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Meet the fantastic art collectives at Surtex. We interviewed a few.


Hi! It’s me, Reine and I’m just back from my trip to the tradeshows in New York with Lilla Rogers Studio. It was fantastic to see so many art collectives that have formed directly because of Make Art That Sells!

I enjoyed actually getting to meet the people behind the art I love from class! One of the great things about Make Art That Sells (MATS) is that it gets you set for two big tradeshows, Surtex 2017 and Blueprint.

Q: What is an ‘art collective’?

A: Art collectives are groups of like-minded artists who get together and split the cost of a booth, form a group website, share marketing, and be there for support and advice.

Here I am (on the left) with the gang from Finch & Foxglove Collective. They met each other in Make Art That Sells courses.

You’ll love this interview I did with them at Surtex here. See what they say when I ask them how they share the responsibilities.

MATS courses teach you exactly what kinds of marketing to do. Here’s fantastic marketing collateral from the Finch & Foxglove booth for clients to take home.

Meet Amarylis Henderson. She’s a MATS student and first-time exhibiter at Surtex. Yes, you can exhibit on your own.

In my short video with Amarylis, you’ll hear what clients asked her for the most this year. Watch this Q + A with Amarylis and me!

I stopped into Blueprint which is a new tradeshow that is very affordable and well-received. It was great to see a ton of MATS students there as well.

Here’s artist Nikki Upsher, MATS Alumna and Global Talent Search Finalist, at her charming booth at the Blueprint Show. I recognized some of her assignments from class.

Here’s the Pencil Parade—yet another MATS alumni collective that showed at the Blueprint Show! Read this fascinating interview with them here.

 

Four Corners Collective. An International collective featuring 7 different artists from four different corners of the world!

Thinking about exhibiting at a tradeshow? Read Lilla’s nine questions you must ask yourself before exhibiting.

Congratulations to all the fantastic artists from the shows! Your hard work showed and we wish you many successes in your endeavors.

Wishing you a fabulous art career!

xo

Reine

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MATS banner-title

Would you like to experience the Make Art That Sells classes yourself? Browse our live and self-paced classes here

Graduates of our courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. Find out more HERE and start today!

 

Alumni success ‘spotlight’ interview with Art Collective: Pencil Parade


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We are so proud of our Make Art That Sells Alumni, that we are pleased to continue a series of spotlight interviews showcasing their successes and artwork. We also ask them to share how the MATS courses have helped them learn and grow. You can see more Alumni Success stories here

Today, we have an interview with an art collective called ‘Pencil Parade Art Collective‘ a group of Make Art That Sells students! {Betsy Siber, Katherine Lenius, Brooke Glaser, and Megan Dunagan} They have taken MATS A & B (where we all met!), Creating Collections for Home Decor and also participated in Bootcamp and Global Talent Search (GTS).

 

 

Tell us a little about how your collective got started in art and design.

All four of us in Pencil Parade have different backgrounds such as photography, web design, and even music! But each of us followed a new path after discovering online courses in art licensing and illustration, such as MATS, and other online tutorials. MATS helped us realize the full potential that a career in illustration could be.

Pencil Parade started as we were finishing up MATS and we all realized we needed the continued support of a group of friends who would understand the art we were trying to do and the goals we are reaching for.

Lilla always says “People buy your joy.” What brings you joy?’

Katie says that she “creates joyful art for the everyday,” and we all agree! It’s right our own backyards: our gardens, on a walk down local streets. Just being in nature, watching your kids, and seeing the textures – and COLORS! We absolutely love finding new color combinations!

Design by Megan Dunagan

Which are your favorite market(s) to design for and why?

Brooke and Betsy adore the making art for children; whether it be for apparel, decor, or gifts: characters and bold color are where they shine. Katie and Megan find the most joy in creating for bolt fabric, home decor, and stationery. Creating texture and beauty for the place you live (and people you love!) is at the top of their list.

What are you working on currently?

Blue Print preparations! We are very much absorbed in getting ready for the show on May 21st-23rd (show 2). All of us are creating artwork in between printing tear sheets, banner making, and postcard-sending.

Design by Betsy Siber

What are some of the key things you have learnt from the MATS experience?

MATS really helped us learn to keep the market and client we’re designing for in mind. Creating beautiful art is one thing, but thinking beyond that to how it can be used adds another layer. In addition, it helped us explore the way we use color, composition, and lettering.

How have the classes helped your artwork evolve /grow?

MATS helped us look more critically at our work and see where it might fit in different markets. It also pushed our styles to dig deeper into what makes our individual art unique. We’ve remained a part of the MATS artist community which is incredibly rewarding, too – there are so many students who are incredibly knowledgeable in so many areas that can help your art business. Remember, some artists come from accounting, marketing, or even law backgrounds – it can be so important to stay involved and get all the help you can.

Design by Brooke Glaser

Any aha moments during MATS you would like to share?

We enjoyed how Lilla always says to draw lots of motifs/icons to start with – it makes the entire design process much more fun and helped develop our styles. Also, there were so many little details of things to pay attention to when designing for a specific market. These were the most valuable educational moments.

What are your key successes since taking a MATS class?

Megan says: “The MATS segment on Editorial work was a section I was unsure of at first, but it ended up being my favorite ‘subject’! I realized that I adore working on editorial and have even illustrated artwork for an entire article in a Southern California magazine.” Since MATS, we’ve each earned licensing/purchase contracts, worked on commissions, and we’re exhibiting at our first trade show to bring our work to more clients.

Design by Katherine Lenius

How would you describe taking a MATS class to a fellow artist looking to develop their art?

