Bunny Apple Love



How are the holidays already here? I have so much to do and so little time! I hope you have your act more together than I do!

Have you seen Tammie's new website?

I have 2 new holiday themed clip art sets for sale in the shop.

Check out my monthly trend reports over on The Ink Nest.

Nicky has some really cute 2014 Tea Towel calendars for sale in her Spoonflower shop.

Emily drew a really cute cookie themed December desktop calendar.

And last, I made this video for MATS part B.

Make Art That Sells Part B – Week 5 – Party Paper

Where do I even begin? 7 years ago I quit my desk job and decided I would make art and sell it on etsy. Over the years I have made greeting cards, designed wedding invitations, created whimsical logos and illustrated a children's book. All the while I worked at drawing every single day. When Lilla Rogers announced that she and Beth designed a class for illustrators that teaches you how to make art for all the different markets (paper goods, home decor, editorial, ect.), I knew this would be a life changing opportunity. I signed up the second I could (although there was a hesitation when I found out the cost, thanks for convincing me Tammie!) And now I can't believe I am saying that the two part Make Art That Sells course has ended. I looked forward to this class more than anything this past year and it flew by in an instant. I wrote my review of Part A over on the Aeolidia blog - you can read it here. Part B was even better! Every market covered was a market I would want to work in. Yes, even scrapbooking. And now look at me, I have five new pieces of amazing work to add to my portfolio.

Here is my final piece for the class. Party paper is a FUN market. Lilla's theme was Ukrainian Folk Art. I took my own twist on the subject and came up with this folksy garden party. During the lesson this week, Lilla noted that birds and floras do really well. So, I took that knowledge and used it to create this plate, napkin and cup set. I wanted to go out with a bang and I am pretty darn happy with it!


My work has grown leaps and bounds thanks to this course. • I can now create work for every market and make it a denise holmes! • I can whip up an amazing piece of art with a tight deadline. Granted there are a few sleepless nights and a heavy eye twitch going on. • I know the best way to start an assignment - icons, icons, icons! • I now know that a piece needs to be able to stand out even as a tiny thumbnail. Bet you never thought about that! • I now know what art directors are looking for. • I met a bunch of amazing, creative and talented people! • I can see a huge difference in my work - even a difference from part A to part B!

Lilla and Beth thank you so much for this class. There is nothing else like it! Thank you Lilla for sharing all your knowledge and insightful reviews!

You can check out the class here. Visit some other of my talented classmates Emily, Tammie and Flora.

Make Art That Sells Part B – Week 4 – Editorial

Week 4 ended and I got sad knowing next week is the very last of Make Art That Sells....ever! It is bittersweet, but I will leave my thoughts for next weeks post. Editorial work is something I have a small bit of experience in. Lilla says Editorial work is about creating art for editorial and books. I always thought of illustrating for books as its own market, but now I get that editorial work is a form of storytelling and well that goes perfectly along with books. Our assignment this week was to create a map of the city we live in. I instantly thought about Chicago and all the great little coffee roasters popping up around town.

denise_holmes_chicago_1b_week4 mats_map2

Coffee is pretty much a necessity with me. I do get that slight headache if I don't have my morning cup right away, yes that is addiction, my friends. I started drinking coffee at my grandmother's house when I was way too young. Granted it was probably a full cup of half and half, sugar and a drop of coffee. But it was delicious and I have been hooked ever since. You know that is probably why I am so short! Needless to say it is no surprise coffee was on my mind as I created this map. Because of the coverage of Chicago and the size of the page we were given, I decided to leave off the streets. I like the idea of this map being more of a story than a maps intended use. Plus everyone has a smart phone now - when you come to visit and seek out one of these roasters, you can just google map it.

It was a fun week with a fun assignment, now I must go and make a cup!


Well, instead of being productive and getting any work done while my daughter naps, I decided to create a few patterns from some of the icons in my scrapbooking assignment. I love me some fun patterns! mercipattern1




I was lucky to be interviewed by the lovely Kate over on her blog - KMericks. Check it out if you would like to read more about mwah!

And so much goodness coming out of Make Are that Sells. Did you see Dotty Wren Studio? A collective with 4 of some of my very favorite artists! Congratulations you guys!

Now really, I have to go get some work done!