I have just finished 5 months of portfolio boosting learning with the Make Art that Sells Art Bootcamp, which I was lucky enough to win a free place on! Each month the course presented a new creative theme broken down into bite sized pieces so you can create your best art work for the main assignment possible. It was such fun to do and certainly gave me some challenges...From an abstract backpack, a rose covered gardening journal, mugs with a theme of immigration, travel and hope to the more tricky self reflecting mind map and a full children's book spread (text and all!) which had to include a hummingbird in shoes and a mouse with wings...Funnily enough the children's book spread was the one I was most intimidated by, maybe because I have always felt like I have a kids book in me somewhere and this was the one I should really get right, but once I had my text thought up it flowed and I was really pleased with the outcome...new avenue perhaps?!
I can't recommend this annual course enough for those wishing to further their portfolio development or try a new avenue for the work. As well as the art development there were bonus trend boards each month and live chats with experienced art agent Lilla Rogers and her team.
I am taking another of their classes this summer, I loved it that much! If you want to find out more I encourage you to head to the Make Art that Sells website...
I am very pleased and VERY excited to write this post as it is about my first book!!
I have been working on it since September last year and it is finally due for publication on September 7th this year...It is called Creative Marker Art and Beyond and is a how to guide for creative artwork and gifts using the humble marker pen.
I have been using markers as a drawing medium seriously for about 18 months now and they have revolutionised my working practise. While I have a gorgeous studio for packing orders, making jewellery and screen printing in, my workspace at home (which is where I usually get to do my drawing when the children are tucked up asleep) is less than desirable. I found it such a faff to put my laptop away to make room for all of my paints and pencils that I just wasn't bothering very often and my artwork was suffering. I do design digitally quite a lot but I missed the analogue of paper and colour and the challenge of making something right when it's not gone to plan and you can't press 'undo'. So when a half price Sharpie offer caught my eye in WHSmith's, my life changed...
Scroll back through this blog and you will find 2016's 100 day Challenge that I did via Instagram. I wanted to do a drawing a day using the markers I had bought and #100daysofrandomcolours was me blindly selecting 5 pens from my pencil case and seeing where the colours took me (each day for 100 days!)
Because I was drawing with markers in a hard bound sketchbook I could draw anywhere...no messy paint and water, no pencil shavings, no stylus or screens. My lap and the sofa became my happy art place and everything changed. Since markers came into my life I have been non stop drawing just about every single day, ideas have flowed, way more new stuff has actually been seen through from idea to finished piece and I got a book deal.
So back to that: The book is choc full of stuff you can do with different types of marker pens and I had such fun writing it. It has creative prompts for when you just don't know what to draw, marker pen exercises to teach you how to get the most out of your markers and step-by-step projects on how to make some pretty useful stuff using your pens...as well as an ideas gallery at the back for when you've got the hang of your pens and want to take it further!