9/28/16

ANNOUNCING THE GTS WINNERS! Our biggest announcement of the year.

What an incredible journey! We loved getting to know the six finalists on Skype and thoroughly reviewing their bodies of work. After much discussion and reflection we are delighted to announce…

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…the winner of our 2016 Global Talent Search is…

MARENTHE OTTEN!

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Above: Marenthe’s final assignment for the Global Talent Search. On our Skype call, I suggested that Marenthe not hold back and go full-on Marenthe.

Giant congratulations to the lovely Marenthe! She is a true original, an iconoclast. We loved how fearless she is in creating her magical world. Because of this, and her broad range of imagery and themes, you’ll see a career that will have longevity and breadth. In addition, we liked that she had been a successful designer for many years so she understands how to work professionally and collaboratively. Personally, I’m excited to develop original projects with her as well. I have a few up my sleeve.

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Marenthe on Skype screenshare and her work in progress for the final assignment

Plus, she’s a lovely person. You’ll fall in love with her!

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-6-44-44-pmFrom editorial to children’s books, from candy packaging to home decor, Marenthe has it all.

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We are delighted to now represent Marenthe Otten. We can’t wait to fill her docket with commissions, licenses, and consultations with VIPs. Art directors, contact us here to get dibs on Marenthe for your projects!

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Read more about the prizes Marenthe has won here.

But the goodness doesn’t end there! We were blown away by the calibre of the final submissions, and have scooped up two additional artists!

Congratulations to our two Special Studio Award Winners!

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TERRI FRY KASUBA 

We are madly in love with Terri’s witty and colorful art. Everyone smiles when they see her work. She’s frequently been in the highly-regarded juried annual, American Illustration, and has designed toys in-house for many years. Her work runs from highly sophisticated wit to funky/adorable. We are thrilled to add her to our agency.

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Terri’s pieces for the final assignment for the Global Talent Search.
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Can you find the unicorn and the mullet guy in the piece above?

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ANNE BENTLEY

Meet Anne, the delightful sophisticate. As a matter of fact, the Boston Globe commissioned Anne right from the newsletter I sent out announcing the 5 Finalists! And here is her piece that she completed-right smack in the middle of the GTS final competition. Anne’s background in fine art is evident in her work. Her unique color palettes, along with her masterful renderings of individuals in stylish settings won us over. Plus, she is a really nice person! As with Marenthe and Terri, I delighted in watching Anne’s work blossom in my MATS e-courses.

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Congratulations, GTS 2016 winners!

And a big congratulations to all the other Finalists: Colee Wilkinson, Mara Penny, and Sharon Montgomery. This is a very intense and demanding competition, and to arrive at the Finals is a massive honor. It’s something to be proud of. Please know that our decision was a very difficult one, involving many considerations. Your work is excellent and we are confident that your careers will thrive.

A note to Art directors: Contact us to get dibs on these artists for your projects before their schedules fill up! They are delightful and I know you’ll love working with them. And I’d love to know your thoughts on this year’s winners. Simply contact us here.

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A note to artists: All of our finalists have taken my MATS online classes, just saying. You should, too. Why? Because you can energize your career the way these artists have. Because of MATS, we can get these winners tons of work. Even the artists that I already rep take my classes, and we get them fantastic gigs from the work they do in classes!

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Our next course, Illustrating Children’s Books, is sold out, but you can still join the hugely popular on-going Make Art That Sells courses here.

xoxo,
Lilla and the Studio Ladies

P.S. Follow the fun on Instagram #globaltalentsearch, #MatsKidBook and #makeartthatsells
Follow us on Instagram @lillarogers and @makeartthatsells

9/7/16

2016 Global Talent Search Finalists announced!

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The wait is over. It’s time to reveal the 2016 Global Talent Search Finalists, chosen from the 50 Semi-Finalists (who were selected from nearly 1,000 artists’ work).

We are thrilled to unveil the SIX Finalists, knowing that one of these artists’ careers is about to change forever.

