MATS Nautical Submission…

I’m trying to decide which one…

This was the first one I did but thought I’d try to organise the waves more… MATS-Octopus-in-Storm-V2 … so ended up with this one… (the octopus needs darkening a little) MATS-Nautical-octopus-in-boat-FINAL-y … but it seems this little feller is preferred by friends and the MATS Bootcamp Facebook members… he is cute and I’ve printed him out and I need to find a frame to put him in 🙂 this version was just a quickie and wasn’t suppose to be the main work… I think for the next project I will try to do more sketching of ideas and think it through more rather than rushing ahead on the computer side of things… hmm… think I said that last time 😉

Rubber Ducky hoorah!

close up…

Close up of Octopus and rubber duck
Close up of Octopus and rubber duck

well I finally decided… the rubber ducky wins!
I didn’t want to ‘waste’ the boat version so I included that too

off to submit it now.

MATS Bootcamp June Submission
MATS Bootcamp June Submission

The Bootcamp June 2014 Gallery is now open so you can see everyone else work on this theme too.

MATS Bootcamp June 2014 Gallery - Nautical Themed Wall Art
MATS Bootcamp June 2014 Gallery – Nautical Themed Wall Art

Related Images:

MATS Bootcamp June 2014

Last Monday we were asked to doodle nautical type icons… think bottle in a ship.

I as always, have to run off and go overboard (‘scuse the pun) and got stuck in one idea.. yes, I did other doodles but Nautical is done so much it’s not easy to be original and I really wanted to see my little drunk Octopus character come to life (before he drowned!!).

This little guy is drowning his sorrows before he drowns!

Octopus sketch
Octopus sketch

initial vector lines started… didn’t like the tentacles or eyes at all…

initial illustrator paths
initial illustrator paths

so I started the illustrator part again…

Octopus in Illustrator (mobile pic)
Octopus in Illustrator (mobile pic)


I then transferred the vector forms separately to photoshop for textures and colours.

not sure what happened to the umbrella… looks terrible.

also still have to do the startled starfish who I think will be in the crows-nest rather than the boat front… I’ve change my mind on this impromptu figurehead stance!

I’m also debating as to whether he has a jumper… yellow, knitted and stripy… hmmm…

Octopus in boat illustration
WIP – still have yet to do the actual sea waves… and startled starfish!

Today we received news that our nautical doodles to be laid out as wall art… and distressed wood type base?
I know how to transfer photos to other surfaces so I might actually try adding my final design (not the above illustration though) to a piece of wood – I’ve actually just painted backgrounds on canvases but those are for other ideas.

It’s a shame the bottom left small square canvas got ruined… I needed to change my ink as it wasn’t saturated enough to transfer… I print onto tracing paper which helps keep the ink wet then onto a gel medium base on the canvas… also if you have used gold ink for the base I recommend adding a clear gesso or layer of gel medium to that to stop it peeling off… oh well, all in the name of experimenting (I’m not that experienced at mixed media)

Painted Canvases
Painted Canvases

(mobile phone pic)

Close up of one of the canvases...  like this one the most!
Close up of one of the canvases… like this one the most! (mobile phone pic)

Threadless Tesla Pup T-shirt

I put my little Pup on Threadless… so if you feel like voting then please be my guest 😀

just click on the pic below and click on 4 or 5… if you want to click on 1 or 2 then errrr… don’t!

Tesla Pups Threadless T-shirt
Tesla Pups Threadless T-shirt


Underwater Plates…

An unofficial theme was set for the MATS Bootcamp for April as underwater themed and dishware.

I’m not sure I like how uniform the symmetry is as the original sketch was much more organic – think I might try redrawing it.

sea anemone original doodle in illustrator
sea anemone original doodle in illustrator

repeat pattern with various size anemones:

sea anemone repeat pattern in black/white and green bg.
sea anemone repeat pattern in black/white and green bg.

‘Traditional’ style plate layout.

band of colour around the edges with anemone motifs in circular formation – the ones underneath are the tentacles radiating from the centre.

sea anemone on 'traditional' style plate layout.
sea anemone on ‘traditional’ style plate layout.

