MATS A review: Week 1 – Bolt fabric design

I wanted to post some of the assignments from Lilla Roger’s MATS course. Our first week was learning about Bolt fabric design. This is my final submitted design, and underneath are my preliminary sketches. Every week, Lilla gives us a “mini” assignment before the assignment to allow us to warm-up. It really helped to have the work broken down into smaller, more manageable steps so that we didn’t feel overwhelmed. Also found that I really needed to spend a lot of time on the “mini” to get loosened up and get a grasp of the subject matter, and if I didn’t, it would really make tackling the big assignment much more difficult. I remember it really took me a long time to even get one thing drawn digitally, and get to a point where I could compose a layout that I liked. Was really working down to the wire to get the work submitted in time for review by Lilla Rogers in the first two weeks. Well, for all the weeks really, but I especially felt stressed about it in the beginning!

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I kind of want to go back and refine all my work before posting it up here (as usual, there is always room for improvement), but I’m going ahead and putting it up “as-is” so I can reflect and look back on the last 5 weeks. It’s really been quite the ride. Again, I keep saying it over and over again to myself – so happy I made the leap and took this course. So much to process right now!

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Checking in …

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I’m in my fourth week of MATS already (Lilla Roger’s e-course), and I can’t say it enough: SO glad I’m doing this. The course has definitely opened me up to many new possibilities and avenues for actually making a living by making art, and in general, just pushing myself creatively. Above are some of the scraps that I’ve collected this week for our Wall Art assignment. (Ack! I better get going on the assignment …)

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Lisa Congdon hand lettering + ALT Summit keynote

Last week I listened to Lisa Congdon’s keynote address at ALT Summit 2015 which took place in January. So happy that this was made available for all to watch on the interwebs. (Yay interwebs!) 

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// Credit: Lisa Congdon – Words for the Day | No. 57

Lisa is an accomplished artist, illustrator and published author with work in many different facets. It was interesting to hear her talk about being a “late-bloomer”, her humble beginnings (re: painting on her coffee table), and what I hear most from many creatives that I admire, you gotta work damn hard.

In particular, I love her hand lettering. I remember trying this for a drawing that I was doing some time last year. I figure, it should be easy for me to do. I have pretty good writing, I’m a designer, I like to illustrate, I understand “type”. But, I didn’t like what I came up with at all. It was pretty blah. I realize now, that Lisa Congdon, spent a WHOLE year, EVERYDAY practicing her hand lettering. (She committed to hand-lettering a verse everyday for one year, 365 days). It’s about Commitment, Time. Dedication.

 

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// Credit: Lisa Congdon – Book cover for latest book, “Fortune Favors the Brave”.

Something else that she talked about that was along the same lines is that it takes a lot of time, so start now. There’s no such thing as overnight success; there were a lot of bad paintings before there were good ones, so start.

To become a good writer, you must write. To become a good painter, you must paint. To become good at selling your work, you must do the work of putting your work into the world — not once or twice, but over and over and over. Success and opportunity never come to those who sit back and wish things were different. They come to those who do stuff.

Not to confuse the issue, but while doing the stuff (the work, the self promotion, all of it) is really important, I also believe that so are more “woo-woo” things like having positive intentions and envisioning yourself being successful. You must believe it’s possible in order to do the work. Simply envisioning yourself being successful without doing the work will get you nowhere. In the end, having positive intentions and showing up and doing the work go hand in hand.

So this leads me to my next point. I started taking Lilla’s Roger’s MATS bootcamp at the beginning of January, and somehow it crossed my mind that maybe I should think about signing up for the much more intensive 5-week course this month. I thought the bootcamp course would just get my feet wet for the time being this year, and next year, when I have more experience, and more time (??), and the girls are older, I will go for the other courses. But somehow, maybe since it’s been slow with work lately and I have too much time to think, it crossed my mind to consider doing it now and not waiting another 6 months or year. Maybe I’ll need to take it again next year, but I’ve built up some momentum with bootcamp right now so I really want to keep at it. I’m completely freaked out that I’m doing this but as Lisa Congdon says, it takes a lot time, so start now! <Insert nervous face! >

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Scenic plate illustration / WIP

It’s been a super cold week. I’m not that busy with the day job, but I’ve still been so utterly lethargic all week.  It’s mid-February: Canadian winter depression kicking in full gear. So it was nice to do something bright and warm (below) as part of some work-in-progress for this month’s MATS Bootcamp assignment.

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I’ve had a hard time starting this assignment and doing the preliminary sketching. The “mini” (our warm-up sketching before the monthly assignment) was about looking at scenic plate design. I was feeling stuck with my hand drawing and not being able to come up with my “scene” so I thought I would jump into Photoshop to do a quick sketch and work out the colour and placement of objects. But, I’ve found that I’ve been obsessively working on this drawing these last two days. A nice bit of a breakthrough and a boost to end the week.

Now, if only I could start the REAL assignment. (Am very behind!) I need to psych myself up for some painting on a piece of wood!

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Drawing away

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So my first assignment for MATS bootcamp is to create a journal cover around the theme (or extension of the theme) of Edwardian brooches. The very first week, we are given the “mini” assignment which was to research and draw the brooches. I haven’t drawn so much in the last few weeks (and so regularly) as I have for this project. However, I’m finding it much harder to translate this into a finished, polished product. Have been feeling more held back with technology as I’ve been trying to bring my sketches into a finished digital piece of work. Not that it has to be digital, but my vision has been to have some hand-drawn work combined with vector work. I think this is where I need to still spend so much more time. I know how to draw, I know how to use illustrator, but it’s the bridging of the two and really making it into something I really love.  Assignment is due this weekend. AaaaH! Trying to think of above: Just do. Don’t over think…

Here is a small compilation of some of my sketches:

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