Five were chosen by our panel of industry experts, and one chosen via public vote (our peoples choice winner). The overall competition winner will be represented by Lilla Rogers Studio for two years, and win a host of licensing deals from prestigious companies (see here for the awesome prize details). The second assignment Lilla created was full of possibilities! The Semi-Finalists were asked to design a cover of a dessert recipe book from Sunny’s Cafe.

So without further ado, here we go…

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Over 10,000 votes were cast by the public, and we can now reveal that the 2016 Global Talent Search People’s Choice Finalist is:

Mara Penny

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Not only was Mara’s piece chosen through the public vote, she is also the top choice from our judges!

Comments from the judges:

“Mara Penny has full comprehension of the assignment. The feeling is delicate and feminine…like dessert! Nice contrast of color…inviting! Beautiful technique…love the lace doilies.”

“Mara Penny: Her composition, use of both arms and objects, and her palette all appealed to me. She created a bold book cover with quite a bit of detail as well. I’d pick this book up and hold it in my hands in a bookstore. Pretty work!”

“Mara Penny’s piece is eye grabbing! It is a complex illustration with lots of elements and the detail is wonderful — look at the tray of orange slices! Yet she lays the piece out in such a way that the piece feels clean and not too crowded.”

***

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Our stellar panel of judges – with more than a century of industry experience between them in the Gift, Home Décor, Editorial and children’s book illustration, Fabric and Stationery, markets – took days deliberating over the Semi-Final gallery. It was incredibly hard to choose, but in the end the following five were selected as the other Finalists (in no particular order).  Below each submission is a comment from the Judges on what stood out in the piece.

TERRI FRY KASUBA

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Comment from the judges:

  • Combines desserts with elements of nature and gardening.
  • This is a magical place where the cake grows in plants and I love that sense of whimsy.
  • Love the painterly style. Her work seems to have great editorial potential.

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SHARON MONTGOMERY

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Comments from the judges:

  • Her hand-painted, textural work stands out from the crowd and screams, I AM PREMIUM.
  • This is a beautiful cover and a gorgeous work of art as a standalone.
  • Her daring black background. Her animals and flowers are nicely worked into the cake’s base and border.

***

MARENTHE OTTEN

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Comments from the judges:

  • This entire design is “pretty” and very sweet!
  • Nice composition and central focal point
  • Varied cake designs

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COLEE WILKINSON

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Comments from the judges:

  • Highly detailed with so much happening in the piece yet it feels clean not too busy
  • Has a bit of “Marie Antoinette” flavor….the marketplace can’t get enough of Paris!
  • Nice technique and color – playful and sophisticated.

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ANNE BENTLEY

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Comments from the judges:

  • Really stood out as being different from the rest.
  • Her color choice was bold and her style of illustration is very interesting.
  • Her style is editorial but could be adapted for products as well.

***

Lilla’s comments about the Finalists

You will notice 5 things in common in all of the Finalists’ work: 
 
First, they utilized extra bold contrast in their pieces and the work is easy to ‘read’. That is, you can distinguish what the imagery is at a glance. (Work that is too soft, or lacks contrast tends to not grab the eye of the art director, even if it is a beautiful piece.)
 
Second, you will see that the color palettes are totally gorgeous. On some level, this is probably one of the strongest reasons a piece gets selected. I know for me this is huge.
 
Third, the space is fully filled, but not in a cluttered way. There aren’t lonely spaces. This doesn’t mean that the piece needs to be filled to the brim, but there needs to be plenty of imagery in the piece. There are little things to discover upon further study. To create a pleasing piece without looking disorganized requires thoughtful design of the page.
 
Fourth, interestingly, all the typography is hand-lettered. The artists didn’t use type fonts. The judges respond to hand lettering on a gut level.
 
Fifth, and this one surprised me: five of the six pieces have a very large central focus! Perhaps that is pleasing to the judges, especially for a book cover. It gives the cover a sense of authority.

***

The judges also answered two important questions for us:

In general what stood out to you about the artists you chose?

