28 February 2020

FREE MASTERCLASS - elizabeth silver

I am loving all the new online courses that have been coming out this year. It's wonderful that experienced designers are keen to share all their advice and expertise. When I first started out the world of surface pattern was quite secretive and hard to find out about. So I was pleased to hear of another good (and free) class. Elizabeth Silver is about to broadcast her live masterclass on how to land your first client.

If you’ve been designing patterns and illustrations for your portfolio, waiting for the right moment to pursue paid client work, wondering how to get started making your hobby into your career, I’m so excited to announce a new FREE masterclass Find Your First Surface Pattern Design Client: Three Ways to Jump Start Your Freelance Career with Elizabeth Silver. Elizabeth is a surface pattern veteran who worked for a decade as an in-house textile designer for major American home and apparel brands and then moved into working for herself in 2012. She’s taking all the lessons she learned in those first few years trying to build her client base and condensing her top tips into action items in this live masterclass, including:

•An easy mindset shift you can make to get you going
•My favorite destinations for finding paying gigs
•How big companies find freelance help
•The companies you’ve never heard of that make the most art

This masterclass will only be offered twice live, March 4th and 6th, so hurry and register today at www.elizabethsilver.com/masterclass

Below we can hear directly from Elizabeth on why now is the perfect time to start showing your work. They is some great info here which should wet your appetite for the masterclass......

Three Reasons to Pitch your Surface Pattern Portfolio Today
I often talk to artists who have been working on their design portfolio for months and even years, and still don’t think they’re in a place to get paid for their work. They see other designers on this very blog getting fabric deals and launching products, and wish that they were ‘good enough’ to get those opportunities.

I’m a huge believer in getting your work out into the world sooner rather than later, and I want to highlight the top 3 reasons why you should put aside your fears and send out your work to art buyers and potential clients.

There’s No Such Thing as an Artist Blacklist
If you pitch your art before it’s ‘perfect,’ you may think you’re making a bad impression that’s going to hurt your chances of working together in the future. Not true. If you submit artwork to a company that isn’t interested, the absolute worst thing that can happen is they will politely decline your offer. That’s it. Here are a few examples of rejections I’ve gotten in the past:

•“My biggest concern was that there wasn’t a very large portfolio”

• “I don’t have an opening for this theme unfortunately....it’s a very small area for us as we would consider it regional.”

•“At this time we have chosen another artist to complete this particular set for us. We will keep you in mind for future projects.”

•“At this time, we have a different direction than what I viewed on your website.”

If I were to resubmit to any of these art directors down the road, chances are they wouldn’t remember my less-than-ideal submissions from the past, and if they did, my new art would be enough to make a better impression. In the case of the rejections above, I now work with the first client because I took her advice and continued to build my portfolio and then resubmitted a year later. Just because you aren’t right for a client at the moment doesn’t mean you can never be right for a client.

If You Don’t Ask the Answer is Always No
Fear of rejection is probably the biggest thing that keeps designers from approaching clients for paid work, but as you can see from my above examples, it’s rarely that harsh and usually framed as more of a style mismatch. More importantly than that, if you stall on submitting, you‘re rejecting yourself every single day. You’re declaring with authority that no one will be interested in your art and you’re not giving anyone the opportunity to say otherwise.

Practice Makes Perfect
Look, pitching your services isn’t easy. It takes gumption, it takes grit, it takes spell check. But the more often you do it, the less enormous and scary it feels, and the better you get at it. Rejections (or much more likely, no response at all) feel less personal and your conviction in what your selling (your work) gets stronger.

I’m not going to pretend I love pitching my artwork, or that I have a huge success rate. But I do know that the quickest way to get somewhere is to start and I’m opening myself up to some potentially helpful feedback.

If you’ve been dreaming of a career in Surface Pattern and haven’t been sure where to start, take a small step today towards that goal.

If you need help, I’ve been analyzing what worked and didn’t work for me when I was starting and I’ve been condensing my top tips down to action items. I’m so excited to debut it all in my FREE masterclass Find Your First Surface Pattern Design Client: Three Ways to Jump Start Your Freelance Career.
This masterclass will only be offered twice live, March 4th and 6th, Register today at www.elizabethsilver.com/masterclass 

CARDS & STATIONERY - john lewis

This weeks Friday eye candy features snapshots of stationery and greetings cards from John Lewis. I made a flying visit to a local store and quickly captured an overview of what was on offer. This included new designs from Caroline Gardner, fun typography on Girl Power stationery from Rachel Ellen and painterly brush strokes on greetings cards.

27 February 2020

DESIGNER - merrylittle studio

Today I've heard about the announcement for the official launch of Merrylittle Studio, a design label by Madison Herman that focuses on illustration, surface design, and hand lettering for products. Based in Kansas City, USA, Merrylittle Studio is a moniker that represents all the things her brand aspires to be: friendly, sweet, and full of joy. Madison loves to paint with gouache and the uses an Ipad to create  colourful, hand-crafted, charming images. Some of Madison's favorite things to draw are pretty florals, cute critters, and encouraging quotes. She is often inspired by historical textiles, traveling, childhood memories, and connecting everyday interests back into her illustration practice. Her dream is to delight and connect with others through her work, and have her art live on products that become a special part of someone's life. Previously a designer for Hallmark, Madison is embarking on her new freelance journey and seeks to expand her design career into the editorial, textile, home decor, children's, and (of course) stationery markets. She is open to both licensing and commissioned work. Any inquiring Art Directors are welcome to reach out and connect!
You can see more of her work and contact her through her website and Instagram.