of them at my craft show last weekend! :-)

    September 10, 2014
  • I have to say when choosing my top five that I first went with my gut. When going with my first gut reaction, I was drawn to certain color palettes, styles, uniqueness and overall artistic ability. The first few votes I made weren’t easy but much easier than the last two when I really tried to scrutinize. I should really admit that what would have been helpful in the deciding factor is if I had the artist’s first submission alongside their second submission. So many deciding factors!! Looking forward to watching closely as this all unfolds. xo

    September 10, 2014
  • Lilla, Thank you for sharing some insight into your criteria, as each voter will have their own internal criteria as well. As more of a “beginner”, I find it to be a personally useful exercise to reflect on the process of evaluating art (my own and others’, according to *explicit* criteria). I thought about whether I would buy for my nieces (or my sons, but as always, fewer options in the boys’ category!) and imagined whether my best friend’s “shopaholic” mom would be likely to buy the t-shirt/products for her grandkids. The distinct style and its appeal was a notable consideration (looking back and forth to Round 1 semifinalists gallery). Currently, my boys are obsessed with the dog characters in the book “Mr. Bud Wears The Cone” by Carter Goodrich, who is a master at creating characters with personality (not personified, but Zorro’s body postures and expressions = out of this world). Finally, I asked myself: “is this absolutely IRRESISTIBLE?” :)

    September 10, 2014
  • Hi Lilla!
    I loved looking through all the designs. So much great work. I voted before this video, but it was great to hear what you are all thinking. When I voted, I did have a hard time at first, but as I went over and over them, what I came up with was: 1. Would they appeal to my child. She is a girl, but any of these animals are appropriate for her as far as I am concerned. I try not to stick with gender binary stuff. I don’t want to limit her to “girly” stuff, and I hope retailers will follow this trend. (Land’s End recently started offering science based (non-pink t-shirts in girls sizes and they sold out fast!) 2. I was looking for the character to pop away from the rest of the elements. I didn’t want the character to blend in too much with the other design elements. 3. Something I personally struggle with- Is it a clever situation? So many of those! 4. I would say I only chose only one on style alone…the animal blended in too much for me, but as a designer, if I were liscencing the piece, I would probably take out some of the “extras”. But it was too great and trendy to not vote for it! 5. And of course, there is just personal gut appeal! That’s it for me I think! I will give it a go soon, myself. It will definitely be a challenge. Thanks!

    September 10, 2014
  • I loved reading all of your thoughts and insights. Thank you! It’s fascinating. I’m just so grateful that this round the judges are doing the heavy lifting! They are already voting and commenting in the private space and it’s fascinating. We will share all of it later. It’s great that the judges select the artists that they would work with. Looking forward to reading more of your comments!

    September 10, 2014
  • So generous and thoughtful of you to share the behind-the-scenes thinking and judging process, Lilla — thank you so much! Regarding voting, all the work was strong, so it was not easy choosing just five… but, this is how I tackled it: I did a first pass to get the “big picture” (see the scope of submissions and possible variation in skill, uniqueness, development of narrative, etc.) and noted in my mind which ones had the “wow factor”. On the second pass I wanted to make sure those that first shone really bright for me still did after the initially novelty wore off (all still held up; weeee!). I did a third pass just to make sure I didn’t miss a diamond-in-the-rough (e.g. one that might require more of the viewer’s time to understand or appreciate; one that suffered a bit when reduced to thumbnail-size, but excelled at larger scale; etc.). Finally I cast my votes and sent heart-felt love to all these gifted creatives who make the world more beautiful… they All win at that!

    September 10, 2014
  • It was great to get the opportunity to get a inside view into the judging process. Thank you so much for sharing it with us, Lilla. I voted on the very first day and was looking for criterias required in the briefing but the main reason to vote for a design was if I loved it at the first sight, if it made me smile or happy. When I could find some humor in the details it was a big plus. Thinking of a T-shirt print placement also let me look for a strong focus where the animal character had “enought” space to shine. Good luck to every semifinalist!!!

    September 11, 2014
  • Soooo tough to vote! All of these have sweet commercial appeal in my opinion. I chose two, one was exceptionally cute & just popped out at me and the other stood out as being different from the mix and quite clever, too!
    I’m going to watch video now. Best of luck to the artists and judges ;)

    September 11, 2014
  • I looked at each piece as if I were out shopping for my children. I had to think if they would wear it and would it fit in with their other garments. Also, I considered my attraction to the piece. Did I enjoy the colors? Did it make me smile? Can’t wait to see how it goes.

