Surface Pattern Design 2.0: Design a Collection | Start a Career | Bonnie Christine | Skillshare

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Surface Pattern Design 2.0: Design a Collection | Start a Career

teacher avatar Bonnie Christine, Surface Pattern Designer + Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Surface Pattern Design 2.0


    • 2.

      My Story & Collection


    • 3.

      Create a Repeating Pattern


    • 4.

      Why & How to Design in Collections


    • 5.

      Apply your Patterns to Mockups


    • 6.

      Save a Tiling Square


    • 7.

      Create Desktop & Smartphone Backgrounds


    • 8.

      Create & Save a Clip Art Set


    • 9.

      The Importance of a Portfolio


    • 10.

      Start your Career as a Surface Pattern Designer!


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About This Class

This course is designed for the person who dreams of becoming a professional surface pattern designer. I'll walk you step by step through the process of creating a pattern collection that is unique and engaging, and I'm sharing all of my industry secrets with you along the way! We'll discuss what to include in your portfolio and how to begin contacting companies to start your career.

Whether you're looking to become a professional surface pattern designer, or are just hoping to enhance your pattern building skills, this course is for you!

 PLEASE NOTE: This course is a follow up to Intro to Surface Pattern Design. Please begin with the previous course for detailed training on Adobe Illustrator, color palettes, sketching, motif design and repeat pattern design!


I'll walk you through step by step to creating a unique and engaging pattern collection.

  • Learn to create a repeat pattern.
  • Design a collection that is engaging and thoughtful.
  • Apply your patterns to products and mockups.
  • Why it's important to craft the perfect portfolio.
  • How to get noticed in the industry and begin your career as a surface pattern designer!

This course is designed to give you all the industry information and creative skills you need to start start your career as a surface pattern designer, plus it will motivate and inspire you to follow your creative dream!


Below are a few of the tools that will be helpful in this course.

  • Adobe Illustrator (begin a free trial here)
  • Sketchbook
  • Pencil and dark black pen
  • Camera or Smartphone

Not mandatory, but useful tools include:

  • Scanner
  • Lightbox
  • Wacom Tablet


I am so excited to begin this adventure with you. Let's get started!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Bonnie Christine

Surface Pattern Designer + Artist


Why, hello!

I'm Bonnie, an artist and surface pattern designer and I'm passionate about sharing what I know. As a self-taught designer, I know how hard it can be to focus on your BIG dreams and conquer the learning curve that comes along with them. I also know how it feels to have your biggest dreams come true. My hope is help you live the extraordinarily creative life of your dreams.

I'm so excited to get to know you! The best place to dive right in is by visiting my website, Bonnie Christine.

Love, Bonnie

PS - let's be insta-friends! I'll meet ya there.

P.S. Join the inner circle! Sign up for updates to be the first to know about everything new, exciting and educational. 

