Gift Market

Five weeks goes very fast- our final week in MATS A focuses in on the Gift market. This is a very diverse market with a wide variety of items from canister sets ,trinket dishes decorative boxes, to dishtowels and pencil cases- this market supplies items to Gift shops and Mainstream stores for customers looking for either a gift to remember a friend or a gift for themselves. Our Mini assignment was to first look around and see what we ourselves collected, that item we found hard to pass up or the thing that people always buy for us. Now, I have a lot of books and stuffed animals (i based my assignment last year on that see it here) so i wanted to do something different. I finally landed on using the idea of sewing and sewing objects as my theme. To get the ball rolling,  i painted some spools because i love their shapes and started to think how i could use them in my final piece. Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 3.09.03 PM

Then for our main assignment we were to take our collection and use it as the inspire for a Pencil/Cosmetic/Container Pouch. For additional inspiration, I found this piece I had started a while ago but never finished. It reminded me of some of the fairytales where the local seamstress falls asleep and when she awakes she finds her little mice friends have been busy at work! (if thats not a story, it should be! ) :)


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I like the challenge of of making diverse images and I love to illustrate pieces that look like they are stitched, so i began to build my piece in Photoshop with the additional criteria that it look like it was really sewn, including the lettering on the patch i wanted to include

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So I use a series of brushes that mimic stitches and start to assemble my pouch idea

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Using a pseudo-mirror image gave the piece a rich look , a piece loaded with details and here's my final - it's Sew Lush! :)

MATS A and B and Bootcamp by Lilla Rogers are terrific ways to stretch and grow and to add great portfolio pieces, I would HIGHLY recommend checking these classes out- to find out more about these classes, please check it out here. Check back here for more posts soon! :)

Wall Art

On to week 4- Wall art. We were given a 2 color palette and for our Mini assignment, we were asked to paint and find textures in those 2 colors. so i pulled out my watercolors and played for a while.... 12108179_10204021955943861_7117578665219647052_n12227741_10204015243456053_7961314499992192708_n

The assignment was to take my collection of colors and make a collage for my final Wall art piece. I decided to do my piece digitally so the next step for me was to physically cut out  shapes scan them in, and play with composition.

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After i was satisfied with the placement, i used the shapes i had hand cut and watercolor i had painted and scanned in to template my final piece. Then i drew some line work, scanned that in and continued with my collage.

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And here's my final piece done in Digital Paper collage called "Promise". I liked working with the limited palette and combining the hand drawn/cut shapes.


next:my final week in MATS A - Gift market. :)

The White Cat- Children's Book Illustration

In MATS A , this is my favorite week- the Children's Book market! I love developing characters and one thing i learned last time i took this class was that Art Directors in the market are looking for a range of emotions in the characters portrayed.Our Mini was to sketch kitties, so i started off trying for an expressive face 12195760_10203987184234590_7101430069545415511_n

When we received our assignment, we found out our kitty was to be a Princess from an old French fairytale, The White Cat- so then i set out to sketch kitty princess. in the story she is sad for most of it so i made sure that look came across

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After finding my pose i started with color. i wanted to have a very limited palette so i kept the hues minimal and used a previous piece as inspiration

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one fun thing about illustrating for kids is including lots of details- i had her fan in her hand made of mice silhouettes and she also was wearing a black lace veil

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the story also mentions that the castle has a doorbell pull chain made of diamonds and shaped like a deer foot, she gave the prince a magic acorn and walnut, and there are white gloved hands that are helping attend to the characters, so i made sure to allude to those as well on my cover

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and here's my final Piece for The White Cat by Comtesse D'Aulnoy (with hand-lettering,btw) :)


Next week: Wall art :)

Floral-speak- week 2 MATS A

For week 2 we got the category of Home Decor, specially, design a set of 2- 4 plates- our mini assignment was to look at the world of Staffordshire pottery for inspiration - here are some of my sketches- i was immediately intrigued by the animals and stylized florals i was seeing.... Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 12.47.59 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 12.47.50 PM

I have always LOVED what Anthropologie does with plates and using their style as my inspiration, i went with a woodland, floral, fantasy inspired piece with animals and flowers as subject matter. Some of my early process looks like this:

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i started off by establishing my color palette and also i painted some hand done elements to incorporate into my art ( i love to mix digital and hand-painted and drawn art!)

i chose a fox and rabbit because those are some of my favorite animals to draw and they are a lot of fun to stylize. Here's more progress- i wanted to make sure they were both unique to themselves, but in the same family style-wise.....

