In the beginning of spring this year, I signed up for the Make Art That Sells Bootcamp run by the famous art director Lilla Rogers herself. I entered the bootcamp after meeting the beautiful creative Erin online and other alumnus on Instagram.
I was told that the MATS bootcamp was a fun and good way to get rolling into illustration if one was trying to find their artistic voice in the big creative industries for Home decor, children’s book illustrations, editorial, toy and game market, etc. and so, I jumped in.
I had not a clue what to expect with the workload and trying to wrap my head around the schedules on my calendar, but I knew that exploring my art was what I wanted to do, it was giving me peace during tremulous times and I cleared my schedule to make time for art.
It is also a perfect playground for an artist like me, who is coming out of a decade long sabbatical and slowly finding her way back into the creative vortex. I started out enthusiastically and was determined to make this work, amongst several other things in my day.
In the middle of bootcamp is a curveball of a course of children’s book illustration, a five week intense timeline where everyday would be expected to creative work for a story that the art directors wrote. This year I chose the pencil story, but somehow struggled to keep up pace with the rest of the creative cohort for more than one reason.
Once you are signed up to a course, you can join the relevant Facebook group, and oh boy! The cohort of creatives inside these courses are simply mind-blowing. There are hundreds of artists who make so much beautiful work, it can get overwhelming within seconds of opening the group.
Each artist has their own process and set of tools to create and this space is an example of the wide variety of the work and creative talent available. In my case, doing both the bootcamp and the children’s book illustration proved to be very challenging, and I simply had to step back and catch a break before realigning.
Just this morning, I turned in my June assignment for a Toy and game pitch idea and I feel a bit of relief that I could do the best I could, given this weird year, and I am ready to take it easy for the rest of 2021. Now that I have a first hand experience of what it feels like to be in the MATS world, I will be better prepared next year hopefully.