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1. Surface Pattern Design 2.0: Whether you're interested in surface pattern design for personal or professional use, this course is going to teach you more technical skills, and really inspire you to follow your creative dream. There's something about creating patterns and sets of collections that are self fulfilling and fun. Creating cohesive pattern collections is an important step in pursuing a career in surface pattern design. Whole collections are ideal for things like fabric lines, paper goods, wallpaper sets, and more. Together we will learn how to create technical repeating patterns in Adobe Illustrator, and put together a collection of six patterns together. We'll also discuss how to build a portfolio, apply patterns to products, and you start getting noticed in the industry. My hope is that you will leave this course feeling inspired, empowered, and equipped with the essential tools and knowledge that you need to be a successful pattern designer. 2. My Story & Collection: Hey everyone, welcome to surface pattern design 2.0. I'm Bonnie Christine, and I am so happy that you've decided to join us. I really hope that this course will inspire you to take your love for surface pattern design and turn it into a career. The first thing I want to talk about is what we're going to cover in this class. We are going to start out by creating technical repeating patterns. Then we're going to move on to talk about the importance of creating patterns in sets of collections. What you should be looking for as you do this, and sum general tips on how to create pattern collections. We're going to learn how to apply our patterns to products and mark up objects in Adobe Illustrator. Also talk about building a portfolio and how important the step is in creating a future in surface pattern design. Finally, we're going to cover several of my own tips on how to get noticed in the industry and start your career as a surface pattern designer. I do want you to known that this is a follow-up course to my first course called intro to surface pattern design, and this intro course was heavily based in Adobe Illustrator. We learned the entire program how to illustrate and design motifs and repeating patterns.We'll take the beginner to the advanced person and teach them all my tricks and tips on how to create and design in Adobe Illustrator. This course is going to pick up right where we left off in intro to surface pattern design. If you are looking for more illustrator based knowledge, I would recommend taking this first course as well. I want to start off by sharing with you what is surface pattern design. Surface patterns design is basically creating patterns to apply to objects. If you look around, you'll seen probably something with a pattern on it, whether it'll be a notebook or stationery, fabric, wallpaper, throw pillows, something with a pattern on it. There is a designer behind each of those patterns, which is what I do and what I'm teaching you to do in this course. There are two directions that you can take this course. Of course, I am gearing it towards the person who wants to take it in a professional direction. We're going to be talking about how to take your love for surface pattern design and turn it into a career. However, I teach tons of people how to do surface patterns design for personal reasons too and with so many great companies out there like Spoonflower and Society6. You don't have to take this in the professional direction. You can use your patterns for personal reasons and to make your own fabric and wrapping paper and give to family for your digital scrapbook, this is a great way to do that too. I want to start off by covering my story. If you took the first-class on surface patterns design, you've already heard my story. But for everyone who's new, I want to at least tell you a little bit about my background as well. I grew up in a really creative family. My mom owns a cloth shop and I grew up crafting and creating and selling all the time. I new from a really young age that I was creative and it was something that I really loved. However, at some point, a little later on in life, after I graduated college, I realized that this thing that I was passionate about it wasn't random and it wasn't a hobby. But in fact, I wanted to change my whole life to evolve around creativity and I wanted to make a career out of it. Like I said, I had already gone to school and I had gone to business school. I come from a whole family of entrepreneurs and when I made the decision to go to school, all I really knew was that I wanted to go to business school and own my own business, but I didn't know what business I wanted to own, or really what I wanted to do. After I graduated business school, I went back home to my hometown, I married my high school sweetheart and started working for my mom in her cloth shop. My job was primarily working with fabric and meeting with reps and making orders. This is where I fell in love with patterns. The first thing that's near to my heart is fabric and fabric design. But of course, surface pattern design spans all scopes and it doesn't have to be on fabric or just on fabric and it can be on any surface. But this is when I decided that I wanted to become a designer. This was about seven years ago and I was doing nothing online. I had no online presence or anything. The first thing I did was start a blog. I started my blog Going Home to Roost. I really only started it as a way to share what I was doing. I was cooking and making things and writing tutorials, really home studying for the first time. I began Going Home to Roost as a way to share all those things. But I also knew from a really early stage that I wanted to create a home base for me online. I wanted to start building an online presence and really get my name out there, not as a designer, but just as someone, as a blogger at this point. I'm going to run through my timeline really quick. Like I said, I started my blog in going home to roost. Quickly after I started my Etsy shop, it's