Monday, October 14, 2013

Need Portfolio Help

As an illustrator and teacher, I am always asked about how do I put my portfolio together, what should I put in, what should I leave out, how many pieces should I put it, how should I order them....the questions go on and on. Well here is just the class for you.
My representative, Sheila Meehan of Meehan Design has developed an ecourse just to address the above questions. This course is for artists/illustrators who want to go into licensing.

Here is all the info about the class. You can sign up for the class through this link. 

The website for the classes is If you go to the classes from there since I am an affiliate, I get a small bit of moola.

Developing Marketable Art Licensing Portfolios that Sell!  
For the emerging and intermediate Artist; Taught by Sheila Meehan--Meehan Design Group (see BIO below)  with J'net Smith--All Art Licensing
Date: November 7, 2013
Time: 12 noon PST / 3 p.m. EST
Duration: 2+ hours, including Q&A
Technology: Web Conferencing with Screen Share of PowerPoint and Audio (+ full presentation & audio for everyone who registers--just in case you can't attend the live event)
Price: $99 (with registration byOctober 15th ($129.00 after)

This class is designed for artists who have a body of work that they wish to explore licensing for merchandise. For those who have been working in the illustration or graphic design marketplace, and artists who have tried licensing but aren’t sure if their portfolio is put together correctly, this class is designed for you.

This class will teach how to:
  • Develop a marketing plan-building a road map for where you direct your efforts
  • Organize your art—choosing images that work for product based on trends and themes and developing collections
  • Put art on product—using templates or prototypes
The goal is to build thoughtful collections leading to compiling a meaningful portfolio. The course will include overSheila’s ability to identify potential along with the endless possibilities of an artist’s application in the marketplace is what has secured her in a successful, satisfying, andcareer in Licensing.
50 slides with helpful guidelines, visual examples of how a collection is developed, portfolio pages that work (and some that don’t!), what should be included in presentation materials and finally, how to market your work effectively. 

Key Requirements:
  • Computer skills in Photoshop, Illustrator or similar program
  • A body of artwork
  • Desire to work in licensing either on your own or with an agent
Follow up consultations with Sheila can be arranged for a reduced rate for 90 days following the course. Details will be provided during the course for attendees.

BIO--Sheila Meehan, President Meehan Design Group
Sheila Meehan began her career with an open mind and a passionate desire to realize her creative destiny. 
After graduating from college, an opportunity in marketing and sales presented itself and she responded and found herself immersed in the creative, but mostly practical business side of the greeting card and gift industries.  Here she quickly discovered a keen understanding and appreciation of the ‘art’ of doing business. 

As Vice President at Determined Productions, Inc., representing Felix the Cat and Peanuts to name a few, she moved to Schurman Fine Papers (now Papyrus) as Director of Licensing.  In 2002, she bravely opened her own agency and continues to maintain (still bravely) a talented roster of artists while also consulting with emerging and seasoned artists on growing their business.  Devoted to finding and matching an artist with the perfect product or line, Sheila is relentless in helping her artists and striving to make the world be a better and more artistic place to live. 

I will be taking the course too just to learn from a master. You can sign up for the course, download it on the day of the class and actually do the class whenever you have time. Of course, the advantage to doing the course on November 7th you will be able to ask Sheila questions.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Am Back!

Summer is finally drawing to a close and I must say I am happy to see it go. I would not say this was a a great summer and the last month has been very busy and hard. My knee is getting better due to physical therapy with my wonderful therapist Missy Yaeger.  I am back at school with some wonderful students. But I miss Annie who is back at MCAD in her own apartment and with her own car this year. Something else has changed in my world. I will let you listen in on a conversation Gary and I had recently.

Gary: Linda, you realize that the basement has filled up again. I am having a horrible time getting around in it, there are things  everywhere. If I did not know better I would swear you never had a sale of any of your stuff. I know that  you did because I was roped into working that sale.
Linda: What can I say… I like to pump money into the economy and have new treasures in my home. And when I clean out my studio because it gets too crowded then I have to take those excess items from my studio and put it in the basement.
Gary: You know you could just not shop for anything more.
Linda: Me…not buy bargains…not junk with Marie on Saturday…I hate to tell you this but that is not going to happen. It is in my blood. You just need to understand that living with me means you will have a lot of doodads and trinkets in your house. 
Gary: I get that but I would like to not have to worry about breaking my leg tripping over some box with patina on it.
Linda: Okay,okay, I will do something about it.

