Congratulations to Aga Kobylinska

I had the pleasure of sending some good news today to Aga Kobylinska, the winner of the Make It In Design Module 3 Giveaway! Aga is a surface pattern designer based in Warsaw, Poland.

"It’s wonderful, vibrant city, full of fantastic opportunities," she writes. "I love to live and work here. But I’m also addicted to travels! I’m constantly fascinated by the beauty of nature, cultural diversity and human creativity."

When I asked her how she felt about being the recipient of the free class, in which she'll learn how to monetize her surface pattern designs, Aga replied, "I've never felt ready enough to send you my portfolio for review so I'm amazed by your email even more." I think that's a very common feeling... we never think our portfolio is good enough or ready or finished. I'm glad that Aga and the dozens of other artists took the leap to share their work with all of us. Having the confidence to share your work is the first step in building a successful career.

Follow Aga on Instagram and see more from her portfolio.

If you're wondering how Aga was selected, I read all 77 comments and clicked over to the participants' links. (Remember to read contest directions carefully! It is stated clearly in italics that to enter you must include a link to your website or instagram. If you don't have a portfolio yet, then you're not quite ready for this class.) From reviewing the links, I narrowed it down to 12 of the best portfolios and then the team at Make it in Design selected the winner.

Make it in Design: Course Giveaway!

Together with our friends at Make it in Design, we are offering a very special prize to ONE very lucky reader - one free place on the next Module 3 class of The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design worth $CAD680 (£359)!

Module 3 – ‘Monetising your designs’, is a five-week online course where you will learn everything you need to know to monetise your designs! The classroom can be accessed around the clock so you can join from anywhere in the world, and fit the course into your busy life. 

The course details the major money-making opportunities available to you as a designer, including; freelancing, licensing, selling outright, manufacturing and more! Module 3 also includes free access to leading trend forecasting site WGSN for a limited period AND the Make it in Design little black book of industry contacts!

Course alumni have gone on to launch their own design studios, win national awards, be featured in design books, on leading blogs and more. Fancy a bit of this action too? Read on to find out how to enter.

The class includes the following:

• How to identify multiple streams of income for your designs
• How to sell and license your designs (what they don’t teach you at art school!)
• The ins and outs of freelancing
• How to get into manufacturing your own product
• How to choose the right distribution channel for you
• How to negotiate a contract that is right for you
• How not to get ripped off
• How to manage your time and money
• How to manage stock levels
• How to get a job in design
• How to stay motivated

Plus:

• How to create a pattern portfolio to show to potential clients
• How to apply patterns to mock-up product templates and room sets
• How to turn a placement print into a technical repeat for wallpaper or fabric
• How to design a Trade Show Brochure in Adobe Illustrator

Invaluable industry information such as colour print specifications for both paper goods and textiles.

You will do this by actually creating a mini portfolio for potential licensing clients; a trade show plan and a business development plan.

PLUS you will learn everything you need to know about trade shows (getting in, getting ready and getting customers!)

AND the Make it in Design money-can’t-buy bonus little black book of industry contacts!

And if that wasn’t enough, you also get full access to leading trend forecasting site WGSN for 90 days (this alone is worth more than the entire cost of the course!

THE PRIZE

One place on The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design – Module 3 ‘Monetising Your Designs’ runs for 5 weeks from April 4, 2016, delivered online) 

How to enter: 

Check out the course website to find out more about it, then head back here and leave a comment at the bottom of the post in 50 words telling us why this course would benefit you right now and how it could transform your career. You must include a link to your website or Instagram to be considered.

Deadline: March 14 Any comments left after this time will not be counted. The winner will be jointly selected by UPPERCASE editor Janine Vangool and The Make it in Design team and announced on March 17.