changed over the years, but I started out making handmade tea towels and aprons and pillows. Now I primarily sell digital goods and art prints. But that's how I got my start. By the end of 2009, I was doing well enough to quit my day job at my mom's cloth shop. This is really when I decided that I didn't just think about being a designer, but this was something that I was going to pursue and I was going to make happen. I really wanted to be a surface pattern designer. However, I didn't know where to begin. Six months went by and really I had made no progress in becoming a designer and I'll come back to this in just a minute. My husband and I had to move to Colorado. We're from North Carolina and we moved to Colorado and I didn't pick up a day job there. I kept doing my online goods, but we were only there for six months from a job of my husband's and I spent this time learning Adobe Illustrator. Actually spent about 12 months doing nothing but learning Adobe Illustrator. At this time, there was just not a lot of information online and nobody talking about surface pattern design. I took online courses on my own to learn the program. Somewhere in the middle here, I learned how to make a repeating pattern, which is the key to surface pattern design and I've brought a picture of it and show you hear. I was just really excited to of course, I've never used this pattern for anything, but I was really excited that it repeated seamlessly vertically and horizontally. So I spent the next six or eight months doing nothing but making patterns. I made hundreds of patterns and this was the most essential time in my career as a surface pattern designer. Nobody new who I was. I wasn't telling anybody that I was doing this. All I was doing was designing from my heart and this is where my signature style was born and really where I cultivated love for surface patterns design. Later on in 2012, I created the Roost Tribe, which we'll talk about more in this course as well. But it is a premium membership to my blog for six bucks a month, where I send out lots of design tips and tutorials and business advice. You can found out more about that on my website, going home to roost. I'm going to get into the details of this more and more through this course but I was able to sign my first contract, as a fabric designer with Art Gallery Fabrics. The year of 2012, was spent really perfecting some pattern collections, to the point where I was really proud of them, building a portfolio and showing it to people and it landed me my first job as a surface pattern designer. Then in early 2013, things really started rolling. I signed on with a company called Oil Design Studios for a set of wall stencils and wallternatives, for a set of wallpaper. I had my first fabric line release in early 2013. My second in fall of 2013. At the same time, I had my first baby. In early 2014, I signed with Aurifil to create a line of thread to match my fabric collections. I had a line of ribbons come out with the renaissance ribbons. My third fabric line came out more wallpaper with wallternatives. I got to teach for a company called Creative live on surface pattern design. My fourth fabric line came out in 2015. Really isn't slowing down either. I have four fabric lines coming out this year and a couple of other really exciting things in the works. The only purpose for me to show you my timeline is just two show you, how long it took me to get to where I'm today and also where I came from, which was really nowhere, knowing nothing and having no online presence and these are the steps that I took. Of course your story will look different, but these are the steps that I took to get to where I'm today. I hope that I'm still really early on in my career. I hope that I'll be able to build on this timeline and look back on this and really feel like it was an early part of my life as a surface pattern designer. So I really love this quote," Great things are done by a series of small things brought together". When I mentioned that there were six months that went by when I had really been nothing in order to get closer to my dream as a surface pattern designer, this is what hit me. This piece of advice I've shared before and it seems really simple, but it dawned on me that actually needed to do something in order to make my dream come true. If I just kept thinking about this dream, it was big and scary and overwhelming and I didn't known how to get there and so it was easier to not even start. It would've been much easier to just give up and keep doing what I already knew how to do. But I decided to do one thing, every single day, in steps of moving me towards my dream. So at the beginning this was a ton of research, because I didn't know even where to begin. So a ton of research. I talk to people, I ask questions. I of course started taking Adobe Illustrator lessons, which is what took up a lot of these one thing a day. A lot of times it was a 100 things a day, but sometimes it was only one thing. But I did this for 18 months and at the end of 18 months I signed my first contract. So it just goes to show that over time, a lot of small things really add up to huge things and I still use the same philosophy today. My dreams and goals change and they are overwhelming and I don't know how to get there, but I start with knowing what I do know how to do. I start by chunking away one thing at a time and then at the end of 6,12,18 months, really big things have happened. So that's what I want to encourage you to do too. So is surface pattern designed for you? I want you to know that you don't have to be an artist to be a surface pattern designer. I'm not a traditional artist, even though I do sketch and work off sketches most of the time, I don't create artwork that I would necessarily sell outright as works of art. They're more ideas, jotted on paper. So a lot of surface pattern designers are really talented artists and if that's you, then you have a leg up on the game. But there are several surface patterns designers that don't sketch at all. They work directly with an illustrator or