Jun 142013

On June 3, I started taking an online class with the incomparable Lilla Rogers, called Make Art That Sells.

I am having such a blast! This week, we are designing plates based on plants. Here’s my first sketch for this project:


coleus illustration by Joanne Hus

Once the assignment was posted, I found that this didn’t quite fit the brief, which calls for succulents and seed pods. So here’s the next sketch:



I like the quieter palette, so I designed several plates (the assignment calls for a set of at least two designs that work together):

Hus-plates-2 Hus-plates

My classmates (from all over the world!) have be amazingly supportive, and have offered great suggestions. One of them told me that perhaps these designs were too similar to what an in-house designer might come up with. I had to agree. Back to the drawing board!

I revisited the coleus design, this time adding some seed pods in order to meet the design brief’s specs:



I like it, but I wanted to try something really different than anything I’ve drawn. I decided to do something a little abstract, a little retro, rather than the more literal designs I’ve been doing:

JoanneHus pod plate 1JoanneHus pod plate 4 JoanneHus pod plate 3 JoanneHus pod plate 2JoanneHus pod plate 1

I ended up presenting the one with the blue green “seeds” (the big one at the top). Even though we were to design a set, we were only allowed to present the strongest one for critique and review. Hopefully my design will be one that Lilla will include in her weekly review post. With over 400 people in this class, there’s no way she’ll be able to include everyone’s!

This class is exactly what I was looking for: creative inspiration, portfolio building, insights to markets I haven’t worked in yet…and a truly nurturing environment. If you’re a designer, illustrator, art director, or someone who’s always wanted to try your hand at fabric design, home furnishings, kids’ books, editorial, wall art, and more, check out Make Art That Sells. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

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