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions:

This competition is to win a place on Module 3: Monetising your designs starting April 4, 2016. One entry allowed per person. The winning place is not transferrable – either by date or to another individual and must not be sold on and no cash alternative will be offered in the event that the winner is unable to use the prize for any reason. By entering this competition you agree for your entry to be promoted on the Make it in Design and Uppercase website and their associated social networks. If you have already signed up for the April Module 3 class and are selected as the winner you will be offered a refund. 

Learn with Molly Hatch

So many UPPERCASE contributors and featured artists are teaching online classes these days so I've rounded up learning opportunities that will enhance the content you've discovered in UPPERCASE magazine. Just go to the "classes" tab in the navigation above to see more.

Molly Hatch has a new online course that launches today! (But you can start anytime.) I'll let Molly tell you about it:

Are you taking ceramic classes for fun and looking for some new surface techniques? Are you an art teacher looking for good techniques to share with your students? Are you new to ceramics and looking for fun ways to create surfaces in clay? Do you own my New Ceramic Surface Design book and are looking for video tutorials that compliment the projects in the book? Then this is the right class for you!

This 5-week online workshop will begin September 29th, 2015 with an open ongoing enrolment. This online workshop uses Molly Hatch's book New Ceramic Surface Design as a text to cover a wide range of surface design techniques for ceramics. Working at your own pace, each week for 5 weeks, participants will have access to an online demonstration video for new techniques, downloads of worksheets, templates and recipes as well as a second video each week featuring an interview with artists featured in the book about their artwork and the techniques they use. This workshop is great for anyone who has clay basics and is ready to make some exciting surfaces! Once you have enrolled in this workshop, you will have continued access, (forever!) there is no end to the learning!

With a basic knowledge of ceramics, this class will help you push to the next level with ways to approach the ceramic surface!

HOW IT WORKS: Working at your own pace, each week for 5 weeks, participants will have access to an online demonstration video for new techniques. Each week there are downloads, artwork templates and recipes as well as a second video featuring an interview with artists such as Lisa Congdon and Ben Carter.  Most of the artists interviewed are featured in my book and will talk about their careers, what inspires them and how they use the techniques demonstrated each week in their own studio practice.

Visit Molly's website for more details. Sign up here.

Win a spot in The Ultimate Portfolio Builder! (Comments Closed)

See the winner here.

Together with our friends at Make it in Design, we are offering a very special prize to ONE very lucky reader - one free place on the next The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design – The Ultimate Portfolio Builder course worth $895 (£579).

Places on this course are strictly limited and are highly sought after, but one person from this competition will be guaranteed a place! 

The Ultimate Portfolio Builder is an advanced seven-week online professional surface pattern design course, consisting of an intense five-week class followed by two weeks of design reviews. The classroom is accessible 24/7 so you can join from anywhere in the world, and fit the course into your busy life.

This powerful course will give you all the tools and advice you need to grow, refine and strengthen your professional design portfolio, make your designs more sellable and give you the fast-track to trade show success.

Brought to you in association with Printsource, one of the top surface and textile design shows in the world, this course will provide you with exclusive insight to help you secure the right buyers for your work, deal effectively with clients, get trade show ready and discover the secrets to landing your dream work. Plus one lucky person on the course will win a free booth at Printsource Aug 2016 and $1,000 to get you to New York! 

Course alumni have gone on to launch their own design studios, win national awards, be featured in design books, on leading blogs and more. Fancy a bit of this action too? Read on to find out how to enter.

The Ultimate Portfolio Builder includes:

  • Five weeks of exceptional in-depth teaching on subject matter (objects, characters, nature, geometrics, typography and abstract), colour and media, the power of recolouring, designing for occasions, genre and style, audience and market and so much more

  • A series of advanced design challenges to help you grow as a designer and build a strong, rounded portfolio

  • An array of LIVE briefs from real companies looking to sign the next big talent – is it you?

