These book coves were made during MATS classes I took as a part of
Lilla Rogers' online school.
I am preparing to take another very intense 5 week illustration
class in October, cleaning up my entire studio,
going through loads of paper and supplies.
Below I am sharing my thoughts about the class.
Lilla's classes are very intense and could bring you up on a new level but you need to have a clear idea where you want to go during these 5 weeks.
But be prepared to change styles, mediums and art tools in the middle of the class and if you are stuck, ask questions in a Facebook group.
The decisions you make during the class help you grow as an illustrator. Try new ways to paint/draw traditionally or digitally, explore something different. Go outside the box!
In my case I tried and loved using paper collage for one of the final pieces.
If you use traditional painting/drawing techniques it is very helpful to have knowledge of Photoshop basics, know how to do a mockup, how to add lettering to your image, color manipulation, image cropping and resizing, etc.
What I do before the class and it is something I like to do periodically is to line up what I think my most successful recent pieces in front of me and analyze them in regard of all points the illustrations are judged by.
My list consists of : colors, composition, overall style, mood, textures, use of lettering, character's facial expressions, movement, how the characters interact, so on.
I take notes what qualities I want to keep in my next series of illustrations and what I want to get rid of.
I also have a digital folder where I keep inspirational art I need for motivating myself.
It is also helpful to have your own little library of ready to use Photoshop textures, icons, your own font or lettering samples to grab really fast for the assignment.
Going through loads of favorite illustrated books is a good idea to get inspired and to see what techniques are used.
After the class is over, you will end up with millions new ideas, sketches, finished and unfinished pieces.
Many things will look not so scary any more and you will have a big appetite to go forward and try new things.
You might be even ready to put your portfolio together and make a pitch to a publisher!
Both times I took the class I started with one style and ended with something completely different. And this unexpected new result is the best part of this Lille's class, this is something I really wanted - to come up with a new and better work.
My pieces were reviewed by Lilla and Zoe most of the times and this part was the most valuable.
My cover designs as the final assignment
brought together everything I learned during the 5 weeks and my covers do look kind of close to what I envisioned in the beginning, but I still don't have a cohesive look of all my class works.
I was going back and forth between paints and Photoshop and had to make really fast and sometimes not best decisions on the final look.
I re- did most of the work after the class, though and was amazed by how much I liked my illustrations after that.
So this time around I am taking my time and preparing for the October class already.
It is going to be so much fun and hard work, and lots of new things will sprout from there.