Later in the month
Linda: GARY..GARY guess what?
Gary: Whatever it is, I do not want it hear about it if it costs any money.
Linda: The Green Shag Market just called me and I finally am going to have a booth at their antique mall. I can sell all my excess stuff there. No need for another sale in the house. I will have to pay a booth fee but with all the items I am going to sell I will be able to pay the fee and make a profit.
Gary: How do you know you are going to make a profit?
Linda: I have great stuff….I will be the place to go for vintage fabric and trim, old magazines, crafting supplies, trinkets, embellishments, ephemera, greeting cards and all sorts of funky odd stuff I no longer have on display in our house and my studio. My friends, my students and all the DYIers in St. Louis can come to my booth to get supplies. That will mean no more trips to Hobby Lobby for them.
Gary: Well, that does sound good.
Linda: And this would be a great opportunity for Sandy Zub to sell all the excess vintage things she has…I bet she would be willing to share the rent and sell along with me.
Gary: That all sounds good. Although, you know, there is just one problem.
Linda: What could possibly be wrong with this idea? I see it as a win win situation.
Gary: Your booth is located in an antique mall. Promise me when you take stuff into the mall to fill up the booth each week, you will NOT cruise around the mall and buy more stuff.
Linda: Oh, I promise (wink wink)

Come to The Green Shag Market located on Manchester Road.
thegreenshagmarket.comSandy Zub and I are all set up in Booth 30. Great prices, wonderful stuff. Come and buy something and make Gary happy. Help me fulfill my dream of  going on that 5 state 500 miles Junking Caravan. I will need gas money.

Here are some pics of the stuff for sale in the booth right now. I will be putting pics on my Linda Solovic Studio Facebook page as new stuff goes into the booth.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I have finished Lilla’s class.

When I last left you I had just finished Week 3 of Lilla’s Make Art That Sells class. The next week the topic was Wall Art. I have had some stabs at wall art, even some interest from IKEA but was never able to get anything going. That is until last winter. Sheila sent my work to Oopsy Daisy kids wall art company and they picked 5 of my images to produce as wall art. And as a bonus..we were so excited...they also plan to produce the same images in 11 other areas including wall decals, jewelry, clocks. place mats, growth charts, nightlights and holiday ornaments. And the best part..they picked the note card images of the birds and owls I did for Papyrus. I am thrilled about this!

So when it was Wall Art week in class I thought great...I can easily knock this one out of the park. So I got up on Monday and read the assignment...and went ugh! Lilla wanted us to do an abstract piece of wall art using paint and textures. So not up my alley. I knew I should give it a try and for a day I played with the idea of it. But mostly I could not wrap my head around it. Then I talked to my rep and my husband and I realized that I have been working as an artist for a long time. I have put in my 10,000 hours. I have painted, made all kinds of different work, experimented with different kinds of media and after lots and lots of artwork finally settled on a style that was me, it looked the way I thought and liked to make images. So I needed to do this project by incorporating the parts of the project that would work with how I made images. In the assignment we needed to make a collage...duh I could so do that, the collage needed to have floral elements in okay with that and it needed to have a quote in it...not really me but I could do it. So I got out my paper and scissors along with the boxes of ephemera I have in the basement (knew I was saving it for something) and made some collages. I made the first two using floral motifs and the last one is my favorite because I did it with a bird. Here they are. I am very happy with them and plan to sell them on my Etsy site.

We then went to Week 5..Gift Products. For the first two days of the week we were to photographs our collections and post them on facebook for all the other artists in the class to see. I have any collections? I had so much to post I could not stop. Met lots of other artists who also have big collections so I did not feel so bad about all I had. The assignment came on Wednesday and we were to take something from our collections and make a hyperlush zipper pouch with them. Now what is 
hyperlush you are are some examples.

All of these examples are from Blue Q Blue Q is a fabulous site for all kinds of products that are so well designed and illustrated. The artist who did the Peacock Pouch is Catalina Estrada and artist who did the pencil case is from Marcela Restrepo.

I must admit that this project did not excite me. I had had minor knee surgery on Tuesday of that week and I realized I just was not up for doing this project. It was the Fourth of July weekend and I needed a break. So I passed on doing the assignment an instead sat at my desk and worked on a quilt I am making for Gary.
I had a great time meeting all sorts of wonderful artists that were also taking the class. I also learned a bunch of new stuff from the course I plan to share with my students. It was a good experience and in October I will do the second part of the ecourse in which we do editorial art, kids apparel, party paper, paper products and scrapbooking. If you want to join in Part B go to Lilla Rogers School.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Home Decor and Kids Book Market, Assignments Turned In

These weeks of classes with Lilla are really intense. Even I, a seasoned veteran ...with a licensing rep...who teaches university feeling insecure showing my work..even making work. Last week, when I attempted...and you are reading right..attempted making dinner plate artwork using the plant and pod images I showed in the last blog post I ended up crying in Gary’s studio that I could not seem to pick colors for my plate. I could not get those images to work no matter what I did so at the last minute I went back to my studio, used cut paper and made the following plate. 