  • A series of video based technical masterclasses from guest designers on typography, characters, photography, mixed media collages and more, to hone your professional design skills

  • Invaluable individual work reviews from Rachael Taylor, Janine Burrows and Khristian A. Howell

  • Insight into the practicalities of managing a growing design studio

  • Trade show planning advice direct from Printsource New York

  • Opportunity to put questions to Rachael Taylor

  • 90 days’ free access to the top trend forecasting site WGSN

PLUS

  • One lucky person on the course will win a free booth at Printsource New York, August 2016 and $1,000 towards the cost of travel to the show

  • An incredible four-part creative brief from Printsource to help you attract the clients you want and the kind of work you dream of

  • Bonus material on managing your finances, how to be your own career strategist and thinking outside the box

  • Access to a huge library of textures to give your work depth and distinction

  • Access to exclusively styled room set images ready-made for you to render your designs on

  • A selection of colour palettes intended to help you push your colour choices

  • And a whole lot more – this course really is jam-packed full of goodness!

 

The prize: ONE place on The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design – The Ultimate Portfolio Builder course starting September 21, 2015, delivered on-line.

How to enter: 

Check out the course website to find out more about it, then come back to this post and leave a comment with a link to your website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so that we can contact you and write in no more than 50 words why this course would benefit you right now and how it could transform your design career.

Deadline: 5pm GMT on Friday September 18, 2015. Any comments left after this time will not be counted. 

Good luck!


Terms and Conditions: This competition is to win a place on The Ultimate Portfolio Builder course from Make it in Design starting September 21, 2015. One entry allowed per person. The winning place is not transferrable – either by date or to another individual and must not be sold on and no cash alternative will be offered in the event that the winner is unable to use the prize for any reason. By entering this competition you agree to your entry to be promoted on the Uppercase and Make it in Design website and their associated social networks. The winner will be jointly selected by Janine Vangool and Rachael Taylor and announced by Sunday September 20. The judges’ decision is final.

My picks on BRIKA

This silk scarf by Shana Frase pairs well with the colour charts article in this issue.

This silk scarf by Shana Frase pairs well with the colour charts article in this issue.

These bangles are made by artisans in Swaziland, but could be a good idea for older magazines (if you could bear to cut one up!)

These bangles are made by artisans in Swaziland, but could be a good idea for older magazines (if you could bear to cut one up!)

These earrings by Upper Metal Class remind me of the colour wheel motif on the current issue's spine pattern.

These earrings by Upper Metal Class remind me of the colour wheel motif on the current issue's spine pattern.

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I've got a guest post up on BRIKA today! Here are some other picks that match up with the current issue. UPPERCASE readers can enjoy 15% off their purchases on BRIKA with the code UPPERCASE15 until September 1, 2014.

In Tags

inspiring how-to videos by our friends at Creativebug

Earlier this year, I had the chance to visit the Creativebug headquarters in San Francisco. Kelly Wilkinson is the editorial director and a co-founder of this subscription-based online video workshop service. Over a lovely outdoor lunch on a (rare) sunny January afternoon, we had the chance to share our content wish lists and compare notes. Not surprisingly, we are fans of quite a few of the same people and things—and we thought that our respective customers might be, too.

There are many videos on Creativebug that relate to UPPERCASE in one way or another. Molly Hatch, for example is the cover artist of our current issue and through a Creativebug video you can learn how to apply your designs to ceramics and glassware.

I invite you to watch the beautifully produced free preview videos on the Creativebug affiliate page that I've curated specifically for UPPERCASE. If you enjoy learning new crafts or are inspired by watching others create, please click through the page links and sign up for a membership.

In Tags

a visit to Creativebug

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One of the best things about being the editor of UPPERCASE magazine is the doors that it opens. I love being able to meet with creative businesses and get a glimpse behind the scenes. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting Creativebug. If you're not familiar with Creativebug, they offer an entertaining and informative selection of craft video tutorials. From crochet, collage, quilting and a lot more, there is an ever-growing wealth of content that can be accessed through a monthly subscription. I enrolled in their Creative Brand e-course last year and it was fantastic. And though I don't have a lot of time to craft these days, I like to play a video on my laptop while I work on other things... vicarious crafting through video-watching!

