Make Art That Sells – Week 3

November 26, 2015 | Design, Make Art That Sells, Personal

Oops, I’m a little behind in my MATS recaps! Last week was actually week 5, which was the last week of the course.. big sad face. But I won’t jump ahead yet (though if you’re following me on Instagram you’ll have had a peek!).

Week 3 was all about children’s book illustration. Probably not a market I really see myself in I must admit, but worth giving it a go anyway, right! We were first tasked with drawing lost of cats and creating cat characters, before being given the big assignment to either illustrate the cover, or one spread of the story The White Cat.

I had a bit of shaky start to my cat illustrations, trying to work out how a cat really looks.. but then when I made it more human like, I really got into it! I thought it was so fun sketching her facial expressions and trying different shapes and sizes for her features.

Sketching cats! By fellow fellow :)

I eventually settled on the middle-bottom one. I thought she had a nice personality :) Next onto the cover..

The story is about a white cat and a prince, and the prince rides a wooden horse.. it’s a really bazaar story actually, pretty dark and creepy, so I opted to put a lighter, more fun spin on the cover. Why not, it’s for kids after all!

Here’s what I ended up with.. I think there are a few things I’d like to keep working on, but overall I was happy I managed to complete it :)

The White Cat by fellow fellow

There was such a massive variety of designs that were submitted, all so different, and quite a number that really stood out as incredible to me. There’s some serious talent in this class!

If I’m honest, I’m actually finding it very difficult not to compare my work to everyone else’s! There are so many wonderful illustrators that sometimes I can’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed.. BUT I’m also really proud of myself for getting through each task as it comes and creating great work even if I’m initially stumped by the idea. I’m proving to myself that I can do it, and that’s worth a lot I reckon :)

Read about week 1 and week 2 here.

DIY Book Jackets

July 18, 2013 | DIY

DIY Book JacketsI have so many little notebooks floating around the office that are only partially used, but are starting to look a bit worn on the outside thanks to being pulled in and out of bookcases countless times.

So I figured I might be more inclined to keep using them if they had nice, new looking covers again.. you know, giving them a fresh, new lease on life ;)

They’re dead simple to make, and fun too! So let’s go…


All you really need is:

– Paper or thin card in colours of your choice
– Ruler
– Pencil
– Notebook you’re wanting to cover (easier if it’s just a stitched or stapled spine)
– Scissors
– Sewing machine and thread

Step 1.
Measure and cut your card. Start by measuring the cover of your notebook when it’s spread open. I then took those measurements and added approx. 8mm (1.2″) onto the height, and approx. 80mm (3 1/4″) to the length, and measured out that rectangle onto my card. Cut it out.

For example: 
Notebook Size: 140mm x 180mm
Card Size: 148mm x 260mm

*Alternately, instead of only adding 4mm each side of the height (8mm total) you can add the usual seam allowance of 1.5cm to the height (3 cm total) to make it easier to sew later down the track. Then, once you’ve sewn the edges you can just trim off the excess.

Step 1

Step 2.
Gently fold your card in half and crease lightly, but don’t make it a sharp crease. Place your notebook spine into this crease.

Step 2Step 3.
Holding the cover of your notebook together with the card, and keeping the spine in line with the crease, fold the excess card over the cover and crease it using a bone folder or your finger nail. Keep the book as closed as possible when folding the card in. If you keep the notebook spread open when folding, once you close it again the jacket will most likely be too small.

Step 3Step 4.
Repeat Step 3 on the back cover.

Step 4Step 5.
Using a sewing machine to sew straight down the two longer sides of the card being sure to catch under the flaps. Make sure that the distance in from the edge that you sew is between 1 – 3mm from the edge (as we’ve only allowed for 4mm extra height on each side of the card).

*Note: See Step 1 for alternative to sewing so close to the edge.

Step 6.
Trim off all the treads, and try it out on your notebook!

Book JacketsBook Jackets

As an added extra, I also carved some stamps to look a bit like labels and then stamped them on the covers. You could create any stamps you like though!

StampingStampedFinished!These were on a fairly small scale because they were the notebooks I had, but you could also use this technique on school exercise books, journals etc. if you like.

Have fun! And for more DIY ideas, don’t forget to check out our DIY section!

Question: Good Business Books?

March 7, 2013 | Miscellaneous

Back when I answered this question on my favourite iPhone cases, I had another question from Chick Tyler, asking if I could recommend any good business books.

I only own two books so far about creative business, but just went hunting around the web and have found a whole bunch that sound really interesting!

There are some on turning your creative hobby into a business, one on blogging, one on graphic design (and pricing etc), and lastly – one that features Australian artists and creators. As an Aussie I was particularly excited to find this last one, because I find that a lot of other great creative business books (while still very helpful and inspiring) tend to feature a lot of information specifically aimed at an American market (such as taxes, laws, resources etc). So to find one that talks to Australian women totally made my day… and I’m off to download my copy of it now! :)

1. Creative Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho and Meg Mateo Ilasco
2. Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco
3. The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin
4. Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin
5. Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho
6. Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines by Graphic Artist’s Guild
7. Conversations with Creative Women (available only as e-book download) by Tess McCabe

The two I own are Craft Inc. and The Handmade Marketplace, and I find both full of information, inspiration, and are very easy to read. Even though I don’t own any of the others (yet) and can’t say whether they’ll be suitable to all of you, I thought they were definitely worth a look if you’re interested.

If you have any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them! Thanks for the question Chick Tyler :)

A video for your weekend

January 18, 2013 | Video


I own 4 Oliver Jeffers books, and I don’t even have any kids! I adore them, completely, and could just read them over and over again. I actually get teary reading the end of ‘Lost and Found‘.. not many kids books can do that to me!

I was so happy to come across this video of how Oliver Jeffers goes about creating his books.. it’s totally quirky and fun, exactly how the books are. Fabulous!

Have a wonderful weekend, see you back here Monday :)

Found via Swiss Miss.