In the beginning of October, I signed up for a class with Lilla Rogers Studio. When I left my last full time gig, I promised myself that on my next foray into the working world I would chase a long held dream and figure out a way to make illustration and creative design my primary focus. So, beginning in August, I started doing some editorial illustration and opened an etsy shop. The performance of the shop was a little, ahem…underwhelming. And editorial work comes few and far between with a good bit of rejection in the middle. So, I realized that in order to start to really make this work, I was going to need to hone some things. I knew of Lilla Rogers because she represents some very commercially successful artists, and because I’ve admired her work in the past as well. I paid the not too insignificant tuition fee and jumped into the MATS class. I was nervous because the caliber of artist that takes these classes is very high and typically the people who make the commitment to do this have already been working independently for years. So, yeah–my approach was a smidge anxious! Working within the mats environment proved to be every bit as challenging as working within the university system where I got my BFA in graphic design a few [many] years ago, albeit for a shorter amount of time. I progressed so much in this compressed and intense few weeks, that I’m bursting at the seams with new ideas and craving the time to implement and organize them. My favorite project from the class was this idea for a product design:

Lucky Cat Zipper Bag and Accessories

Lucky Cat Zipper Bag and Accessories

. It was so much fun illustrating and designing something with a targeted destination in mind. Another fantastic thing that has emerged from the class is the creative community. Before I send a piece off to an art director for a pitch, I can post to our group and get feedback, which is just a huge amazing big deal. A helpful and supportive community from around the world is a wonderful thing for anyone working solo in their home or studio. Here is the wonderful work of the two mats classmates who are participating in this blog roundup tour with me: Sarah Ehlinger and Jordan Vinograd Kim. And here is a list of the classmates that have gotten together and formed the online creative community that I’m thrilled to be a part of: