Zoe Ingram shares her MATS + GTS experience!

Hi Lilla,

I’m just popping in to share a little post GTS update. I thought It would be good to share a bit of my experience so far.

It’s been almost two months since the end of GTS and I think I’m finally getting my head around what just happened to me. The experience, I can only describe as a roller coaster ride. There was the thrill of starting work on a new brief and then the nervous wait after submitting and then the elation at hearing that I’d advanced to the next round. Three rounds of extreme and intense emotions but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Since the announcement back at the beginning of October, things have been full on, fast paced but thankfully Lilla, Susan, Jennifer and Julia have all been there helping me to get settled in. What an amazing team! There has been a lot for me to take in and digest and work through and now that MATS B has finished I was going to say that things have calmed down a little bit for me but actually, that’s not really true, it’s still full steam ahead with stage 2 of my book illustrations with Quarry, a fabric collection with Robert Kaufman, greetings cards with American Greetings and Printsource preparations all of which are dream jobs!

So what exactly have I been doing since the end of GTS? Well, lots of drawing that’s for sure! But I love drawing so it couldn’t get any better! I have also been working closely with Margo Tantau at Midwest CBK on my new line with them which I am crazy excited about and they are now working on the range and it will be going into production very, very soon.

I have also come to understand the importance and value of having a good support network in place and people to talk to in the sometimes solitary world of illustration and in particular, working from home. I make a point of going to my local library cafe at least once a week to sit and draw. The ladies who work there ask me about my work when they see me drawing which is lovely. Another great support network that I am very lucky to be part of is Forest Foundry collective, an amazing group of 7 other artists from all around the world. We keep each other motivated, inspired and support each other everyday.

I received a little email from Lilla the other day asking me if I can believe my life now and I promptly replied that no I couldn’t and would I ever? The whole experience from MATS A, to GTS, to MATS B has really, really been out of this world and has changed my life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Lilla & Beth have created for me. It was, without doubt, the best choice I ever made to do the course and GTS. I almost didn’t sign up for the course or the competition but had 20 seconds of insane courage and did it. It’s been the best and happiest time of my working life so far and I believe it’s only going to get better.

I think the moral of the story that I’m trying to get across here is that dreams really can and do come true. Don’t hold back, just do it, whatever “it” may be to you and with a little bit of hard work and determination who knows what might happen. I believe that a lot of what has come to me has done so because I have been open, willing to take a chance, using positive thinking and a lot of determination and hard work. If you’re thinking about doing MATS and GTS next time, go for it, you really have nothing to lose!

I don’t have much in the way of work that I can show yet as it’s all in development and a bit top secret but I can show you a couple of pieces from MATS B and the huge pile of sketchbooks that I have amassed in the past few months with a little peek inside! – Zoe





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