they doodle or things like that. There is nothing like seeing your artwork in the world, especially for the first time, you see something that you've created appear on a piece of fabric or on some stationery. It just as an overwhelming feeling that there's just nothing like it. There's no sealing to your success as a surface pattern designer. You really have great potential when you design patterns and we're going to talk about more of the specifics on this later on in the course, but I wanted to at least plant the seed hear now. Of course, if surface pattern designing is a dream of yours, there's just nothing like living your creative dream. It's fulfilling, it's exciting and it's possible. So I want you to know that there is room for you. So super early on in my career before I started Going Home To Roost, I was doing research on how to start a blog, what kind of a blog I wanted to start. I emailed a couple of bloggers to tell them that I was going to start a blog and introduced myself. Some people didn't respond, others mean or responded quickly, but one person in particular responded and she was really successful at the time and I really was nothing at all. She tolled me that she was so happy that I was starting a blog. There was room for me, there was room for more bloggers and this is just something that stuck with me over the years. It's kind of my mantra and I want to share it with you too, it's really easy to feel like the Market place is saturated. That there's not room for you, that everything's been done before and you have nothing new to bring to the table, but I want to debunk all of that and tell you that there is room for you. The world needs what you have, because you have a unique perspective and unique way of showing your vision and inspirations with the world. That's unlike anybody else in the entire world. So I want you to know that we want you to share your work with the world and I can't waited to seen what you make. 3. Create a Repeating Pattern: In this first segment, I want to introduce to you my pattern collection for this course, and also take you through learning how to design a technical repeating pattern in Adobe Illustrator. I mentioned this before, but I want to mention one more time, that in my first course, Intro to Surface Pattern Design, we go into great depth in learning Adobe Illustrator, how to illustrate and design motifs, and how to create patterns. That is not what I'm going to focus on today, even though I do want to show you how to make a repeating pattern for anybody who is new and wants to learn that bit. But as far as the actual design elements, please refer back to my first course in order to learn how to do that. This is my nearly finished pattern collection for this course. We're going to talk about the ins and outs of why I chose these, and the names, and the title as we go on. But one of the things I want to do first is you'll see that I have left one empty space for a pattern that I call vintage vases, and I want to hop over and illustrate that for you right now. If you'll notice too that this new dark teal floral pattern is the pattern that I made in our first course, it's just recolored to go with this new collection. I'm going to hop over to a New Document, and zoom in to show you a couple of motifs that I've already designed. They are inspired by vintage vases that I have at my home and fresh cut flowers out of my flower garden, so I'm going to create a repeating pattern from these. I'm going to start with the rectangle tool, and this pretty peach color. I'm just going to drop a point and set my rectangle to 400 pixels by 400 pixels. Now the size of your background and repeat can be any size as long as it's a square or a rectangle, it doesn't matter, but I'm going to start with this 400 by 400. So I have already grouped these together how I'd like them to be grouped, and I'm just going to start layering them over here on top of my background. Now my background is on top so I can select it, right-click and Arrange it, Send it to the Back. That way, all of my new motifs will go right on top of it. I'm just going to start filling in the left-hand side here with some of these vases. I'm going to go ahead and replicate this top one down here at the bottom because I think we are going to overlap right here. With this selected, I'm going to right-click, come down to Transform and hit "Move" and take this down 400 pixels. Now instead of hitting "Okay," I'm going to hit "Copy" to make a duplicate of that. Just like I thought, I need to rearrange these just a little bit. All of these are overlapping on the left-hand side, so I'm going to go ahead and duplicate them to the right-hand side. The trick to making technical repeating patterns in Illustrator, is that they have to be perfectly lined up on the left-hand axis with the right hand, and the bottom and the top, so that's what we're going to do first. I'm going to select all four of those, right-click and come down to Transform and move them this time 400 pixels across, and zero up and down, and hit "Copy" to copy those. That way I can start filling in my top now. I don't really want these in rows, I just want to plop them down a little haphazardly, so it has an organic feel to it. Then I might grab this one and duplicate it by holding down Option key, and that way I can bring these down. I just need to grab the middle ones, because I've already duplicated the ones on the corner down to the bottom. With those selected, I'll come down to Transform, Move, and come down 400 pixels. Now I get to fill in the inside of my pattern here. To do that, I'm going to primarily be grabbing these motifs that I've laid across the sides, and duplicating them in the middle. I think that this is looking a little crowded, so I'm going to grab this and this one. You can make adjustments and move things around as long as you adjust both that cross the axis at the same time. I'll see how that looks when we get our pattern going here, and I'm just going to start replicating these. One thing I like to do is rather than just duplicate