Pastel Paradise: Interview with UK Illustrator & Designer Katherine Tromans

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It’s a glorious Tuesday morning and I’d love to introduce all of you to UK artist Katherine Tromans, who has done some truly amazing work! Check out the interview here as well as her portfolio website and her Facebook.


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Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? How did you begin in the arts and what drew you to illustration?

I’ve always loved drawing, and was influenced from a young age by my mum who was an art teacher. So I’ve pretty much grown up being encouraged to draw. I achieved a BA in Illustration from AUB, Bournemouth four years ago and since then I’ve done a variety of gallery exhibits, commissions, and I work at an advertising agency as an Illustrator & Designer.
Illustration is a great area to work in, it’s so diverse. I really like seeing my work in print, as its nice to be acknowledged for something you are passionate about.
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Who have been some of your favorite clients and what have been some of your favorite projects with them?  
Recently I’d have to say the retailer SimplyBe – I worked on their social media campaign producing illustrations about ‘real women with real stories.’ They were quick turnarounds, and I was working fast maybe 5/6 hours to come up with something – I love a challenge!
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I also love working with bands, I really enjoyed working with the folk band Goodnight Lenin on their branding, they were great to work with and they were really happy with the outcome. But I also really love the personal commissions – portraits, wedding invitations and that sort of thing as its more personal.
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I’m absolutely in love with your “Paradise” pieces! Can you talk a little bit about the concept and inspiration behind these, as well as the process?  
Ah thank you! I’ve exhibited these pieces several times across London, but they’ve been getting increasingly popular as of late, and getting blogged a lot – which is nice to see! 🙂
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I explored the theme of paradise as I thought it would be an opportunity to create something beautiful. I asked a variety of different people to describe the physical representation of their paradise ie. the shape of the land, the features etc. and then I translated this into an otherworldly pastel landscape.
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Do you have any upcoming projects in the works?   
Yes I do! I visited Japan in April, and I’m going to start a painting series based on the places I visited; I documented Kyoto quite well for this reason. I met a wonderful photographer out there who gave me a print of Mt.Fuji – he captured a great pastel landscape of it at dusk, and it’s really inspiring me to start painting.
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Also, I know this is random, but if you could have a super power, what would it be? 
I think mine would definitely be travelling through time, as long as it didn’t have consequences (like messing up the future and all that…).
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 Recommended Reading

 

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, 2nd Edition

 



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Graphic T-Shirt Giveaway: Win a Graphic Tee from Graphic Designer Ioannis Moschou!

This month The Art Spectrum is happy to announce its first ever giveaway featuring YANMOS!

As a brand, YANMOS has been growing over the past few years and I’m happy to support the brand, which creates many designs geared towards a green approach. Other designs are inspired by humor or pop culture.

The designer behind YANMOS, graphic designer Ioannis Moschou from Thessaloniki, Greece sells on many platforms, including Redbubble, Design by Humans, his own Eco-Labelled organic Teemill t-shirt store that makes t-shirts at a certified wind-powered factory, as well as his own website, YANMOS | Sustainable Creativity.

   

You can follow YANMOS on any or all of his social media sites: 

FACEBOOK 

TWITTER

PINTEREST 

INSTAGRAM

ENTER TO WIN A YANMOS T-SHIRT OF YOUR CHOICE 

YANMOS Graphic T-Shirt Giveaway

Click Here for Full Article View With Comments

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How to Successfully Sell Art on Redbubble

How to successfully sell art on Redbubble

Many of us artists who are new to selling on Redbubble, or have tried to sell on Redbubble and have tried to figure out their niche and what sells best, and how and what to promote, often give up after a year or two, or even less. The next 9 artists give their advice on how to successfully sell art on Redbubble and what has worked best for them.

