Blue Print + SURTEX = 100% SUCCESS!

We had an absolutely amazing time in NYC at Blue Print and SURTEX. It was great to see old friends and to make some new ones. Our little agency sold or licensed art for use in all these categories: bedding, greeting cards, journals, tea towels, decorative pillows, wallpaper and many more. Plus, we received loads of smiles and compliments. It was very gratifying.
 
I was so proud of my wonderful artists Rae Ritchie, Anisa Makhoul, Jennifer Orkin Lewis, and Kelly Angelovic who were able to attend the shows and share the excitement with me. (Maybe next time we can include the equally excellent Miriam Bos, Rachel Grant, Lauren Lowen, Jill Howarth, Bee Brown, and Janna Krupinksi.)
 

 
I wanted to spend time with each of you individually, but sometimes there was literally a line of people waiting to see us (!) and I wasn’t able to get to everyone. I’m truly sorry about that.
 
 

If you purchased some art at the shows, I’ll process that for you very soon. If you requested a custom gallery I’ll get back to you with that just as quickly as possible.
 
Thank you so much for making this our best year ever! - Jennifer

We keep our little agency small on purpose.

It allows us to really focus on our artists and to give personal attention to our clients. That's why it's a REALLY BIG DEAL when we add a new artist to our roster. Today I'm proud as can be to introduce Janna Krupinski!

Janna joins our awesomely talented team to bring us to a total of ten amazing illustrators. Just check out her work to see why I'm so pleased to bring Janna into the fold. Please join us in making her feel welcome.

Come see Janna's debut at Blue Print and SURTEX this month!

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And there's more where those came from! If you want to see what else Janna Krupinski has been up to, just let me know.

Kindly, Jennifer

Voting has ended. We have 1705 votes I am very proud to say. Fedex announces top 100 on 13 APR + winners on 25 APR. Stay tuned! Thank you all for your support!

Would you take a few seconds to help us out?I hate to ask, but I could really use your help.

Federal Express is running a contest for small businesses. We entered, and I think we have a good chance of winning.

The prize is a cash grant which we would use to pay for international travel. It would be great if we could exhibit at some European trade shows. But that kind of thing is so costly we haven’t been able to afford it yet.

You can help us achieve our goal by voting for us in the contest. 

The best part is, you don’t need to buy anything or make any kind of commitment. Just follow the directions and enter your email address. I’d be surprised if it took you more than 30 seconds.

You can vote every 24 hours if you think of it. Every vote helps and we really appreciate your participation.

Just click this link to vote.

If we win you can bet I’ll let everyone know right away so you can share in the excitement. 

Thank you so much! – Jennifer

Where would artists be without inspiration?

Where would artists be without inspiration? Whether it’s a spring flower, a sunny day, or a cat napping near a window, artists draw inspiration every day from their experiences and the things they see.

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If you’re really lucky, like our own Jennifer Orkin Lewis, you can draw inspiration from an amazing trip to India! The sights she is seeing are awe-inspiring and we’re sure that they will inspire Jennifer to create some wonderful new images of her own. Just take a look at the some the amazing photographs from her journey. Enjoy! – (the other) Jennifer

Lauren's My Super Sweet Scented Sketchbook for Klutz Books!

Wow, I'm so happy to show some interior pages of my new book out with Klutz, My Super Sweet Scented Sketchbook! 

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Lauren Lowen's perfectly cute illustrations bring this terrific new KLUTZ book to life! The Super Sweet Scented Sketchbook (complete with scented markers)!
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This was an absolute dream project and I couldn't be happier with how the finished product came out. Klutz was an AMAZING client to work with and their design team took my art to a whole new level! BONUS: it comes with scented markers that have faces and even EARS. How cute is that?  Enjoy! — Lauren

Inspiration from The Potteries

Hello, Rachel Grant here writing from a rather damp, cold North Staffordshire in the UK.
 
I wanted to share with you a little bit about this area I live in and the way in which it inspires some of my artwork. 