this, which I have done by holding down the Option key, is to reflect them so that they don't look so identical. I'll grab O on my keyboard for the reflect tool, and just reflect this around itself. Now I hold the Shift key to make sure that it stays in line on the other side. I'll reflect that one as well and this one. I don't even need this one anymore because it's not crossing the axis any longer. I think I'll put this one here, and back out. This one I'll flip. I'm just trying to look here, I don't want any two that are similar to touch each other. Let's go with this right here and see how it looks when we create our pattern. I think I may need to do a little bit more adjusting. The next step in making a repeating pattern is that you have to select the background color that you've chosen, the square or rectangle and make an identical copy of it behind itself. To do that I hit Command C on my keyboard, and Command B to copy and paste it behind itself. So you can't tell, but there are two of these here now. The key is that it has to have no stroke and no fill. Right now it's peach because I've copied it, but I want to give it no stroke and no fill. Now those are identically on top of each other, and that's the most important thing. If they become off at all, you'll end up with a line in your pattern, but it's easy to avoid if this is the last step you do in making your pattern. The next thing I want to do is select everything on my art board, and drag and drop it over to my swatches panel. Then I can start using my patterns, so if I just draw a large rectangle here, I can select the swatch and fill it in with my pattern. I think this looks really good. I'm going to copy it, and paste it back over to my document. Now I just want to grab this empty square here, and using the eyedropper tool, the keyboard shortcut for that is I, fill it with the pattern that we just made. I'm going to select the pattern that I copied over and delete it. In the next segment we're going to dive deeper into developing pattern collections. Key things to keep in mind as you develop a collection, and we're going to come back and look at this as we discuss that as well. I'll meet you in the next segment. 4. Why & How to Design in Collections: In this segment, I want to discuss working in collections. Why it's important to work in collections, if you want to make a career out of surface pattern design, and how best to develop a collection and put it together. The first thing that I personally like to do, and I'm not even sure that many other designers do this but I love to tell a story with my patterns. Each of my pattern collections are really personal to me and not even very many people necessarily know the story behind all of them but to me they represent a time in my life, a place where I lived, somebody in my life and this can feel like a really vulnerable thing to do because when I put my work out in the world and it gets criticized or whatever, I'm not sure what reaction I'm going to get from it, it is hard to not take it really personally because I feel like my work is a direct reflection of something that was really personal in my life. However, I also feel like it gives it a depth at that some other patterns or collections may be missing. Telling a story really draws the viewer in, invites them to become a part of the story, and just gives your whole collection more meaning, so that's what I want to talk about in this segment. Build your collection around a story, make sure that everything in your collection refers back to that story. Some of my stories are not even very obvious, they're a little more obscure so I don't mean that if you design a butterfly collection that every pattern has to contain butterflies, but you do want your motifs to be reminiscent of your overall theme, and it's just something that you want to keep in mind as you go. Your collection name should reflect the story, your pattern name should reflect the story. I always suggest writing a description or a little paragraph that explains your story, and you can do this before you even begin designing your collection and maybe keep it nearby as you're designing to keep on referring to. Later on once you have finalized colors, you're going to want to add a color name into the end of your pattern name because generally you have a collection and then the collection has two different colors stories, so you need to differentiate the pattern names by the color at the end. Your color names can even be reminiscent of this overall story or a theme that you keep referring back to, and I'm going to show you more examples as we keep going. But if I hop over to my pattern collection for this course, you can see that I have done this here. The pattern collection is called Cultivate, and my paragraph is cultivate was inspired by working in the garden, smelling of dirt and reaping the harvest. It's about the often overlooked importance of a simple flower garden where blossoms grow, birds sing and freshly cut blooms awaken your home with happy hues. I grew my own flower garden for the first time this past Summer and I basically documented the whole process through my pattern collection. Of course, it's heavy on the florals. I have four florals and two geometrics for this six pattern collection and I have named each pattern to align with my theme of cultivating flower gardens, so they are named thrive, seed packet, flower field, row by row, nectar and vintage faces. Creating your signature style is a vital and a very important part in developing your career as a surface pattern designer. The thought of a signature style scared me at first before I new how to design or what I was doing. I didn't even know what my signature style was. I felt like I should known that, I felt like that's something that I should already know. But I didn't know what it was, but I knew that the idea behind a signature style is that ideally, anyone that's familiar with your work, whether they've scene a particular pattern or not will be able to recognize that it's yours even if your name's not on it. This is also going to develop you as a designer and make you a more desirable designer to a company say that wants to include your artwork. If you have a strong signature style, then a company will be more likely to see that and recognize it and want to share with their followers. I want you to remember that it doesn't matter what others are doing it matters what you are doing. When you are in the midst of trying to decide what your signature style is, or work that out in your designs it is so easy to look online and be overwhelmed by what everybody else is doing, and other people signature styles. It's easy to be overly influenced by somebody else's style. I want to encourage you to put your blinders on, and really design from your heart and your soul and your signature style will come through. Another thing is this early work. Before you have any contracts and before your license with anybody and before you ever sell a single pattern, you're going to have a period of time where you're just designing. This for me was that six or 12 months before I got my first contract where I was designing and I designed over a 100 patterns, maybe 200 patterns in this time period and that is when my signature style came out. It wasn't anything that I ever had to decide, it just shown itself as I began to design because of the particular way that I draw my motifs and particular way that I illustrate them. Over time it showed itself. The other thing is about this early work is that this is the only time hopefully in your professional career as a surface pattern designer, that you're not going to have deadlines, you're not going to have art directors influencing the direction that you're taking. You definitely not going to have any briefs to be working from and so all of this work is really just straight from your heart and straight from your inspiration and what you envision write into pattern making. Oftentimes I hear this from other designers to that some of our absolutely favorite work was created during this time before anybody even knew that we were designing. But it's because we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted and there were no time constraints, so we had plenty of time. It's easy to feel like you're in a rush during this time, that you're in a hurry to get your first contract or in a hurry to show your work to people, but I want to encourage you to cherish this time and nourish it and don't be in a rush. Take months if not years in order to develop your style, create hundreds of patterns and then once you have a collection that you're really really happy with and proud of and want to show it to somebody, your hard work and the time and effort that you've put into is going to be undeniable. I have a couple of strategies for success. In surface pattern design. If you want to make a career out of this, you should be jumping out of bed that you are so excited to get back to designing. I still do this, sometimes I say I dream in repeats. I'll dream about illustrator and I'll dream about my next pattern collections and it'll wake me up at six in the morning to get up and get started on the designs that I'm working on. If you find yourself not feeling this way about surface pattern design, then I encourage you to take a break from it and find something that does get you this excited, that it's waking you up in the morning, you're so excited to work on it and I believe that is when you found your creative dream. Focus on your pattern work, remember that you are on a mission. When you're developing collections and wanting to start a career in this, it's important that you stay on track. Don't get sidetracked by slow responses, or things that take a long time, or other people's successes or anything like that, but just focus on what you're doing, stay on track and remember that you're on a mission and you are going to make it happen. So these are my design tips for collection. I recommend working in collections of ate to 12 patterns. For this course, we're doing a mini collection of six patterns, but for a portfolio and for representing to a company, I suggest presenting collections in eight to 12 patterns. I usually do 10, but it's up to you what comes in the middle of there. Generally, you'll want to present each collection in two different color options, and finally, for a portfolio, we'll talk about this a little bit more later, I would suggest presenting two to four collections in your portfolio. So that's two to four collections of eight to 12 patterns each, both in two different color options and this is going to give somebody who's looking at your work a really well-rounded view of how you design, what your signature stile is and really what you're capable of. The other really important thing to remember when designing a collection is that you want your collection to vary in contrast, scale, and complexity. I'm going to show you a couple more of my collections here in a second, but I'm going to hop back over to cultivate and I think that I've done a pretty good job of representing this here. We have, I would say this one and this one are large-scale, these two are medium-scale, and these two are small-scale. Now it's really easy to change the scale. If I wanted to make this one a large-scale, an illustrator, all I have to do is select it, right-click, come down to transform and scale, then click off transform objects and all you have to do is transform the pattern itself. Say I've taken this up to 200 percent, so now I can say that this one is a large-scale and maybe take this one down two a medium or small scale, but the point is that in a collection, you want to make sure to vary the scale. You also want to be sure to vary the complexity. I would say these two at the top and this one down here in the middle are my more complex patterns. These two of course, are the simpler patterns, and this one is a medium complexity. It's a simple repeat, but some of the motifs or more complex. Finally, you want to vary the hew. I've got two patterns that are darker, and hew two that are more medium and hew, and these two minimal