I'm a semi-finalist in Lilla Rogers' Global Talent Search!

Josephine Kimberling's journal entry for Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search
Josephine Kimberling's journal entry for Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search

Lilla Rogers Studio is one of the top illustration agencies in the world, representing 39 amazingly talented artists. This Summer, Lilla started up her Global Talent Search competition to find her next artist. The winner of the Global Talent Search (GTS) wins 2 years of representation with Lilla Rogers Studio and a handful of amazing licensing deals right off the bat! SO many artists love Lilla and would be so thrilled to be represented by her, so with her opening up this competition...it's kinda been a big deal in our industry right now.

After a lot of himming and hawing, I finally decided I would take part in Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. You see, I had submitted my work for representation with her studio last year, and was turned down. Gulp. It was tough. However, I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Lilla at Surtex this year and when I mentioned that I wasn't planning on entering the search because I had already been turned down, she told me that she encourages artists to submit their work for representation every 6 months or so because styles evolve. With that, I decided that I would kick myself if I didn't at least try. And try I did. And so did 1,500 other amazingly talented artists!

For the Global Talent Search, the brief was to create a 5x7" journal cover for Paperchase. It had to include vintage playground equipment and also the word 'journal'.

I did some sketches, and decided to create a journal cover that included animal playground equipment - like they were all going out on a play date and having a blast together. Some of them even had crushes on each other. All beneath a rainbow filled sky. I drew it in Adobe Illustrator, but for all the gritty texture (rainbow stripes, clouds, raindrops, squirrel tail, carousel details, etc.) I drew with charcoal that I scanned in and added to the piece. I don't draw animals or characters often, and when I do, I do draw them for one of my clients. I must say that it was a LOT of fun taking some time to draw something other than flowers, paisley's and other textile themed artworks! TONS of fun!

Which is one of the reasons why I'd love to be represented by Lilla Rogers Studio. Remember when I mentioned that I was taking her class 'Make Art that Sells'? Well, through that class, I realized that I have more to give artistically than the comfortable limits I put on myself. That I've got additional artistic areas to explore and develop in, that make my heart sing, and I'd love to have the chance to be guided in those areas and given opportunities to work with clients who look for more than pattern. More on that later...back to the GTS!

Close-up of Josephine Kimberling's journal entry for Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search
Close-up of Josephine Kimberling's journal entry for Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search

So, over 1,500 artists from over 30 countries submitted their journal covers in to the competition. Yesterday, the top 50 were announced.

I seriously forgot the winners were going to be announced yesterday. As I was quickly checking my e-mail on my phone that morning getting ready to head out for a 6 mile walk with a friend, I opened the congratulations e-mail which said I was a semi-finalist. WHAT?!?! I seriously had put it out of my mind.

For the weeks leading up to the announcement, I had internally worked on getting myself to a place where I would be OK with whatever the outcome would be. That I wouldn't let it shake me if I didn't make the top 50. That I was secure enough with my talent to know that whatever happens was meant to be, and that if I didn't make the cut then it in no way discredits the beauty I seek to bring to the world. That I would happily and excitedly continue to soldier on with representing myself. That I absolutely love what I get to do every day and nothing could change that. Well, I think I worked on getting myself to be OK with it a bit too much, if I completely forgot about the announcement coming out!

So I was shocked. Really shocked. Like, oh, I'd better adjust my jam packed schedule for the next two weeks so I can work on the next brief, shocked. And thankful. SOoooo very thankful. Have you seen the artists who made the top 50? WOW!!! They are absolutely AMAZING!! I'm very humbled and honored to be in the semi-finals with such an amazingly talented bunch of artists. The competition is fierce! The talent is heart-palpitatingly good!

Close-up of Josephine Kimberling's journal entry for Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search
Close-up of Josephine Kimberling's journal entry for Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search

Now the top 50 are working away on the next brief which is due August 15th. The project is to create artwork for a tote bag that might be sold at Farmers' Markets in the Autumn/Fall. The theme is naturalist Autumn/Fall activities, which includes anything one might do in the Autumn/Fall that has something to do with nature. Including people and hand lettering is optional, but most likely a plus.

The artwork will be reviewed by an awesome panel of judges who choose the top 5. From September 3rd-9th the artwork will also be up in a gallery for everyone to see and be able to vote for who they would like the 6th finalist to be.

I personally dislike competitions. They make me feel uncomfortable. Like I didn't even want to blog about this, but knew I needed to, kind of thing. Because I feel so lucky while others feel so devastated, and it makes me sad and makes me wish I could give it to someone else...if I didn't want it so badly myself. And sometimes with competitions, it feels like it's only the cool kids with lots of friends who will be voted for in a contest of popularity....and I was never one of the cool kids - so it's a good thing that there's both the option for judges and peoples choice!

I'll be sure to let you know when the voting is open, but would encourage you to vote for the artwork that makes you go 'WOW' and artwork that you truly love. Yes, even if it's not mine.