I solved the problem and people liked it but I was not happy with it really...I feel I would have done better using a circular shape and making my pods come off the edges of the plate and flow into the center. I plan to go back and revisit this project but for now I am leaving it alone.

Last week we did the kids book market. I have worked on kids books before. I have a ying and yang feeling about them....I would like to do preschool kids books like an alphabet book or a counting books...books where I could make simple strong images. But to do a whole picture book...not sure I want to do that. I worked on a full book for Klutz many years ago with a fabulous art director, Lynn Garrett. The title was Hunt for Harvey. It was like a Where’s Waldo book where each spread would have tons of stuff in it and you needed to find Harvey. The book went back and forth for almost six months. I had woefully underbid it and when the book was finally cancelled I was really happy. Never thought I would say childhood dream was to illustrate kids books...but I wanted to have no more of the kids book market.

But I have changed my mind about is now 6 years later...and I went into Lilla’s kid book week with gusto. Our mini assignment given on Monday was to make a snail ...use different emotions, draw snails with charm, whimsy...make a snail with character. Oh boy, I love to make animal characters! And if I was going to make one character how about 2...the snail should have a sidekick...I love to make sidekicks...the title of the book was to be The Snail and The Rose Tree....I would change the title to The Snail and sidekick would be Rosie. So I made Rosie the worlds tiniest dog..a ladybug...all sorts of things. Here are my snails.

Why I did not think to go online and goggle the title to see if was a story I will never know. When the assignment was posted on Wednesday I reeled with horror....the story The Snail and The Rose Tree was by Han Christian Andersen and in it the snail was a real gloomy gus...and the story had no room for sidekicks. I needed to rethink what I was going to do. We were to do a cover or a spread. We also had to do the title in handwritten type.

In the story the rose tree was full of life and did many things each seasons for others...the snail did nothing but complain all her life. So I made a big rose tree with lots of life in it and a gloomy snail with a season chart on her shell to show no matter the season she stayed the same. And since we had worked with mushrooms in the first project for Lilla and pod flowers in the second project for Lilla I put those in as a little nod to those projects. I was very happy with the result. Here it is:

This week is Wall Decor week and for our mini assignment we are to gather collage materials...paper, ephemera, we can paint grids and make textures which will all lead to making some type of collage that is abstract. There is a color palette we are to work with...I am in the group of the color palette of orange and blue...not bad but my color choice would be green and pink. We can also use all neutrals. I do not need to do any gathering of materials...I have so much stuff I know I should have what I will need.
Check back next week to see what I have done.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Class in session with assignments due

If you have been reading my blog you know I am taking an ecourse from Lilla Rogers, a top licensing agent. I am enjoying the class, learning much and I especially enjoy talking to all the other students on a closed facebook page for everyone in the class. So much talent all in one spot, seeing so many different ways to do the same assignment. That part is a little intimidating but I am enjoying it none the less. 

Last week’s assignment was to sketch mushrooms and vintage pyrex casseroles and then put them into a pattern that would be used for fabric. We also had to have two coordinating patterns. Here is what I did last week. Some of you will have seen this since I did post this image on facebook. We are supposed to move beyond what we normally do so I went with a neutral background...a very dark grey and bright poppy colors. Here it is:

This week we are exploring home decor. We were to sketch seeds, succulents and pods. We got our assignment today and we are going to use our images to design dinner plates. Since we were going to do floral stuff I decided to break away from cut paper and try ink and rubber stamps. Here are my sketches. Look I used black!

Now I have to decide how I am going to put them on plates. I have gotten some inspiration from looking at mid century modern dishware and have decided on some different designs. We are to design 2-4 plates and then pick our favorite plate to post. Check back later in the week for the finished piece.

Catching up as usual...Mirror Ball Blog Hop

The Mirror Ball Dot Hop has come to an end. It has been fun and the projects that the other bloggers have made have been wonderful. 
Last weeks contributor was Nanette Zeller Her project thrilled me...first off it was a plush then to top it off she made a fish...I love to draw and make fish..I have fish plushes in the works right now. She did an absolutely lovely job and I wish I could win her they are. And what better fabric to make a fish but the Mirror Ball dot fabric...adds just the right  amount of shimmer. So if you are in a mood to make a plush go to Nanette’s blog to see how to make these fish.

