The assignment for Lilla Rogers’ Bootcamp class this month was to create a design for bolt fabric based on vintage jello molds.

When we first got the topic, I wasn’t so sure I would really connect and find inspiration in the theme. (I was never a huge jello fan!) But as I started to research and gather up references I realized how much awesome content there is to draw from: retro/vintage baking supplies, dessert dishes, and the interesting shapes, colors, and textures of Jell-O! Plus, the community of artists participating in the class is just so amazing—everyone jumped in right away, sharing their super creative takes on the theme and got me so excited about where this could go!

However, March was an incredibly busy month! I’m still getting my footing as a full-time freelancer—which, very fortunately, has been an incredibly steady & busy stream of client work. And I’m also in the trenches of wedding planning, so I found my time pretty limited to devote to class which is always disappointing. But, in a way it forced me into not over-thinking the assignment, and even working in a new way.

Lilla always gives a “mini” assignment—an opportunity to explore the theme through sketches before really knowing the application of the content. This encourages working with icons to create a library of individual images that can be drawn from to later compose the piece for the assignment. This approach is ideal for licensing collections, as the icons are easy to work with, re-purpose, and create coordinating pieces from. These are my ink & gouache sketches from the “mini”:


This is a really new way of working for me, but I’ve been enjoying it a lot and seeing the difference it makes in my work. But with such lack of time this month, these were the only sketches I got to and didn’t have time for much more after the full assignment was given. Down to the wire with our deadline, I decided to allow myself only to pull from what I had existing. I used several of these icons and grabbed a character from an old project to rework. I usually have some vision of where I intend to go with a project, but this time I only had a vague idea. I liked the thought of the Jello shapes becoming hats or umbrellas, and knew I wanted to incorporate a girl figure. So I dove in head first, with no real “roadmap”, and played for just a few hours until I a pattern emerged. Lilla also encouraged us to try a “nougat” palette, using more neutrals, which I really enjoyed pushing myself to do. This was my final submission.


The class gallery is now live, including hundreds of artists’ submissions. Loads of really wonderful work and super fun interpretations of the theme.  Check it out!