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Lilla’s vintage bingo board!


I thought it would be fun to make you a key vintage bingo board so you could analyze your portfolio of work. I’ve listed the kinds of subject matter that attract top jobs. How many squares of the bingo board can you check off? (Post on Instagram using hashtag #MATSbingo. I’d love to see!)

Are you missing some categories? Are you loving a particular one and want to get more work in that category? Want to broaden your portfolio to attract more work? Or maybe you want to freshen up your style in your favorite category with inspiring assignments that I’ve written to help you do just that!

Now’s a great time, because our BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR starts TOMORROW! Up to 50% off! Keep an eye on your inbox and our website for details on the sale.

Make more art, make better art, get more work.

xo

Lilla

Three things NEVER to do for a brilliant art career


There are three things NEVER to do for a brilliant art career:

1.) Stop learning new things. Keep drawing the same things over and over.

2.) Don’t make a lot of art. Stay uninspired and don’t make time for new work.

3.) Don’t keep up with what art directors & successful artists have to say.

 

But if you DO want a brilliant art career, take MATS and supercharge your art!

Perhaps you want to increase your sales on Etsy with new and better work. Or maybe you want to learn about new markets. Perhaps your career has stalled and you want to get reinvigorated. Maybe you want to try something new. Or maybe you just plain love being surrounded by all that great support and inspiration.

Lilla doing one of the things she does best!

Why should you take one of our popular self-paced MATS A / MATS B courses?

If you are ready for it, this course could change the trajectory of your entire creative career. To make the most of it you will need to commit time and energy, and be sure it is for you.

MATS A/B is for you if…

  • You want to be in demand and have your work sell like hot cakes
  • You want to make some killer portfolio pieces in a structured program
  • You are already a working artist and you are looking to break into other markets
  • You would describe yourself as an illustrator, painter, mixed media artist, graphic designer, surface pattern designer, fabric designer or just someone who loves to draw
  • You are ready to learn about real business, and making real money
  • You have some experience of creating art in at least one medium (this course aims to take you from good to great). You do not need to have sold work before, but if you have, awesome!
  • You have some idea of your personal style but want to hone it
  • You have some idea of your preferred medium but are willing to experiment
  • You want to know where your art will sell
  • You are willing to listen to advice and act on it
  • You want ideas for fabric designs you can print through a site like Spoonflower and sell
  • You want to make better work to sell in your Etsy shop
  • You have a basic knowledge of Photoshop and/or Illustrator (if you want to work digitally)
  • You are straight out of art school and want real business advice (NB: formal art education is not a prerequisite, and the course is open to all ages)
  • You are an art director secretly wanting to try your hand at illustration (and wouldn’t mind spotting some great art at the same time!)
  • You are ready to invest time and energy into your creative career
  • You are prepared to push yourself outside of your creative comfort zone
  • You want to be part of a supportive creative community of fellow artists and designers

This is not for you if:

  • You are a complete beginner or are looking for an art technique class. There are hundreds of fabulous creative courses out there – please have fun exploring and then come back to us when you are ready!
  • You are looking for technical tutorials in Photoshop and/or Illustrator
  • You are not interested in learning from others or receiving supportive feedback

Take some time for yourself & supercharge your career with MATS A or MATS B! Find out more information about these popular courses here.

A few of the many of downloadable PDFs included in the courses.

You literally get a pound of downloadable PDFs full of Lilla’s wisdom, all beautifully designed. These are wonderful sources of inspiration and information that you’ll refer to again and again.See the lists here and here.

Come for the assignments & amazing content; stay for the support that you love.

The MATS Team xx

P.S. Keep an eye on your inbox for newsletters about our upcoming BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR and new MATS courses launching soon!

 

 

 

Industry Expert: Emily Ford – Illustrating Children’s Books class


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Those of you who have taken our Make Art That Sells classes will know how valuable it is to hear from a professional and expert who works in the industry day in, day out, and can communicate what they look for from artists.

Over the next couple of weeks, we are excited to reveal some of the amazing Industry Expert interviews and articles we have lined up for our ‘Illustrating Children’s Book’ class, so you can get even more valuable insight and know-how on becoming a Children’s Book Illustrator.