We would say it’s a big commitment: follow the setup guidelines, carve out the time to work on the assignments every single week and give it the attention you would if you were in a college classroom. There is so much to learn, so many connections to make, be sure to take FULL advantage of all the information you get and the classmates you meet. Don’t get discouraged by anyone else’s expertise – there’s room for everyone in art and you don’t know how long they’ve been doing it. Take a bunch of notes and make friends with your favorite artists. It’s SO worth it in the end!

What are your dream gigs for your artwork?

For Katie, Betsy, and Megan: it’s our own exclusive fabric deal with a textile company (and Betsy can cross that off her list, now!). For Brooke, she’d love to work on a special paper kit for Compendium or Chronicle Books. They both produce such inspiring and fun work. Once we all achieve those goals, home decor, editorial freelancing, and children’s books are next!

See more work here: Website | Instagram

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MATS banner-title

Would you like to experience the Make Art That Sells classes yourself? Browse our live and self-paced classes here

Graduates of our courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. Find out more HERE and start today!

Alumni success ‘spotlight’ interview with Rima Tessman


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We are so proud of our Make Art That Sells Alumni, that we are pleased to continue a series of spotlight interviews showcasing their successes and artwork. We also ask them to share how the MATS courses have helped them learn and grow. You can see more Alumni Success stories here

 

RIMA TESSMAN PROFILE PICToday, we have an interview with Rima Tessman (Birch & Loon). Rima has taken MATS A and Assignment Bootcamp

Tell us a little about how you got started in art and design.

You know how people sometimes speak of a single moment or experience that changed the course of their life? I had one of those! I was a pretty prolific artist in my youth, but since I didn’t think I could make a living through my art, I decided to pursue a “practical” career – I became a technical writer, just like Tina from Dilbert. Between working long hours and worrying that one of my manuals was eventually going to cause a factory explosion somewhere, I was quite miserable. So when my children were born and circumstances allowed me to spend time with them at home, I jumped at the chance. One summer, I stumbled upon a basic block printing lesson and somehow, over the course of one afternoon, my love for creating art was suddenly re-ignited. I know it’s a cliche, but I really did find my life’s passion that day. I took it upon myself to get as much of a formal art education as I could by taking a classes on and offline in a variety of techniques, and I’ve been creating art every day since.

Lilla always says “People buy your joy.” What brings you joy?

First and foremost, making art! But also travel, antiquing, foraging for “art things” in the woods, and riding my bicycle with the abandon of a child.

Which is your favorite market(s) to design for and why?

So far I’ve been most taken with home decor and wall art. I like the idea of making art that is not only gorgeous to look at, but that can be handled and used every day. I’m a firm believer that being surrounded by beauty makes everyone happier and kinder.

RIMA_TESSMAN_WHITECAT_CHILDRENSBOOKS

What are you working on currently?

I have just started working on the last lesson in the MATS A class. But I’m always creating original art for my Etsy shop and patterns for Spoonflower. Last summer I had the opportunity to take a class at a chateau in France with renowned textile artist Mandy Patullo, which really inspired me to explore the use of textiles in my work.

What are some of the key things you have learnt from the MATS experience?

That I really can adapt my style and medium for commercial markets (for example, the Wall Art piece I created for MATS was a textile collage that I scanned and tweaked in Photoshop) and that making art is supposed to be fun!

How have the classes helped your artwork evolve /grow?

I have experimented with mediums and techniques I may not have used otherwise, and I’ve learned how to make luscious pieces that can work in several different markets.

RIMA_TESSMAN_RIDING CAMP_GIFTS

Any aha moments during MATS you would like to share?

Realizing that I can make bolt fabric patterns by taking a few well rendered pieces from other works I’ve made!

What are your key successes since taking a MATS class?

I’ve developed an ongoing relationship with a local art gallery who has begun regularly stocking my work.

RIMA_TESSMAN_COOLKITCHEN_BOLTFABRIC

How would you describe taking a MATS class to a fellow artist looking to develop their art?

It’s a total immersion experience with a “tribe” that “gets you” and is extremely supportive. The wealth of information provided – both in terms of techniques and commercial advice – is really staggering. I go back to reference the information vault for MATS all the time and I always find something new.

What is your dream gig for your artwork?

I would love to license my artwork for commercial markets.

See more work here: Website | Shop | Instagram | Facebook

 

 

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MATS banner-title

Would you like to experience the Make Art That Sells classes yourself? Browse our live and self-paced classes here

Graduates of our courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. Find out more HERE and start today!

Alumni success ‘spotlight’ interview with Grace Noël


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We are so proud of our Make Art That Sells Alumni, that we are pleased to continue a series of spotlight interviews showcasing their successes and artwork. We also ask them to share how the MATS courses have helped them learn and grow. You can see more Alumni Success stories here

GRACE_NOËL_HEADSHOTToday, we have an interview with Grace Noël. Grace has taken MATS A&B and Bootcamp

Tell us a little about how you got started in art and design

I had a chuckle when I realized that all of my most vivid memories relate to surface patterns–my favourite yellow and blue calico shirt from my toddler years, the clouds my mom painted on the ceiling of our play room, the confetti-print sheets in my grandparents’ spare bedroom, and so on. I am an artist by nature, a fashion designer by hobby, and an interior decorator by trade, so it makes complete sense that surface pattern design is the perfect combination of my creative interests.

GRACE_NOËL_PRETTYTHINGS

Lilla always says “People buy your joy.” What brings you joy?’

I adore that Lilla says “People buy your joy” because it’s so true! Nature and vintage items bring me joy and are my main inspirations. You can often find me ensconced in flowers, barefoot, drawing on my clipboard, and don’t be surprised if I turn up at your local flea market. Making everything beautiful and making people’s days also brings me joy!

Which is your favorite market(s) to design for and why?

