Posts tagged ‘drawing’

Think Summer, Think Fordham

I was super excited when Fordham University asked me to create an illustrated headline for their Summer 2016 program. The tagline is “Think Summer, Think Fordham” and will be used on all the marketing materials for next year’s session.

They were really fun to work with, giving me a lot of creative freedom with how to interpret the slogan and represent both city and academics in a fun way. Here are a few of my sketches along with the final piece.

Thanks to AD, Maggie Coyne, for the fun collaboration!



ThinkSummer_Fordham_SK_E ThinkSummer_Fordham_SK_D ThinkSummer_Fordham_SK_C ThinkSummer_Fordham_SK_B ThinkSummer_Fordham_SK_A

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MATS round up

My 5-week Make Art That Sells online course with Lilla Rogers came to an end last week, and though it was hard to keep up with updates as the class was in-progress, my experience was too great not to share a bit in hindsight!

The course covered a different market each week: paper goods, baby apparel, scrapbooking, editorial, and party paper. Lilla created a fabulous “classroom” environment with her daily blog posts, interviews, videos, and a private Facebook group for all participating students to connect and share work in. She shared invaluable insight and tips for each market, and gave challenging assignments & constructive critiques each week.

I’ve already shared my assignments for week 1 and week 2, but haven’t been able to catch up with updates since! Our scrapbooking assignment was based on old typewriters and cameras—a personal favorite! For the editorial piece, each artist was to create a map of their current city. And the party paper theme was folk art. All super different and fun—was so great to explore such varied themes and markets! Some sketches and my final pieces included here, as well as a roundup of projects from all 5 weeks.


WEEK 3: Sketches inspired by vintage cameras & typewriters


WEEK 3: SCRAPBOOKING Create a page of art to be applied to various scrapbooking materials, based on the theme of old-fashioned communication


WEEK 4: EDITORIAL Create a map of your current city


WEEK 5: Folk art inspired sketches


WEEK 5: PARTY PAPER Create a paper plate & napkin set based on folk art motifs


Round up of all 5 weekly class assignments


It’s fun to see my growth as I look at my body of classwork. Coming in with nearly 10 years of experience doing illustration & design, mostly in publishing—I loved the challenging assignments & learning about new markets. Most of the themes were new subject matter for me, and the approach of working with icons to make versatile pieces that can be applied to a range of products was definitely very different for me. And, the community of artists from around the world who participated was invaluable—encouragement, feedback, and just seeing so many different styles & takes on the same assignments each week really inspired me to strive for better work each week. It really was like being back in art school!

I’m really excited to take what I learned and further develop my portfolio for licensing and surface design. I surprised myself a bit with what markets I was most drawn to, and my brain has exploded with new ideas and subject matter to dive into. Plus, as a special gift to her students, Lilla offered a free 6-month membership to MOYO—an online directory of artist specializing in surface and pattern design. Please stop by to give my portfolio some love there—and stay tuned to see some new work posted soon!






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Happy Halloween!

Anyone who knows me, knows that Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday & time of year. So I was thrilled to be invited to participate in “The Month of Fear“—a weekly art challenge created by fabulous fantasy illustrator Kristina Carroll as a follow up to her Month of Love last February.

The blog includes over 20 illustrators, each posting an image weekly in response to a given challenge topic related to fear or Halloween. Kristina also asked me to create the blog header lettering & background image, as I had for Month of Love. October ended up being quite a busy month for me, so I wasn’t able to complete every challenge, but wanted to share a few pieces.

Be sure to check out the blog—there’s tons of fabulous work up!



Hand-lettered blog header


Skull background pattern


Week 1 Challenge: What Lives Under Your Bed?


Week 3 Challenge: What’s your favorite horror story?


Week 4 Challenge: Illustrate a random phobia


Halloween Challenge: Illustrate a favorite Halloween Memory


Christmas in October!

I’m taking Lilla Rogers’ 5-week Make Art That Sells online course. Lilla reps an impressive roster of artists, specializing in so many markets I’m interested in—papergoods, home décor, gifts, baby apparel, and more. Each week, she provides a creative assignment as well as tips and insights on trends, inspiration & resources for these markets, as well as interviews & advice from real-world companies like Anthropologie, Paperchase, Chronicle Books, and Real Simple Magazine. She takes time to look at every assignment submitted, and chooses several pieces from the class for an in-depth critique each week.

She offers this course in 2 parts—the first which was offered this past summer. I was unable to fit Part A into my schedule, but jumped on board for Part B as it covers specific topics I’m really interested in. I looked forward to starting “class” for months, and this was our first week. We covered the papergoods market—and our assignment was to create 2 holiday cards. Before being given the assignment, Lilla assigns a “mini” so we can spend a few days exploring the subject matter. She urges us to create work from separate icons/elements so that they can be multi-purposed and potentially used for entire product lines, which is common in these markets. This is very different from the way I have always approached image-making (since most of my experience has been in books and magazines), and proved to be more of a challenge than I expected. But a fun one! The hardest part was letting go of a sketched out “plan” and just allow myself to be open to happy accidents while working out composition. I also pushed myself to try some different things with color, keeping in mind all of Lilla’s fabulous insights.

Here are my drawings from the “mini” assignment, as well as the 2 cards I created for the project:

FavoriteIcons MATS_Wk1PAPER_HolidayCard01_MR MATS_Wk1PAPER_HolidayCard02_MR


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