Lilla Rogers (and co) powerhouse online classes are hands down the single best investment an emerging commercial artist can make. Click here for more information. I took Make Art That Sells - part A last summer. I cried almost every week with the exception of the 'Wall Art' week which was right up my alley, did not involve being fluent in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and frankly, felt easy to me. I was stressed mainly because I felt like a dinosaur as I struggled to express the ideas I had in my sketchbook and heart and mind with limited digital skills. Looking back, I think I was much too emotional about it. I wasn't used to feeling lost with an art assignment. When it came time for the children's book illustration week I was distracted by the voices in my head that told me that's what I wanted to be when I grew up. I gave my 40-something self a pep talk and told myself to grow up and use this experience to my advantage and stop being so darn hard on myself. So, I signed up for the bootcamp. The bootcamp is less instruction and more Lilla giving us an assignment and giving us weeks rather than days to deliver a result. It ran for five months with a theme and assignment due at the end of three weeks. The themes were hot and the challenges interesting. You can take a look at past blog posts to see some of my work from this experience. Also - Lilla's book 'I Just Like To Make Things' is fabulous!
I wasn't over-joyed with my results every time but I went through the galleries and wrote notes on the pieces my class mates had done and why I thought they were successful. I learned something new about my own work every time and that, in my book, means I was successful.
What I learned in Bootcamp:
The pieces that were successful had one or more of the following attributes:
- The color palette is bold but simple - often a neutral with rich, bold color.
- The composition is centrally weighted and reads well in a small thumb nail
- Pattern within a composition is unified and used to balance the piece
- Has a sense of humor
- Bold shapes with line work/ a mix of textures
- Fabulous hand lettering
- Sets a scene I could walk into/feel
- Adopts a style and is consistent; i.e. folk art, abstract, etc...
The strengths in my work that I need to leverage:
- concept - make it obvious
The weaknesses in my work that I need to address:
- Be bolder, simpler
- Develop hand lettering style
- Boost my technical skills - especially learn to use the pen tool in Ai like it's an extension of my hand.
- BREATHE and trust in my voice !
So - on to the next challenge: the Global Talent Search - take 2. I participated last summer and gave the first assignment 110% of my effort. Although I did not make the cut I learned a great deal and didn't let myself down. Onward...