Book review: I Just Like to Make Things

January is all about making changes and getting to grips with all those things that you keep meaning to do and so this book by Lilla Rogers is the perfect January read.  I Just Like to Make Things is a book to find out what steps you can take to be better at your chosen creative subject.  Perfect for seeing whether you want to turn your passion into your job.

Firstly a bit about the Author, Lilla Rogers runs the Lilla Rogers Studio in the US which is an illustration agency representing artists in the US and across the world. They license and sell work for surface design, and accept commissions for editorial, graphic design, corporate and advertising clients.  Having an agent is more of an American thing to do to help you sell your work, or if you are a traditional artist in the sense of selling artwork.  For people who make things or are running things as a sideline, then having an agent would perhaps feel like a weird thing to do.  Although it can be great to get your work out there to a larger audience with smaller effort from yourself.  Its a bit like adding yourself to Etsy or Not on the High Street, as it gives you a wider scope but without having to market yourself as much as you would normally have to.

Anyway, back to the book.

The How to Make Great Art section gives you 12 steps to help your craft.  Lilla suggests that before you promote yourself you need to get really good at what you do.  Keep learning your craft and exploring, alongside keeping positive and pushing yourself to work harder.  Working for yourself means having the motivation and enjoyment of what you do and the 12 steps keep that in the forefront.

One of the main reasons people start their own creative business is to make some money on the side of their day jobs or just start up their own business doing what they love all the time.  In the book, Lilla gives you a guide to making that money and helps you remind yourself of why you do what you do, with some notes to write down on these pages.

Throughout the book their are exercises to see what drives you as an artist and get you thinking about your work.  The Nail polish colour game is great as it gets you to think of 5 colours that jump out at you out of the colours on display.  It helps you to think of the colours that you really like and perhaps choose some which are different than the usual thing you would go for.  Sometimes taking yourself out of the comfort zone can be good.

There are interviews too with different artists and creative people, all of which Lilla has represented somewhere along the line.  They give you advice on how they started, what drives them and how to make more money with your artwork.

The book has so much to read and take in, all things which can make you think about your work in a whole new way.  It is spiral bound which I always love as it means you can open the pages and not have to break the spine or have things holding it down to keep the pages open.

Throughout there are some great photos of Lilla's own work and her studio, which the nosey part of me loves.  The fact that the main points for Lilla are that your work should be the best that it can be, before you start to sell it, is a really refreshing change.   Most books highlight the way in which to sell your work, rather than the product itself.

As this book is from an American Author it is geared towards the US market and so some of the information and links are for US based companies and so you would have to research similar companies in your own country.  Also, the market for creative work would be different in another country and so you would have to consider these differences too.

This is a great book for getting your brain thinking and widens your scope for how and why you should be getting your work out there.  It is nicely designed and laid out and so there Graphic Design skills clearly were utilised by the publishers here.  It would be great to have a book like this from a UK perspective, but I guess we are still catching up with all the US creators out there and so it may well come soon.

Until then, its great to get some insight from someone with nearly 30 years experience.

Love it