Bolt fabric is my ultimate favourite because of its versatility. It can be purchased in a fabric store by a creative consumer and turned into a myriad of delightful crafts. Or, on a larger scale, it could be purchased by a company and manufactured into sofas and pillows and dresses and shoes. Or, in addition to fabric, the collection of designs could even be used for scrapbooking paper and other such coordinate-based markets. Actually, fabric is the reason why I am in this industry in the first place. When I began sewing as a kid I was always dreaming up fabrics in my mind that I was, of course, not able to find in the stores. Then I discovered Spoonflower in 2012 and became a designer on there. I hit the ground running and entered pretty much every weekly design challenge for over 2 years, and have had some successes from that! By that point I was a surface pattern design sponge, soaking in every little bit of information about how to turn that into my career! My love for fabric has grown into something multifaceted and incredibly exciting.

GRACE_NOËL_SEASONALSURFACEPATTERNS

What are you working on currently?

I recently designed a quilting fabric collection, With Glowing Hearts, for Moda Fabrics and Trend-Tex Fabrics in celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary this year. So, currently I’m preparing for some speaking engagements about the collection and my journey in design. I’m also working on pitching to a bunch of companies to license with.

What are some of the key things you have learned from the MATS experience?

It has been a relief to learn to stay true to my style. I have developed my skills in the variety of mediums I use and figured out more efficient ways to work with that variety. I have also learned to make icons so that each one is unique and beautifully designed, and learned to always blow the client away by giving them loads of detail and imagery to discover within each piece. My style is usually quite lush, so that last point is especially encouraging.

GRACE_NOËL_STARBOARDCOLLECTION

How have the classes helped your artwork evolve /grow?

I absolutely love illustrating quotes and such, because I am a fan of literature and write poems. With all the practice from MATS lettering feels so natural to me now. Because I was trying to do something different and challenging with each new assignment, I had moments where I drew or painted something and just couldn’t take my eyes off it. I kept staring at it, thinking, “Apparently that just came out of my fingertips?!” That is incredibly artistically satisfying.

Any aha moments during MATS you would like to share?

Yes! I realized that, I guess since I have been designing on Spoonflower for 5 years now, my brain has been rewired to automatically think in technical repeat, which meant I had to focus more when creating a placement graphic. I’m drawn to creating mixed media art, which is evident in the fact that my style usually has many layers and textures. I realized, though, that I tend to use whatever medium works, and as many as needed. So if watercolour conveys the splashy mood I’m going for, then hey, that’s what I’ll use. Or if plain old pencil brings out all the details, then pencil it shall be. Or if marker gives me the control I need to blend colours, I haul out my colourful stash. Often the answer is all of the above.

What are your key successes since taking a MATS class?

The MATS courses have given me a solid look at my style of art and a better idea of how to go about pitching to companies, as well as the range of markets and companies there are to choose from. I’m a recent MATS graduate, so right now I’m organizing my work to send out–here’s hoping for some licensing successes!

GRACE_NOËL_ZIPADEEDOODAH

How would you describe taking a MATS class to a fellow artist looking to develop their art

MATS is a creatively valuable experience that stretches your art into multiple markets through practice briefs and gives you insight on how to have a career in the art and design industry.

What is your dream gig for your artwork?

Well, I have a running joke with my family that my designs will be plastered all over Kleenex boxes someday, so that would be pretty nifty. That said, my dream gigs are to have fabric, scrapbooking, home décor, and women’s fashion collections, and do lots of lettering as well. I’d love to work with companies such as Cloud9 Fabrics, Riley Blake Designs, K&Company, DEMDACO, and Modcloth. Oh, and I would be delighted to work with companies here in Canada, too!

See more work here: Website | Blog | Facebook | Shop

 

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MATS banner-title

Would you like to experience the Make Art That Sells classes yourself? Browse our live and self-paced classes here

Graduates of our courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. Find out more HERE and start today!

Alumni success ‘spotlight’ interview with Dariana Moreira


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We are so proud of our Make Art That Sells Alumni, that we are pleased to continue a series of spotlight interviews showcasing their successes and artwork. We also ask them to share how the MATS courses have helped them learn and grow. You can see more Alumni Success stories here

 

DarianaMoreira-profileToday, we have an interview with Dariana Moreira of Dari Design Studio. Dariana has taken the MATS Creating Collections for Home Decor.

Tell us a little about how you got started in art and design
I have no doubt that my start in art and design was strongly influenced by my mom and dad, both architects, and my older sister, Dariela. My mom, in particular, believed that art, design and aesthetics can be used to create a different reality. For as long as I can remember, I have always been attracted to and interested in arts and crafts and making things by hand. My mom nurtured those interests by taking us to museums at least twice a month and enrolled us in art classes of all kinds at a young age. After trying knitting, embroidery, sewing, guitar lessons, piano lessons and many more I was hooked on ballet and ended up graduating as a classical ballerina after 10 years of study. I graduated college with a BA in Advertising and Marketing in Venezuela and later worked as a marketing and graphic designer for several companies in Venezuela, Mexico City and Los Angeles. In 2006, I co-founded Folklore Eye, a paper arts company with Dariela which is now rebranded as Dari Design Studio and provides more ample commercial arts services.

DarianaMoreira-BeTrue-Light

Lilla always says “People buy your joy.” What brings you joy?’
Oh where to start? I’m very passionate about colors, nature, distinctive textures, sharing ideas, connecting with new friends, reading blogs and inspiring books, learning new things, quiet time and entrepreneurial endeavors, and those are the things that keep me feeling joyful about life and work! I also love diving into creative cultural travels in search of inspiration and new forms of art.

Which is your favorite market(s) to design for and why?
I enjoy designing for several markets. Home decor is definitely at the top of my list because it’s very versatile and because there is space to work with endless possibilities and substrates. I love home decor also because I personally get inspired and lifted by the ambience a room has. Gift and stationery is also one of my favorites, mainly because I am such an admirer and consumer of the industry myself. And lastly editorial, I haven’t really done anything much in this market yet but I know it calls me and when the time is right I will give it my all. I love communicating a deep idea with my paintings, I also find it challenging so I like that.