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...and here's the final piece- i will be doing more animals for this series- i love doing their speech bubbles with flowers, because i imagine that's how they would communicate :)

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next week: Children's Book Art :)

Back at it again!

Well, with Fall coming and crispness in the air, it feels right to go back to school , so here i am again in Lilla Roger's MATS A class to do a deep dive and learn and grow some more :) - our first assignment was Bolt Fabric with a vintage kitchen theme featuring casserole dishes and pasta. i have experimented with a lot of looks and my mind went immediately to this piece i did a year ago: Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 12.58.39 PM copy

i wanted to incorporate some text so i started to play with hand lettering

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them i sketched out the elements i wanted to put into my design:

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and here was my final result- free and sketchy with a vintage fabric vibe- It was like playing with puzzle pieces and i still have more elements to play with- i did take some and make coordinates with them for this collection.  :)


-next up: Home Decor week- see you soon! <3

Round 2 for Global Talent Search - in and done! ♥️

Well it's it's finally in - my piece for the Global Talent Search for round 2 is done!I am both nervous and excited and i know i gave my all, a 150% :) First off, I love collecting things and tins and boxes are some of my fav things! :) I had a vision right away of a display in Antoinette's store with tins of cookies and tea (that could be re-purposed to hold little treasures) and then tins that were just fun to collect . I read the brief multiple times and started jotting down notes:


then i sketched and sketched and finally came back to this

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after that, i started to paint out some of the elements i wanted to include and scanned them in...

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i also still couldn't get an earlier Bootcamp assignment out of my head and i felt Antoinette would have love an Edwardian bug brooch too :) So in it went!

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i was inspired by a picture of a stillife in a magazine that included a wall hanging with a bird that reminded me of the fragile delicacy of Chinoiserie art . I was hooked!  I kept seeing that as my background and after that, the piece started to evolve ;

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We were also told we could include hand-lettering if we so chose to, and since that is my new challenge to me,  i decided to include some of that in my piece as well :)

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Now i usually go for bright colors and character work but this time want to show other things i like to do, like still lifes. Also, this time i wanted to really explore creamier neutrals in my palette, so i went back to the brief to see what colors i felt would resonate with our Antoinette and started to build my art (the brights at the bottom on the tea canister piece shows some of the brights from our brief but i used them as accents :) )

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Somehow, though,the background was bugging me i couldn't quite get it where i wanted it- so i tried different backgrounds options ( I remembered what Lilla said about being nervous, it was because i cared- oh yes indeed! :) )


...and landed here :) -so here it is, my final piece - please stop by the gallery, see ALL the gorgeous entries and vote for  me (whoever is picked for People's choice will win the sixth slot in the final round!) i'd really appreciate it! - now i'm off to vote! :)

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to see everything and cast your vote- here's a link  :) Enjoy!


Wow! I'm a Semi Finalist! :)

well, i found this morning that i am a Semi Finalist in Lilla Rogers' Global Talent Search (check out Lilla's post here) If you want to take a peek at the top 50, please go here. 11987149_878547808898600_9146636335878007661_n

Here's my entry - to see some of my process to this point , please check it out here.


I am very grateful and humble to be counted in this company- the talent is this group is top-notch! i have a busy week ahead, but i am ready to go! And it's due on my Birthday- my present to me will be a piece i am proud to stand behind- send prayers and good thoughts my way- thanks! Stay tuned! :)

Branding :)

One thing i have learned is that out here in the commercial world is that while you want to versatile, it helpful if you don't look like you're totally all over the place design-wise. I have been on an ongoing search to find a logo that fits the cute art I like to do, kids art and the more serious illustration- all the sides of my artistic personality. i started with this logo a few years back- i love the playfulness of it but to me, it only showed my Kids art side...

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so then i started to evolve it to reflect my interest in more cute stuff but with a slightly more grown-up feel....i felt like it was getting there but i still needed to tweak it.

