Wall Art Project

Two finished pieces

buttons and lamb that worked there way into finals
work in progress - background for top image

Back in June I took Part A of an e-course run by my agent Lilla Rogers called "Make Art that Sells". It was aimed at helping artists, illustrators and designers "up" their work to the next level and create work focused on five key commercial areas - Wall Art, Bolt Fabric, Children's Book Illustration, and artwork for Gifts and Homeware. There were around 500 participants from all over the world - many, many of them were already highly successful and talented artists and it was an initially nerve wracking, then challenging, followed by inspiring and completely invigorating experience to be thrown into such a school of high achievers! Lilla motivated and nurtured us all with such enthusiasm yet tenderness that I'm certain everyone will have come out of the experience feeling both creatively and emotionally stronger. 

Though I've been represented by Lilla Rogers Studio since 2007 and have had some success with licensing of artwork and crossing over into surface design - for cards, wrap, bags, rugs, swimwear - I still see myself very much coming from an editorial illustration background and training and it's in that area that the great majority of my work both in the UK and USA comes from. The course was a wonderful way to make me see the possibilities and applications for my work in a fresh way.

This project for the Wall Art week was definitely the one I most loved working on and helped break down old attitudes and assumptions. Several of Lilla's other artists have had lots of success with Wall Art including the beautiful work produced by Mati Rose, Lisa Congdon and Lisa De John. Initially I was concerned I somehow wouldn't fit this area as I don't come from a gallery/artist background - I see my work as being between paper, something that lasts the length of a magazine or the turning of a page not hanging on a wall. (Surely a throw back to my time studying Illustration at Maidstone College of Art where the courses were clearly delineated between Fine Art and Illustration....and my joyful cross overs into the Printmaking department felt like going behind enemy lines!) I'm also so used to responding to a brief that the opportunity to spend a day doing what ever I wanted with no final image in mind was amazingly liberating. I think I so love my job and the way I spend my days I hadn't considered until that day spent painting these backgrounds in the kitchen that it could be even more fun!

It was an amazing five weeks and Part B of the course starts next month...I'm already excited and ring fenced my autumn weekends for working on it!