DarianaMoreira-Boho-Chica_Collection

What are you working on currently?
I am working on several projects. We continue to create various collections based on what we learned in the Home Decor Mats class. Right after the MATS class, I worked on a personal project called #SoulfulHandwork. It’s about painting a series of different hands and converting them into mobiles. Each one represents a reminder of a quality in life that can help us be more beneficial on this planet. The paintings also carry a lot of symbols as reminders of what to do in certain times of despair. I am now commissioning those paintings through Minted for individuals to purchase.
This year we are offering a new hands-on coaching program called Shine for first time SURTEX exhibitors. My sister and I learned so much from exhibiting and we understand how overwhelming and exciting the whole process can be. Our program covers 5 aspects including Branding, Marketing, Booth Design, Show Prep, and Show Day and features several webinars with guest experts. In addition, we’ll coach exhibitors all the way to SURTEX and even help with setup and break-down. If an exhibitor just needs help with one or two areas, they can purchase individual modules or bundles here. We’re so excited to be offering this service, it’s one-of-a-kind!

What are some of the key things you have learnt from the MATS experience?
One thing that stuck with me was the general structure of bringing a collection to life. I have created a mini accountability group where we use that structure to assure we are creating art regularly. Another key element was to really push myself to adventure into the unknown and unique. To go there where my work might look weird or not sellable just for the sake of finding pieces that reflect more of my own voice.

DarianaMoreira-Taken-By-Nature

How have the classes helped your artwork evolve /grow?
The Home Decor class helped me bring structure and clarity into my work systems. That in turn brought a space for less resistance, and that in turn opened up a new well of creativity to bring into my art.
The industry insights that are shared in that class also made me add new elements to my work and re-arrange my art differently. I think our presentation is much better now.

Any aha moments during MATS you would like to share?
I had an aha moment when one day I found myself looking at 3D home decor pieces differently and also the other way around when I started looking at my art in 3D.

LaMArina_DariDesignStudio

What are your key successes since taking a MATS class?
My key success has been to make my art into a 3D piece and pitch it. I used to create mock ups before but this is certainly different. Also, another key success is that I have gained an even stronger certainty of the markets I want to work with.

How would you describe taking a MATS class to a fellow artist looking to develop their art
It’s a hands on class. Make sure you allow space on your schedule so that you can absorb the class fully and have time to give it your all. Stay connected with the community as much as you can. I felt that the class exceeded my expectations.

DARIANA_MOREIRA_FARMFRESH_HD2_WK3

What is your dream gig for your artwork?
A home decor or stationery collection featured at Target, or any other store I love!

See more work here: Website | Facebook | Instagram

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MATS banner-title

Would you like to experience the Make Art That Sells classes yourself? Browse our live and self-paced classes here

Graduates of our courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. Find out more HERE and start today!

Alumni success ‘spotlight’ interview with Aigul Igembayeva


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We are so proud of our Make Art That Sells Alumni, that we are pleased to continue a series of spotlight interviews showcasing their successes and artwork. We also ask them to share how the MATS courses have helped them learn and grow. You can see more Alumni Success stories here

 

Aigul IgembayevaToday, we have an interview with Aigul Igembayeva.  Aigul has taken MATS A&B.

Tell us a little about how you got started in art and design
It was long path: I took lessons in drawing in Moscow, I studied Adobe programs, calligraphy, and took the course of typography at British Higher Design School in Moscow. Now I am learning at e-courses of Lilla Rogers, Rachel Taylor. I believe that all my experience and courses gives me diverse experience.

 

Morning ginger tea_Aigul Little A

Lilla always says “People buy your joy.” What brings you joy?’
Drawing beautiful things, morning walking, ginger tea, cappuccino and traveling :)

Which is your favorite market(s) to design for and why?
Home Decor. Because through my patterns and illustrations I want to share emotions. I dream that somebody will hurry to reach home and on the way there dream about having their favorite tea from a favorite cup. And it’s going to be my pattern printed on the cup that will make it favorite and dear. Or somebody loving his decorative pillows with my illustrations.

One of my table

What are you working on currently?
Now I working on new collections for my portfolio and a few private orders.

What are some of the key things you have learned from the MATS experience?
The key things it was understanding that art market is huge, and everyone who wants to draw and making a living from art, can find his favorite market and develop his art career path.

Watermelon pattern_Aigul Little A

How have the classes helped your artwork evolve /grow?
MATS classes were very useful for my artwork, because while doing the assignments I tried different styles, and it helps me to clearly see what kind of style I like, also I add to my portfolio a few good illustrations and patterns.

Any aha moments during MATS you would like to share?
The deep understanding that people buy joy, people feel things which were created with joy.

Flowers_Aigul Little A

What are your key successes since taking a MATS class?
1. I have a strategy how to develop my art career path. It is a really important!
2. I’ve sent letters to art directors, got answers and I don’t afraid do that anymore :)

How would you describe taking a MATS class to a fellow artist looking to develop their art
MATS very good class for artists of all level, especially who wants to see his art on the physical products and develop art business in art licensing. MATS gives you understanding how a markets is working and understanding hot to draw your art for your favorite market.

Indian Cow_Aigul Little A

What is your dream gig for your artwork?
I want to draw for homeware companies (for kids bedding, for ceramic tableware and etc.)

See more work here: Website | Instagram

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MATS banner-title

Would you like to experience the Make Art That Sells classes yourself? Browse our live and self-paced classes here

Graduates of our courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. Find out more HERE and start today!

