Make Art That Sells – Week 2

November 2, 2015 | Design, Drawn, Make Art That Sells, Personal


Phew, week 2 of Make Art That Sells was a doozy! In a good way, of course ;-)

This week was all about the Home Decor market, and we were tasked with using Staffordshire Pottery as our drawing inspiration. If you don’t know what Staffordshire Pottery is (like I didn’t), do a google search and you’ll find some of the weirdest, scariest, and definitely not-to-my-taste ceramic figurines. Huh, crap. How was I meant to get inspired by a subject matter I didn’t find very attractive?!

Luckily I don’t think I was alone in feeling this way – it seems like a lot of the people in my class were also struggling with it a little bit which made me feel reassured! Nevertheless I managed to get over myself and find some time while Arlo napped to try sketching a few of these funny figurines without being too self conscious of the outcome (kinda tough for me!). The idea is to experiement after all. And whaddayaknow – I actually started to enjoy it. So then I moved onto watercolour and it only got better! Wha. Amazing – and the funny thing is, because Staffordshire pottery is already kinda quirky, I found that the less precise my illustrations were the better, and the fat watercolour strokes seemed to just fit right in.

claire dalgliesh MATS PartA

Yay! So now that I had some icons to work with, next up was to tackle the main assignment for this week, which was to create a set of 4 ceramic plates using our Staffordshire illustrations. By now I was really loving the assignment, so had fun putting the plates together :)

Here’s my final piece.


So despite the slightly unsettling start to this week, I’m really happy with where it ended up! :) And looking at our class Flickr group I’m blown away by just how varied our work is. All 200 (or so) of us got the same brief, and no one’s work is even close to similar, it’s kind of amazing!

This week we’re onto Children’s picture books… bring it!

Make Art That Sells – Week 1

October 27, 2015 | Drawn, Make Art That Sells

Have you guys heard of Lilla Rogers and her wonderful online class Make Art That Sells? If not (and you’re interested in getting your art into the world and onto products) you should definitely check it out!

I don’t consider myself a very strong illustrator (or, I don’t think I have a very distinctive style), but I’ve always felt like it’s a side of design that I’d like to explore a bit more, be pushed a bit more in, and get better at. I guess ultimately I think it’d be amazing to be able to licence my art and patterns to shops – to see my work being produced for people to use. That’d be cool, right?!

Well yes, but how to get there? I don’t seem to work very well when I set my own briefs, and need a little nudge in the right direction sometimes. So, after visiting Lilla’s site about a hundred times (and talking myself out of it the same amount of times) I finally signed up to Make Art That Sells Part A a couple of months ago. And last week, class started! Eeeek! So I thought I’d document it here too so you can all follow along :)

Week 1 was all about making art for the Bolt Fabric market. Lilla gave us lots of tips through the week about bolt fabric and the market, along with our mini assignment to draw lots and lots of pasta and vintage pyrex. Such cool subject matter! So I got to drawing. The idea is to be free and just experiment with styles and mediums at this stage…


I did most of my drawings in pencil and black pen.. it felt right for this one.

Then, once we’d all done about as much pasta and pyrex sketching as we could do, we got our main assignment – Using the pasta and pyrex as our subject matter, make an artwork or pattern that you would send to a bold fabric company in order to get a collection. Bam.

After loads of fiddling around in illustrator with my various sketches, these are the elements I came up with…


Then it was time to put it into a pattern. My final submission is below, along with 3 coordinating prints.

It’s terrible to say, but I was actually surprised at how happy I was with the final piece! I’m ashamed to admit that.. but I’m my own worst critic, and generally at the end of an illustration I pick it to pieces.. but this one I really liked! So I’d have to say the course is doing wonders already :)

Perfectly Pyrex Pattern by Claire Dalgliesh

This week we’re onto the Home Decor market, and it’s already put me way out of my comfort zone! Stay tuned! x

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

February 20, 2015 | Drawn, Personal, Singapore

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone who celebrates!

Gong Xi Fa Cai

We’ve got a 4-day weekend here this weekend in honour of CNY, and it’s been BLISS. Don’t get me wrong, now that I’m not working I can hardly tell what day it is, let alone whether it’s a weekday or a weekend.. but it’s been really nice to have more than just a quick weekend to hang out with Dave and our little man. It’s such cherished, relaxed time and I’m loving it. Every weekend should be like this I say!

I hope you’re all having a lovely long weekend, or have a great weekend coming! Gong Xi Fa Cai :)

PS. In a bid to get better at drawing, I set myself the task of illustrating something for CNY.. and above is the result! Our family, and the goat I wish I owned haha :)

Drawn: BOY

May 15, 2012 | Drawn

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here before, but my husband Dave collects old film cameras. He scouts them out at markets and online, brings them home, and is slowly working his way through, fixing and testing them.

Out of all the ones he’s collected over the years this little BOY one is my favourite. We’re not even sure if it works because we can’t find the right size film to go in it, but I thought he’d still make a cute watercolour..  :)

There are still things I wish I could fix about this drawing, but I’m trying hard not to dwell on it. He’s cute and that’s all that matters :)

Drawn: Cuppy Cake

May 8, 2012 | Drawn

I’m branching out. Brace yourselves. Now, instead of just illustrating words, I’m going to be trying my hand at objects. Here is my first attempt.. tadaa.. cup cake!

I drew it from a photo I found on the incredibly beautiful blog Call Me Cupcake. I had a bit of trouble getting the icing to look like it was meant to (with all those highlights and shadows and such) and just as I was finishing it off and outlining in black, my butter fingers dropped the black pen on the page, leaving a nice black streak up the bottom of the cup cake. A few choice words were said, let me tell you.

I tried desperately to make it disappear (and succeeded for the most part), but I think it’s fairly obvious I tried to fix it. Or at least, it is now that I’ve gone and told you about it! Just keeping it real over here.