Welcome to Creativebug's creative space...

Kelly Wilkinson is the editorial director and a co-founder of Creativebug. We met last year at the Makerie (where we were both extremely busy) so it was nice to have a relaxing lunch. I am grateful that Kelly and Liana were able to take time out of their schedules for a visit.

Kelly Wilkinson is the editorial director and a co-founder of Creativebug. We met last year at the Makerie (where we were both extremely busy) so it was nice to have a relaxing lunch. I am grateful that Kelly and Liana were able to take time out of their schedules for a visit.

Their office has lots of fun handmade touches, like these tissue paper decorations.

Their office has lots of fun handmade touches, like these tissue paper decorations.

As you can imagine, a great deal of work goes into editing videos. Here is the editing crew.

As you can imagine, a great deal of work goes into editing videos. Here is the editing crew.

I spy UPPERCASE issue #14... and a lot of other great books!

I spy UPPERCASE issue #14... and a lot of other great books!

An impromptu meeting to plan out the content course for the coming months.

An impromptu meeting to plan out the content course for the coming months.

Props, projects and necessary tools of the creative and crafty trade.

Props, projects and necessary tools of the creative and crafty trade.

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Creativebug has a set room dedicated to shooting videos. Courtney Cerruti (below) styles the room to suit each instructor. The shadowbox collages on the wall are ones that she made during her own how-to session.

Creativebug has a set room dedicated to shooting videos. Courtney Cerruti (below) styles the room to suit each instructor. The shadowbox collages on the wall are ones that she made during her own how-to session.

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The Creativebug viewer and UPPERCASE readers are kindred spirits. We both love the creative process, setting our hands to work on making marvellous things. I look forward to collaborating with them to help grow our subscribers and share the love of handmade.

Building a Creative Brand: review, week 2

It's week 2 of Creativebug's Building a Creative Brand online class (you can still register and watch the first couple of videos to catch up)  and I am pleased that I signed up for this course. This week's video (over 40 minutes!) was particularly good, delving into pricing, business plans and financial considerations. It was really Todd Gibson's show (of Oliver + S), he had a wealth of great advice and I look forward to the online chat with him and Liesl on Thursday that is part of the course benefits.

I signed up for this course for reasons I assume are not typical of other participants. I do have a business brand that is working fairly well and have been at this for a few years, but I am interested in online classes since I hope to offer some from UPPERCASE one day. One of the best ways to learn is from the perspective of a student. I am also interested in Creativebug and how this company markets and presents its content. (One minor disappointment is that the course downloads are not especially well-designed and don't do a service to furthering Creativebug's own creative brand, though the content is adequate.) 

As a business owner, I could also use some motivation and mentorship—Christine Schmidt of Yellow Owl Workshop mentioned last week that being a boss is tough. And in my experience, it can feel pretty lonely, too, at times. It is difficult to ultimately be in charge of all the decisions, it can get tiresome and draining and running a business can certainly take over from the creativity that started the business in the first place. Today's video addressed some of this and I'm taking some of Todd's advice to heart. He also addressed issues of pricing products which was particularly useful as I bring something new to the UPPERCASE shop shortly.

Another fringe benefit of the course structure was being introduced to Mightybell, the community platform that the course uses for chats and conversations. I've been looking for something like this for UPPERCASE for a while and Mightybell's aesthetics and functionality is quite appealing. (And it's free!) So I've started a fledgling community and am pleased that we have 50 members so far in just a few days. Join us and we'll develop this place together as wonderful way to connect and share around specific projects or interests.

connecting

Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey earlier this month. It was important to get your feedback about incorporating ads on the blog.  As you can see from the sidebar, I'm starting to incorporate ads and affiliate ads. It is necessary to help support the content here on the blog and in the print magazine. Our ads are affordable (starting at $25) and all the details are on our Advertise page.


