Monday, September 30, 2013

Lilla Rogers - Make Art That Sells

So - I decided to do the Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells course.  I've been considering it for a while, wondering if I actually needed to do a course like this, thinking I might be better off continuing to build my client list and portfolio.  However, over the course of the year I've been following all things Lilla Rogers related - reading the posts on Facebook, entering the Global Talent Search, perusing the Lilla Rogers Studio website - and I've noticed that some of the MATS alumni are seriously talented - and already pretty accomplished in the design world - and they're writing glowing reviews all over their blogs too.
I'm not sure what to expect from the course but there are days when I sit at my computer and there's a little voice questioning everything I do and at the very least I'm hoping this course will replace that voice with something a bit more enthusiastic and motivating. At best I'm hoping it will make me sprout richly-patterned wings and propel me towards the stars (maybe that's a bit too enthusiastic!).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Little Pot Project


So - as I've mentioned before, I've been sketching.  Not as much as planned (I should change the name  of my plan from A Sketch A Day to A Sketch a Month) but more than I did before.  Having sketched my children, my Mum, flowers from the garden, I needed new subject matter.  I've been collecting pots, jugs bowls etc for twenty years.  They're dotted all over the house, their uses as varied as their shapes and colours.  I explained to Isadora that when she inherits them she can look at them and think that those pots represent everything her Mum loved: the perfect palette, the perfect decor in a room, the perfect containers for flowers or a colorful dish of food.  They each represent a moment in my life, people I've cared about,  places I've lived, my changing hopes and aspirations - like most collections.  Isadora, of course, looked at me blankly, wondering how a load of old pots could carry such significance. 
So I gathered them all together and started to sketch.  After five fairly fruitless minutes of that I decided these pots deserved a better method of memorialising them and decided to take some pics instead.  Isadora helped me arrange them into little settings, based on shapes and colours, and I thought (not for the first time) how much I'd love to be a home decor stylist.
I wanted to put all this effort to good use in a group of designs so came up with these.  I loved extracting the shapes and patterns and was reminded of my degree projects all those years ago.   

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Isadora's Bancarella - my 8 year old entrepreneur!

Modelling the goods.


I love this pic - reminds me of African tribeswomen.

10 out of 10 for the jewelry.  O out of 10 for the pedicure.


Joined by the little girls from next door - Lucrezia, Ginevra and Vittoria - who also brought a big box of beads with them on holiday!

Deep in concentration.

Isadora's assistants - apparently they were paid in bracelets!

A joint endeavour with the little girls from next door.  They also made a killing! 

Bikini colours!

Lots of fluorescent accents!

These were a best seller.

Branched out into earrings toward the end of the holiday.


My contribution to the brand!

Last year in Ponza, Isadora and I bought a bracelet from a little girl with a small range of wares displayed on a fruit crate - a Bancarella.  She said she'd made all the bracelets herself and I believed her.  She'd chosen combinations of colours and shapes that an adult wouldn't use and the effect was really charming.  The one I bought for Isadora was made of silver clam shells hanging from a thread of lemon-yellow seed pearls.  It's not unusual to see an Italian child selling shells or starfish late in the evening in Ponza but this was the first time we'd seen jewellery for sale.
Right then we decided we'd like to try that.  As we walked home we discussed Isadora's new business venture - where we'd buy the beads (Acilia market back in Rome), what colours we'd buy (pretty holiday colours that match bikinis), who would keep the proceeds of the sale (her of course!).
As soon as we got back to Rome I spent way too much money on beads, thread, pliers etc, consoling myself that it was much better to have her doing this than watching telly, and we had an attack of enthusiasm that lasted about a month.
A year later, a week before leaving for Ponza, we had another attack of enthusiasm and cranked out loads of bracelets.  When we arrived we enlisted everybody's help  and spent a few days preparing for the big opening - even Ivano got involved, securing us a fruit crate and a spot on the main thoroughfare in town.  By the end of that first evening she had an entire entourage of our friends and family, eating pizza and drinking beers while she made her sales.
We went down to the harbour three times during our two week holiday and you'll never guess how much she made - 120 Euros!  I can't believe it.  I've told her she has to put 20 Euros back into the business by replenishing the bead box.  She's not keen.  She's tasted the thrill of Capitalism and is grimly hanging on to her money.  I'm trying to explain that re-investing is a necessary part of Capitalist greed but she's not convinced.
I'm really proud of my girl though - she made a plan, worked really hard and saw it come to fruition.  Much better than watching the Disney Channel.