Class begins on Monday, October 2nd and is almost full! You can still register HERE

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Today, we reveal that Emily Ford, Senior Commissioning Editor for Macmillan Children’s Books UK, part of leading publisher, Pan Macmillan. Emily will be sharing a wonderful piece on ‘How to write a children’s book’

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Emily has commissioned authors and illustrators for the award-winning list for over ten years. Having previously worked at Harper Collins and Penguin Books, Emily now specialises in creating highly illustrated picture books, gift books and novelty and activity titles, working closely with established authors as well as developing newcomers to the industry.

Emily has also worked on well known brands, such as The Moomins, The Gruffalo and Charlie and Lola. She is a judge on the annual Macmillan Prize for illustration, was judge for the AOI World Illustration Awards 2015 and part of the Berlin Pictoplasma Festival 2016.

We are excited to share Emily’s expert tips with you in class!

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Are you ready to dive in and make a commitment to your success as a Children’s Book Illustrator?

Sign up HERE. Hurry! The last remaining spots are going fast!

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Industry Expert: Kate Clarke – Illustrating Children’s Books class


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Those of you who have taken our Make Art That Sells classes will know how valuable it is to hear from a professional and expert who works in the industry day in, day out, and can communicate what they look for from artists.

Over the next couple of weeks, we are excited to reveal some of the amazing Industry Expert interviews and articles we have lined up for our ‘Illustrating Children’s Book’ class, so you can get even more valuable insight and know-how on becoming a Children’s Book Illustrator.

Class begins on Monday, October 2nd and is almost full! You can still register HERE

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Today, we reveal that Kate Clarke, Fiction Art Director at Harper Collins Children’s Books will be one of our expert interviews in class.

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Kate studied Visual Communications at Leeds College and Art and Design and has since worked at some of the UK’s leading publishing houses, including Random House, Penguin books and Bloomsbury.

Kate has over 15 years of experience and has spent the past four years at Harper Collins, working closely with a variety of illustrators to create some of the best loved publishing brands and books. She works across the list from bestselling authors such as David Walliams, Michael Morpurgo and David Baddiel, to new and exciting debut authors such as Ross Welford and Steven Camden.

We are excited to share Kate’s expert tips with you in class!

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Are you ready to dive in and make a commitment to your success as a Children’s Book Illustrator?

Sign up HERE. Hurry! The last remaining spots are going fast!

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Industry Expert: Kristine Nobles – Illustrating Children’s Books class


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Those of you who have taken our Make Art That Sells classes will know how valuable it is to hear from a professional and expert who works in the industry day in, day out, and can communicate what they look for from artists.

Over the next couple of weeks, we are excited to reveal some of the amazing Industry Expert interviews and articles we have lined up for our ‘Illustrating Children’s Book’ class, so you can get even more valuable insight and know-how on becoming a Children’s Book Illustrator.

Class begins on Monday, October 2nd and is almost full! You can still register HERE

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Today, we reveal that Kristine Nobles, Art Director at Candlewick Press, will be one of our expert interviews in class.

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Kristin is the Art Director at Candlewick Press and the Group Art Director for the Entertainment Imprint globally for Walker Books in the UK and Australia, and Candlewick Press in the US.

As an Art Director at Candlewick, Kristine establishes stylistic direction, collaborates with, and manages the department workload of 12 designers and approximately 80+ original projects per season; as well as scheduling all those projects — a wide variety of genre from young board books to novelty, chapter books through illustrated middle grade and young adult novels.

Kristine evaluates picture book manuscripts pre acquisition and works to match text with illustration post acquisition, including negotiation of illustrator contracts. She personally art directs and designs several picture books and illustrated fiction titles per list.

We are excited to share Kristine’s expert tips with you in class!

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Are you ready to dive in and make a commitment to your success as a Children’s Book Illustrator?

Sign up HERE. Hurry! The last remaining spots are going fast!

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Want an art agent? Video Interview with Lilla Rogers


Have you ever asked yourself:

  • Do I need an agent?
  • Can I even get one? Is it really hard to get one?
  • What do agents actually do?
  • Can I do it on my own?
  • How do I find an agent?
  • What do I have to have in my portfolio to attract an agent?