These are not quite what I envisaged when I started … I’m not sure if thats a good thing – I need a rethink.


here’s another plate mockup set – I just added my Sea Anemone to some plates I found on the internet (fab plates!!) sea coloured one on Anthropologie website and white dinner plate is Portobello-porcelain from The White Company – tried varying the size of the graphic as well – I really want to re-draw this whole thing as I preferred the original sketch where it was far more organic and something very liquid about the ‘mouth’ part – this doesn’t seem very ‘mouth’ like at all… the mouth of a Sea Anemone.

I need to do some cups too 🙂


update: actually I decided to make a more complicated repeat… I’ve made several and now I have a sudden urge to poke my eyes out as I’ve been up all night! gargh.

Anyway the idea was to add it to the Spoonflower colouring wallpaper competition – I’ve uploaded it but I doubt it’s what they have in mind for kids to play with 😉

I think it’s too small – ok… I’ll postpone poking my eyes out (it’s a shape you can’t swop your eyes out for a bit!) and see if I can change it.

(click images to visit my spoonflower page)

'Flowery' Anemone BW repeat
‘Flowery’ Anemone BW repeat
'Flowery' Anemone BW repeat as wallpaper via spoonflower
‘Flowery’ Anemone BW repeat as wallpaper via spoonflower
'Flowery' Anemone BW repeat as wrapping gift paper via spoonflower
‘Flowery’ Anemone BW repeat as wrapping gift paper via spoonflower

Off to Bootcamp hoorah!

I signed up to the “Make Art That Sells” (MATS) 6 month Bootcamp – one assignment each month (except for April as they have a five-week course in the middle) so a total of 5 assignments where you are given a ‘brief’ and a use of design use as well as other useful tips and info – the private Facebook group is very cool.

Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers

This is my submission – I did also do the February assignment but as I signed up just a few days before that deadline my design wasn’t very good – I may post that up later.

March 2014 MATS Bootcamp
my Submission into the March 2014 MATS Bootcamp ‘Jelly’ themed design for Bolt Fabric.


My other designs that I rather liked from all the doodles and sketches I did in the week before receiving it’s ‘use’ ie: bolt fabric.

another design for the ‘Jelly’ themed design for Bolt Fabric.

A very quick mockup on products: jelly wave, fun, kids design, surface pattern

another design created whilst working on the ‘Jelly’ theme

a floral variation on the ‘Jelly’ themed design for Bolt Fabric.


a few other bits from the Jelly theme:



I did some photos of Jelly to use as texture but didn’t get around to using them…
experiments in jelly!
experiments in jelly! it will probably be a few years before I eat Jelly again!

Whats Next?

For the people not doing the 5 week course ‘we’ have decided to do our own assignment for fun… one member’s six year old son has given the theme of Underwater and it will be for dishware.

I have also decided to join ANOTHER online course – this one being with The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design Module 1: Designing your Way 5 week course which is more affordable for me right now and I think the other MATS course will be good to take once I get to a better level of work.

The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design

I’ve been eyeing these modules for at least a year and it started on Monday (24th March 2014) I signed up that night… I couldn’t help it. I need to find more work or sell more products in order to afford this lol.

I’ve added my shop links to my about page… hint hint hint 🙂


MATS BootCamp February Assignment

The Lilla Rogers “Make Art That Sells” Bootcamp started in February but I joined  a few days towards the end of that month so I didn’t get long to work on the assignment.

They set a theme for members to doodle and come up with icons and this was ‘cuckoo clocks’ – later on they give it’s usage and this assignment was for an iPhone case.

These are my designs I came up with and I’m also trying to remind myself of how to use Illustrator as it’s been awhile – I know Photoshop really well so I find Illustrator easy to use on some elements and mind blowingly frustrating on others! ha

I entered this one in for the deadline but I really hadn’t finished the watch wearing cuckoo bird… oh well.


This was another idea that I didn’t get time to finish… it has elements that were a collection of ideas and then I rushed it… as the design changed those elements then didn’t make sense but that’s what happens when you sign up with the deadline a couple of days away.

I think I like the little birds who are coming into the mockup more than the other elements.



I’ve mentioned more in the other post on this blog about the bootcamp.

Here’s a link if you are interested in classes – the Bootcamp is just one option – they have two other courses to join and are more advanced.

Lilla Rogers School
click to visit Lilla Roger School.