Jonara Academy

5 steps to start selling Illustrated Products

Many years ago I dreamed about having my products out there. The idea of someone going to a store and choosing something I designed was so incredible but so far! I had no idea where to start, and I feel many people might feel the same. Fortunately today there are so many ways to create illustrated products, but it all starts with the right mindset.

1. Create courage!

You need courage to show your artwork in public, to make a lot of mistakes, and to feel ashamed of what you created last year. Courage is like a plant, you need to cultivate and make it grow on you. It’s not something you can buy, or that simply exists. You need to tell yourself: I can do it!

2. Learn all the technical skills

You don’t need to know everything right now, but you need to keep improving. Do you need to improve your drawings, colors and composition? Or maybe you need to learn how to use a software like Photoshop or Illustrator. Maybe you need to improve your product photography or marketing? Whatever it is, book some time in your calendar for study. It’s important to look one year behind and see progress.

3. Explore different ways of making products

Maybe you can produce them yourself, find a reliable supplier and get them to make you some small batches of products. But have you ever thought about printing on demand? There are many services like that where you can easily visualize your product and set up for sale for free. Another amazing option is selling digital illustrated products. Not all illustrated product needs to be physical. There are so many possibilities, try to open your mind!

4. Test your samples

Is the quality of the printing good? Is the product comfortable to use? I like to use my bags and hang my hoops. I also like to get samples even if I trust a print on demand service. It’s your reputation that is out there. Ask your friends and family what they think. Make sure you are happy about the quality before start selling. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being up to yours and the customer expectations.

5. Open your shop

You can add your products in a marketplace like Etsy or Creative Market, or try a print on demand service like Society6. Market places are usually easier to create than a website, and they have some traffic on their own. For your own website or print on demand, you might need to generate some traffic yourself. And don’t forget to try selling in person at local markets and fairs, some people have a great time at those. 

💪 It all starts with courage. Ready for it? Let me know in the comments!

Jonara Academy

3 ways I defined my illustration style

Since 2015 I have worked in so many different color schemes, materials and techniques. It took me a long time to find my way, but I believe 3 things had the most impact in my artwork style.

Starting from the top left, follow clockwise to see an evolution of my style in the last 8 years

While experimenting with materials and colours was important for learning (and it still is), I believe changing too much at once made it harder for me to see what I was searching for in terms of style.

If you look at the picture above, starting from the top left and following clockwise, you will see an evolution of my work in the last 8 years.

Today I can see clearly a a depart from realism towards the style I create now, but there were lots of opposite moments. There was:

  • Black and white vs neon explosion;
  • Realism vs cartoon;
  • Line work vs solid shapes
  • Pencil on paper, acrylic on canvas, ceramics, murals, digital art

With so much changing at once it was hard for me to take decisions. If you are trying to “find your style”, sometimes it’s a good idea to “freeze” a few variables. I think this is a good step after you experiment enough.


In 2020 I defined a color palette for my work and I’ve been keeping it since then. No colors outside this palette are allowed. I developed this palette based on some fashion collections I liked and also based on my own work. I might do some very subtle changes in a few years but never again going from extremes that don’t belong here.


Also in 2020 I decided to make all my drawings digital. I work just in vector and my lines are usually well defined. I had tried digital art before, using Autodesk Sketchbook and also Procreate for iPad, this last one is quite popular with Illustrators. But I was never satisfied with my results, I always found my lines blurry or the resolution lacking. I never really learned well. Somehow I find Adobe Illustrator very easy and intuitive, it’s almost a therapy to draw on it, and I’m always happy about how crispy and clean my designs look.


Fabrics became my main material in 2021. I apply my art to other surfaces, but first I make sure they look good in the fluffy stuff. Printing on fabrics made me learn about certain design choices. Small details usually disappear between the texture of the fibers. The same happens with embroidery, I always think about how my design are going to look when translated to threads. Printing samples and testing embroidery is a must for all my projects.

Finding a style can be challenging but there is no reason to suffer like I did. If you know someone struggling with their art style, share this post with them. And as usual, let me know what you think in the comments!


Product Review: Hearts Tote Bag

The Hearts Tote Bag is part of the Valentine’s Collection and feature many hearts but just one got hooked! Check some of it’s main features:

1. Materials

Made with cotton canvas and polyester thread (high durability and firm colours)

2. Size

16×16 inches and a flat bottom, very roomy

3. Handles

 Thick and comfortable handles, won’t hurt your shoulders

4. Design Details

 Inside detail matches outside design, just super cute

5. What you can bring on it

Fits a 13 inches notebook or even larger

6. Internal Pocket

Internal pocket fits large iPhones and androids

7. Key Hook

 Key hook attached to the handle, with easy access

8. Well finished

Well finished with internal lining, you won’t see the embroidery from inside

Love what you see? Visit the shop!


10 Glorious Green Interior Spaces

When Spring is just around the corner I always get obsessed with organic patterns, birds and leaf ornaments. Green prints and wallpapers add the right amount of nature without getting overloaded with flowers. Scroll down for some glorious green inspiration.

De Gournay

By Amanda Brooks

Bennison NY

By Gregg Mitchell

OKA Interiors

Featured in A Cotswold Lifestyle

Markham Roberts

Featured by Canadian Coastal Interiors

Octavia Dickinson

By Amy Ramirez

Rifle Paper Co

With Loloi Rugs

Doce Reino de Maria Antonieta


Iksel Decorarive Arts

By Beth Webb

Sanderson 1860

Design Group

La Maison Pierre Frey

By Tristan Auer

What do you think about my selection? Which one is your favorite?

