Make Art That Sells: A lesson on character!

Week 2 of Lilla Roger’s Make Art That Sells Part B was all about Children’s Apparel.

This was the week I was looking forward to least, it’s the market I have least in common with and often struggle to get ‘cute’ into my work. But again, taking on the lessons from Part A of the course, I approached this week with an open mind!

The first thing that put my mind at ease was the topic for the mini assignment, which was camping! “Hooray” I thought, “lots of cool things to draw here!” So I started sketching out some ideas of things I would take on my ideal camping trip – item number one being a 2CV of course!!

Then I turned my attention to some woodland creatures. I normally avoid characters or ‘things with faces’, both as an artist and a consumer, but I was determined to tackle it this week and in the end I made friends with a nosey deer, a joy riding owl and a suspicious looking fox and had a blast doing it!


Gradually I built up a library of icons and started by making a repeat pattern that is packed full of stuff to look at. I remember having detailed prints like these as a kid and spending what seemed like hours looking at the individual icons and finding all the hidden details – designs which have stuck with me to this day – and I wanted to capture some of that magic! I pulled out a few icons and created two new placement prints as well as two coordinate stripes and some scout badges for cool camping achievements like Firestarter, Forager or being Nature’s Friend!

I am not a girly girl and find it hard to subscribe to the ‘pink is for girls, blue is for boys’ point of view so I wanted to create something that was appealing to humans, boy or girl, man or woman. All the way through the design process I was trying to strike that balance, so one of the placement prints was designed more with boys in mind and one might appeal more to girls. The colours are pretty balanced and use lots of neutrals like navy and grey. I tried to show an equal number of boy and girl characters and the pretty flowers are balanced by all the cool cars!


The final collection is full of lots of useful bits and I’ve had fun putting together some examples of how they could be used, including some bedding and crockery ideas. I wanted the design to be fun and boisterous and optimistic and think I’ve managed something I bit like that!


What do you think? Do you have little ones that you can see running around in these? Do you think it suits both boys AND girls or do you think it would have been better to aim it the design more specifically at either boys or girls?
Make Art That Sells is a five week course so I’ll try and post a review from each week and share a bit of my process and progress so check back to find out how I’m getting on!

4 Responses to Make Art That Sells: A lesson on character!

  1. Lisa Rivas October 22, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    This is a fabulous collection Sam, you are good. I want something with this design!
    BTW: Almost too good to be posting, but I’m sure it has been copyrighted, knowing you.

  2. Amanda McGee October 22, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    I love what you’ve written and relating it back to finding delight in hidden details in patterns as a child, I think you’ve done that! By the way, what is a 2CV? a camper/RV?

  3. Sinead mansell October 23, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    I absolutely love it, my 2 girls would definitely wear that dress. I love all the textures in your motifs and they all seem to stand out and aren’t too flat. Lovely as ever :)

  4. Lauren Hay October 23, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    Really love these designs! I bet both girls and boys would love them!

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes