Weekly Wrap Up: busy, busy!

Here we are at the end of another week! I wanted to check in quick with some of the things I've been up to lately. kidrockets

First off, I have an entry in the Spoonflower contest this week. The theme is "Rockets" and I was inspired by the rockets (and all sorts of other crazy creations) my kids make from our recycling bin. I actually collect a lot of interesting boxes and containers and put them in a big box so my kids can make whatever their creative little brains come up with. Every time we get a big package with some of those hard formed cardboard inserts my son Ben yells, "Castle!" It's the cause of a lot of eye rolling from my husband when he notices me eyeing the recycling bin with interest. You can vote for my design, Imagination Rockets, over here until next Wednesday!


I signed myself up to participate in the Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells Bootcamp this year. Lilla is a well-known and respected art agent and she teaches an online course called Make Art That Sells (which I'd like to take later this year if the stars align) and Bootcamp is a spin-off from that. Each month there's an assignment with a different theme, focused on a different art market. For January the theme was Edwardian brooches (?!) and we were to create a journal cover. I'll admit I didn't really know where to take this one and like what sometimes happens to me, I just couldn't get a good idea to run with. So while I'm not terribly inspired by my final creation, I'm still loving Bootcamp and I can't wait for next week when we get a new mini assignment. Online you can see the entire January Bootcamp gallery - there are hundreds of artists from all over the world participating, which is incredible.


While we're talking online art classes and communities, I'm currently working on the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design Module 3 course. We're focusing on all kinds of great things like licensing, freelancing, and manufacturing. I created the collection above, Party Paper, as a gift ware concept. Now wouldn't you like to see that on gift wrap? Yeah, me too. I still have a couple weeks left of the course but I'll try to do a re-cap when we've finished and do some show & tell.


I also got some fun news this week! One of my designs was voted into the Minted.com website! A couple months back they had a contest for digital invitation designs and my "Let's Get Crafty" design was selected. This was the first time I entered a Minted contest, but it won't be the last! I'll soon have a Minted "store" and hopefully I can add designs to it through future contests. If you've never checked out the Minted website, be sure you do. Sooo many beautiful invitations plus wonderful artwork, fabric, and party ware.

Okay! That about does it for this Friday afternoon! Have a wonderful weekend!

What I've been up to: the mid-week wrap-up!

It feels a bit like a Friday here because my kids have a little fall break from school for the next two days. We'll be in full on Friday mode later tonight, which basically means pizza movie night. It also means I'll probably be getting very little done in the next couple days. We have some important things on our to-do list like clean the basement, finalize Halloween costume ideas, and go to McDonald's. So consider this kind of a weekly wrap-up as well. What have I been up to? First off, there are new things coming to the shop! I ordered a lot of fabric from Spoonflower this week which will magically turn itself into tea towels. I'm hoping they will be available in time for holiday shopping! That also means there will be some new patterns available in my Spoonflower shop shortly. I'm also finishing up a 2015 desktop calendar for the shop as well. As of today there is also a new digital download print available in my Etsy shop! You know I love the instant gratification of a download and there are some print ideas/illustrations I work on that I think lend themselves well to that kind of product. You can find, purchase, and download Enjoy the Journey in my Etsy shop.


This particular print had been an idea of mine for awhile but I was also working on a typography testimonial for The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design this week. In the process of creating that I came up with this color scheme and pattern (this pattern also makes an appearance in my 2015 calendar) and decided to moosh (technical term) the two together - ta da! My testimonial is about my experience with Module 1 this past spring and is also a submission to a contest Make It In Design is currently holding. I really enjoyed the project and coming up with this little collection of inspirational objects.



I also tried something completely new last weekend and submitted some designs to minted.com. Minted (which you're probably familiar with) is an online marketplace for independent designers. They sell custom invitations and photo cards, paper products, wall art, and home decor. There are beautiful designs on Minted and I've always towed with the idea of entering one of their competitions. They have public voting as well as judges who select designs that are then offered to purchase through the Minted website. They're currently seeking out designs for digital invitations and since they're looking for a lot of new designs I thought it was a good opportunity to get my feet wet. The competition will surely be stiff so I have very low expectations but it was so fun with come up with my invites. I've always loved graphic design - it was my profession of choice back around 8th grade. I make totally unnecessary birthday party invitations for my kids every year and I also designed our family Christmas card last year. I still have a lot to learn in that area - I'm primarily self-taught - but it's something I could see myself doing. You'll find a little badge over on the sidebar - if you'd like to vote for my designs you can do so by clicking on that link! Here are my designs:

boyscamo letsgetcrafty valentine

That's about all for now! That pizza's not going to order itself. See you next week!


Thank you Thank you Make It In Design ABSPD!

Thank you April was one busy month around here! I've really been working hard to develop my style as a surface pattern designer and illustrator. I still feel like I'm floundering a little bit as far as that's concerned, but with the help of this latest course I feel like I'm definitely on the path to fine tuning a style that can set me apart and stay true to myself at the same time.

You might remember that awhile back I was one of seven runners-up in the Make It In Design/Print & Pattern Scholarship contest and I won a place in their Module 1 course. Their program has turned out so many talented designers that I was thrilled to be a part of it. I was SO excited to win that course and it was as wonderful an experience as I could have hoped for. We wrapped up the course at the end of April and I wanted to share some of my experiences and some of the work I created.

The course really started with the basics and had me looking around in new ways: seeing patterns, seeing colors, identifying what I'm drawn to and what style I'm already innately creating. I feel like the course helped me take what I was already doing, bump it up a notch, and add more layers to my work. It was great to hear directly from Rachel Taylor, a working designer, and to hear about her methods and gain some insight to the industry. At the end I thought, "Okay, I'm not crazy, I can do this!" All the while there was a really supportive online community (from all over the world!) of classmates to share my work with.

I don't know yet if I'm going to be able to continue with the Modules, it's a considerable investment, but I really want to! We'll see how that shakes out. In the meantime the course has given me new energy to continue to build my portfolio and put my work out there. I'm so very grateful to the Make It In Design crew for awarding me the scholarship and making this possible.

Now: the show & tell. Here are some projects I worked on while in the course.

Back to (still in?) school!

free-flowing-bee-floral-update I think I'm one of those people who could take classes forever. When I'm really interested in something I love learning more . . . and a class forces me to do it. I crave the direction, the focus, the purpose. And let's face it, the inner people pleaser in me (she's strong, that one) responses well to assignments to complete (even when there's no grade involved) and showing what I've done. I also get very hung up on doing things "the right way,"  which I sometimes should just get over, already. So when it comes to designing patterns and layouts I felt very unschooled in how to do it. And if I want to pursue this professionally, I want to know what I'm doing. It's also a great way to gain confidence, develop my style, complete more work, build my portfolio, and get myself out there meeting other designers and showing my work.

My latest educational adventures came right on top of each other. About a month ago I signed up for a Textile Design Lab subscription though Pattern Observer. As part of my subscription I'm able to take two of their online courses: The Ultimate Guide to Repeats and The Sellable Sketch. I completed UGTR last week and I just started The Sellable Sketch this week. Last week I also started The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design Module 1 course from Make It In Design (this is the course I won when I entered their scholarship competition). I'm having such a great time in all of the courses and learning so much. For today I thought I'd share some of my work from the first course, The Ultimate Guide to Repeats. We worked on set, tossed, and free flowing layouts. I used the course working files as a starting point and then created my own designs. For example, the set layout example lesson was a medallion print so I did the same style and general layout but created my own medallion. I found this an easier way to work because it took away the stress of trying to come up with a completely new idea from scratch while I was mainly working on the layout, but all the artwork is mine.

I'll post more homework from my other classes soon! Thanks for indulging in my show and tell.