Here’s a special in-depth interview between Lilla Rogers and our MATS course producer Beth Kempton all about agenting.

In the video below, Beth & Lilla discuss…

  • How to know if you are ready and suited for representation
  • How to decide which agent would be a good fit for you and your work
  • How to approach an agent for representation
  • What to do if you get knocked back
  • Top tips for working with an agent

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You can also download the video here and transcript here

 

MARA PENNY

Did you know that Mara was one of the students that Lilla Rogers had her eye on in class? Mara took a TON of our courses multiple times and her work just kept getting better. She was a standout in the Make Art That Sells courses, often getting selected to be included in the assignment reviews. Lilla was so impressed with Mara’s work, in fact, that Mara is now one of the incredibly talented artists whom Lilla Rogers Studio proudly represents!

Here is a great interview with Mara when we announced the news earlier this year.

Beetle and Moth dessert plates by Mara

 

The Global Talent Search is back! This is your opportunity to win a career-changing prize package including international representation from Lilla Rogers Studio, plus a host of licensing deals and money-can’t-buy career development opportunities.

Get on the waitlist here to be one of the first to hear about when registration opens!

 

Here are some more resources to find out more about being represented:

***Deadline extended*** Win a place on ‘Illustrating Children’s Books’


Would you like to win a free place on our hugely popular course Illustrating Children’s Books? The class will run again in January 2017, and we are offering two free spots, worth £399, for creating an awesome children’s book cover based on the assignment below.

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THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY’S ADVENTURE

Assignment: Create a children’s book cover for the book title “The Sugar Plum Fairy’s Adventure”. Be as creative as you like! Be you with a vengeance.

WHO CAN ENTER:

All levels are welcome! Everyone is welcome! (you do not need to have taken a MATS class to enter) Let’s have some fun! If you have not taken the Illustrating Children’s Book course, check out our FREE 5 part video series to give you some insight and some tips.

THERE WILL BE TWO WINNERS: Lilla and Zoe will choose as follows:

  1. Best in Show
  2. Random Pick

JUDGING CRITERIA
—Character design
—Lettering of title
—Concept and Style (imaginative, witty, beautiful, quirky, etc.)
—Color Palette
—Overall impact of cover

CLOSING DATE: EXTENDED T0 11.59pm EST Sunday 4th December

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: Week of 5 December, 2016

Please see below for rules of entry

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LILLA’s ADVICE
Dream up some magic and then draw it!

dream up and draw it

Here are some more tips to help you get stared. As we teach in our Illustrating Children’s Book course, there are 5 main ingredients to consider:

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
Who is your Sugar Plum Fairy? What does he or she look like? What colors come to mind? Maybe do the opposite of those colors. Don’t necessarily do the first thing that comes to mind. Can you go against type? Is she an urban character? What is she wearing? Is he an animal with wings? Fall in love with your character.

ENVIRONMENT
First off, what is The Sugar Plum Fairy’s adventure? Think for a moment about what would YOU love to have as your own adventure? An adventure can be an exploration of any kind. As a child, what was your idea of an adventure? Let your mind space out a bit. Is it a silly adventure? Quirky? Dreamy? Is she/he taking a risk? Why? Where? Once you know this, then you can begin to sketch out the location. She can be on another planet, in a space ship, at the North Pole, at a museum, in Hollywood, Berlin, Buenos Aires? At cooking school making cookies? Whatever.

Push it. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say she’s at the North Pole. The first thought is that she is next to the pole itself. Hmmm. Maybe she’s in an Igloo. Or maybe she’s at an ice cream factory. Maybe she is in the sled factory. See what I mean? Go the next step. Since this is a made up title, YOU can do whatever you want with it.

EXPRESSION
What is the expression on the face of the character? Can we tell? Is it reflecting the emotion of the story, or perhaps the quest of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Maybe it’s just an image of the character that gets us to fall in love with him/her.

POSES
The position of the character helps animate the character. Remember, often the children hearing the book read to them may not understand all the words but they can understand the images.

LETTERING
It’s so fun to make letters. Cut them out of paper, rubber stamp them, draw them. You’re the boss! Make sure the title is easy to read. It doesn’t have to be super huge but it needs to pop and we need to be able to read each letter easily.