  • All focused on the desserts, instead of the author of the cookbook. I found this appealing because it actually made me hungry and want something sweet! 
  • These artists also had designs that would stand out on a shelf.
  • Many of them used dark backgrounds which really made their design elements stand out.
  • I love bright colors and they definitely had the brightest, strongest colors of the bunch!
  • All felt original and fresh–they stood out amongst the others as being inventive, thoughtful and well-rounded as illustrators.
  • Each of them possess a high level of design skills that shone through in their pieces.
  • Bold use of color and color contrast.
  • Really liked the use of an unexpected dark background color. Sense of depth in the scene or interesting point of view.”
  • Several of them have an artists approach rather than a graphic designers approach which I think is appealing in today’s market.
  • They all look handmade or handpainted which is desirable. They also had a sense of humor in their work. People want to smile so this is important.
  • Each of them has commercial potential in either the editorial or gift/stationery market, or both.
  • Sophistication in their technique. A consistent style throughout the portfolio.
  • Commercial appeal to the imagery.

What advice would you give to those who you did NOT choose, in order to make their work more commercially appealing?

“Develop a voice and look that’s your own. Stay on top of how your work stands up against others in the market. Do your research by absorbing a bit of reference each day and stretch your muscles by working on self-assigned projects that keep your work pertinent (take inspiration from all the MATS assignments!!). Most important: have fun with the art that you make so your personality shines through!! Approach every project, big or small, with a sense of adventure and conquer your creative challenges with spirit, flavor and style! “

“Book jackets need to be a clear read. There needs to be a strong focus, and clear legible lettering. Simplify it down and avoid being formulaic.”

“Human characters are really tough! Art directors and buyers tend to have a really particular point of view and it can make or break a commission or purchase. In my experience, the US commercial market is less open to funky/exaggerated illustrative perspectives on humans (compared to the European market or other international markets). Color contrast, dynamic composition, and a clear focal point are very important to make a product, book cover, etc. stand out from the crowd.”

“Make sure your style has a unique voice. It should be somewhat timeless. If you include people in your illustration make sure your audience can relate to them. Don’t make your drawing too childlike unless that is your audience. Know what demographic you are targeting. Have a sense of humor in your work. Everyone likes to smile. “

A closing note from Lilla:

“About the Finalists: I am thrilled and delighted with the Finalists and their work! I have watched these artists grow considerably as MATS students and I am very proud of them.
About all of the semi-finalists: They are all amazing and I could easily see rep’ing a whole bunch of them! I hope they keep growing and try again next year.”

Congratulations to everyone! We are thrilled that together 10,000 public votes, plus our judging panel comprising some of the top art directors and creative professionals in the industry, independently selected a set of Finalists where many are graduates of Make Art That Sells. It’s clear that the courses helped them develop commercially-viable art, choose amazing colors and present it professionally. We cannot wait to see the work that comes out of our brand new class “Illustrating Children’s Books” which begins on Monday October, 3, 2016.

Stay tuned for the third and final assignment and thanks to everyone for voting!

xo,

Lilla, Beth, and the Studio Ladies

 

***

Would you like to take Make Art That Sells?

We have the following courses currently open for registration HERE!

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Do you dream of illustrating a children’s book? Would you love to create a magical world with characters that you’ve designed? Do you love the magic of children’s books and feel that you have something to offer?  Then this course is for you.

In five weeks, you’ll create a brilliant children’s book pitch to help you land your dream children’s book gig. You’ll get over 20 videos, weekly assignments, live weekly video reviews, interviews with publishers and illustrators and more. Co-taught by top art agent Lilla Rogers and highly-respected children’s book art director Zoe Tucker.

Spaces are limited for our first session of class this October. Don’t miss out. REGISTER HERE

***

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If you want to learn exactly what to put in your artwork to make killer portfolio pieces while staying true to your style and taste, MATS A and B is for you. Graduates of these courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. These comprehensive courses includes access to videos of Lilla Rogers reviewing over 500 pieces of art.

8/31/16

Cast your vote! 2016 Global Talent Search Public Voting is now open! Vote now and help launch an artist’s career.