    September 11, 2014
  • Thanks Lilla , for sharing some of your judging process, I went with my artist eye and choose the ones that I thought were different and creative, some are same old same old but still nice to the eyes, had to choose them too. Almost all of them are very cute.
    Wish best luck to all!

    by Adriana LoRusso
    September 11, 2014
  • Hello Lilla,

    I looked at all designs first and then I came back to what I thought was describing better the concept of a person with an animal head i.e. a person who inside feels like that :-D

    I want to feel like that animal too and I would be really happy to wear that t-shirt until I’ll get there.

    September 11, 2014
  • I would agree with Karin, I didn’t make past the first assignment but would have LOVED to do the second and probably would have been much more comfortable. However, going through the challenge was so eye-opening for me and I learned so much by doing it. I only voted once and I was looking for a specific animal in a specific style. So, for me it was rather easy to choose, not that all 50 weren’t marvelous, but I knew if I didn’t find this one animal I probably just wouldn’t vote at all. I found it! Not only did I find it, but it was ADORABLE and so suitable for PreK- 3rd graders. I love, love, love this age because they are so full of themselves and life, and see so much wonder in every tiny thing. Thank you for this wonderful experience!!

    September 11, 2014
  • Amazing talent! Good luck to all!

    September 11, 2014
  • This is an amazing banquet of talent. I literally spent hours looking over each entry and linking out to their websites to get a better feel for why they did what they did. It was tough to narrow it down, except for my first two choices, which pulled me in immediately. I won’t say who they were, but to me they both seemed polished in their own style, used appealing colors and contrasts, had clever or fresh approaches and frankly, they both spoke to my artistic soul on some deeper level. The best of luck to all of the finalists. I am anxious to know who the winner is, and also thank you for posting the art of all the entrants. I enjoyed every one of those as well!

    by Linda Varos
    September 11, 2014
  • I’m off to vote & do my summaries for who & why…
    I must say I’ve had to, or decided to let them sink in all week. I’ve looked dozens of times. I too went with my gut for the first pass, but that still left a very long list. I love digging in & getting to know more about each artist.
    All 50, all 999, everyone is a talent, a unique & gorgeous talent that I am so impressed with. Because you put yourself out there, you’ve done it.
    Keep going. There is so much ahead for those who continue to do what they love. — Now off to vote..! xxo

    by Margo T.
    September 11, 2014
  • Loved that you’ve included us all in the voting process! I voted for my top 5 favs based on: 1) general appeal of the design based on which would I buy for my child or someonelse’s, and whether it could be successfully licensed for a variety of items; 2) the character — was it developed in it’s design, was it unique and have it’s own stand out personality; 3) the overall composition of the design; and 4) style (was it original and is it strong enough as it’s own brand). I look forward to the results!

    September 11, 2014
  • I initially looked at the images,deliberately without reading the brief. I narrowed it down as to what was pleasing to my eye and the color in particular. I narrowed it down to 10-15 images.
    I found the text used in the images could either make or break the design and the color on some put me off some extremely proficient artist. I love the use of humor and puns.

    One image stood out and popped. I loved everything about it, except one color.

    After Lilla’s video I went through my list. I looked at how well they had personified the characters and if they were they just a cute animal with eyes. I voted for characters that would work best in a children’s book.

    I looked at the artists strengths in this area on their blogs and websites. I was pleasantly surprised at a person who had particularly strong character design and the contrast between their character style and the terrarium they did. I liked their versatility. They got a vote.

    I looked for styles that would work for boys and girls. Styles that would appeal to both adults and children, and what i considered buying.

    I voted for several artists who I follow on blogs , whose style and color I know and adore. One post actually helped me realize how versatile one character actually was.

    I voted for the person whose terrarium art stood out and would buy from the last round. It was a hard decision and I wish I had a young person with me during my decision making to get their perspective.

    September 12, 2014
  • I chose designs of artists whom I’d like to meet, based on these entries alone. Those artists who made my cut showed a clear point of view, a painterly quality,sense of wonder, love of color, a sense of humor, independence and a real love of life. I’m a visual image junkie and it takes a lot for me to say “Wow, that’s really unique”. These were designs that made me look at an idea in a new or different way. They led me down a path, presented characters and situations that told stories that made me want to know more. Great introductions to some very fine artists. Thank you. And thank you for sharing your criteria–very educational and helpful.

    by Kristin
    September 12, 2014
  • Hi Lila,

    I voted for Artists that had a cute character I would buy for my daughter. It had to have bright colors, a cute face and actual clothes on. I liked the ones with a circle of leaves or a frame around it. I also liked to see the character had personality, doing an activity or posed in a cute way. Can’t wait to see who wins!

    September 13, 2014

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