Well I’m back from the Make Art That Sells Global Art Gathering in Brighton and it delivered everything it promised and much, much more.

It was my first trip to Brighton and the fun began on Thursday when I joined Lilla Rogers, her wonderful family and fellow MATSies for a shopping trip. We were guided around the very cool vintage shops and the afternoon became even more surreal when Lilla gave us an impromptu “lesson” on how to find inspiration and identify trends in one of the local shops.

Lilla seemed to have brought the sunshine with her and the fab weather only made Brighton appear more vibrant and inspirational than ever. After the trip we enjoyed ice creams on the beach (mine an excellent rum and raisin cone), followed by drinks and dinner.

The conference itself began on Friday and a real buzz filled the Brighton Dome as everyone got to know each other and put voices to the faces they know so well from the Facebook groups. With people travelling from as far as Australia, New Zealand, USA, across Europe and the UK – it really was a global Gathering.  

The day was packed full of information and insights from Lilla herself and inspirational speakers including Margo Tantau, Kelly Rae Roberts, Rachael Taylor, plus Susan McCabe and Joanne Hus were also there to answer questions.

Sessions included 'finding your creative joy', 'making your mark' and 'how to get your work noticed', a trend review from Lilla and discussions on how to decide whether an agent is right for you. We also did some quirky creative exercises which were fun and got us all thinking!

And to top it all – every submission for the tea towel assignment was reviewed and it was really interesting to see everyone’s very different take on the same brief. What an amazingly, talented bunch of people.

So what did I take away from the day? Well apart from the most amazing goodie bag, I left Brighton with my head buzzing full of inspiration and possibilities, new friendships and a REALLY big smile on my face.