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Most recently, I was working on a project and part of my sketches included stuff from vintage travel posters and luggage labels and after a few tweaks, i finally came to this version and it's my flavor of the moment :)

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I think shows a bit of the playful, quirky stuff i love to render and it works with both Kids art looks and more serious pieces- it's where i am for now- we'll see where it goes :)  Maybe a new avatar? :)

Global Talent Search 2015

it's Global Talent Search time- Lilla Rogers' Annual search for "the freshest talent in the art industry" !(check it out here) For Assignment #1 our challenge was to take a fictitious character and design a pair of sneakers for her. We had a series of Minis to prepare for this assignment :

Play with mixing blues and Naples yellow to explore subtle, sophisticated palettes, look at patterns on socks, look for the word "the", arranging found objects in an interesting composition and finally write out our own demographic.

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After this we were ready to take on the big assignment- i wanted this piece to incorporate everything i have learned from all 3 Mats classes +Bootcamps i have taken - composition, pattern, sophisticated color, drawing, lettering, icons and use all of that to tell my story. Here are some initial sketches of my idea for our character Antoinette and her new Sneaks:

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 11.56.26 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 11.58.13 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 12.03.42 AMi knew a want to incorporate some of my prep work in the final and i HAD to have a succulent in there somewhere. Originally, i was thinking Antoinette's Secret Garden and then i realized i wanted the words for this piece to reflect her spirit and enthusiasm for the little joys in life, like new sneaks :)

Here are some some details from my piece:

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and here's the final -its going to be an exciting week, nervous waiting for the top 50 Short list on Friday- fingers crossed, prayers said- hope i make it in! :) #GTS2015 #makeartthatsellsLYNN_GAINES_GTS151_GARDEN


The final week of our class we focused on the substrate Wood. For our mini we were given the assignment of mark making. First i sketched out products i could see myself making from wood. .Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 10.28.05 PM

Then one of my classmates (thanks to Lynda Malachesky Metcalf) shared a way of making marks and textures digitally through a new app for iPhone from Adobe called Adobe Shape. i was so excited i went out and took pictures of my yard and garden and converted them to vector  patterns and then used them on my various products as well as some hand-drawn elements.

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next i decided to revamp my bird and add some new lettering also

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and here is my final collection for Wood -finishing notes on the board.LYNN_GAINES_WOOD_HD1_WKr_Main

we also had the option to show an additional board with all 5 substrates together- here's mine :)



wow- week 4 came fast- this week's substrate: Ceramics. We got a mini  assignment to explore type for our Ceramic products. Got a chance to play with hand-lettering and font manipulation 11755073_909925252379158_3247649103087511102_n 11760063_10203463983634902_5301304322992209638_n Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 10.24.10 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 10.24.24 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 10.24.40 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 10.25.23 PM

i sketched some new elements( i added a rabbit because i kept seeing him in my mind) but at this point we were able to use icons we had already developed to further advance the cohesiveness of the collection- so here is my collection for Ceramics.


and the finishing notes :)



For week 3 we moved on to the substrate Glass. For our mini, we explored pattern inspired by our chosen mood board . Started off drawing butterflies because i am always looking for an excuse to draw them, paisley with a flower theme and more birds for an etching pattern 20006_10203428923198413_7456731785320094512_n 11042685_10203449347749014_4137119039885757416_n Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 1.16.31 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 10.21.13 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 10.22.20 PM

then i started to explore color options



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and here is my final collection for Glass


with finishing notes :)


MATS CCHomeDec 1 (Jun 2015)- week 2

Week 2- we were given Florals as our subject matter and then we were to take that and create a collection of products for Fabrics. I started off with sketches and painting  to make my icons: 10390467_10203387903852955_1627254825191405904_n 11542108_10203388415905756_1691338423220477913_n Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 10.20.18 PM

then i made some patterns to further develop my collection (the birds came back and started to evolve :) )

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and here is my final collection for Fabric week.


with accompanying Finishing notes :)


MATS CCHomeDec 1 (Jun 2015) week 1

Earlier this summer i had the privilege of being a part of the Inaugural run of Lilla Rogers and Margo Tantau's class Creating Collections in Home Decor. Our charge was to create new art and approaches to product mockups for 5 substrates: Metal, Fabric, Glass, Ceramics and Wood. We learned about how to design for each substrate and gain insider insight into industry jargon and pertinent information for each application- finishes, special requirements and things to consider. As a start, we were given 3 different mood boards to build our collection around- i chose one called Field Flowers- i loved the soft bright pastels and i tend to think in those colors- so i went that direction so i could focus my attention and all the new info we'd be learning :) The first week we explored Metal- with Field flowers as our broad subject - we had a mini to draw birds


then i explored objects made in Metal with birds as a theme

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then i started to build pieces to use in my illustration from stamps i made and drawings.

