Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MATS and Spoonflower!

I just realized that I never posted my design for the current Spoonflower contest!  Here is my entry for "Floral Coloring Book Wallpaper".  Voting ends today!  Check out the designs here.
It's been a crazy week here but I'm happy to say that I've been able to complete my MATS assignment and keep up with the Spoonflower contests.  A bigger accomplishment for me is that I'm pretty happy with my finished designs too.  Life is good!

Last week, our MATS assignment was doing editorial work.  We needed to illustrate our home town.  It turned out to be a really difficult assignment for me and not for the reasons that I would have guessed.  I have a fear of drawing people and usually editorial work includes figure drawing.  I know that this fear could be easily remedied by just drawing people more!  It's part of that 10,000 hours thing... the more time you put into something the better you get at it.  If I had the choice, I would just paint flowers all day but because I am trying to broaden my horizons I am going to add figure drawing to my "to do more often" list.  I kind of like the way my surfer girl turned out.  (I know that she is a bit thin but that's because she forgets to eat lunch when she is out surfing all day.)  The difficulty for me with this assignment was with the composition and layout.  I really struggled with what icons to include and what to leave out.   Overall, it was fun to do and it's like nothing that I've ever done before.  One of the many reasons why I have loved taking this class is because I'm being forced to step out of my comfort zone.  That's a good thing.

Here is my map from MATS Week 4 Editorial.
(I actually live in South Kingstown but I thought that images from Narragansett would be easier for me to work with.)

I'm busy working on our final assignment for MATS.  "Party Paper" is the market.  I can't believe how fast 5 weeks can go by!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

MATS PartB Week 3 - Scrapbooking

I can't believe 3 weeks have gone by already!

Our assignment last week was to create a design for the scrapbooking market and our theme was "ink bottles".  One of the bottles that Lilla gave us for reference was really beautiful.  The bottle had an octopus and a butterfly on it.  At first, I was drawn to the octopus.  Octopus are so popular right now and they would make a great image within a coastal theme.  Then... I started to draw butterflies and moths and I couldn't stop.  I decided to save the octopus for another day and use the butterflies that I drew.  I seriously had so much fun making them, each butterfly/moth design would lead to the next.  We also needed to have at least one word in our design that would help convey a memory or feeling for which you would be using the scrapbook paper.  I took the love route.  I used the words love, hearts, flutter and remember.  Do you remember falling in love and having butterflies in your stomach?

My design is called "Hearts A Flutter" and I am definitely going to be doing more with my butterflies when I get the chance.

This week we are working on "Editorial".  I'm excited about it and a bit nervous.  Anytime an assignment gets more into the realm of "illustration" I get a bit anxious.

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to finish this weeks MATS assignment and the next Spoonflower design that I'm working on.  I'm lacking some precious time this week.  I really hope that I can pull it off!  We shall see...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Yay Lily Stripe!!

Wow!! My Lily Stripe came in 25th out of 318!!!
I almost didn't enter it!  It is so different from the original idea that I had.  Originally, it was going to be full color, painted tiger lilies on a navy background.  I was having difficulty separating the colors and having them blend the way that I wanted so out of frustration I turned all of the lilies white.  I personally like the design but I never thought that other people would.   I'm very thankful for all of the nice comments and the votes and favorites that it received.  Who Knew??

I've already slipped in my quest to enter every weekly contest.  The theme this week is "Earth Day Cut and Sew Bag".  I know that I'm going to be crunched for time next week due to Easter and Spring break so I decided to spend my time working on the next theme "Floral Coloring Book Wallpaper" instead.  Check out the cut and sew bags and vote here.  There are some really cute designs!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MATS PartB Week 2 - Baby Apparel

Ahoy There!  This week our theme was "Pirates".  I had fun making this design and the coordinates.  I think the rope outlines in my main design make it more suited for baby furnishings rather than apparel.  I've never designed with apparel in mind.  I'm always thinking pillows, drapes, quilts etc.  I think I missed the boat with this assignment.  (Pun intended.)  It was too late to chart another course (ha ha) when I realized this.

I'm busy working on this weeks assignment for the "Scrapbooking Market".  I'm hoping for smooth sailing this week!  Argh!  I can't stop the pirate talk.

