Today I start a really important course, for me. I've joined the Lilla Rogers Studio School. Its the biggest investment I've made in myself in a long time & I couldn't be more excited, nervous or happy! I've been dreaming about the start day for weeks. Its a dream come true to be getting advice & guidance from Lilla Rogers & be learning about the industry alongside so many amazing & already established artists.
The artwork below was just a quick little attempt at illustrating my dreams about this new venture I'm undertaking. Its a bit Kate Mason meets Alice in Wonderland, all out of proportion and all...
Anyway, I'm working towards a career in illustration. A career that sees me working fulltime-ish along with my part-time graphics - from home - while my children are at school. Plus I'm happy to fit it in in all the other spaces I can muster. Its my passion. Its what I want to spend my work time & my free time doing.
How I get there, will be my greatest career challenge yet. The rest of my career [before kids] to date, in both the corporate world & federal public service came pretty easily & naturally. Its taken me until 40 along with a bunch of courage, to really believe it might be a possibility.
So I'm putting it out there & if its meant to be, the right things will occur in the universe along with me working hard & it will happen. Maybe not overnight, but thats ok. In 18 months, Buddy will start kindy & I'll have dedicated free days to work extra hard. I'll also need to start to earning more by then as 5 kids in private school/kindy is crushing.
Up until now, also without much effort, I've been able to sell my artwork online around the world. I've co-authored 2 books on scrapbooking, I've been a member of several design teams, I've designed a collection of painted/collage scrapbooking papers which all sold. I've exhibited at an art gallery & nearly sold all my pieces. That is all good stuff. I have a wide variety of customers buying my art from my Messy Miss Kate ETSY store and also an encouraging contingent that have supported me & purchased my artwork since I very first started selling it. For that I am extremely grateful. Thing is, there is only so much artwork one person can buy FROM THE SAME ARTIST to adorn their home walls. So I need to diversify.
The next obvious step to me, is to look at getting my artwork on other products. Merchandising. Its been a long time dream & always on the to do list to get my artwork printed on stuff! The minutes to make that part happen are few and far between. So I need to primarily work on my style & then 'get noticed' over the next few years. Or make it happen for myself. I'm very aware I need to start that process now.
So this years plan was to start making proper progress. Start treating my art practice like a professional career. I want to work on my signature style. I am happy creating the things that I am making currently but I feel there's places I want to go with it, there's more of 'me' I can put onto canvas. My mind is completely open & whilst I have some ideas of where I'd like my art to go, I'll grab any advice I can & run with it. If I create in my style, whatever that is, I will happily fit anyway I can into the industry.
These pictures here in this post are the variety of things I like to do. Its just a snippet to represent what I make. Painterly collages. Creating whimsical characters both digital & painted. I like houses, little creatures & I love birdies. I am obsessed with scandinavian design & am working on my first lot of scandinavian style canvases for my home & shop. And I'm making it a habit to make art practice part of my days & my weeks, every week.
I've chosen several art mentors [they have no idea, I am just studying their signature style & their volume of work]. And I've enrolled in several eCourses this year to see if any of them can help me explore my style a bit more. The course I start today, I think, will be the most important.
I'd like to think that maybe in 5 years I will have forged some sort of a career in illustrative arts & that I might look back to how that all happened for me. Others might want to know how that all happened too. So this is a good starting point. I'm leaping forward!
I hope you enjoy looking at some of the sorts of things I have done over the years in my art practice. And I hope it will help me recognise elements & progression of my style. Elements of my artwork that are uniquely Kate Mason. Hopefully somewhere in the middle of all of this artwork is my signature style.
I want to thank everyone that has bought a piece of art from me or encouraged me to pursue my dreams. It has meant the world to me. xoxo