Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Lilla Rogers is a US based illustration agency which holds an annual global talent search competition.  After reading about it in Uppercase Magazine, I decided to enter.  There are three elimination rounds.  The theme of the first was 'terrarium'.  Despite my increasing enjoyment of plants and my monthly Gardening Australia illustration assignment, I groaned when I read 'terrarium', because choosing something so blatantly 'in' implied that what they were searching for was something extremely commercial.  'Mass market' even, if I may lapse back into fashion industry speak for a moment.
Feeling that I was probably doomed from the start, I tried to subvert the theme a little, without taking it too far.  But I had a lot of trouble with the sketches, and that's generally a bad sign (not always though, a world of pain at sketch time can occasionally turn around too -- I would love to hear some opinions on that one).
(Sorry, these photos are in the wrong order -- damned Blogger.)  I painted the background in first.  The dark acrylic paint that  I chose was an annoyingly translucent one, which didn't help my attempt at a professional finish.  

Overall, it took way too long to complete.  But I am actually kind of happy with how it turned out, although surprised at how kids-y it looks too.  I had imagined it as something that teens might like, but in retrospect it's definitely for the smaller ones.  I prefer the close-up above, and in retrospect it might have been more interesting to just show the interior of the terrarium (as some smart entrants did), rather than the entire object.

Needless to mention, I have not made it to round two.


Kylie said...

Well I think you should have!
(made it to round two)
I like it and I am definitely not a teenager.

Lidija Paradinovic Nagulov said...

I thought your piece was one of the best :D Loved it so much I wrote about it on my blog. It was definitely one of the strongest concepts in the 999! Needless to say I didn't get into round two either, haha :)

Sandra Eterovic said...

Hello Kylie!! Thank you very much -- I'm really glad you like it. :-)

Thank you so much for writing, Lidija. I really really enjoyed your blog post (and not just because you included my work!). Really thoughtful. As I wrote on your blog, I didn't look at the other non-finalists' work as I was feeling a bit despondent. Your selection was an eye opener -- and your entry was wonderful as well. Such a high standard. But LR is definitely looking for a certain mass appeal, a very very commercial style.

Sandra Eterovic said...
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Lidija Paradinovic Nagulov said...

I often wage wars with myself on whether I should try to 'commercialize' or stick with being me. Being me doesn't seem to be hugely marketable, but on the other hand a disingenuous attempt at commercialization might fail way harder, haha. I try to be a realist and tailor myself towards what audiences seem to respond to, but I'm not sure sometimes that I even have the best understanding for what that is. I think what clouds my judgment is that 90% of the feedback I get is from fellow artists, and we all seem to enjoy similar things - while the hordes of regular citizens seem to have different favorites. Still, keep on trucking, I guess! I felt sad to not make it into round two, and then I saw all that gorgeous stuff I dug up in the 'failures' pile and I was like you know, if I'm here standing alongside you guys, I'm alright :)

Jo Grant said...

You SO should have made it to round two. They are insane. This is great and typically Sandra. Don't ever change.

Sandra Eterovic said...

Hi Lidija,

I think absolutely that you should stick with your own style. There is never any real point to imitating others. It can be quite soul destroying in the end. (I say this with experience as I used to work in the fashion industry where I was often asked to copy others' work).

Thank you too Jo -- I don't know whether they're insane(!), maybe they just don't see dollar signs when they look at my work.

anamiro said...

I love your illustration, brilliant and clever response to the theme. Never mind them.

Sandra Eterovic said...

Thank you very much indeed Anamiro, so lovely of you to write. You're helping me to feel a bit better about it!!
All the best