Redbubble Artist @artiisan

“My most selling products are definitely phone cases, but also notebooks and t-shirts are very popular! My top selling design is Floral Dance. I have only had good experiences on Redbubble. The RB team is so helpful and really interested in promoting their artists! I’ve been featured on the RB front page three times in three months and they’ve also re-posted my work two times on their 160k Instagram account. When RB featured my work Floral Dance on their front page, my sales went crazy and now Floral Dance is one of the top selling floral designs on the site. I also do some marketing on my own Instagram account @art.iisan where I mention when there’s a sale on or just post pictures of my products. I also have other sites that I sell my designs on, but Redbubble definitely makes the best sales. But I should also say that I’ve been very active myself; I add new works almost weekly, post eye-catching product pictures on my Instagram and tag Redbubble in the pics. I also take part if Redbubble arranges competitions, such as last spring’s #Staycay design challenge. Try to build good visibility! :)”

Redbubble Artist @ednama

“I sell stickers the most on my Redbubble shop, especially the ones that have been featured on Redbubble’s homepage, such as this one. I promote my artwork mainly on my Instagram account, I share my drawing progress and interact with people in the comments. Redbubble is a really great platform that you can sell your artwork instantly, so your followers can buy your latest work! Besides Redbubble, I also sell self-printed products on Etsy, where I pack and ship the products directly to the buyers – I love to include a small thank you card within the orders, so to show how much I appreciate every single one of them!”

Redbubble Artist @vonplatypus

“My Redbubble bestseller is a design called Missing, which imagines the Loch Ness Monster being searched for through the milk carton ads that look for missing people. Being featured a few times in Redbubble’s Found section definitely helped make this design popular, because although I have the same design available on other sites like TeePublic and Society6, none of those have come even close to the numbers Missing has done on Redbubble. To be honest, I don’t do a lot of marketing of my designs – I usually find it more fun to promote the artwork of others at my websites TeeMagnet.com and Compete-tee-tion.com. This is probably partially because my focus with my artwork tends to be sites like Shirt.Woot.com, where you sell the rights to the artwork and it becomes their exclusive property. Although many find the rights issue to be a drawback, I find that it can be a real plus for people like me who are less active in marketing their own work – in a way, the site does it for you! It gives me more time to make new designs, rather than dwelling on things I’ve already created.”

Redbubble Artist @obinsun

“The most successful item sold in my Redbubble shop are T-Shirts of my design “Cat Got Your Soul?” As far as marketing goes, I have a neglected Twitter account and that’s about it. I make up for my lack of marketing by being prolific when it comes to producing art. The more I create the more my work gets noticed which equals more sales across all designs. I do sell on a variety of POD sites too, but most of my income comes through Redbubble, Threadless and Design By Humans. For Threadless I submit to contests as much as possible and with DBH I simply upload all my work just like I do with Redbubble. The two things that contribute most to my overall sales would be having a design featured on the Redbubble “found feed” and getting a print on featured on Threadless.”

Redbubble Artist @BeardyGraphics 

 

 

“So, my Redbubble shop bestseller is this guy – “Blue Beard”. I use Instagram  and Facebook to promote my illustrations & stuff. Sometimes Redbubble puts my art on their Facebook cover, or make a post about it. So it works, of course :). Also, I sell my art on Society6 and TeePublic. I think that sometimes sales in my Society6 store are more successful because they offer free shipping from time to time, but sometimes I think all of my shops share somewhat equal success.”

Redbubble Artist @5mmpaper

“The design I sell the most is an 80’s retro Memphis inspired pattern, and mostly on phone cases. The sales increased drastically when RB featured this product on the homepage, and I am still selling it well as it is also featured in pattern design suggestions by RB. To promote my work I mainly post my work on Pinterest, and I also submit my work to groups when I upload new work. I don’t really use teams that much. I also sell on Society6 and find I sell a bit more there, and also a larger variety of designs. I feel that with really good texts and keywords on S6 you can make a bigger difference in terms of showing up in the search results. The kind of products I sell on RB are also different from S6. On RB I sell more lifestyle products such as phone cases and notebooks, and on S6 I sell more home decor products such as pillows.”

Redbubble Artist @EricFan

“My best-selling piece on Redbubble is Space Sloth followed closely by Music Man. At the moment I haven’t been doing a lot to promote my work, since I’ve been busy with a lot of book projects. In the past I mostly used the usual social media platforms for promotion: Facebook and Instagram primarily. The staff at Redbubble have been very helpful as far as gaining more exposure, by featuring my work on the Found page, and in some of their blog postings. I sell my work on a few other sites, namely Society6, DenyDesigns, Displate, Caseable. I’ve had good success on Society6, I think because (again) the staff have been very helpful about featuring my work, and they have a good system for generating traffic with their curator program. The curator program allows other users to “curate” other artist’s work and post it to sites like Pinterest and blogs, for which they receive a royalty from each linked sale.”

