I ♥ Holiday Greetings

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Every year, I would create custom holiday greeting packages for my clients. It is a love-hate relationship: While I love doing something clever for my clients and remind them that I am thinking about them, I am very creative, and they should give me a call for their next project (ha!), it is very hard to find something clever, design a card that echos the gift, and put them altogether in a cute packaging, all within a budget. In here I want to share with you a few of my past holiday packages.

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Artists Around The World: Artist Blog Hop!

I was so honored to be invited by the lovely and talented Jana Curll to do an “Artist Around The world: Artist Blog Hop” post. What is an “Artist Blog Hop” you ask? In this post, I will introduce the artist who introduced me, answer a few questions about me as an artist, and I will introduce a few artists who I find inspiring. So much fun! Ready? Here we go!

JANA CURLL

I know Jana through Lilla Rogers’ Bootcamp class, and her work first caught my eye through her submission on the jello assignment. She is a genius on using very simple and bold geometric shapes to compose her jello. It is just so much fun to look at! Her color palette is ingenious as well, as she juxtaposes the colorful jello with white cake stands to create intriguing visual contrast.

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The piece that first caught my eye! Copyright © Jana Curll

She uses textures deliciously in her work. Everything about her work is playful, whimsical and fearless, and her colors are always very well planned out.

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Global Talent Search: Round 2

So the story was, yours truly got in to the second round for Lilla Rogers’ Global Talent Search !! You can see the 50 semi-finalists here. And here are the 999 entries for Round 1.

Before you know it, I submitted my entry with trembling fingers last week, and the public gallery for round 2 has just opened this morning. This time there is a voting option. In my heart of hearts I know I am not going to make it, but I am still here begging for your votes (so at least I wouldn’t end up with 0 votes, yikes)! The gallery / voting will be closed on 9am PST / 12 noon EST / 5pm GMT on Friday 12 September, and the six finalists will be announced on Wednesday 17 September.

This was my entry, and I thought I’d share on how my piece come to be.

Lilla Rogers GTS Round 2 Entry by Irene Chan

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The Emotional Coaster Ride known as The Global Talent Search

So the emotional roller coaster ride begins…

GTS Submission: Irene Chan

My Final Submission at Lilla Rogers’ Global Talent Search

Entering Lilla Rogers’ Global Talent Search is my goal of the year. In fact, I joined MATS A and Bootcamp classes because I wanted to join GTS! It is my dream to be represented by Lilla, and joining GTS is probably the one and only way to seek this opportunity nowadays.

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“Make Art That Sells” Bootcamp, final assignment

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So here we are, at the end of our MATS Bootcamp journey. I am feeling both excited and lost. I will spare you the details of my internal struggle and jump right into the assignment. If you haven’t closed the browser window by the end of this post, then we’ll talk about my thoughts more. Ha ha!

Mini Assignment: My Favorite Drinks
We were asked to draw our favorite drinks 15 minutes a day for a week. We were asked to play, and draw on at least 1 new surface that we haven’t drawn on before. We have a Facebook Group for our class, and each assignment we were allowed to share our drawings. But for this month, we were asked to not share our drawings and focus on our own development rather than getting influenced by others. We can share photos of our favorite drinks though.

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“Make Art That Sells” Bootcamp, June Assignment

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With a work project going on vigorously this month, I wasn’t even sure if I would have been able to complete and submit for “Make Art That Sells” Bootcamp‘s assignment this month. Thankfully there was a strange holding gap at my work schedule, and I was able to hurry, finish, and submit my final art work. I wasn’t happy with what I submitted, but participating is better than nothing!

Mini Assignment: Ship In A Bottle, Whales, and Nautical Theme
We were asked to doodle “ship in a bottle”, and maybe whales too. We were asked to use a medium that we are familiar and comfortable with. For me that would be Adobe Illustrator. This sounds very easy, right?

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My Adventures at Surtex

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I have just gotten back from Surtex, an art and licensing show in NYC, that happened between May 18-20. There were so much to learn, so many great people and wonderful artists to meet, and so much to see! I was a nerd and I was there for 3 days in a row (all half days), and I wanted to recap on what I have seen and learned.

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Father’s Day Gift Idea: The “Father and Child” Blurb Book

So, this is actually a Christmas gift I created for my husband, but as I was making it, I was bummed because I should have saved the idea for father’s day! I hope this gives you some inspiration for your Father’s Day gift.