Do & See

Lunar New Year at Surrey Museum

I started reading the Artist’s Way a few weeks ago and one of the exercises I’m supposed to do every week is to have an “artist date”. That means, bring myself to some activity I will enjoy and like, something that might feed my senses. So last Saturday I decided to go for the first time to the Surrey Museum, and on that day, there were activities related to Lunar New year.

The building mix a bit of old and new architecture and it’s quite small! There was one area dedicated to the permanent exhibition and another area with theater, foyer and a small presentation room close to the reception.

The permanent exhibition at the Museum is dedicated to the movies and TV series that were filmed in the city. There are autographed photos of celebrities, costumes used in set, some interviews, trailers and a green screen where you can feel you are inside the TV. Kids were definitely happy to play “inside the TV” and I won’t deny, that brought me a smile into my face.

In the main lobby there were activities related to the lunar new year, with dance and music presentations, paper cutting and calligraphy. First I cut a symbol of spring, the lady gave me a template do draw and then you would get a kids scissor to cut the lines. I confess it was harder than I thought! The paper is very thin and I tried to make it neat and precise. Almost ripped the paper!

Then I watched a few music and dance presentations. There were kids playing typical instruments, groups of young ladies synchronized, but the one that I found most beautiful were the ladies slowly moving with their fans. They were elegant, mysterious and delicate, and at a certain point I just saw myself with a few tears to my eyes. I think many types of art can be beautiful, and this one touch my heart for showing their culture in their controlled and well presented movements.

After that I stop quickly at the library, got a coffee and went back home. It’s a new experience for me, and I’m trying to treat my “internal artist” as another person and really give them a good time. I think they enjoyed.

What do you think about this kind of experiences? Do you “take yourself out” for activities? What do you like to do? Let me know in the comments!

Upcoming Projects

Creating the New Spring Tote Bag

Hello Hello!

I just finished the embroidery test for my new floral spring tote bag and I’m very happy about the result, I would like to share a bit of my process with you.

First I transferred my drawing to the computer and used a software to create the embroidery stitches. This is the time I decide how the stitches are going to look like, witch direction they are going and how long they are going to be. (Did you notice the flower in my computer is the same as the one in my mug? They are all part of the same collection!)

Then it’s time to choose threads with the best colours for this project. I chose 2 tones of pink, a dark yellow and a dark green.

Did you know my embroidery machine has a name? I call her Fofina, she is the studio pet! At least that’s how I treat her, I adore her but some days she gets a bit grumpy. Today, she was in wonderful mood and gave me gorgeous stitches! I group all designs together so I could save some fabric (I always do that for tests).

After I took out of the machine, I notice I could make the leaves a bit fuller, so I got back to the computer to adjust that. Quality is very important for me, that’s why I always test each design before making it available for purchase. For the final version, the flowers will be scattered in the front of the bag, it will look very delicate.

What do you think about the project so far? Do you have any curiosity about how I create illustrated bags? Send me your question in the comments!

History Treasures

Botanical Inspiration

Botanic Inspiration is part science part art. The technical part was very important in the past for studying biology. With the advent of photography, these techniques have been combined to depict all kinds of plants with the best detail.

I find the artistic side very inspiring and I love to create illustrated products and embroidery inspired by botanical illustration. My favourite botanical artist is called Pierre-Joseph Redouté, he was a famous artist in the court of Napoleon Bonaparte and his favourite flowers were roses.

Do you have any botanical art at home? Where do you think they fit best, hallway, living room, bedroom? Let me know in the comments!

ps. some people messaged me asking the name of the book. It’s named a Garden Eden. I’m linking some more inspiring books below, A Garden Eden, another book by Redouté and one that is actually more towards chinoiserie but have some great art inspired by botanical illustration, from de Gournay. * those are affiliated links and I might get a small commission if you shop using these links *


Where to use your Hearts Tote Bag

You might be thinking a hearts bag is just for the Valentine’s Day but actually you can accessorise many looks with hearts and look just so cute.

  • Business: As a creative person, I carry my iPad and laptop around for working on a coffee shop or meeting with clients. I think the hearts bag add the right amount of fun and creativity to my look without looking too crowded
  • Socializing: I love go with friends for some window shopping on cute streets. If I find something I want to buy, I’m able to keep it in my tote bag instead of buying a bag for ¢25
  • Traveling: The hearts bag is perfect for the most romantic city in the world, but I actually can’t imagine travelling to any city without a tote bag. From a book to read to a scarf for the freezing airplane, a stylish tote bag get you covered.

If you loved it and want one for yourself, you can shop here on my website (add to cart below), or on my Etsy Shop.

How about you? Where would you bring your Hearts Tote Bag? How would you style it? Let me know in the comments!

Upcoming Projects

Self Love Club!

Yesterday I heard in the radio that only 9% of the people keep their New Year resolution by the end of January. That’s so depressing!

Well, I’m determined to keep mine this year! My main resolution is to do things I love and share more here! This year I want to care more about enjoying the process and be happy about every step. That includes drawing more, having more fun with my illustrations, expressing more my feelings and ideas and experiment more with design and photography. Be more artistic and less shy. Let myself out a bit more! Focus more on creativity and worry less about the hard part of the business.

How about you, how are you keeping your resolutions?

Upcoming Projects

New arrivals on the way!

Hello and Happy New Year!

Here is just a quick update. In 2023 I’m increasing my range of products, introducing new bag styles, ceramic mugs and new wall décor. Some of these products will be available exclusively here on my website, others will also be on Etsy.

I’m also experimenting a bit with my visual communication, please feel free to send me feedback!

Let me know how are you doing and if you would like to share any goals for the year please leave me a comment!

Cheers! 🥂