RULES OF ENTRY

Here’s what you need to do to enter:

  1. Create a Children’s Book Cover in response the assignment above. If you haven’t yet taken one of our classes you can still enter. Please refrain from using the Lilla Rogers Studio or Make Art That Sells logos in your work.
  2. The cover can be any size (square, vertical/portrait, horizontal/landscape)
  3. Remember to include the title of the book and your name (i.e. Illustrated by Jane Doe) on the design.
  4. You can work in any medium – digitally or traditional
  5. Save your art as a 72dpi JPEG (save for web) at 650 pxls wide and use the following image title naming convention: FIRST NAME_SECONDNAME_ICBCOMP (e.g. LILLA_ROGERS_ICBCOMP.jpg)
  6. Email it as an attachment JPG to [email protected] by Monday 28 November, 2016 ***EXTENDED DEADLINE*** Sunday 4 December (11.59pm EST) with ‘Sugar Plum Fairy Book Cover Competition’ in the subject title of your email.
  7. Include the following details in your email:
  • Your full name (and studio name if you have one)
  • Your website link
  • A list of what MATS courses you have taken (or if you haven’t taken any courses, indicate which free resources have helped or inspired you)
  • OPTIONAL: 1-2 sentences describing the MATS experience as if you were telling a friend (if possible include what is different for you/your work as a result of taking the course) and if you have taken the ‘Illustrating Children’s Book’ class, please write 1-2 sentences.

We would also LOVE to see your images on Instagram, so please do share them using the hashtag #MATSkidbook (this is not a requirement to enter the competition and is optional)

THE SMALL PRINT: By submitting work for this competition you give us permission to share it on the website, blog and/or any social media accounts related to Make Art That Sells, Lilla Rogers Studio or Do What You Love at any time. You will not receive a fee for this, but will be entered into the competition to win one free place on ‘Illustrating Children’s Books’ (starting January 2017). The winners will be chosen by the MATS team and no correspondence will be entered into. There is no cash alternative and the prize is not transferable. You will retain all rights to your own work.

If you have already registered for the Illustrating Children’s Book class when we announce the winners, you will be refunded the necessary amount. (please note this will be calculated accordingly if you purchased a package during the Cyber Monday Sale Nov 24-28)

Can’t wait to see what you do!

The MATS team

 

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Want to be a top children’s book illustrator? See the cool life of Mike Lowery


Lilla Rogers Studio artist Mike Lowery lives the fabulous life of a busy illustrator well known for his hilarious children’s books. Follow his dream life on Instagram.

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Mike Lowery’s Carl the Duck’s Travel Adventures on Instagram

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Mike Lowery at a book signing at Barnes and Noble

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“The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs” Doodle Adventures by Mike Lowery and “Random Body Parts” Illustrated by Mike Lowery

How to Draw Carl the Duck with Mike Lowery
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Want to live the dream?  Learn how to create a killer children’s book illustration pitch with a top agent and highly-respected art director! Hurry! Space are limited.  Online live course beings October 3rd.
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Want to get prepared for class? Be sure to join in our FREE hugely popular mini prep series which began yesterday. #myMATSprep is a series of five mini assignments Lilla has created to get you ready to rock our brand new Illustrating Children’s Books class.
Yours in success,
Lilla
P.S. Follow the fun on Instagram #globaltalentsearch and #MatsKidBook

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What Art Directors look for in Children’s Book Illustration


Working on our new course, Illustrating Children’s Books,  has made me even more in love with kid books. But writing and filming the course with highly regarded art director Zoe Tucker, I have come to more fully understand what make the great books great.

I’ve chosen a book that beautifully illustrates 4 key points that art directors look for in artwork:

  • Is there a strong character?
  • Can you easily identify the emotions of the characters?
  • Is the story being told clearly?
  • Is the style fabulous and fresh?

Let’s take a look at a book that I adore.

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Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty, by David Roberts

This book cover hits all the notes:

Is there a strong main character?
Yes. The boy is really appealing. His hair and sweater are nice touches. Remember, your main character is the star of the book. You are going to be drawing him/her throughout, and we want to connect with the character.

