Bootcamp

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been joining in an art making challenge called the Make Art That Sells: Assignment Bootcamp 2015.

It is run by Lilla Rogers, a prominent art licensing agent in the US, in conjunction with the various courses she runs.  I took it to help me get used to making art on different themes aimed at particular product markets, and I’ve been enjoying it tremendously, even though it is pushing me out of my comfort zone.  The way it works is that Lilla gives participants a mini  task on the first Monday of the month, which usually involves sketching or painting on a particular subject. Then the second Monday of the month we are given an assignment, with 2 weeks to complete it, based on the mini but for a specific market or product.  If you would like to see some of the artwork which has been produced so far – here is a page with a  link to the galleries.

In January the theme was Edwardian brooches, and the final assignment was to design a journal cover with that theme.  I started playing with handmade stamps first because I like the rough, abstract feel.   I used some of these in the background or for texture (and they also found their way into my train ticket art!).

stamped circles and flowers
My thought immediately turned towards interpreting it in the form of stamps

 

Then I started sketching and eventually I scanned in the sketches, vectorized them, printed them out and painted them in different colour schemes.  Here are the two designs I came up with in the end, mocked up as journals.

pink frog journal
I call this my frog journal though it has a lot more than frogs on it!

 

This is the one I eventually uploaded, I quite like the ‘scary creatures’ sort of take on it though maybe a darker background would suit them better!

This is a very different style of journal; I was thinking lace and delicate tracery
This is a very different style of journal; I was thinking lace and delicate tracery

 

I like the delicate lace designs on this one but I think the colours pop more in the first.

For February the mini task  was to paint or draw scenes inspired by imagery seen on vintage plates.  This is one of mine – as you can see I’m not very good at painting people!

A rough painting of a cottage in the style of vintage crockery
A rough painting of a cottage in the style of vintage crockery

 

The following week the assignment was to paint these scenes on circular pieces of wood!    I discovered that wood slices (with bark still attached) seem to be fashionable at the moment for wedding table settings so I bought a pack of 20 and have been busy painting scenes and pictures on them!  We only have to do one so it means I have plenty to spoil along the way!

lines of wood slices painted with gesso
Here they all are, painted with black, white and some clear gesso all ready for decorating!

 

I prepared the surface and then got going!  Here are a few of them in progress – I eventually uploaded the two boat scenes to the gallery.

painting on wood slices
I went a bit wild – well, I did have 20 to practise on! Here are some of the results…

 

I really enjoyed February’s challenge – I liked the broad nature of the theme and, as you will see if you look at the gallery, people interpreted it in very different ways and styles.   It reminds me a bit of the sort of designs I used to make in fabric with my Rainy Streets series of postcards and my print gocco notebooks.

2 Replies to “Bootcamp”

  1. This was so interesting. This sort of designing is so different from the sort of art most of us do. It takes more flexibility of imaginationI think. You’ve pulled back the curtain just a bit.

    1. Thanks, Sheila, I’m glad you found it interesting. I’m finding that it’s a whole new world opening up, and very challenging sometimes! The world of graphic designers and illustrators, I’m finding it is really inspiring. I forgot to mention that there’s also a very supportive and encouraging Facebook group.

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