I have been working on a series called Rumi Cats, which puts cats and quotes from Rumi together. If you don’t know who Rumi is, he was a philosopher and writer who lived a very long time ago. According to Wikipedia, “Rumi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic.”
I love his quotes and short poems, which have been translated into numerous languages. I LOVE cats and Rumi so I thought it would be fun to put those two loves together in artwork. I created eight in the Rumi Cat series, although I could do tons more since I have a book full of quotes from Rumi.
I have wanted to do artwork around Rumi quotes for a long time since they are so inspiring. But I figured everyone on the planet has done the typical “new age” artwork with Rumi quotes.
So I went for the second-best idea, putting 2 philosophical entities together: Rumi and The Cat. Because after all, aren’t cats the most philosophical creatures on the planet. (Do you know about Henri the French philosophical cat? I love that cat.)
I had so much fun doing this series. I do believe that drawing cats is my all time favorite thing to do, next to having them lay on my lap and purr. I have two cats in my home, I can’t live without cats. I can live just fine without a man, but I’m lost and lonely without cats.
These were all done in my fav program, Adobe Photoshop. They were created using lots of different images to create the layers. The cat body was created using an old textile design by William Morris, who lived at the turn of the 19th century and whose works are now in the public domain. (Of course, my Rumi Cats are NOT in the public domain so please don’t use them in your artwork.)
In my digital collage artwork I like to create lots of patterned backgrounds and I’m tired of looking for small icons and dingbats that are in the public domain that I can safely use. Usually when I start out using something I found online I am concerned about copy-right coming back to bite me in the butt if and when I start licensing my artwork.
Here is an example of my artwork with patterns in it. I try to make sure the original icon or image is unrecognizable and completely original by the time I’m done doing lots of layering in Photoshop, to get the various textured and patterned effects. (Although, the pattern that makes up the cat’s fur is just one image. I used an old textile pattern from a very famous textile designer from the 1920s, William Morris – whose works are now in the public domain.
I’m tired of worrying about copyright infringement and stuff like that, so I ordered 1500 Decorative Ornaments CD-Rom & Book, which arrived in the mail last week. I have already created some background patterns from a couple of the icons. Here is one of them below. This will probably be added to a cat body for use as fur, or possibly be used in the background and mixed with other images to create a very textured, layered look. I am pleased with my purchase.
I am really excited about an online class that I recently discovered. Its call MATS (Make Art That Sells) and was created by an artist-turned-art-licensing-agent, Lilla Rogers. There are actually 2 classes, one is called MATS Bootcamp and the other is called MATS: Part A and B. I signed up for both even though the MATS Part A and B costs a lot of money (around $1100 U.S.)
The MATS Bootcamp starts February 3rd (I can hardly wait!) and lasts for 6 months. Its basically a class that sends out art assignments that are geared toward helping you get your portfolio ready to send out to art reps. And it also offers an online community of artists, which I really need. I’m sitting here in my apartment all by my lonesome self, working on artwork day after day. I am still looking for a part-time job but the more I stay at home and do art, the more that’s all I really want to do.
The MATS Part A and B classes are shorter (only a month each) and are geared toward teaching artist the different types of art that sell (this is all about licensing your artwork of course) and the markets that license art for their various products. The MATS Part A and B classes have industry experts involved and its an opportunity to get your artwork in front of those people.
That’s my big dream now, to have my art licensed on products and get royalty checks. To just work from home on artwork and get paid for it. Isn’t that every artist’s dream? It’s been mine for several decades and now I’m actually going to do something about making it a reality. I’ll post on how the class is going and post my artwork from the assignments. Yeah, I’m so excited.