week 3 in lilla rogers' "make art that sells" course

tammie bennett illustrated book coverweek three in lilla rogers' "make art that sells" course and i'm still loving it. and it's still super challenging.

this week's focus was the children's book market. i've always wanted to illustrate a children's book and it's on my life list for sure. but this week made me realize how very hard it will be.  and how far i have to go.  but thanks to lilla and the class,  i have a clear, concise list of the things i need to improve upon to be ready. as i've stated before, knowing exactly what you need to work on is so empowering.

i decided at the beginning of the week to stay off the classroom's facebook and flickr pages. it gets overwhelming seeing the hundreds of different interpretations of the assignment. and there are some CRAZY talented artists in this group which can be intimidating if you let it. seeing all of the amazing work and progress shots is inspiring, but not while i'm still working on my own piece. i wanted to turn off the noise this week and just do what it is that i do. we went on a small family vacation this week, so it was actually physically easy not to check in on facebook 20 times a day because i hardly ever had my phone with me. but i learned something about myself in my decision to stay away from the group. i missed the interaction. i missed the feedback. i missed connecting with the other artists. i felt like i was missing out and i was.  i like getting my work done early.  i like being able to watch everyone's work come in and comment on it.

my process this week :: since we were traveling for most of the week, i did probably a hundred sketches of the snail, the rose tree, the lettering.  over and over, i drew.  i tried to keep an open mind and just let the ideas flow.  i drew at night, in the morning, when i was tired, when i was fresh.  the most challenging for me was the lettering.  i've never really done any sort of hand lettering.  i also struggled with the rose tree.   then i thought back to my 200 days of drawing and decided to draw what i like drawing.  i love drawing faces and characters.

when we returned from our trip, i scanned in a lot of my drawings and worked with them in photoshop.  there is still so much to learn in photoshop, but i can definitely move my way around in the program without trepidation and frustration, so that alone is such an accomplishment.

i love the snail.  on the first day of getting the assignment,  i sketched his shell as being sort of rose-like and then gave up on that idea.  later, my husband suggested i do it.  the snail has beauty to offer this world just as the rose tree does, even if the snail doesn't know it.  so i made his shell sort of rose-y.  i knew i had to have his arms crossed.

i know the background needs so much more work.  i feel completely lost when it comes to backgrounds and i have a mental hangup about it that i need to get over.  i think i need to spend some time at the bookstore, seeing for myself the ways backgrounds can be done and get to work.

it was a really tough week for me with this assignment and to be quite frank i'm glad it's over.  but i am so  thankful for the awkward feeling i have due to me stretching my skills and getting out of my comfort zone a little bit.  and i love seeing what the other artists come up with.  lilla does a great job of getting people to do their best work.

now that i've turned in my assignment i can spend the day catching up on facebook and flickr!

if you are interested in what some of my classmates have to say about this week's assignment, you can read their blogs here, here, here, here and here.