A Little Bit of This and MATS

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Illustration, S'Wicked Blog

I could have slept a little later, yesterday, but I was too excited. Because, yesterday, I started on another new learning adventure—Lilla Rogers’ Make Art That Sells class (a.k.a. MATS).

Lilla Rogers School logo

For those of you unfamiliar with Lilla Rogers and her courses, Lilla is a rock-star art licensing guru. (Yes, she is both a rock star and a guru.) She runs an internationally-renowned illustration agency whose licensing deals are seen ’round the world in the form of illustrated home decor, gift products, wall art, bolt fabric, children’s books, toys, stationery, and countless other products. I wouldn’t be going out on a limb to say that everyone reading this has seen products that Lilla and her team helped bring to fruition. For many illustrators, getting signed by Lilla is equivalent to finding the Fountain of Youth, meeting Bigfoot, stumbling upon the Holy Grail, and winning the lottery, all in one day.

Lilla has extensive experience as a creative artist, herself, and has lived the entire journey from anonymous beginner to the aforementioned rock star/guru status. She uses that experience not only to help her artists license their work, but also in a series of classes she offers to aspiring artists, like me. From the rawest of beginners to the most accomplished artists, illustrators from all over the world take Lilla’s MATS class to learn new skills, “meet” new people, and be pushed in new directions with their work.

Over the course of the next five weeks, I’ll be throwing every extra waking hour I have into my MATS class. The first step? Getting my space ready. Lilla strongly recommended we prepare our space in advance—clear out the clutter, get our tools ready, make it pretty and welcoming and inspiring.

I’m very, very, very fortunate to have an entire room to dedicate to my work and business. Here’s the “by-hand” corner of my room. This is where most of my sketching, painting, calligraphy, hand lettering, and day dreaming take place. (That’s my grandmother’s watercolor blending chart above the fireplace.)

Jesswick Creative Studio "By-Hand" creative space

Jesswick Creative Studio “By-Hand” creative space

I love that I have two bright windows to look out, plus my beloved fireplace for cozy wintertime fires. The gorgeous old, worn drafting table was a magical gift from a friend (thanks, Mike!). I have all my gear ready to go, right by my side, all arranged on shelves and hooks. And, then there’s, Hal, the crow, to keep me company. As a kid, I dreamed of a space like this—cozy and creative—and now, the dream is realized. How lucky am I?

The other areas in my studio include a desk wall of computer, white board, and inspiration boards I just put up, so not much to share there, except for the area above my desk, which features: an awesome Pinocchio plush; my Ugly Doll buddies; a handmade harlequin by my wonderful friend, Patti Bachelder; a lovely calendar by Night Owl Paper Goods; and one of my favorites—an etching by Elizabeth Andrews.

And, then there’s my book wall—about 40 linear feet of books, toys, and other precious objects. It’s a little messy, right now, so I’m including only a teeny peek of it, below, along with a bit of the view out one of my windows (you just can’t beat autumn in New England).

Jesswick Creative Studio books, view, and other lovelies

Jesswick Creative Studio books, view, and other lovelies

Now, I have to continue sketching. If I can sneak enough time in, tomorrow, I’ll share some of the raw art I’m creating for this first week of assignments.