This year I’ve entered Lilla Rogers’ Global Talent Search competition. The winner will be represented by Lilla for two years – definitely a career-changing prize. I’m not aiming that high though. Exactly 999 entries are in the running for round one, and fifty will make it into round two – that’s a one-in-twenty chance. Talk about a long shot.
The official Round 1 gallery goes up on Aug 26, but people have been posting their pieces around the web and a quick hashtag search for #GTS14, #globaltalentsearch, and #lillarogers turns up gold. These are my favorite pieces so far:
You can see them here:
Even from this tiny selection of that mass of 999 pieces you can see the wildly different various treatments of the subject.
My piece took around five days to make and I decided to go for a painting technique I had been meaning to try out for a while, based on solid shapes in saturated colors instead of the outlines I usually use. I tried to introduce texture, depth and rhythm to counter the general recent trend of flat and papery illustration styles. The theme was ‘little terrariums’ and the only other condition was to include a piece of text in some form. I was pretty sure that trend no. 1 would be ‘GROW’, and trend no. 2 would be ‘HOME’ – and I wasn’t disappointed. I struggled for a long time to come up with a phrase that feels friendly enough but avoids the most oft-repeated cliches. Finally I settled on ‘Travel far, come home often’, which felt like one of those phrases that keep popping up on inspirational posters from time to time but I couldn’t recall actually having seen it before. It combined the cozy feelings of home and family with the constant quiet yearning for travel and adventure that grips us all from time to time, particularly during the summer.
I knew I wanted to hand-draw the lettering, and I was a bit worried how that was going to go, but I hit upon a style I liked pretty early on, so I guess all those lettering classes on Skillshare are finally paying off a little, haha.
Painting the succulents was a lot of fun because I let myself go wild with the colors and focus mostly on giving the piece a breezy and sunlit feel. When making patterns I often try to constrain myself to a limited number of colors to ensure easy screen printing, so it was kind of dizzying to work with as many colors as I liked. The final file had just over 100 different color layers.
I feel good about the piece – I pushed myself beyond my boundaries and made something a little different from all the things I’d made before. The main reason I’d love getting into the top fifty (besides the obvious, haha) is to have a crack at one more professional brief. I find that working to other people’s briefs stretches an entirely different skill set compared to working on your own ideas.
This is the final piece I sent, godspeed to it! If anyone would like me to make a process blog about the piece or if you have any questions on how parts of it were made, feel free to let me know in the comments.