Some of the results of the survey:

88% of responders said that advertising could be in print and online.

"I have no problem with ads in your online presence. I prefer UPPERCASE with ads to no UPPERCASE at all."

 
82% of the responders were either subscribers or purchase copies of the print magazine in the store.

"I like feeling connected to UPPERCASE in my daily life, just like I have the creative and curious pennant on my wall, the magazines always close to hand, reading the blog and following UPPERCASE on social media is one more way of feeling connected and, in a way, part of the story." 

"Because I love the print publication so much, the online site is like little bites to get me through to the next edition in my mailbox."

 

 For the kinds of ads you'd prefer to see online: 

41% would like to see ads from creative services, designers and illustrators
39% would like shopping links like Etsy shops, indie artisans and makers
8% wanted brand names and no one really liked "responsive" ads.

 

"My Dad said way back (he was in advertising when I was a kid) that ads are only ads when they're not of interest to you. Otherwise they're information. I'd prefer not to see brand names (generic Target/blockbuster movies/car ads) or responsive ads (which again, I assume are probably generic). But if the ads were 'chosen' with the same care as the content, I doubt they'd be seen as ads at all."

"Keep up the good work! I don't think ads would detract from what you are doing online—I think people realize that bills have to get paid."

"What I like about the magazine/blog is that the focus isn't on consuming, so if ads are going to make an appearance it would be great if they were consistent with the small and creative vibe."

 

UPPERCASE has always been about making, doing, participating, creating community... so we will endeavour to include advertisers who suit that outlook. I hope that many of our talented and savvy readers will decide to advertise on the blog—it would be the ideal way to connect with an engaged and interested audience.

The affiliate links included are of services or sites that I use in creating UPPERCASE and/or support creative entrepreneurship and the UPPERCASE community in some way.

Thank you.

 

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Friends along the path

I'm looking forward to the Creativebug "Building A Creative Brand" class that starts next week. As a creative entrepreneur, it feels like I'm always forging my own path (the hard way). It is inspiring and motivating to learn from other creative women who have had success in their creative endeavours... to benefit not only from their sage advice, but the confirmation that that you're on the right path can be valuable as well. Keep going!

Use the code UPPERCASE to get early bird pricing extended to October 13th. The series starts off October 14th and other than the release of each subsequent video, the pace is up to you. Click here to learn more about the course. 

Building a Creative Brand

As a creative entrepreneur, I've admired Creativebug since their launch in 2012. And although I'm firmly and lovingly rooted in print and paper, I consider video and video editing my hobby (I just happen to use UPPERCASE as a guinea pig testing ground for video projects.) I got to see the Creativebug team in action earlier this year at the Makerie and it was fun to see them at work and to learn a few new techniques through observation of their process and watching the finished videos.

Earlier this week, I saw that they were offering a 5-week video series called Building a Creative Brand. With instructors Lisa Congdon, Christine Schmidt (Yellow Owl Workshop), Heather Ross, Liesl Gibson and Melanie Falick heading the course, I signed up right away. I'd been meaning to sign up for a while, and this course was the incentive that I needed.

Coincidentally, Kelly Wilkinson, one of the founders of the company, emailed me a few days later to ask if I'd share the workshop information on the UPPERCASE blog.  If you're interested, please sign up and we'll take the course together! 

The early bird price is $125, and Creativebug members get a special price of $99. You can subscribe through October 6th for $9.99 a month and then you'll also get the member pricing on the Creative Brand Series. (Use the code UPPERCASE to get early bird pricing extended from October 7-13th.) The series starts off October 14th and other than the release of each subsequent video, the pace is up to you. Click here to learn more about the course. 

Since the blog is taking steps into hosting advertising on the sidebar, I will also be providing affiliate links to services or products that I use. If you click on the Creativebug links provided in this post or on the sidebar and proceed to signup for a course, UPPERCASE will receive a small commission. Thank you.

If you enjoy "startup" stories like I do, here's the backstory on Creativebug: