One of my goals this year was to spend a little more time on personal art projects that would stretch me a bit, loosen up the creative flow and just allow me to play around. Unfortunately, I tend to put personal things on the back burner when I'm busy with deadlines for clients. And then a whole year goes by and suddenly you realize you've done nothing about what was once such a great idea!
So when I saw the posting for Lilla Rogers e-course on Making Art That Sells, I thought it would a perfect opportunity for me to get charged up to create and experiement with some new art and have a specific framework of goals to keep me on track. The class is five weeks and each week we explore a different aspect of the licensing world. This week happened to be picture books.
The story we illustrated was a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson called the "Snail and the Rose Tree." We could illustrate the cover of the book, or a spread, but the requirements were that we needed to create a compelling character (the snail), an environment, and incorporate some hand-lettering.
The snail was a thinker, but also pompous and arrogant and he sheltered in place his whole life living within his shell.
But the rose tree lived a very charmed and easy life with great meaning, blooming year after year.
There are only a few days allowed to complete the assignments, so I had to limit the amount of time I obsessed over this piece. Otherwise, I probably would never have finished it. I learned some new things with the hand-lettered type (not so easy to do, but adds a lot of charm to an illustration). Drawing from life for reference keeps elements of the illustration from being too generic looking. I tend to draw from my head, but if I look at reference, I can find all kinds of little details that make the illustration more interesting. The green vine growing over the snail was a plant I found out on my morning walk and I added it in at the very end. One of my favorite elements as it gives the feeling that the snail has been sitting in the same spot for a very long time!
Lilla Rogers is an international licensing agent, teacher, author and award-winning artist. You can visit her website here. This class will be offered again in October.