Q&A with Lilla – Gift

question of the dayWALL

Our ‘Q&A with Lilla’ series is back! This is where we share questions from the previous class of Make Art That Sells. You can see what a wide variety of topics are covered – and you might even find the answer to that burning question you have been wanting to ask! This round up is from the final week of class, covering the Gift Market but also looking at different aspects of making art your career.

Q) What’s the best way to know if we have talent?  How can we tell if we would be better off to play at art for our own pleasure rather than try and ‘make art that sells?

A) I am asked that a lot. I knew that I had to be an artist. I was completely determined. My question to you is, are you willing to work hard? Talent is a muscle. You can get better at it. Continue to take classes and make art. When you want to make art rather than do other things, then you know it’s for you. Some people like the idea of being an artist but don’t want to put in the time. Some give up right before they make it. Some stay with it and have thriving careers. But this is not a get-rich-quick scheme, as I always say. That being said, there is an art career for everyone. It may be in craft, in teaching, in owning a gallery, in all the various markets covered in Make Art That Sells, etc.


Q) My experience from the past 5 assignments of the Make Art That Sells class is we may end up develop various art styles we equally like. Creating art for West Elm could be totally different from Blue Q, for example. When we are moving forward, what should we do to deal with the different styles?

A) That’s great to have work that has range! Then, you promote it and see what pulls work and commissions. Then, you show that work, and your body of work gets stronger and stronger.


Q) How do you manage and promote so many artists and bring them enough jobs equally? From an artist point of view, I found being represented by an agent is putting a major part of my career into someone else’s hands.

A) No roster of artists in an agent’s group gets equal amounts of work. Some artists stay fresh and grow, some don’t. Some have work that is more marketable than others. As far as putting your career in someone else’s hands, do your research before you sign on.


Q) When we are trying to approach potential clients / art directors, or when we try to follow up after sent them emails, do you recommend artists to make phone calls to them? Do agents make calls to their potential clients to introduce new artists / new art works?

A) Nowadays, most contacting is via email and shows. We are all pretty busy and phone calls are harder to respond to.


Q) I found it is difficult to manage my time creating new art for so many different industries, but sending update to my clients (or potential clients) to make them remember me takes even more time. Do you have good tips for managing both?

A) Make a schedule. Chip away in bits and pieces. For example:

Mondays after AM walk: Send work to 5 clients and spend ½ hour posting on social media

Wednesdays after coffee with friends: Create newsletter

Fridays in the evening while watching favorite show: Send out newsletter.

It’s good to plug in tasks in your calendar and hook them up to a standing event you already do, like drop off kids, or go on walk with friend.

Also, I love asana.com for organizing my tasks.


Q) I’m definitely feeling tension between my digital style and my natural media style. Are there overarching principles that apply when these are successfully combined? Would it be best to develop the different styles by slanting each to specific, different markets?

A) Hard to say. Play around. Try different things until you see what you like. There is no particular rule. You can make elements traditionally and then scan them in. I like to do backgrounds in paint and my icons in brush and ink and then scan everything in.


Q) Most artists seem to have a blog. I didn’t realize until I started Make Art That Sells. Is it an unwritten rule in the art and licensing business that we all need a blog?

A) You definitely need a website so everyone can see your work, and a blog is a great way to keep your site fresh with your latest work, sketches, information, etc.


Q) Would you prefer to see a traditional online portfolio (with a selection of the best work) rather than an artist’s blog, or vice versa?

A) An online portfolio is best for me.


Got your own questions for Lilla? Join us for the next round of Make Art That Sells. Class begins on MONDAY (October 20).

Book your spot here!

1 Comment

  • Thanks for finally talking about >Q&A with Lilla – Gift – Lilla Rogers <Liked it!

    December 6, 2018

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