Books and catalogues full of manufactured designs

If you have had a peek at my portfolio you will notice that I have a bit of a passion for painting images that include a piece of pottery or two! 

Burleigh ware in the museum with the original office windows
Burleigh transfer prints

North Staffordshire is known affectionately as "The Potteries" because historically this area has been an important centre for ceramics since the industrial revolution. Wedgwood, Doulton, Spode, Minton and many more all built their legacies here. The iconic bottle kiln is a familiar sight for me and although a lot of the local factories have been lost, there has been significant investment in regenerating some of our historical sites into heritage centres that have become wonderful places to visit, explore and be inspired by!

Iconic Potteries Bottle Kiln

One of the closest factories to me, only a twenty-minute walk away, is Middleport Pottery where the wonderful Burleighware is still manufactured today. The factory’s historical character has been preserved and recently a visitor centre has been created around it, including museum areas, displays and a lovely café with a cosy wood burner - and of course all Burleigh tea sets! It has become one of my favourite places to visit, mooch around, photograph and sketch at. 

In the heart of the old factory

When I was younger and learning about our local history I would often imagine myself as one of the paintresses or even one of our famous designers like Clarice Cliff or Susie Cooper. When I am busy at my desk now, I still channel a little bit of this dream as I paint the pottery pieces in my illustrations. I am particularly drawn to blue and white pottery which we have produced plenty of in the Potteries but also of course the beautiful Delftware from the Netherlands offers boundless inspiration. 

Cafe Table at the Heritage Centre

In my most recent series of artworks I decided to give this inspiration centre stage and created a little collection of paintings with a piece of blue and white pottery in each one. All of these original works on handmade paper sold and flew off to new homes before the New Year, but they are now available to license. 

My blue and white collection
My blue and white collection continued

While I paint these pots into my illustrations my mind often wanders to the (unfeasibly dark) wood clad designer’s room at Middleport Pottery Factory and I dream of continuing the Potteries legacy in my own small way by designing patterns for a range of ceramics. That really would be a dream come true. So you see these little still life pieces hold more than just those flowers and the foliage, for me they hold a little piece of my heritage.

On my desk - pattern work in progress

Thank you so much for allowing me to share this with you. Until next time, Rachel

Miriam Bos's the Hidden Garden Collection for Birch Fabrics

I am so happy to announce that the Hidden Garden collection made with Birch Fabrics is finally open for orders.

Last year Birch Fabrics approached me to create a fabric collection inspired by ‘The Secret Garden’. A classic novel (1910) by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s a beautiful story about the friendship of a girl and two boys, who find a secret garden and work hard to make it bloom again. Of course, this is only a very modest summary.  I’d love to encourage you to read it some time, if you don’t know it yet.

I was listening to the book when I was working on this collection, and it literally got me in the mood. It’s been such a dream project to work on. I love working with Birch Fabrics. These are real kind people who put great effort and love in producing beautiful fabrics.

A few weeks ago Birch Fabrics attended the International Quilt Market in Houston. They shared a few photos on their Instagram account, and I loved seeing my artwork making it to actual products like onesies for baby’s, dresses, pillows, and curtains.

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Birch Fabrics also sent me a huge box of fabrics, and I really wanted to share some photos to give you an impression of their beautiful and intense colors and detail. I love the quality of their fabrics.

The fabrics are online available at Fabricworm.com and on the website of Birch Fabrics. Birch Fabrics also wrote a lovely blog about the collection!

Scroll through the gallery below for more imagery.

Enjoy - Miriam  

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Ready, Set PRINTSOURCE - here we come!