Alumni success ‘spotlight’ interview with Courtney Beth Keller


alumni-success-04

We are so proud of our Make Art That Sells Alumni, that we are pleased to continue a series of spotlight interviews showcasing their successes and artwork. We also ask them to share how the MATS courses have helped them learn and grow. You can see more Alumni Success stories here

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cbk-headshot-BW-illustrated-550pxToday, we have an interview with Courtney Beth Keller of One Little Printshop. Courtney has taken MATS Bootcamp twice and MATS Home Decor twice, plus MATS A&B.

1. Tell us a little about how you got started in art and design

I started making art as a child – I remember in elementary school, cutting stacks of paper into heart shapes and other shapes, stapling it together and drawing images on the pages, essentially creating my own 1980’s stationery line. :) I always took art classes, and in junior high I won a contest drawing our yearbook cover. I started oil painting in high school, attended Kansas City Art Institute and in my 20’s, ran an online shop called Peace Boutique selling bags I sewed and screenprinted with my designs, always as a side gig while keeping a full-time job. I sold handmade skirts and dresses all over the world, from the US to the UK to South Korea. The high point in that era was selling a dress to Margaret Cho! When my son was born in 2011 I decided to take my creative work freelance and make it a full-time endeavor as One Little Printshop, illustrating and designing and creating work I could license. I illustrated a series of 3 children’s books over several years. When I discovered MATS courses, the world opened up!

2. Lilla always says “People buy your joy.” What brings you joy?’

I find joy in discovery, love working with different materials, and exploring texture, ink, textile, fabric, and COLOR! I also find joy in collaboration, and putting my energies into projects bigger than myself is incredibly rewarding.

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3. Which is your favorite market(s) to design for and why?

Currently I’m most interested in creating home decor / interior decor / textile patterns, because that is when I feel the most free and create interesting patterns. I think the fact that home decor allows for such a huge range in scale is part of what I love. Patterns can be tiny, printed on a tiny glass plate, or HUGE, printed on curtains or wallpaper.

4. What are you working on currently?

I am finalizing my Surtex preparations, including a Blurb book, a stack of fabric samples, and making little glass-and-metal magnets to give away. I’m also working on a list of projects to dive into after Surtex, so I don’t get lazy over the summer. This fall, my son will begin kindergarten and my studio time will nearly double – I’m very excited to see what the second half of 2016 brings!

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5. What are some of the key things you have learnt from the MATS experience?

I think the biggest takeaway for me has been the understanding that being a solo entrepreneur doesn’t mean working alone in a vacuum. I was fortunate enough to become a member of the Finch & Foxglove artist collective. The combination of 8 creatives from around the world has helped fill in my blind spots. I am a very productive artist but I have a very hard time knowing how to promote myself, and would never have achieved the preparation level for Surtex that I have achieved with the help of the group. Together, we go far! MATS taught me to find my tribe, throw my energy into moving us all forward in our careers, and it’s been life-changing.

6. How have the classes helped your artwork evolve /grow?

The MATS classes helped me see that I don’t need to segment my interests and knowledge. My web work and digital skills are just as important in my career as my painting and drawing skills. I used to stress about whether to let my web design play a part in my analog art. I’m not sure why, but I segmented different creative interests. More than any other MATS course, the Home Decor class made me realize I could let all my various interests intermingle and shine; my digital skills help me so much when I create mock-ups and build my website. My printmaking and hands-on background helps when I make promos, because I am not afraid to get messy with glue, ink, paint, printing, and metal. My graphic design background helps me when I put together my portfolio book. My creative garden can all grow in the same dirt, different flowers and plants are welcome.

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7. Any aha moments during MATS you would like to share?

YES. My aha moment was a humble one, but huge for me. I have struggled a bit as a solo mom raising my son alone, with envy: I would see others post things in the Facebook group like “hubby took the kids all day so I could make art!” and feel a sinking feeling. I only looked at what I didn’t have and thinking I could never achieve without the same support / financial infrastructure / art supplies / studio / whatever. Some time during 2015 MATS courses, this changed for me. I had this huge AHA moment that those petty comparisons are meaningless. I have to embrace my own situation and make art from where I’m at today. And once I did that, all the side-line glances and envious frustration I felt… *poof* …vanished.

8. What are your key successes since taking a MATS class?

The most obvious success for me has been joining a collective and working toward my first big trade show. But there are other successes too: I’ve got a Spoonflower shop with over 100 different designs for sale, and nearly every day someone favorites one of my designs. I’ve also put energy into creating a steady Instagram following. I won a lettering contest by Sakura International (the company that makes Micron pens), which was a wonderful personal accomplishment – and they sent me a bunch of art supplies!

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9. How would you describe taking a MATS class to a fellow artist looking to develop their art

I would encourage people to take MATS as a creative improvement process. It’s all about what you put into it. Go into it thinking you’ll come out improved, and you will!

10. What is your dream gig for your artwork?

My ultimate pie-in-the-sky gig would be creating a collection for Marimekko.

See more work here: Website | Instagram | Collective

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MATS banner-title

Would you like to experience the Make Art That Sells classes yourself? Browse our live and self-paced classes here

Graduates of our courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. Find out more HERE and start today!

Alumni success ‘spotlight’ interview with Emma Allsup


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We are so proud of our Make Art That Sells Alumni, that we are pleased to continue a series of spotlight interviews showcasing their successes and artwork. We also ask them to share how the MATS courses have helped them learn and grow. You can see more Alumni Success stories here

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profile-pic-emma-allsupToday, we have an interview with Emma Allsup from emmajayne-designs. Emma has taken MATS A and Bootcamp.

Tell us a little about how you got started in art and design.

Since I was a young girl, I’ve always loved painting and drawing. I remember whenever there was any opportunity to add drawings to my school work, I’d be in my element. I used to produce full-page illustrated diagrams in my science books! My love for art and design simply grew from there on.