Redbubble Artist @aterkaderk

“I sell the most of my coffee cup sticker. It’s a flower pattern and drawing I made for fun one day. I didn’t have to do any outside marketing. I know sharing posts on Instagram and Pinterest can really help people, but I was surprised when I started selling lots of stickers after a few months. I was lucky enough to eventually have my coffee cup sticker reach the trending pages, and eventually it got to the first page. Then, I got featured on the front page of the site and since then I’ve been starting to sell phone cases, shirts, and notebooks here and there.

I definitely think selling content that can reach a wide audience is helpful, as well as having lots of different items. Stickers are the easiest to sell because they’re cheap and people buy a few at once. I make a decent amount of money from my other sticker sales combined, but it’s not really one design in particular besides the coffee cup. From my experience, having one product that does really well can make you the most money.”

Redbubble Artist @evasabrekova

“My top selling works include Lighthouse, Redbeard, and Meow Meow Meow. People buy themon stickers very often, but also on t-shirts, pillows and canvas prints. I am not in any groups, because I don’t have much time for being active in social networking 🙂 Somehow two of my works entered into the Found page, and one on the main banner of the site and it increased sales significantly. Maybe it’s because Redbubble follows me on Instagram and sometimes liking my work? In any case, all advertising and promotion of my work I do on Instagram.
You can also find me on the websites Design By Humans (registered a couple days ago, so too early to say about success) and the Russian website maryjane.ru (not bad, but most selling works are differ from RB) and pinkbus.ru (a few sales).”

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General Tips 

Title your work with a descriptive and catchy title.

Tag your work with words that accurately describe the work, and use as many multi-word tags as possible .

Descriptions are picked up by Google and other search engines – be as descriptive as possible.

Join and participate in Redbubble groups and become an integrated part of the community.

Promote your work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, WeHeartIt, etc.

Buy your own work to sell in coffee shops or other local businesses, or to give as gifts and show off.

Journal often to let people know what you’re up to or that there’s a new design in your shop.

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Recommended Blog Posts 

Why You Should Sell Your Art on Redbubble 

How to Make Sales on Redbubble 

A Practical Guide to Promoting and Selling Art on Redbubble

Recommended Books 

Legal Guide for the Visual Artist

Vector Basic Training: A Systematic Creative Process for Building Precision Vector Artwork (2nd Edition)

Selling Art Online: The Creative Guide to Turning Your Artistic Work into Cash

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Interview with Graphic Artist Jackie Hurd

Work by graphic artist Jackie Hurd

It is my pleasure to introduce graphic artist Jackie Hurd, creator of colorful pattern designs and vector art!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art?

I would draw for hours and hours as a kid, it was both my entertainment and my escape. But my true journey with art started when I joined the U.S. Air Force back in 2003. The job they gave me was graphic design! They sent me to their version of art school where I sat and painted in camouflage and left with a solid foundation in design and military bearing. After a 10 year journey with the military, I decided to go freelance and I’ve been a freelance designer since 2014, the bulk of my clients consist of craft breweries needing beer labels designed…. it’s kind of funny because I’m not really a beer drinker. A few years ago I decided to finish my degree and elected to finish it in Illustration instead of graphic design. While working through my course work, I discovered and fell in love with the world of surface pattern design.

Work by graphic artist Jackie Hurd

Where does your inspiration stem from? Do you ever use references for your work?

I am inspired by many things. I have a few kids, a cat, a dog, some chickens… they are always giving me ideas. Lately I’ve been really into landscaping my yard so these days I’m finding a lot of inspiration from being outside. Flowers, trees… And yes, I do use references for my work. Before I start a new pattern collection I make a mood board. I also do a lot of research to learn everything I can about the subject of my collection, I feel like that’s important.

Work by graphic artist Jackie Hurd

What does the process look like to create one of your pattern pieces?

The process of making a pattern for me starts with a page full of doodles, sometimes in pen, sometimes in marker or paint. Most of the time, once I get my work scanned in, I work solely in Adobe Illustrator to color in and create my patterns. I love working in vector! The best way to learn about my process is to check out my Skillshare class.