Can you easily identify the emotions?
Totally. The boy is sweet and slightly mischievous. Look at the woman on the upper right. She is slightly aghast. How does the illustrator, David Roberts, do that? He draws the woman’s face with a single raised eyebrow, and eyes open wide.

Is the “story” being told clearly?
Yes. As an illustrator, your job is to tell a story through pictures, and the cover needs to communicate the spirit of the book.

The boy is mischievous. How do we know that? He’s standing precariously on tippy toes on the letter “I”, and we can see the woman’s reaction.

It’s obviously a story about architecture. How do we know that? Of course we know that from the title and by loads of buildings gracing the cover. But bits like the measuring tapes and the rulers are cool ways to emphasize that theme, and are unexpected.

Is the style fabulous and fresh?
Definitely. I always say, “People buy your joy”. And here, I get the feeling that the illustrator had fun with this. Yes, he has the chops to be able to draw well, but drawing on graph paper, for example, add freshness and charm, in addition to adding to the architectural theme.
And let’s face it, that woman—who is actually the boy’s teacher—is the most fabulous.

Why don’t you try it? Here’s another cover I adore. See if it hits all the points.

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Cloth Lullaby—The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Novesky and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

I’d love to have you in my newest course. It’s crammed full of tons of information and inspiration for you. We are going to make some amazing art together.

Take a photo of one of your favorite children’s book illustration and upload it to Instagram, with #matskidbook and #makeartthatsells so we can see what you post!

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Do you dream of illustrating a children’s book? Would you love to create a magical world with characters that you’ve designed? Do you love the magic of children’s books and feel that you have something to offer?  Then this course is for you.

Hurry, this course will sell out. I hope you’ll join me, and allow me to help you do your very best.

Xo

Lilla

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Ten Tips for Being on Instagram and Join us today on Periscope


Instagram is a way that Art Directors are increasingly finding fresh work and discovering new artists.

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The @makeartthatsells Instagram page

It’s an easy interface to work with and anyone can do it. Here are some tips and pointers from the team:

1. Use your name or studio’s name as the IG account. Keep it simple for people to find you!

2. Give a clear explanation of who and what you’re doing in your profile with an email or link to your website if applicable.

3. Be creative with your photos of the work. Give them context and a setting by showing your art supplies beside the works.

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Photo and work by artist Katie Vernon, Global Talent Search Winner 2015

4. Film a short video of you working in action. A little video of you actually painting is really neat to see! Use the time lapse feature on your iPhone or download an app for it to be condensed. Boomerang can be a fun little tool also.

5. Share pictures of your studio, work space or bits of inspiration throughout your day.

6. Post seasonal content. Have fun doing a countdown to holidays using relevant images.

7. Jump onto the #100DayProject and search for any other projects that a larger body of artists are doing. It’s a great way to find other like minded people and to be in front of a bigger audience.

8. All about those #Hashtags: They should be relevant and clear. Do your homework and see what other artists are using. Use a little humor. Don’t be too general.

9. Post with consistency and regularity. Schedule the time into your weekly calendar and stick to it. While you may find certain times of the day or week are ideal to post, remember Instagram is worldwide and it’s always a peak time somewhere.

10. Engage your audience when you post. If you’ve done two different colorways of a design, post both and ask them which they like best and to reply in the comments portion.

And lastly, have fun with it! This is a fun way to share your work, connect with other artists and to put your work in front of Art Directors.

Do you have any Instagram tips to share?

Pop on over to our Instagram post today here and add your comments.

Be sure to follow @makeartthatsells on IG!

Join Lilla and Zoe on Periscope today

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We are currently in Brighton, England filming video for our new ecourse “Illustrating Children’s Books”. (join the waitlist).

We did an impromptu broadcast yesterday (you can watch the replay here) and will back today approx noon EST to answer any questions you might have about the new ecourse. So bring your questions and we will see you there! Follow Lilla on Periscope HERE

June Bootcamp gallery now live!

The June gallery from our 2016 Make Art That Sells: Assignment Bootcamp class is now live! This one is an absolute cracker. You can view it HERE

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The MATS Team