Lilla Always says “People buy your joy”. What brings you joy?

Hmmm… this is tricky one, because I enjoy seeing amazing art which inspires me to create my own designs. I get huge satisfaction from the entire design process, from initial research and drawings, through to developing my ideas to a final design. Of all of these, the aspect of my work which brings me the most joy is when I play around with colour combinations, techniques, design layouts and generally having fun with it all.

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Which is your favourite market(s) to design for and why!

My favourite markets to design for would have to be fashion and gift-wrap. I love producing patterns, which I enjoy visualizing on fashion garments and wrapped presents. With fashion, anything goes, and I love that, because it means that I get to exercise my versatility and imagination.

I also enjoy creating standalone illustrations for gifts, because of the variety of the facets which make up a gift, from the gift itself, to the packaging. Packaging layouts can be wildly different from product to product, and that variation keeps everything interesting, and provides a wonderful challenge.

What are you working on currently?

At present, I am working on Christmas gift wrap for children and babies. They’re so much fun to produce and I’m really enjoying coming up with cute characters. I don’t have many designs for that age-group in my portfolio and I will be adding more in the coming months.

I’ve also recently produced a range of bird illustrations and logo for one of the UK’s best known zoos. My next project will be to create different bird poses for an animation, and I am really excited about that!

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What are some of the key things you have learnt from the MATS experience?

One of the key things I’ve learned from the course is to just relax and have fun! It’s surprising how easy your mind works when you’re enjoying yourself and are totally engrossed in what you’re doing. I’ve learned to open my mind more, and to let my creativity take the lead. I have learned that I love seeing variety in my work, and also that I prefer working in mixed media.

I’ve learnt that when a design is finished, that presentation is also a key point. People will love your designs but it adds an extra perspective to see your design in context. I only realized the importance of this when I was completing briefs in Bootcamp.

How have the classes helped your artwork evolve/ grow?

I have been trying out a number of techniques which were very new to me. I have also pushed myself and really focused on the end result. At the forefront of my mind I have made sure that when designing, my work is clear, has a commercial edge and looks fun.

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Any aha moments during MATS you would like to share?

As mentioned previously, I realized that I love to see variety in my work. 
I was actually rather surprised how many people liked my work, as I was afraid that it might be a bit too ‘niche’.

What are your key successes since taking a MATS class?

I now have a design role in a busy, commercial studio and have had a few interesting jobs through freelancing. I won an international scarf design competition too, for which I submitted a design for a ‘Summer’ themed silk scarf. I’ve also been successful in selling my designs on different products on Society6. Overall, these are four big successes and I can say that it’s all happened as a result of taking the MATS courses.

How would you describe taking a MATS class to a fellow artist looking to develop their art?

When starting any brief, it’s sometimes difficult knowing where and how to start. In a Lilla Rogers MATS class, you begin with a ‘mini’ exercise. This is a deliberately short exercise, as a warm up and so as to not overwhelm you. I find this a very useful exercise, because the warm-up gets your creative juices going! In fact, I have found it so useful, that I have actually started using that method for my own projects. Next, you are then given an assignment which you can take in any direction you so wish. You have the freedom to develop your mini and any other ideas you have. There’s a Facebook group, where you can get support and share your ideas. People in your class are very friendly and there’s always someone to help you, if you need it. Besides the other students, Lilla gives you handouts about the market you’re designing for. There’s such a positive and creative vibe within the class. Lilla encourages you do be original and do what makes you shine.

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What is your dream gig for your artwork?

I’d absolutely love to see my work on different products, being sold in high end department stores, plus, I know a lot designers go to Surtex and this is definitely something I’d like to take part in, in the near future. With a lot of hard work and dedication, I’d also love to produce my own patterns for garments, possibly designing some of the clothing too. I also have another dream gig, which sees me creating my own stationery company. Stationery design is another of my all-time favourite things to do.

See more work here: Website | Facebook | Instagram

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MATS banner-title

Would you like to experience the Make Art That Sells classes yourself? Browse our live and self-paced classes here

Graduates of our courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. Find out more HERE and start today!

 

Bootcamp Student Showcase {Part 6} and testimonials!


In our final part of the student showcase, we wanted to share a few of the handful of personal successes and what the students got out of taking Bootcamp.

Graduates of our courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. Find out more and register HERE

 

SUSAN CARTER

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Susan makin' art

Bootcamp gets me excited and inspired about making art! I have discovered that combining and sharing the things I LOVE with the joy of art making equals MAGIC. I am having FUN and making more art than ever.

Bootcamp has awakened me to soo many NEW possibilities for my artwork. I am looking forward to seeing my art turned into children’s toys, clothing, and decor collections. My art work will also look great on lots of paper goods; greeting cards, gift wrap, stickers, journals, wall art and more. I just finished a few vivid watercolor/collage pieces. I also am working a series of magical bird watercolor paintings that is a continuation of a Bootcamp assignment from last year, a tarot card inspired wall art piece.
I recommend Bootcamp for any artist looking for a super-FUN way to get excited about making art that you LOVE. It is a great place to connect to an inspiring group of artists. I love how each assignment encourages us to see and grow in new ways. Hope to see you there!
See more work here: Website

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ELIZABETH WOOD

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elizabeth_wood_portrait_500pxI really like the format of the month-long Bootcamp assignments. It provides ample time for experimenting. The projects cover a wide range of illustration projects, it has helped me identify markets where my work fits well. It also helps to have assignments that feel like paid projects to further inform me of what it’s like to be a full time illustrator. Last but not least, it has provided an opportunity to build friendships and a supportive network of fellow artists.