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so here is my 1st group, my Metal collection :)

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Digital Nomad

For our final assignment in June for Bootcamp 2015, we were given Editorial as market, our piece was to be an illustration for an article on the millennium trend of working in new, non-traditional ways and places. i started off by sketching in watercolor to explore the human figure in shapes and line and finally settled on my sketch... 11400993_10203266644861556_5855060518831652006_n Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 8.15.02 AM11392964_10203259625926087_7491567372157506074_n

then i sketched some pieces to scan in to add a hand drawn look to my digital illustration

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then started to work out my color

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and finally came up with this final piece for the Article "How to Succeed at Being a Digital Nomad". Bootcamp was a great experience- a chance to sharpen your creative chops at a steady but fairly relaxed pace- great community and learning experience- Interested? check it out here. I'll be back next year for sure, Lord willing! :)


Marine Mash-up

For our May Bootcamp assignment we did a piece for the Home Decor market, specifically  plates. we were to do sketches of crustaceans and patten put them together and do what Lilla called a Marine mash-up for our plate design. i started off sketching based on photos: 11209643_10203119326858698_5193012020014386383_n 11238972_10203106698623000_3899760490537881033_n

then i started to develop my lobster:

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then i started to develop my color ways:

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I liked the warm florals with the navy crustaceans but i wanted more water/nautical color  so i went this direction

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and here's my final: Sea Florilegium :)


Global Art Gathering Poster idea

..aaannnnnnd back to Bootcamp 2015! our April assignment was a combination contest and assignment: design a poster for Lilla Roger's 1st ever Global Art Gathering at the Brighton Dome in Brighton, England. We were given the theme and some inspirational pixs of England to get our creative juices flowing. I sketched out various ideas to show a group getting together but i came back to the idea of gathered under one umbrella..... 11083857_10202970162369679_8250844848284622256_n

so i had my idea:

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then i started to draw the pieces i needed ( Lilla's team provided the copy and fonts so we had a start)

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some color work and trying out different motifs

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and finally my entry for the April assignment and contest- I didn't win but i had a ball doing it :) (Katie Vernon was the actual winner with a beautiful entry!) check out this link for some photos from the event here.


MATS B week 5

to wrap up my MATS B experience we got the category Party Paper. Our assignment  was to draw inspiration from Folk Art to design a theme of party goods. So first, time to explore elements and lettering with a folk art theme: 10401947_10202948774114986_6360481732122773341_n 11054276_10202942725763781_7396016068829243848_n

I drew a lot of icons and some lettering 11098006_10202932833156472_7158981352061815431_n 11108860_10202933895103020_2314214071589957669_n Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 3.21.53 PM

And then I used mid-century kitchens for the color inspire. Here are my final pieces for Party Paper week - MATS B was an intense experience but i highly recommend it for those who are interested in growing their skill set and career ! :) here's a link to the school: Make Art That Sells :)

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MATS B week 4

Week 4 - we are almost done- the focus this week was Editorial- specifically, Maps. In travel and city magazines, maps are used to sell people on why they may want to visit or live in a certain place - they are a lot of fun to look at and detail is key! First off sketching and hand lettering : Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 3.17.59 PM

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then working thru color ideas:



and here's my final piece:my hometown Northfield Center, Ohio- lots of quaint, cool spots to see and discover :)

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MATS B week 3

next up Scrapbooking week! this was the most intense yet - lots of pieces parts and a challenging layout but a lot of fun. Buyers for Scrapbooking love details and pieces that they can mix and match with their memories so its always nice to give lots of options, Our theme was to be Airships and Correspondence. So first off, i looked into my archives to find my technique muse and came across this piece: Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 5.54.47 PM

then it was time to do a LOT of sketches- looking at Victorian Airships was a blast :)

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then it was time to do some color work- i was drawn to vintage postcards and postage for color inspiration


and here's my final- Scrapbooking with vintage airships and correspondence theme!