Gift {MATS Week 5}

Well, we have finally made it to the last week of Make Art That Sells part 1. What a whirlwind this has been!

Week 5 focused on the Gift market. Imagine this - you're in a coffee shop and there is a rack next to the register that is full of adorable water bottles and reusable tote bags. Can you picture it? Yup - those are the kind of items included in the gift market. 

Our mini assignment was to photograph our collections. Sounds like fun! If you have cool collections, that is. As a kid, I had lots of collections - panda bears, New Kids on the Block trading cards, seashells, marbles, etc. But as I grew older, every time I moved, my collections slowly disappeared. With this assignment, I took stock of my adult collections and couldn't come up with much. Lots of fabric, of course, some art books and handmade plush from my Plush Team friends, but that was about it.

Hmm. I decided to take a walk around my house and see if there were any themes. I have been acquiring several cool vintage tins that I've been upcycling into planters. And I can't stop buying old chairs (much to Stephen's dismay...). But my most prominent "collection" I could find ended up being my potted plants! Once I started actually taking inventory, I realized I have a LOT. So I decided that would be my theme. Here's a handful from around the house:


Our main assignment ended up being designing a zipper pouch based on our collections. Lilla also showed us a couple trends for inspiration - photo realism, hyper-lush, and ink blot patterns. Hopefully we'd be able to integrate some of these ideas into our pouch.

I decided in lieu of photographing my plants and collaging them, I would do colorful stylized paintings and collage those instead. I had fun playing with super saturated colors and vibrating color combinations. Here are my little gouache studies:


I then brought them into photo shop and started piling them all together. With the idea of "hyper-lush" in mind, I knew I had to keep the colors bold and throw my typical editing out the window. "More!" I kept telling myself. "More! More! More!". At the end of my first attempt, this is what I had:


Oh my. Though it was kinda cool, it propelled me WAY out of my comfort zone. I think it met the assignment parameters quite well, but it really didn't feel like me. So I decided to start over with the ink blot idea in mind.

Ink blotting is basically mirroring to create an even grander image. I took all of my individual plant elements and started mirroring away. But something was still missing. I remembered a doodle I had done recently of "Bloom Where You're Planted", and thought that might be a good focal point for the pouch. That way it would be almost as if the girl (me?) would be growing out of the jungle I created.


Here is my final image. It's still hyper lush, but there is some breathing room in the white space, and the jungle lady is much more indicative of my style. Done!

Phew! Even though class is over, we still have one more assignment for the Global Talent Search with Lilla Rogers. This one I'm extra excited about. I'll be back to share more details!

Thanks for following me along through my journey. It was an exhausting 5 weeks, but I am so happy I did it. For those of you interested in Part B of the course, you can find all the info here.

Oh! And if you're interested in some of my classmate's interpretation of the assignment, find them here, here, here, here, and here. It's good stuff, I tell ya!