You can also go online to Mark Hordyszynski’s blog to see all of the artwork done by all of us artists who participated in the Mirror Ball Blog Hop.

A big THANKS to Mark for making me part of the Mirror Ball Blog Hop...I had a lot of fun and am so happy that this fabric is back in the market...I am wondering what I am going to make with it next. And a big thanks to all the artists who participated...Jamie, Dory, Elisa, Nanette and Karen for making such wonderful projects with my favorite fabric. I am happy I was part of such a talented group!

Monday, June 3, 2013

I am off to school

This week I am off to school so to speak. I am taking an on line course from Lilla Rogers who is a top licensing agent. The course is going to be about designing and illustrating images for licensed products We will be learning about all the different licensing avenues. This week we are learning about bolt fabric. I will be sharing the images of the work I do for the class...yeah this work will not be confidential so I can share it. There are tons of people in the class and there are several people I have met and know so that will be fun also. And I am looking forward to getting to know everyone else taking the class although there are at least 350 people in the class so this might prove to be daunting. Flora Chang from Happy Doodle Land, Julie Reed and Sarah Walsh. I wish I lived in Kansas City because so many fabulous illustrators live there.

First assignment is to sketch mushroom and vintage pyrex dishes. This will be fun for me. I will show my progress as soon as I make something.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I am behind in my posting for the Mirror Ball Blog Hop. Last week my mom had to have a pacemaker put in. The decision to have the pacemaker put in happened quickly so off to the hospital she went. She is back home and doing well. She can finally shower today...this makes her very happy and she is able to drive. For those of you who know my mom, this is a big thing. She loves to go out everyday and she is still a very good driver considering she is 83 years old.

So this week I am going to blog about last weeks Mirror Ball Dot Blog Hop artist as well as this week. So lets begin.

Last week Elisa Albury was the weeks blog post. She made a lovely quilt with the fabric. I must admit the Mirror Ball Dot fabric looks beautiful with everything you make with it. Elisa chose colors I do not normally work with but the results were stunning. Have a look for yourself.

Elisa’s blog is Go over to her site and check out this amazing project.

This weeks Mirror Ball Blog Hop features Dory Smith Graham. Again I was blown away by what Dory made. She chose a bright poppy color palette of the Mirror Ball Dot fabric and made a hat. What a fun use of the fabric....perfect for the summer season. Here is a pic of her hat.

Check out Dory’s project as her website

Well must sign off for now. Since school is out I have been working on cleaning out my studio...this is not a job I enjoy doing but I love the results..this year I need to paint the studio so I will be busy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I have a winner

Birdie was the first to comment on my project last week and this week she is the winner of Mirror Ball Dot Blog Hop giveaway. Birdie, I will be passing on your name to Mark and soon your prize will be winging its way to you! Thanks to all of you who commented.

Karen Neary is the next stop on the Mirror Ball Dot Blog Hop. 
Use this link to go over to Karen’s site to see her is simply lovely and I admire the precision of her piece....fitting circular pieces and then neatly fitting them there is something I would have a hard time doing. I have a hard time making a straight edge even with a ruler.

Also Mark just released to us a coupon for all of you to use. Here it is. It is from Fairfield Processing. Use the promo code in the coupon below for 20% off on your online order.

20% Off any order
promo code: MHFD13M 
Expiration: 7/31/13

Check back next week to see the next blog post. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

It is my is my Mirror Ball Dot Project

It is week to post my without further adieu here it is. 

It is a smaller version of the wall hanging I made last year that now hangs over my bed (see post from November 17, 2012) When I first saw the Mirror Ball Dot fabric I just knew I had to have some. I first found it at the Paducah Quilt show and I bought several colors having no idea how would use them. Those fat quarters hung around for awhile...I went back to the Paducah Quilt show the following year and bought more. Since I just had fat quarters of the material I knew I could not make something big. Then an idea came to me while I was driving...most of my ideas come that is a wonder I do not have accidents. I would use the fabric and create a wall hanging using the fabric and design some embroidery flowers to go in squares around the fabric. I could then add on to the piece all those funky flower jewelry parts that have been hanging around my studio for years.