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Make Art That Sells (A): Gift

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This is the final week of our 5 week journey in Lilla Rogers’ “Make Art That Sells” (A) class. It is bittersweet. Bitter because I was learning so much, and I don’t get to bug Lilla anymore for my ten thousand questions every week, which she actually answers every single one of them (!!). Sweet because I was getting a bit burned out and I couldn’t absorb anymore. I need some time to go back, re-read and organize all the class material. It is also nice to get a bit of a breathing room from weekly assignments and do something uncreative for a bit, such as scrubbing the toilet. Wait. I haven’t done that yet.

THE MINI
Without further adieu, the last week is for the gift market, and the subject matter was “A Collection Of Things”. Namely, things that we personally collect and are obsessed with. Whatever this collection is, it should carry a theme (eg. shoes, stamps, duck figurines…etc.).

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Make Art That Sells (A): Wall Art

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Last week was the 4th week of my Make Art That Sells class: Wall Art.

THE MINI
The topic was “Scavenger Hunt”. Lilla wanted us to hunt for random things that follows a very specific color palette. Your palette is assigned based on your horoscope sign. I am a Pisces, so I got pink and purple. We are allowed to find an unlimited number of neutrals, blacks and whites. She also told us to get glue.

It was one tough week for me. With a mini like that, we would probably be asked to do a collage. I have not done a collage since my freshman year in college 15+ years ago. I am more of a designer and I have never seen myself as an artist, so this was way outside of my comfort zone. Not to mention I have not got much in my assigned palette.

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Make Art That Sells (A): Children’s Picture Books

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Ahem, *Bragging alert*.

Many people have said this week was the most challenging, and even Lilla mentioned this week was one of the toughest weeks, but I am not feeling it. I must say, in these past two years, I have become the expert of children’s books. This was the easiest week for me, and the week I enjoyed the most so far. HAR HAR HAR (villain laugh).

Since my son Connor was born, I shopped for books everywhere: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, second hand book stores, Taiwanese online bookstores (for Chinese books), you name it. I went to mommy blogs to find out which ones are the big hits for each stage, and which one are the classic must-haves. Connor had his favorites since he was a newborn, and his preference changes as he grows. My husband and I have been trained to know exactly what books work and what doesn’t work. I read them aloud from 15 minutes to an hour or more every single day. If anything, I am the target audience.

On top of that, I always love to draw little characters.

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Make Art That Sells (A): Home Decor

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Another week has passed as my “Make Art That Sells” journey continues, and I want to share what I have created for the second assignment for the Home Decor category.

The subject matter this week is succulents, and the assignment is a dinner plate collection with four plates. The above is my “mini” assignment submission. It is a composition made from my succulent sketches. I was actually very happy with my mini assignment (especially when viewed small as a thumbnail, haha), I thought it would make a nice piece of wall art. I went with watercolor because I had so much fun working with them with my previous assignments. I also thought succulents will render beautifully with the semi-transparent nature of watercolor.

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Make Art That Sells (A): Bolt Fabric

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Lately I am taking some time to revamp my horrible art and illustration portfolio, and I have enrolled into two classes taught by the amazing Lilla Rogers, one of the top art agents in the world. “Make Art That Sells (A)” is a 5-week class with one topic per week: Bolt Fabric, Home Decor, Children’s Picture Books, Wall Art, and Gift. After beating up myself internally for weeks, I have paid and signed up for the ride. The first week is over before you know it.

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My Favorites from MATS Bootcamp, March Gallery

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The Lilla Rogers “Make Art That Sells” Bootcamp March Gallery is released. This is the second month of our class, and our second project. The project’s theme is jello, and the medium is bolt fabric pattern design.

The quality of work is so professional and, so yummy this time around. Like last time, it is my selfish desire to pick out and bookmark a handful that I like the most, and write a post about it. I must gloat that I picked so well last time, that one of my favorites, the cuckoo clock by Linda Tordoff (paintlovestudio), was picked up by Paper and Cloth Design Studio. She is now officially represented by this agent. Congrats to her! Let’s see what happens this time.

I picked 28 this time (so it fits nicely into 7 rows, haha). It is always so hard to pick out only a limited number of my favorites – at one point I had 80 browser tabs open, and I almost want to give up. Again, this is purely my personal favorites. The order is random. Below are the links to individual pieces within the gallery (which links to the artists’ respective portfolios), and reasons to why I like them:

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