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We’re incredibly excited to unveil the online gallery of the submissions for the second assignment of the 2016 Global Talent Search! We’d love you to vote for your top five favorites.

The 50 Semi-Finalists were announced two weeks ago and then were given Assignment #2 to challenge them further. They’ve just finished the assignment, and now you get to vote on your choices. At the same time, our esteemed panel of VIP judges will also go in and privately select their top favorites.

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“Sunny” checking out a London café

In the second assignment we continue the adventure of our fictional character, ‘Sunny Spindler’ (played by our own marketing director, Reine Sloan) who visits a café to discuss the cover of her cookbook with her editor. Our 50 semi-finalists have accepted the challenge to design the cookbook cover, and now you can see the brilliance that they’ve submitted, here.

Why did I create this particular assignment for the second round?

Because it’s open enough to allow each artist to show off their style. There’s a lot of latitude here. They may elect to draw a scene or choose to do a more heavily designed cover.

I want their styles to shine.  Here are the tips that I gave the Semi-Finalists

  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Show off what you do best. That’s what I want to see. I want you to do your best. Look over your existing work and analyze what makes you shine.
  • Ask yourself if your idea for a cover is what you would love to buy. Have fun with this! We’d love to see what you do in your style. Trust your taste level. Don’t “dumb down”. The judges look for sophisticated styles.
  • Have fun! People buy your joy. Let your passion for what you want to draw lead the way for you.
  • Rather than trying to guess what I’m looking for, do what makes you shine. You definitely do NOT need to do a style that you see on our site. We are looking for fresh talent.
  • Of course you’re nervous! That’s because you care. But remember that you got this far, and so you’ve got what it takes to do this assignment. It’s a very open one, with room for you to do what you love.

The artists are encouraged to be themselves with a vengeance and create art with personality.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

The person with the most votes when the gallery closes at 9am PT / 12 noon EST / 5pm BST/UK on Monday, September 5th will go through to the Final as The People’s Choice. These six Finalists will then get my final assignment.

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The winner of this competition will sign with Lilla Rogers Studio for representation and win a host of licensing deals and professional development opportunities, so this is your chance to contribute to a LIFE-CHANGING OPPORTUNITY for one artist.

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After you have voted, upload this photo to Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #iVotedGlobalTalentSearch so we can share the fun!

xo

Lilla, Beth and the Studio Ladies

PS Can I tell you how out-of-our-minds excited we are here at the Studio? Who will be our next stellar artist?

***

Would you like to Make Art That Sells?

We have the following courses currently open for registration HERE!
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Do you dream of illustrating a children’s book? Would you love to create a magical world with characters that you’ve designed? Do you love the magic of children’s books and feel that you have something to offer?  Then this course is for you.
In five weeks, you’ll create a brilliant children’s book pitch to help you land your dream children’s book gig. You’ll get over 20 videos, weekly assignments, live weekly video reviews, interviews with publishers and illustrators and more. Co-taught by top art agent Lilla Rogers and highly-respected children’s book art director Zoe Tucker.
Spaces are limited for our first session of class this October. Don’t miss out. REGISTER HERE

***

mats-ab-banner
 If you want to learn exactly what to put in your artwork to make killer portfolio pieces while staying true to your style and taste, MATS A and B is for you. Graduates of these courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. These comprehensive courses includes access to videos of Lilla Rogers reviewing over 500 pieces of art.
Both MATS A and MATS B are open for registration, you can join anytime as they are self-paced.

 

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8/26/16

Artist Carolyn Gavin ambushes Lilla’s instagram account

Carolyn Gavin recently took over Lilla Rogers’ Instagram account @Lillarogers. Carolyn splits her time between Canada and Belize.  She sure did give us a treat to see a glimpse in the day of her life as a working artist in Belize. It was filled with lush tropical life, gorgeous colors, and even a sneak peek into a Mayan Chocolate Factory and Organic Cacao Farm!

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Hop over to @Lillarogers on Instagram to see more of Carolyn’s colorful day in Belize. See Carolyn Gavin’s portfolio here.

xo,
Reine

8/19/16

Announcing our top 50 Global Talent Search 2016 Semi Finalists

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Announcing the 50 Semi-Finalists in our 2016 Global Talent Search!