After a very successful show last year, look for artist’s agent Jennifer Nelson to return to Printsource in New York City on January 10th and 11th, 2017. Jennifer will be there representing the terrifically talented illustrators of Jennifer Nelson Artists: Anisa MakhoulBee BrownJennifer Orkin LewisJill HowarthKelly AngelovicLauren LowenMiriam BosRachel Grant and Rae Ritchie

“This is one show that we come back to every year. It has been good for us before and now we have some new artists to introduce, so we expect it will be even better,” said Jennifer Nelson from JNA’s Boston office. “These days it’s not uncommon to do business with a client for years without ever actually meeting in person. So we relish these occasions when we can meet face-to-face with the wonderful people who buy our art. Sure, it’s business, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves.”

With an expanded roster that now includes nine amazing illustrators, Jennifer looks forward to dazzling art buyers with a wealth of stunning new images. JNA’s artists specialize in a kind of hand-crafted look that conveys a warmth and sincerity that’s hard to find in today’s digital world. Although each artists has her own unique style, all of them create works that are quirky, feminine and fun. 

“It will be great to see our favorite customers again this year, and to meet some of them for the first time. Of course, the best part is meeting new people and making new friends! The art attracts people to our booth and that naturally starts a conversation.” Attendees should make an appointment with Jennifer in advance, to avoid disappointment. “If we miss you in January we’ll have to wait until August, and that’s just too long!”

Jennifer Nelson Artists is still a relative newcomer to the surface design world. But since their launch in January of 2015 they have been creating piles of new art and making literally hundreds of licensing deals. “We’ve been busy!” said Jennifer.

Printsource is the main resource for surface and textile design for America's major manufacturers, retailers and catalogs, covering such industries as men's, children's and women's apparel, bed and bath, kitchen and tabletop, paper goods and stationery, wall coverings, window fashions and other surface and textile design applications.

Rae Ritchie’s Gift Guide Cover Design Work with the Los Angeles Times!

Happy holidays dear friends! I am over the moon excited to share a project I worked on for the Los Angeles Times last month! When Jennifer contacted me about a project with them, I was so excited, and I admit, a little nervous. When she said they wanted a cover design for their holiday gift guide AND an illustration for an article, I was pinching myself. I’ve always wanted to work with the Times, so this was really a dream come true! Here’s a look into my process for this exciting project.

In the idea stage, I stick to little thumbnails, just to flesh out the ideas in my head before I commit to an entire page. The client said they wanted to focus to be in hand lettering with some imagery that gets L.A. and Cali-handcrafted gifts across. 

When I decided on a basic layout that I liked, I proceeded to sketch it out for real! I then sent over to the LA Times team along with a color palette. They had a couple little tweaks as far as landmarks and placement. Once those changes were made, I was ready to proceed with the final art!

This is where the fun part begins; the painting! For this, I painted everything separately, then placed it together in Photoshop. This way, I have more flexibility in terms of layout and color tweaking, if needed.

It was a "star on top of the tree" moment when I added the Los Angles Times logo to the final art!

I followed a very similar process for the article illustration, beginning with a sketch, painting it up, then finessing in Photoshop!

Happy holidays everyone! Cheers <3 Rae

Peter Pan, illustrated by Miriam Bos

I received a great little package in my mailbox today!

My copy of "First Stories – Peter Pan" arrived, and I am so exited to share it with you. The book has little mechanisms hidden inside which make it especially fun for toddlers.

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Peter Pan was really a lovely topic to illustrate for a younger audience. And I’d LOVE to illustrate it for an older audience as well some day.

When I was a child I enjoyed the story of Peter Pan and Wendy and the adventures with the Lost Boys. While working on the illustrations I listened to the audio book and had quite a chuckle at the typical British humour and way of storytelling. I loved the character of Wendy’s dad too. He usually doesn’t get much attention in the stories. For the little ones, this book is a great introduction to a boy named Peter Pan, who didn’t want to grow up. It was a fun challenge to try and capture the characters and part of the storyline in four spreads only. My favourite illustration to work on was the children’s bedroom with all the old-fashioned toys and furniture.

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The book is available at Amazon and possibly in your local book store too! Please enjoy the little movie below.

Wishing you a great and magical day! “Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.” - Miriam