FolioFocus Week 3: NEW Nautical!


Land Ahoy!

Last week’s focus was Nautical with a lovely new design perspective from our trend update. I’m so impressed with all the interpretations, I’m sure you will be too.

Alicia Cambridge

Alicia Cambridge

Next week is out catchup and review week, so I’ll be back the following week with the next showcase. Until then, enjoy the fab art below.

Classmate Showcase Gallery:

Registration to the current round of FolioFocus closes next week, if you’d like to join us, now’s the time!

FolioFocus Week 2: Sweet Greetings!

Design by Heather Kadani Marler

Design by Heather Kadani Marler

Another wonderful week of inspiration and fabulous design under our belt in the new FolioFocus class and I’m excited to share what our talented classmates came up with! The focus was on greeting cards with an added direction from the fun trend inspiration pack.

Take a look at the gallery below.

Classmate Showcase Gallery:

Registration to the current round of FolioFocus closes next week, if you’d like to join us, now’s the time!

FolioFocus Week 1: Floral Roundup


The newest round of FolioFocus, our online portfolio building workshop for artists who want to license and or sell their designs for use on products, just relaunched and I am SO excited already! The first brief and trend inspiration was interpreted in so many wonderful ways by our classmates - it’s a joy to see.

Take a look at the gallery below

Classmate Showcase Gallery:

FolioFocus Sweet Greetings Showcase

kristy decastro

kristy decastro

Following a fab week of creating patterns and illustrations for the greeting cards industry, it's a pleasure to share a showcase of the wonderful art created by FolioFocus classmates for our Sweet Greetings themed brief. Once again we have a couple of designers giving a little behind the scenes look at how they came to their final pieces - Enjoy! 

Sara Aguiar

This week Sara gives us a little insight into her process and how she tackled the brief for our Sweet Greeting Week:


"First I sketched a lot of anemones in Procreate, then I took them into illustrator and vectorized them. 

I made a repeating pattern using the pattern tool. I also created an illustration for the card. Then I took everything to photoshop and made the mockups card and journals.. I have to say I loved doing this assignment! Thanks Natalie".


Daniela Glassop

daniela g.jpg

Classmate Daniela has a background where fabric and sewing has always been important in her life so when there was a mention of looking at embroidery (from this week's trend info), she revisited her Sewing and Embroidery board on Pinterest:

"I was inspired by some photos of flowers that I have taken over time and some greeting cards that I had photographed while looking at what there is already available. I make fibre art too and find that my sewing background is often a source of inspiration.

I always prefer to rough out ideas in a layout pad as the paper is cheap and light and I don't feel precious when making all sorts of notes and thumbnail sketches while working out my designs. I always work with pencil on paper too while thinking and designing, before I have to put a more complex work together.

dan 37877609_1892275197482415_3953048123546271744_o.jpg

When I had worked out what I needed, I started to sketch out some flower forms and work out some colour choices. I will sometimes throw in more elements than I need but I also will sometimes a flower or element that I had not used in a previous design as necessary. When I had a selection, I painted my design elements with gouache. In this case I also drew and painted the hand lettering and made a coloured background which I did not use as it as there would not have been enough contrast between the type and the lettering.

dan 37891985_1892285670814701_5004569775326625792_o.jpg

Once I have finished painting, I will scan my painted illustrations and work with them in Photoshop so that I can easily combine the different elements to get the look I am after. I always prefer to have modelling in my work, so Photoshop is always my preference. I printed off some proofs to check scale and readability as judging these things on a computer screen is not accurate enough"

Heather Powers

Next up sharing her process, we have Heather Powers:

"I started the week creating a few birthday cards but decided to stick closer with the brief and focused on the Mother’s Day theme.

Whenever I start a design I first ask myself what would I buy for myself or as a gift. I looked through some baby animals on Pinterest and when I saw an adorable fox I knew that would be my inspiration for my design. I tied in some of my favorite local wildflowers, adding them to the field surrounding my protective momma and cub.

After my card was finished I moved on to creating coordinating patterns. I pulled the wildflowers from my card, repeating them in an overall pattern by flipping and rotating elements. I decided I needed one more pattern and went with the chicory flower to tie in with my other two designs.

