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Academy Artists

Uplifting Women: Make Nice and Mable Tan Designs

This year we’re Uplifting Women during Women’s History Month by highlighting amazing Oh Joy! Academy students, and the strides they are making. Meet illustrators Sarah Foelske and Mable Tan…

This year we’re Uplifting Women during Women’s History Month by highlighting amazing Oh Joy! Academy students, and the strides they are making. Meet Make Nice Co. and Mable Tan Designs, both illustrators!

Photos of Sarah by Serge Kirsanov

Make Nice is run by Sarah Foelske who is currently based in Los Angeles. Sarah is a designer that specializes in handmade paper piecework. She makes a new piece everyday, and I love her work incorporating inspiring messages into her paper collages.

Says Sarah: “I am a digital collage based artist. I love to curate images and put them together in unexpected ways. I grew-up loving typography so words are frequently part of my process. My time has been pretty condensed during the last year which was really hard in the beginning and now I’ve learned to work a lot more efficiently and mostly give myself a little grace.”

Sarah took our online licensing class as well as uses the pitching influencers worksheet (which she says she references frequently!) Incredible work, Sarah!

Porch Party photos were taken by Sirena Singleton of Aneris Photography, in collaboration with Mimi Striplin of the Tiny Tassel (in Charleston). The plaid fabric designed by Mable Tan Designs was made into dresses, headbands and shorts by Mimiโ€™s mom and sold at their shop. The headband was featured and worn by Veronika @veronabrit. All other photos by Mable Tan.

Mable Tan Designs is founded and run by Mable Tan, a surface pattern designer. Based in Melbourne, Australia, she sells beautiful inspirational posters, and her amazing designs now grace products worldwide! 

Says Mable: “I had an Etsy shop for about 10 years. But in 2015, I had my baby and decided to put it on vacation mode. That was probably the worst thing to do because my traffic tanked and was never ever the same. For three years, I really struggled to find ways to revive my creative business, my self-confidence, and my identity. While I loved being a mum, I resented the transition and not having a stable income. Then I came upon a course about surface design, and dived into it. From 2018 – 2019 I worked on my artistic voice and created well over 200 repeat patterns and 17 collections. I found an agent that could take my portfolio to Surtex but I was never licensed. Determined to make it work, I started pitching on my own.”  

Mable took our online Licensing Workshop. She has licensed her work with over 10 companies. Since watching our online workshop, has pitched to a major fabric company in Australia and has successfully licensed a collection with them. Congratulations Mable!

Follow Mable and Sarah on Instagram, too!

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