I just finished Module 1 of Rachel Taylor's The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. I had never considered surface pattern as a career option. The computer aspect scared me. This particular module doesn't require using the computer, though you can if you want to. It's primarily about creating designs and coming up with concepts. All the exercises can be done with paint and paper if you want.
This course was an eye opener for me. Everything you create. Every mark you make can be used in your surface pattern art. To me that takes so much pressure off. Just having the idea that everything has potential is o freeing creatively. I did give the software a try. (My accomplishments on the computer are sprinkled through this post) The industry uses Illustrator and Photoshop and Adobe offers a 30 day free trial of the software. Module 1 included bonus exercises for the software and I actually managed to follow the directions to create things! The entire module is PDF based. No video lessons. I'm a video learner so off to Lynda.com to watch videos on the software to get a better grip on things.
I enjoyed the class. There was so much information and I found it helpful. My only criticisms would be a lack of video instruction. There doesn't seem to be video instruction all in one place for surface pattern design using Illustrator and Photoshop. I'm still looking around though and I've found some things that look helpful. Even though I don't tend to use software when I create, I can see so much potential now having some experience with it. There was also a very limited chapter on character work. Characters are one of my favorite things to create, more so than florals, which Rachael Taylor is brilliant at. I think if the course included an interview with someone who is successful with characters in the surface pattern world.
I haven't decided if I will be taking the next two Modules in the class. Right now I'm taking Lilla Rogers' e-course, Make Art That Sells. This course goes over ten markets that want artists' work. I'm very excited for this course. It started today and it was filled with eye candy and oodles of info. I see changes in my career this summer. I'm going to continue learning Photoshop and Illustrator. I'm going to get that Etsy shop opened. I'm going to be building my portfolio.
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