Work by graphic artist Jackie HurdWork by graphic artist Jacki Hurd

How has selling been going on Redbubble? Do you have any advice for artists interested in showcasing/selling their work on there?

Selling on Redbubble has been such a great experience. I’ve still got plenty of beer projects to do, my own art projects now take up the bulk of my work day. I am finally at a point where I am making an income selling my work. I can actually pay a bill or two every month with my Redbubble earnings! My advice for artists selling or wishing to start selling on Redbubble is that it’s not a competition. Redbubble and success as an artist in general works best when you immerse yourself in the creative community. Get to know the other artists, comment on their work. If your work is good and you’re active on the platform, you’ll have a better chance at getting noticed and making sales.

Work by graphic artist Jackie Hurd

Have you worked on or will you be working on any new and exciting projects?

I am actually working on a very exciting project right now with a fellow surface pattern designer who lives in the U.K. I can’t say much about it at the moment but we’ll be making an announcement in August so more to follow on that 🙂

Work by graphic artist Jackie Hurd

What are some of your artistic and business goals for the near future?

I would love to land a licensing contract and see my work on some boutique shelves! My other goal is to get more classes up on Skillshare, I absolutely love teaching and sharing my approach to design.

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Follow Jackie on Instagram 

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Recommended Reading 

Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines 

Vector Basic Training: A Systematic Creative Process for Building Precision Vector Artwork (2nd Edition) 

Color and Pattern: 50 Playful Exercises for Exploring Pattern Design

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Interview with Artist Bart Schouteten

AtWorldsEnd

Your work is a combination of typography and digital collage, with themes of pop culture and surrealism. Can you talk a little bit about where your inspirations to create this work stems from?

It might sound dull, but I get my inspiration mainly from life itself. With music as my main catalyst during the process of my work. I love working intuitively. Most of the time I already have a theme or subject in my head. Then I choose the type of music which has to represent the atmosphere of the work. During the process the work sort of creates itself. Also my children are a big inspiration to me. Their minds and visions are still so pure. I love the way they can still be amazed by the little things in life which we adults take for granted. Picasso once said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I try to keep this in mind every time I start working on something.

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Can you tell me about the Artbook of “visual lyrics” that many of your portfolio works are a part of?

This project is actually an idea for the future. With that I mean, I don’t know when it will be finished. Like I said before, music is a big inspiration to me. So my plan is to keep creating these lyrical artworks until I have enough to make a book out of it and hopefully get it published somewhere. That would be the ultimate goal! Right now I am busy on my sixth lyrical artwork. So I have a long way ahead of me. The one I am working on right now is based on the phrase “We all feed on Tragedy” from the song Vicarious by Tool.

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Is all of your work done digitally or do you play around and enjoy other mediums as well?

Well actually, most of my work is done traditionally and eventually ends digital. Most of the time I start sketching, painting, drawing, collaging etc. Then I scan all the elements with my flatbed scanner and continue the process in Photoshop. During the digital process I sometimes even print the result to add some more traditional techniques and scan it in again. Just until I get the result the project asks for at that moment. Some techniques are simply hard to achieve digitally.

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So you ask me if I enjoy other mediums as well? Hell yeah! The more mediums and materials the better. Having no limitation as a limitation! Without having any boundaries or restrictions I keep the process of creating fun and exciting for myself.

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What have been some of your favorite exhibitions in the past that you have been a part of? 

There are a few, but the most favorite one was at the Barcelona Art Fair. An exhibition with artists all over the world at Casa Batlló in Barcelona. Also known as the Gaudi House. Not only was it nice to exhibit in such a beautiful city and meet many different kinds of artists… but how fun is it to say that you once exhibited in the House of Gaudi!

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KomTerug

Do you have any favorite artists?

Besides my own children I have always been a big fan of Dave McKean, especially his comics and Graphic Novels. Also Kurt Schwitters, Mark Rothko, Jheronimus Bosch, Henrik Drescher, Sigmund Polke, Karel Appel and Miro are all artists I really admire.

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You can also find Bart here: 

www.eyekitchen.com

bartschouteten.tumblr.com

twitter.com/BartSchouteten

cikalong.deviantart.com

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