Back to School {MATS 01}

Today I am so excited to share my newest artistic endeavor - I'm going back to school! 

I've been refocusing my creative efforts over the last year to focus on my first love, illustration. That meant a few things:

• I have been slowing down Fuzzies production. Yes, I still make them, but mostly
  custom orders.

• I haven't been pursuing graphic design opportunities.
• I created a new, illustration-only portfolio website.
• I'm incorporating a LOT more drawing into my daily routine. Daily Doodles, baby!
• I'm marketing myself as an Illustrator first, Designer second.
• Design projects now have a more illustrated feel.
• I am educating myself on the ins and outs of the Illustration industry. 

Last week I began a new online class - taught by Lilla Rogers, a world-renowned illustration agent - Make Art That Sells is a 10-week course giving us "in-depth insight into ten of the most lucrative markets for art, from home décor, gifts and bolt fabric to papergoods, baby apparel and children’s books."

Week 1 focused on the Bolt Fabric market - right up my alley! 

Early in the week we were given a mini assignment to draw mushrooms and vintage pyrex. Here are my mushrooms:

I started out with pen and ink, and fairly realistic interpretations. Then i decided I needed to loosen up a bit and take to the gouache and do some more stylistic mushrooms, focusing on basic shapes and patterns, and using a limited color palette.

Next up, vintage pyrex. I was in heaven doing the research for this one!

Again, first the pen and ink drawings to get a feel for the shapes and designs, then onto the whimsical gouache version. I love those colors!

We were then asked to apply our mushroom and pyrex icons into a retro-kitchen themed fabric design. Here are my two final versions:

The first one basically took my gouache pyrex paintings and laid it out into a repeat pattern. The colors are super bright and the coordinates utilize some of the pyrex designs made into a pattern. Someone in class suggested this would make a good oilcloth design, and I couldn't agree more!

The second incorporated my stylized mushrooms and combined them with some vintage casseroles and kitchen goods - utensils, salt & pepper, bowls and herbs. I chose a palette that was a throwback to the 60's - mint green and bubblegum pink punctuate the muted teal background. 

I am thrilled with how the designs turned out - already I am gaining some solid portfolio pieces, which was one of the goals of taking this course. It was great to get assignments, something I really miss about school, and drawing things that are out of my usual arsenal of subject matter.

And I have to say - what a wonderful group of classmates! Everyone is so supportive, motivating and positive, and I am so excited to meet and get to know these wonderful people! They are EXTREMELY talented, and though it's hard not to be intimidated by their skills, I try to channel it to push me harder, which is exactly what I need to succeed in this industry!

I can already tell this is going to be a long ten weeks, considering last week I was already staying up way too late in order to meet deadlines. But sometimes a little sacrifice is necessary to push me to the next level. 

Thanks for sticking with me through this long post! I am hoping to do a weekly recap of my experience, so I will be back.

Hooray for school!