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Semi-Finalists, Feel Free To Share This Banner on your blog and social media

TOP 50 who go through to round #2 (alphabetical by first name)

Abby Bunnell, Allistair Burt, Anette Heiberg, Anna Berger, Anne Bentley, Bec Williams, Colee Wilkinson, Dana Tanasa, Daniela De Marco, Diane Neukirch, Elizabeth Munro, Elizabeth Wood, Emily Jepps, Emma McGowan, Eva Zurita, Gill Bond, Heidi Griffiths, Jess Racklyeft, Juliet James, Katherine Quinn, Kimberly Carter, Laurence Lavallee, Lee Foster-Wilson, Lisa Kirkbride, Mara Penny, Marenthe Otten, Marieke Middendorp, Meghann Rader, Michele Phillips, Michelle Brown, Neryl, Walker, Nicole LaRue, Paloma Pedrera Martinez, Portia Monberg, Rachel Grant, Sandrine Monnier, Sarah Allen, Sarah Papworth, Sarah Hand, Sharon Montgomery, Sofia Moore, Stephanie Hofmann,, Susan Spiers, Susan Evenson, Tatiana Von Beelen, Tatjana Mai-wyss, Terri Kasuba, Tina Loeffler, Trisha Klempel, Youngsun Kim.

VIEW OUR SEMI-FINALIST GALLERY HERE

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Honorable Mention Winners, Feel Free To Share This Banner on your blog and social media

As you can imagine, it was incredibly hard to narrow the entries down to 50. There were a number of entries that came very close. So this year, we thought it would be nice to let those folks know. We hope that gives them a boost of confidence!

These are the 33 Honorable Mentions (alphabetical by first name)

Adrienne Vita, Apara Maney, Asa Gilland, Caroline Bonne-Muller, Christina Mann, Elaine Lu, Eleyorsnir, Eliza Todd, Emma Allsup, Farah Shah, Fleur Harris, Bree Bee, Jan Gerardi, Jennifer Geldard, Kerrie Satava, Kristin Roskifte, Laurie Downing, Leanne Oughton, Gill Cameron, Lori Rudolph, Mandy Tait, Monika Suska, Anita Ashfield-Salter, Nikki Upsher, Paula Taylor, Rebecca Morley Jones, Alexandra Michel, Sarah e Hand, Tammie Bennett, Tarsila Kruse, Tina Roos, Victoria Tentler-krylov, Yu Kito Lee

 

Q: Lilla, how did your team select the 50 semi-finalists out of the boatload of incredible submissions?

A: First and foremost, we asked ourselves, would we love to represent this look? On a gut level, is this a style we are infatuated with?

Q: Were there specific criteria?

A: We considered the following in selecting the 50 semi-finalists

  • Will this style get lots of work with our outstanding clients?
  • Does the art stand out from the crowd? Do you get a sense of a well-formed and unique style?
  • Did the artist give 110%? Is the entire image loaded with goodness?
  • Do we see fluent drawing ability?
  • Is the color palette and the overall composition of the piece consistent and at a high level?

Why is the important to our clients?

It allows the agency to continue to deliver the freshest and best work in the industry along with our list of stellar artists. We are the place to find the newest and greatest talent from all over the world.

What’s next for the semi-finalists?

  1. The 50 semi-finalists have been notified today that they are, in fact, the 50 semi-finalists. You know they are going to be over the moon! (To all those that did not make it into this round, I want to assure you that I could not select all the qualified candidates.)
  2. They will receive their second assignment today as well, which is a continuation of the story of our main character, Sunny Spindler, played by our own Reine Sloan!  The purpose of a narrative is to help the artist engage with the subject matter and demographic.
  3. The second assignments are due Monday, August 29th.
  4. Our panel of 20 top industry judges will privately select their favorites based on their highly regarded expertise.
  5. The Public Gallery opens for live voting for the People’s Choice on Wednesday, August 31st and runs through Monday, September 5th. Here’s your chance to vote!
  6. We announce the six Finalists on Wednesday, September 7th.
  7. The winner is announced Wednesday, September 28th and their amazing full-time career as a represented artist begins!