Since I started using my iPad Pro and Procreate this year, I work through the sketching phase right in my drawing. I added a video to share a peek into my process. I also worked up my designs in a few gift related mockups".

heather powers 2.jpg

More Wonderful Art for Sweet Greetings

FolioFocus New Nautical Designs!

Hello, it's been a while but we are back and in full FolioFocus swing! To celebrate, not only will be share the first FolioFocus summer gallery, we also have some work in progress snaps and tips from a couple of our classmates.

Liv Wan

Liv Wan

Last week's brief involved the creation of some watery wonders and as usual, they did not disappoint. From Viking ships by Inga Zwirschitz to a Blue Mermaid scene by Sam Pernoski (both shown below), the variety and imagination submitted is a feast for the eyes. 


Inga Zwirschitz

Inga Zwirschitz


Alexandra Butcher

"Once I have an idea I tend to run with it. I always start with sketches and thinking about the different elements going into the design. I tidy up my line work on my light box and make marks and textures that I think may be useful. Everything is then scanned into my pc and I start building the design. It's here that I start playing with composition and colour, gradually building as I go".


Mandy Leeson

After taking a trip to the harbour and aquarium taking photos for inspiration, Mandy started her process creating a motifs designed in Procreate. These were later taken into Illustrator.

New Nautical Showcase

FolioFocus Week 8 Round Up

This week, our FolioFocus Classmates had the task of creating some inspirational quotes with lush lettering!

Created by Uli Kilinger-Barta

Created by Uli Kilinger-Barta

Bright colour palettes and bold lettering give these motivational motifs some added zest!

Here is a selection of what our classmates created.

These inspirational iterates will be sure to put some pep in your step.

Designed by Rachel Schafer

Designed by Rachel Schafer


Want to see more from our classmates? Follow on Instagram and check back here next week.

Show Your Work: Meet Classmate Anya


What class are you currently taking?

FolioFocus Spring 2018

Tell us a little about you: 

My name is Anya Kopotilova, I live in Denver suburb, USA with my husband and two children. I work with a variety of media including watercolors, markers, soft pastel and digital applications. I was not always an artist, but  I truly believe it’s my calling and every day doing art is an adventure.

What brought you to the course?

Classmates from a different course were suggesting I join Folio Focus and I was so glad I did! I was and am attracted to the idea of 10 weeks of exciting and marketable assignments and contests. The community is fantastic- very kind and helpful.

Can you describe your process for us?

My process is inspiration driven, as soon as an assignment or prompt gets clear, I find part of it that catches my attention and start sketching out the ideas, they are then formed into an illustration or a pattern. I may start working on paper and move on to digital or do everything on my iPad from start to finish.


How did you go about working on this week’s project?

This week’s project took my breath away immediately – it is such a darling concept to draw objects from an old house. I had a quick look around on Pinterest for old houses and jumped straight into sketching, I first drew a simple outline of a room (I attach a floor plan I made for the little house I'm illustrating), then added furniture and little things, coloring them as I drew. I am working completely on my iPad Pro this time, trying to work as fast as possible before the ideas escape me. I have a very clear image in my mind and maybe even a little story.


Is this how you usually work?

I do work fast, I try to focus on an idea and see how it develops further. Sometimes it even takes me to a completely new direction and I want to try and hold on to little details that pop up in the process. Also, time is precious for me and I try to make use of every minute.

What are your favourite design tools and or programs?

I adore Procreate application for iPad Pro and work mostly in that, I also like Adobe Illustrator, though I am still learning it and it’s a long process. For non-digital media, I especially love gouache, markers and soft pastels.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Illustrating children’s books is my ultimate goal. I am also hoping to create an apparel or home decor collection one day.

Where can we find you online?

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 14.34.24.png


You can find me on Instagram:

and on my website

And We're Off! FolioFocus Spring 2018 👩🏻‍🎨

FolioFocus, our Intensive Creative Portfolio Builder is underway and I can't tell you how excited I am about it! 

As ever we have some fun, trend-driven briefs and inspiration in store for classmates over the next 10 weeks. So I thought I would share a little taster! If you'd like to join this round you still have time. We are starting with a dreamy twist on a staple theme, good old Nautical.


Be sure to check back over the weeks for roundup posts featuring work from our talented classmates and follow @risedesignandshine on Instagram along with the hashtag #FolioFocus2018 to see some serious eye candy and new accounts to follow.