I’ve received paid work projects from my portfolio overall including Bootcamp work, so I see that as equally opportune as receiving work solely from Bootcamp assignments. It’s also helpful because Art Directors and other people looking for illustrators can see that one can handle different markets because of the media experimentation and a variety of projects that serve as Bootcamp assignments.

My paid projects have come from my graphic design clients, who now hire me mostly as an illustrator rather than a designer since they see my MATS work posted online. I’ve sold a bunch of original paintings which has been thrilling. Because bootcamp allowed me to explore different media and approaches to making work, it drew the attention of Illustrated Impact —they specifically pointed out that they enjoyed seeing me use different media. They asked me to contribute to their collective in December (they launched it in November) covering an important social justice issue.

Lastly, well regarded illustrators, and a couple of agents have begun to recognize my work as a direct result of all of the MATS classes something which brings me a feeling of deep gratitude. Even though personal satisfaction in my work is paramount, it helps to get positive feedback from industry leading creatives who are inspiring, it keeps me inspired and motivated.

Currently, I’m working on two paid illustration projects (approximately 8 spot illustrations for each project) related to supporting women’s health and reproductive options. I’m also continuing to make work to post to my store. I’m part of an awesome collective with fellow MATSians who are very supportive, kind and talented. Their work and enthusiasm keep me inspired.

A writer I know has asked me to illustrate a book cover, and I’ve had other businesses approach me about doing illustration work, but we’re just in the discussion phases at the moment. I sketch every day outside of work-related imagery. I’ve become addicted to compiling my sketches, using the icon approach, which has been tremendously helpful in expanding my illustration abilities, and posting them on Instagram and Facebook. :)

Bootcamp is very comprehensive course, covering a wide range of projects and markets. There’s a very supportive atmosphere from Lilla, the MATS team, and fellow students/artists. It’s well paced, very informative, well organized, and allows you to create a monthly piece of work that is likely portfolio ready. As an artist/creative person, it can be easy to feel like an oddball outsider in life. The Bootcamp course allows you to authentically feel a sense of belonging with fellow creatives.
See more work here: Website | Instagram | Facebook

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ALISON DAY
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MATS Assignment Bootcamp (2016) was my first creative bootcamp. I’ve always been busy with my own projects, but was never fully aware of how to effectively tap into my creativity, from the point of producing a piece that would be commercially viable. During the five months of assignments, I saw not only my style grow in leaps and bounds but also my desire to create more with it. I continue to build my portfolio.

I’ve just sent out my pitch, from the Illustrating Children’s Books course to a selection of publishers. Now it’s back to designing my 1920s colouring book, the cover of which was a Bootcamp assignment (2016). I’m also working on ideas for illustrative food recipes and am in the very early stages of writing my first ever creative e-course. When I have a moment, I plan to make a Blurb book of my best work from 2016.

Bootcamp teaches you how to approach creative assignments in bite-sized portions. From research, sketching and tapping into your personal style. At the end of the Bootcamp you will have five distinct artworks for your portfolio. During and after the Bootcamp, there is access to a private community for support and feedback. I’m already signed up for 2017! 

See more work here: Website | Facebook | Instagram

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CARRIE CHAPKO

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carrie_chapkoBootcamp has been helpful to me because I’m challenged to draw things I would’ve never thought of drawing before. I’m also inspired by all of the talent in the class, and the feedback I receive from classmates also helps me to push and learn new skills.

I’ve had two local shops get touch with me after seeing my Bootcamp work on a journal mockups. I’ve wanted to open an Etsy store for a long time and after working with one of the shops creating new art for journal covers, I decided to make my Etsy store happen. In November 2016, my shop opened just in time for the Christmas shopping season! I’m thankful to MATS for giving me the push I needed.

Right now I’m busy making notebooks for a wholesale order for a local shop. I’m taking more online courses to keep pushing myself and I have 3 custom orders waiting for me too. I have a full time job as a graphic designer/art director so it has been a very busy time, but I absolutely love it.

Bootcamp is an easy paced class, you’ll get one assignment per month for 5 months. The assignments are wonderfully written and inspiring, the community of artists you’ll be working alongside is invaluable. Those are my two favorite things about the class! Taking Bootcamp is one of the best decisions I made for my art. I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking to develop their art, all skill levels are welcome.

See more work: Website | Etsy | Instagram | Facebook

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 KATIE DOUCETTE

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me (1)The classes pushed me to create beyond my comfort zone. I learned to put forth more effort and detail in my work in order to make it stand out from the crowd.

I have received several licensing deals since taking MATS. My most exciting deal so far has been with Wilmington Prints Fabrics. I have six fabric collections in the works; one of which is based on some of my nautical artwork from MATS.

I am currently working on growing my wholesale art business in the midwest, and creating lots of holiday art for licensing. I would recommend MATS to anyone who is serious about making a career in art. It pushes you creatively, while giving excellent tips on how to submit artwork and create a professional portfolio.

 

 

See more work here: Website | Facebook | Instagram

 

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MATS ASSIGNMENT BOOTCAMP IS BACK!

How would you like to get something from a top art agent every single Monday, for five months, to grow your artwork and your career—for the price of one latte a week?

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Now in its fourth year, Make Art That Sells: Assignment Bootcamp 2017 with art agent Lilla Rogers is an exciting, structured five month e-course full of all-new assignments and bonuses to inspire you to make great art that attracts work Class begins on MONDAY, 6 MARCH.

Lilla has written brand-new fabulous Minis and Assignments for you, so you can attract work in the hottest markets. 

Here’s what you get:

// Monthly assignments. Five in-depth, inspiring assignment briefs in the hottest art markets, written by top agent Lilla Rogers. They’ll encourage you to explore your style and create professional-level art for your portfolio, while having fun along the way!

