Lilla Rogers 2016 Global Talent Search

As an artist dreaming of a career in surface design, I've been aware of the Global Talent Search (GTS) for a few years now. If you're unfamiliar with it, the Global Talent Search (run by Lilla Rogers, an extremely talented and vivacious art agent) is a contest where the winner gets two years representation by Lilla's agency. It's a BIG deal!

Last year, I followed the event and was completely intimated by the level of talent of the finalists. I never felt like I was "good enough” of a designer to compete against some of the best upcoming artists in the surface design industry.

Well, that all changed this year! Although I still struggle with design envy from time to time and am a relative newbie in the industry, I decided to jump head first into this year's contest.

The first assignment was to create a teacup, saucer, and paper napkin design for a fictional character, Sunny Spinster. After reading the in-depth assignment brief the first time through, I have to admit, I wasn’t that excited or inspired. But instead of going into my de-facto “worry wart” mode, I tried something different and took the weekend off (since we got the brief on a Friday). 

By giving myself a little time away from the material, it allowed me to better process the assignment, and I came back to the office in a much more relaxed place mentally and creatively.

So when I re-read the material Monday morning, I found myself full of ideas: furiously writing notes, drawing quick sketches, and hunting for inspiration. My design was heavily influenced by the moodboard I mocked up (with the exception of my final color palette).

Artistic inspiration for my 2016 Global Talent Search submission |

I ended up with three solid concepts after a few days of brainstorming, but I moved forward with the one that spoke to me the most: vintage inspired rose garden. My designs are often influenced by vintage material (especially “old” typography, packaging, and fabrics like you see above) and I didn’t want this assignment to be any different.

Here’s a peek into my sketches for the assignment:

And here’s my final design:

My final design for the 2016 Global Talent Search |

In the end, I was actually quite surprised – and proud – of the final design I came up with. It was quite a learning experience for me too! With this one assignment, I feel like I have a better understanding of my personal design process and that I am capable of much more than I think I am.

I submitted my design last Tuesday and now it’s just a waiting game to see if I move on to the next round. The top 50 (out of over 1,000 submissions) will be announced tomorrow – I can hardly wait! I would be absolutely over the moon if I was one of the 50 chosen for the 2nd round of the GTS, but if I don’t, I can still feel great about the effort I put in and know that I am GOOD ENOUGH to make it in this industry!