Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells Part A
As promised, I wanted to share my experience taking the first 5 week semester of Lilla Rogers' new online e-course, Make Art That Sells (MATS). It is a class that provides in-depth knowledge of the licensing industry complete with interviews, reading materials, and assignments that really challenge yourself and the way you work. I definitely recommend it. Here are some additional thoughts if you're considering it:
Although you will naturally get out of your comfort zone, there's a difference between trying something new and setting yourself up for disaster by reaching too far beyond your capabilities. For instance, if you've never touched a computer and you decide to work all digital for this class, you are missing out on a great opportunity by distracting yourself with huge technical hurdles when you should be concentrating on the more important things at hand Lilla wants you to learn. The same can be said for several scenarios, not just going digital. Actually, let's mention right now that the class description says this is not a class for people wanting to learn basic digital techniques or how to use software, and it's true. Save that for another class- there are plenty out there that focus on learning Photoshop and Illustrator. After all, this is more of a professional practice class then a techniques and methods class.
Also, Lilla stresses several times in the class description before you sign up that not everyone will get individual feedback. If you are use to a critique setting where you have experience learning from the observations made about others' work (oh, 8-hour critiques... thank you for breaking me in), then you'll do fine. However, if you feel like you are at a stage where you absolutely need individual feedback, then this class should perhaps be down the road after you acquire other critique experiences under your belt. Apparently, Lilla is working on spreading the feedback love during the weekly critiques for the next round of MATS part B, but with 400+ students, you have to expect that several people will still not have their work discussed. I'd like to add, though, that learning to develop your skills and business savvy without feedback is a normal and valuable experience for illustrators and artists. If you contact a client and never hear back, you must learn from that experience and carefully examine yourself and your work (or your marketing technique), without feedback. If an agent rejects you, you usually must move to Plan B without feedback, and so on. If you are waiting for someone to tell you every step of the way what you are doing right or wrong, your journey is going to be a slow one. MATS is a class, yes, but a good perspective to have is to think of it like a lecture class of 100 rather than a cozy workshop of 10. Prepare to listen and take notes while Lilla is talking, and you will learn a lot.
Let me finish this post by saying Lilla's structure for the assignments led to great discoveries. I actually was playing with my art again, and the fact that we had mini-assignments before we knew the actual assignment meant that I couldn't over think anything or get too far ahead of myself. It allowed for a very organic process for my art, and I really needed that after all these years. I left the class feeling energized, in love with my work again, and ready for Part B all the way! The second semester starts October 7 and I. AM. PUMPED.