// NEW! Trends.  Lilla’s Trends boards.Isn’t inspiration what you crave?  Each month, you’ll download a cutting-edge trend board with gorgeous color direction to inspire you further. (see sneak peeks of the boards below)

// A community. Some say our community is the most supportive of any they’ve experienced. You’ll enjoy an invaluable community of like-minded artists of all levels to inspire, support and motivate you. 

// Public Gallery Exposure. Show your work! You’ll have the option to post your work to a public gallery where it can be viewed by peers, art buyers and industry experts. Who knows who might spot your work? 

//NEW! Ask the Agent: Facebook LIVE with Lilla. Ask Lilla your questions in a live real-time video each month! (Plus Lilla always has words of wisdom, show and tell, giveaways, and other tricks up her sleeve for you in these popular live events.)

bookyourplacenow

Alumni success ‘spotlight’ interview with Kate Endle


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We are so proud of our Make Art That Sells Alumni, that we are pleased to continue a series of spotlight interviews showcasing their successes and artwork. We also ask them to share how the MATS courses have helped them learn and grow. You can see more Alumni Success stories here

***

mestudioToday, we have an interview with Kate Endle. Kate has taken Bootcamp,  MATS A & B and Home Decor. She is also signed up to more classes for 2017!

1. Tell us a little about how you got started in art and design.

I have been an artist since I was about a year old. My mom saved all my drawings from when I was a toddler! So, technically, I’ve been an artist for about 44.5 years; I’ve been illustrating professionally for about 25 years. I have very supportive parents and teachers and have been encouraged to create since I was a tot. I went to The Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio, USA, where I obtained my BFA in Illustration. The big decision for me was whether to major in Advertising or Illustration. Because of my love of drawing and painting I chose Illustration.

2. Lilla always says “People buy your joy.” What brings you joy?’

SO MUCH!! Art, of course. Color, pattern, nature, my husband and family, good food and friends, waking up in the morning, going on walks, the first sip of coffee in the morning, seeing live music, traveling, and my massive collections of Japanese folk art, weird wooden things, stickers, vintage children’s books, vintage ceramics, house plants, and more. Pinterest and Instagram, too. Clearly, I could go on and on…

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The fox image from the suzani  assignment in MATS has been purchased for licensing. 

3. Which is your favorite market(s) to design for and why?

I love licensing my work for paper and home decor products. I am a child of the 80’s so stickers and stationery from that era was a BIG deal to me when I was a kid. When I see my work on those types of products I really feel this sense of accomplishment because that was a goal of mine as a child.

4. What are you working on currently?

I’m working on the final touches for my next two board books- Ocean Motions and Penguin On a Scooter (Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch Books Spring 2018). I’m always working on images for Madison Park Greeting; they license my work for paper products, magnets, necklaces, and keychains. I also sell my art at the historic Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle, Washington as a craft vendor. A couple days a week I set up a booth at the market and sell my originals, prints, and children’s books. Replenishing inventory is a constant project for me.

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5. What are some of the key things you have learnt from the MATS experience?

Try something new. Conquer my fears by going towards the thing that give me feelings of apprehension.

6. How have the classes helped your artwork evolve /grow?

MATS has pushed me to explore different themes for my art. The images I have created through MATS would not have happened without the guidance provided by classes.

7. Any aha moments during MATS you would like to share?

Rediscovering my sketchbooks! I am a collage artist working in paper. I do draw, but not like I used to as a kid. Working on the minis make me feel like I am riding an art roller coaster. The immense joy of being free to create for fun literally brought me to tears. My first round of MATS classes (Bootcamp and MATS 2014-2015) was a very physical and emotional experience that’s a bit hard to put into words. My aha moment was, “This is never-ending. The wealth of inspiration in art is never ever ending. I can, and will, create art for as long as I am breathing”.

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8. What are your key successes since taking a MATS class?

My MATS assignment was purchased by The Land of Nod and Madison Park Greetings. Dream come true!! Thanks, Lilla Rogers and her crew, for creating such a brilliant set of classes. I signed up for another round of Bootcamp, MATS A and B, and Home Decor 2017 classes. Woo hoo!

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My unicorn series was heavily influenced by the suzani MATS assignment and I sold that series to Madison Park Greetings, too, for magnets and necklaces

9. How would you describe taking a MATS class to a fellow artist looking to develop their art

I would put a big emphasis on the global community that is created by the classes. Not only are the assignments inspiring, but I love having MATS friends through social media. The Facebook and Instagram component is very important for me and I appreciate the platform MATS give us to continue our online friendships after the course is complete. It’s easy to feel alone and isolated as a freelance artist. While taking MATS classes I feel like I have thousands of people I can go to for advice via the internet.

10. What is your dream gig for your artwork?

I would love to work for Ikea, Chronicle, eeBoo, Crocodile Creek, or any job that pays me to travel to make art. Creating a bedding collection for The Land of Nod would make me explode with joy! I also think it would be dreamy to be hired to write and illustrate an art/lifestyle book. It would be super fun to see my images animated. Dream big or go home, right?

See more work here: Website | Facebook | Instagram

 

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MATS ASSIGNMENT BOOTCAMP IS BACK!

How would you like to get something from a top art agent every single Monday, for five months, to grow your artwork and your career—for the price of one latte a week?

bootcamp-online

Now in its fourth year, Make Art That Sells: Assignment Bootcamp 2017 with art agent Lilla Rogers is an exciting, structured five month e-course full of all-new assignments and bonuses to inspire you to make great art that attracts work Class begins on MONDAY 6 MARCH.

Lilla has written brand-new fabulous Minis and Assignments for you, so you can attract work in the hottest markets. Don’t miss out on this brilliant opportunity to build your portfolio at a very do-able pace over the next five months.  

bookyourplacenow

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MATS banner-title

Would you like to experience all of the Make Art That Sells classes yourself? Browse our live and self-paced classes here

Graduates of our courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. Find out more HERE and start today!