For the past few months I've been taking part in the Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells Bootcamp which I am absolutely loving! Each month we receive an assignment to design something for the art licensing market which could be anything from abstract backpacks to floral journal covers. This month we had to design a mug with an historical twist.
Ellis Island New York
The first week we were told to research, study photographs and sketch the people who arrived in Ellis Island New York, the place where emigrants from all over the world landed with hopes and dreams for a new life in the promised land of the United States.
It was interesting to learn about Ellis Island especially since so many Irish people arrived there and made America their home. However, looking at the old photographs and the people's faces (in particular their eyes) made me quite sad. Each and every person had left loved one's behind in their native countries, in a lot of cases they would never see their families again.
I felt this assignment would be challenging because I thought to myself, who would want to drink out of a mug with sad faces on it?
Hair styles of Ellis Island
I was surprised when we found out that the Main Assignment was to design a mug focussing on the hairstyles of Ellis Island! This could be the actual hairstyles, what they wore on their heads, or your own interpretation using your own style.
I looked at more photos and kept coming back to the hats of the time and started to focus generally on Edwardian fashion. I thought about the ships arriving at Ellis Island and then I thought about the Titanic and how it never made it to New York on it's maiden voyage from Cork. How nice would it be to design a tea mug with little Edwardian ladies, the type of passengers that would have been drinking tea in 1st or 2nd class on the Titanic?
And so I began my design using watercolour. I painted my ladies and also painted a ladies antique fob watch to add as an element in the design.
I am really delighted with the result! See my product 'mock-up' below :-))