I've mentioned before that I participated in the Creative Live: Design Surface Patterns From Scratch with Bonnie Christine course last month. One thing that continues to surprise me is the breath of work styles and techniques in the surface pattern design world. Everyone does it a little bit differently and it's been really fun to see how other people work and I always learn something new. I really loved Bonnie's course for two reasons, one part practical and one part inspirational. Practically, I learned some great little tips to help my work flow. It's always interesting to see the steps people go through to get to their end product and also to hear how people get their start in this industry. But I also found Bonnie to be really inspiring. She was really generous with telling everyone in the course, "You can do this." And that's something I really needed to hear. At one point she put up a quote, "There's room for you." It was something another blogger said to Bonnie when she was first starting out and it hit home for me too. It's so easy to feel lost in a sea of really talented people and far too easy to compare yourself to everyone else and feel like there can't possibly be room for you too. I appreciated the "invitation" to join other artists and designers. As part of the course Bonnie and Creative Live hosted a surface pattern design challenge. Our assignment was to create a collection and show our steps, from general ideas and inspiration, to color, to initial sketches, and final designs.
I've wanted to create a collection inspired by my Grandma Virginia and her childhood home for awhile now. She died in 2003 and I inherited some of her things that are really meaningful to me. I also have a soft spot for the small town of Wabasha, MN where she grew up. It's located along the bluffs of the Mississippi River and my family oral history includes lots of stories of that town and my great-grandparent's house. So I had thoughts of backyard gardens, vintage tablecloths, and my Grandma's love of flowers.
I used these thoughts and images as my starting off point and created the collection at the top that I called "Virginia Mae." I love the idea of letting your collection tell a story and that's something I will definitely take with me from Bonnie's course. The collection is a little softer and more feminine than I usually create. I still might try it in a bolder color scheme, but I'm happy with how it turned out. You can see my Creative Live Portfolio here and browse the other collections on the course page if you're so inclined. I also think I'm going to try to upload the collection to Spoonflower when I get the chance. Another good experience creating a collection and I look forward to working on more! Many thanks to Bonnie Christine of Going Home to Roost and Creative Live for a great course!