See all the dates here

The People’s Choice begins August 31st

Remember, you can cast your vote for your favorite image on Wednesday, August 31st through Monday, September 5th. Watch for our newsletter for more details.

Follow along as the contestants share on Instagram #globaltalentsearch.

We are honored that such outstanding talent has participated in our annual Search!

Warm regards,
Lilla, Beth, and the Studio Ladies
Lilla Rogers Studio

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8/18/16

Introducing the 2016 Global Talent Search assignment

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It’s remarkable. The submissions for our annual Global Talent Search are absolutely top-notch.

What is the Global Talent Search? It’s our annual competition to find the next top artist for our art agency to represent. The winner lands a boatload of assignments, licenses, and consultations with some of our favorite companies. (I will tell you that our GTS winners of previous years are consistently booked with work!)

The fifty semi-finalists are from all over the world.

21 Europe
22 North America
6 Australasia
1 Africa

82% of the participants have taken one or more of my e-courses, Make Art the Sells.

The competition consists of three assignments. In the first assignment we introduced our fictional character, Sunny Spindler, who owns a charming candy shop and café.

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Meet “Sunny Spindler”, the star of our competition this year.

We asked the participants to design a teacup and napkin set for Sunny’s café.

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Sunny’s cafe

I provided tons of inspiration and reference from photographs I’ve taken in England, New York City, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, to get the participants motivated.

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Liberty of London

They were given total creative free reign and encouraged to be themselves with a vengeance.
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Narrowing the submissions down—there were close to 1,000—was not an easy task!

Watch for the big announcement!
We’ll announce the 50 semi-finalists tomorrow, August 19, 2016 in our newsletter and here on the blog. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already (on the right hand side of this page), to stay on top of the competition.

The People’s Choice begins August 31st!
Remember, you can cast your vote for your favorite image on Wednesday, August 31st through Monday, September 5th. Watch for our newsletter for more details.

Again, we are honored that such remarkable talent has participated in our annual Search!

Warm regards,

Lilla, Beth, and the Studio Ladies
Lilla Rogers Studio

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8/15/16

Carolyn Gavin debuts her own home décor line with TAG, Ltd.

Artist Carolyn Gavin’s brand new home décor collection “Garden Party” for TAG, Ltd. recently made a big debut at the Atlanta Gift Show for the wholesale market.  These gorgeous products will soon be available through various retailers and we will be adding them to our products page as soon as we find out!

Garden Party Beauty Final

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Carolyn created this beautiful line through the e-course from Make Art That Sells called “Creating Collections for Home Décor,” co-taught by Lilla Rogers and Margo Tantau. You can learn more about this incredible course here.  See more of Carolyn’s portfolio here.

Congrats to Carolyn on a beautiful line and thanks TAG, Ltd. for being a great client to work with!

xo,

The Studio Ladies

8/10/16

Sarah Walsh Ambushes Lilla’s Instagram Account

Sarah Walsh ambushes Lilla Rogers’ Instagram account @Lillarogers.  Sarah lives in Kansas City with her family. We had the best time following along in her spunky colorful day!

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Sarah even turned me onto a new TV show. A Netflix original series “Stranger Things” which is pretty dope! Hop over to @Lillarogers on Instagram to see all of Sarah’s day.  See Sarah’s portfolio here.  Tomorrow we will be following along with Carolyn Gavin’s busy day as she takeovers Lilla’s Instagram account. Be sure to watch!

xo,
Reine

8/9/16

Suzy Ultman – Land of Nod A-Z Flashcards

Hi Lilla!

I’m so excited about the release of these chunky, colorful, design-filled ABC flashcards. My team at Land of Nod is always so generous with their art direction, and they allowed me to explore some unusual characters in this card mix. My hope is that this deck is a whimsical, educational ride for the whole family. You can purchase them here.  Enjoy :)

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xo,

Suzy