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Week 1 of Make Art that Sells: Bolt Fabric

First week of Lilla Roger’s course Make Art that Sells, done! It’s been fun, and also challenging, and I’m so glad I signed up for this. Right before the start of class all two hundred-and-some students introduced themselves and shared their websites, compliments and welcomes flying around in a whirlwind of anticipation for the class. It could easily be intimidating to be surrounded by so many talented classmates while learning totally new things but the atmosphere is really supportive and positive. And I like the way Lilla structures the class. It builds up such that we take one step after another and then by the time the assignment is over we don’t even remember we didn’t know all that stuff just a few days ago.

The first two days we work on a mini assignment, just sketching the things Lilla tells us to draw and that’s it. For this week those things were tropical fruits and vintage Pyrex dishes. 

On Wednesdays we get the “Big” assignment, which we have until Sunday to complete. With that we get a bunch of information about the market, interviews, and also a personal video from Lilla with tips and a whole lot of useful advice. This week, the market we explored was bolt fabric. 

The hardest part is to start, find inspiration and figure out what to do. I poured over Pinterest for all things vintage and tropical. Got the paint out and tried colors inspired from pretty packages of matches. Into photoshop, putting all my icons in there and starting to think about a layout.

Here I tried a checker layout inspired by an old family cookbook. I loved the dashed lines and tried to incorporate them in my design. Though I enjoy these colors I felt the result was not “me” enough, maybe a little too organized, and I wanted to explore a new direction I have been taking with my artwork lately. So I went back to sketching more ideas, with words from Lilla’s video resonating in my head, “well designed icons, colors, and overall, be yourself!”. And other great tips from Uppercase magazine, like “have a point of view”. 

In the heart of the assignment I tried to avoid looking too closely at the Facebook group to not be influenced too much. But after my first pass I went back to see what everyone was doing and noticed my favorite patterns were the ones that told a story. So I looked for my story to tell. And what story tropical fruits were telling me? Colorful drinks with little paper umbrellas, with palm trees and exotic birds. These bowls were the inspiration for my color palette. 

Now I had my story but seeing the posts on Facebook I realized my layout needed more rhythm and a repeat pattern arrangement. After moving things around here’s the final result below, with the coordinates. That was fun! I think I got bit by the pattern bug Cheers to a great week, and looking forward to week 2 starting tomorrow!


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