They will all be available from my Spoonflower shop sometime soon, I hope.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I'm going to try to challenge myself.  While I'm currently enrolled in MATS Part B, I'm also going to try to enter the next 5 Spoonflower contests.  For the last year or so, I've been trying to create at least one new design a week.  Sometimes I fall short and sometimes I'm able to complete two or three.  All of the upcoming contest themes sound fun to me so I thought that this would be a good time to pick up the pace.  This is going to be extra challenging for me this month because another school break is coming up.

I do not enter the contests with the hope of winning.  I've been super happy to be in the top 10 a few times but seriously if I rank anywhere in the top 75 I'm thrilled!  I think the contests are fun, challenging and a great way to build my portfolio.  I use the voting results as an gauge for determining if my design is marketable.  I need some kind of gauge because my personal opinion about a design usually doesn't translate into sales.  Some of my favorite designs have never sold.  My "Whales in Waves" from last week came in 209 out of 399.

The theme this week was "Lilies".   The entries are really varied because we could use any kind of lily with no color restrictions.  Check them out here.

I went simple for this one.  It's called Lily Stripe.

I'm now working away at my MATS assignment.  At the moment, I'm really liking my idea and I hope that I can pull it together by Sunday.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

MATS Part B Week 1 - Paper Goods

I've been really busy lately.  MATS Part B started last week!  I'm trying to keep up with the Spoonflower contests while doing the MATS work and it is also starting to be beautiful outside.  This is my favorite time of year to be out in my yard, digging in the dirt.  (I'll try to post some photos of my garden this year.)

MATS - week one went pretty smoothly and I have to credit the fact that I'm not on Facebook anymore.  Not logging in helped me cut out all of the self doubt that I usually have.  I wasn't stressed out that I got a really late start on the project.  I wasn't worried that it was too similar to someone else because... I had no idea what everyone else was doing.  I actually read the assignment incorrectly and thought that we need to create 2 cards and it wasn't until I went to upload my finished work that I realized that everyone was only posting one card.  I had to quickly redo my presentation!

I was DYING to see what everyone was working on!!!  Of course, after I uploaded my design I had to resist checking out the Flickr group to see the designs as they were being uploaded.  I have a serious willpower problem.  Thankfully, it was a nice weekend and I spent most of Sunday outside.  Everyone needed to have their finished work uploaded on Sunday by 5:00 pm so I put my daughter to bed Sunday night and then settled in on the couch, next to the fire... with my ipad.  I really enjoyed seeing all of the finished work!

We were designing a greeting card with a gingerbread house theme.  I'm pretty happy with mine.  I know that it could be better.  I spent some time studying the cards that I liked, trying to figure out what made each one successful (in my mind).   I'll probably redo my card a tiny bit.  I think I need to add a bit more texture and a few more details to make it pop more.  I was going for simple but I think it's a little too simple.

Lilla's course has been so valuable to me.  I continue to learn so much.  I just watched her review of the week and I completely agree with all of her comments.  I plan to implement them into my work.  Not only will I make some adjustments to my card but I think my logo needs an overhaul.  Aside from the fact that it's obnoxiously big in this presentation, I want to make it more hand drawn.

I do miss being part of the Facebook group. I'm going to miss seeing how people revise their designs.  During MATS A, I learned a lot from my group as well as from Lilla. 

This week we are designing for "Baby Apparel" and I'm having fun with it!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Society 6 Promotion!

Use this link to get FREE SHIPPING and $5 off at my Society6 shop...

Promotion expires April 13, 2014 at Midnight Pacific Time. *Offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Throw Pillows with insert.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spoonflower update...

I didn't place very well in the "Wellies and Galoshes" contest.  105 out of 238!

In my quest for more confidence, I'm supposed to be thankful for all of my small successes.  In that spirit, I'm thankful that I ranked higher than 133 other designers.  The glass is more than half full!  Yay!  Better yet... Let's forget that contest ever happened and move on.  Shall we?

This week the theme is "Whales".  Fun!  I've been wanting to do a whale design.

This whale contest has a restricted palette.  I liked the colors at first glance, I thought they were preppy and fitting for whales.  Nantucket red and whales.  Perfect!  Then... I tried them out in my design and I have to say that they were really difficult to work with.  I was not liking the #D68189 color at all so I used it very sparingly as background dots.   Everyone did a fantastic job.  There are so many ways to draw a whale!  Check out the crazy amount of entries and vote here.  Seriously, grab a cup of tea... there are a lot of entries!
"Whales in Waves" is also on products over at Society6 too.  Here it is on a pillow.