So when Mark Hordyszynski asked me to join this hop I jumped at the chance. I decided to work with my favorite colors from the new reissued line of Mirror Ball dot fabric...Luna, Citron, Limeaid and Lagoon. I picked out some cotton fabric from Michael Miller for the backgrounds of the embroidered flowers and I was off and stitching.

Friends would tell you that I rarely use anything glittery or shiny in my artwork...I have always loved everything to have a matte finish. But there is something about this fabric that just enchants me...I think it is the combo of a matte shiny dot on a matte background...that and the fact that the pattern of it is polka dots which I just love! And of course the colors are to die for. 

Here are some close-ups of the four squares so you can see the embroidery better.

I will be offering a PDF download of this wall hanging with the sizes and patterns for the embroidery through my Etsy site for the minimum cost of $5. The pattern will be available in 2 weeks...right now I am up to my eyeballs in getting my artwork done for the New York Stationary show which opens May 19th. But I will make up the pattern as soon as I am done and I will post that the pattern is ready for purchase on my blog.

And now your chance to win a prize is finally here. It is easy...just add a comment at the bottom of this post. Next Monday I will randomly choose a winner who will receive a Mirror Ball Dot color card and FIVE FAT QUARTERS of Mirror Ball Dot fabric plus a free pattern of my project. I will also chose 5 additional winners to receive a free pattern of this project.

I had a blast making this project and working with the Mirror Ball Dot fabric again. I am so happy it is back and I cannot wait to buy all the colors. Thanks so much to Mark for including me in this blog hop...I was very flattered to be picked. Just when I wonder if anyone is reading this blog something like this project pops up!

Remember.....PLEASE add your comments to win the prize.

Friday, May 3, 2013

As If I Needed Help

Yesterday I spent the day getting my wall piece finished for the Mirror Ball Dot Blog Hop. Since I am posting next week I needed to get it finished. But as always I had helpers as I was getting the piece ready to be sewn here is a sneak peek of my piece if you can see it through the furry legs and tails of Mr B (Buddy) and Mr D (Dexter)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Next Mirror Ball Dot Installment

So it is week two of the Mirror Ball Blog Hop. This week Jamie Mueller has made iPhone Cases out of this wonderful material...She has picked some of the brightest and perkiest colors for them....I would love to have one of these. 

Please go online and read her post In each post there will be a chance to win a prize. So go on her site, read her post and register to win a MDB color chart and 5 fat quarters of fabrics.

Next week it is my turn to be the star in the MBD Blog Hop. You will be able to see the piece I made. Now what do you think are the colors I chose for my project...(Hint....I wear the colors all the time and even have glasses with these colors...and no I did not use black.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mirror Ball Blog Hop has brought me back.

Here I am back to the blog. It has been a hard four months but I feel ready to get back on board with blogging. I have been keeping you updated about my work through posting new work and new products on my Linda Solovic Studio page on facebook. 

But now comes some exciting news. Several months back I was asked to be part of a blog hop. I have never done this before but I was so flattered to be asked. I was contacted by Mark Hordyszynski who is the designer of the Mirror Ball Dot fabric produced by Michael Miller fabrics. The fabric was discontinued several years ago much to the dismay of many quilt makers which included me. I created a wall hanging using the fabric last year and I talked about it here on my blog. It is the post from November 17, 2012.

Exciting news!....The Mirror Ball Dot fabric is back on the market. So to celebrate its arrival, Mark its designer has asked six artists to create an item using the fabric. Each of us will write about our project which will include a tutorial so you can make it. Mark started off the hop on his blog and his project is posted right now. 

Each week a different artist will post their project and tutorial as part as of the Mirror Ball Dot Hop. I am slated to post my project the week of May 5th. At each artist’s posting you will have a chance to to win a Mirror Ball Dot color card and one Fat Quarter of 5 colors of your choosing of Mirror Ball Dot fabric. So you are going to have to hop around to each blog each week so you can win prizes.

The schedule is as follows:
April 21:  Mark Hordyszynski - Launch of the MBD Blog Hop and his project
April 28:  Jamie Mueller / Sunflower Quilts -
May 05:   Linda Solovic -
May 12:   Karen Neary -

May 19:   Elisa Albury -

May 26:   Dory Smith Graham -

June 02:  Nanette Zeller -
June 09:  Mark Hordyszynski - Close of the MBD Blog Hop / More MBD Inspiration / Judging for Blog Hop Winner     

Here is a sneak peek at my project. I almost have it done and look forward to when I will do my post. Please let all of your friends know and encourage them to join in the fun and see what inspiring projects all of us Mirror Ball Dot Enthusiasts have created.