patterns are lighter in hew. The reason that this is important is definitely for fabric, but for more applications like stationary as well, it's important to provide some coordinates. If we're talking about the fabric industry, quilter is like to have a lot of contrast and their quilts and also simpler patterns to tone down the more hectic patterns. Also, these are great for the things like binding and backing or the lining of a bag. If we're talking about stationary, it's really nice to have more minimal patterns to use on them as the binding of a notebook or as the folder inside of a notebook or the wrapper around a pencil or something like that and then larger, really bold patterns for big statement pieces. I want to take you through a couple of my other pattern collections just so you can get a real well-rounded view of telling a story and then varying this contrast, scale and complexity in the patterns. Sweet as honey was my second pattern collection that I debuted. It's about exploring nature and growing a garden that generously allows for freshly picked flowers. It is here that the heir smells as sweet as honey and a sense of wonderment sets in as you gaze upon a deer, nestled among the dandelions. This is the most lovely place where the birds fly free and the honey, it's extra sweet. I designed this pattern collection literally when I lived in a really sunny town in central California at the time, and the honey here was actually the sweetest honey that I had ever had, so I name this collection "sweet as honey." This is the collection and these prints are not true to scale. I rather scaled them in order for you just to see the entire print, but it is a good example for you to see contrast in complexity and hue. You can see I have several that are more complex and others that are simpler and some that are darker than others. Also, I've named these referring back to my theme, Orchid Blossom, Honey House, be Sweet, Rooted, Fly By Day, Beekeeper, Bed of Daisies, Cherished Deer and Garden Gate. This next slide shows you the second color way, and these are true to scale so that you can see the smaller scales and the larger scales that I've included in the collection and just a quick glimpse at the second color way. Winged was my third pattern collection. It captures the first sightings over butterfly each spring and wake up to the birds chirping outside your window. Winged represents a season's fresh beginnings and the dawn of a new day, to spread your wings and let your imagination fly free. This is a personal childhood story of mine. I always remember the first butterfly, each spring, and it just evokes these feelings in me of anything is possible and fresh beginnings are hear and it's a new season, so this collection was designed with that in mind. You can see it's butterflies and birds and flowers and more floral motifs. These are named WingSpan, Flyaway Petalums, Feathered Flight, Frilly Flutters, Mimicry, Metamorphoses, Aves Chatter, Plumage, and Birds Peck. This next slide shows the patterns in there true scale, and also the second collar range. The last collection I'm going to show you is called Hello bear. It just became available this year and this one is probably the most personal to me as it was inspired by my son. With a bunch greater meaning than one might realize at first glance, hello bear tells a meaningful story of adventure and wonder, named after my son Bear. It was inspired by seeing the wilderness through a new set of eyes, so wonder for a bit and explore world where dreams become reality. This is him, I have to show you a picture of baby Bear and this is the collection. This is a wilderness inspired collection, and so I named each piece with that in mind. Oh hello, Leaflet, Buck Forest, Timberland, Summit, Wildwood, Moral Drove, Adventure and Follow Me. You can also see the difference in complexity and hue here and on the next slide, these are true to scale and the second color way. So that wraps up my discussion on designing and collections. Designing and collections is not something that's really easy. There's a lot of trial and error. I usually design maybe 15 patterns and they get whittled down to a, and then maybe I have an idea for two more and I come out with ten and the end and so seven have bean designed that end up getting tossed out or something like that. It's not easy, but it absolutely is worth it. Designing and collections is going to enhance your career and catapult you into the world of surface pattern design. In the next segment, I want to show you how to take your patterns in Adobe Illustrator and apply them to products. I'll meet you there. 5. Apply your Patterns to Mockups: Welcome back. In this segment, I want to discuss how to apply your patterns to mockups and illustrations in Adobe Illustrator and also begin talking about designing a portfolio and applying your patterns to products across the web. This first document I have open is called pattern mockups, and this is a free download app supplied to you in the course materials for this class. I'm just going to show you how to use it. I'm going to hop over to my cultivate pattern collection. I'm just going to select my six patterns swatches, copy them by hitting Command C, and paste them over to my document. I'm just going to scale them down and move them over here to the left. This is really the fun part, we get to color up some mockups. You can draw your own mockups and you can also find tons of mockups online that you can purchase them on Creative Market. Then of course, you can do some much more detailed overlays in Photoshop, but that's a little beyond the scope of this course. I'm going to show you just how to simply apply them to some illustrations in Illustrator. If I want to apply a pattern to this lamp shade, all I have to do is select this part that I want to apply, grab the Eyedropper Tool by hitting I and select the pattern that I want to fill it with. I'm going to hit Command H on my keyboard to hide my edges so that you can really see what I'm doing. I think I'll do this dress next and I just want to grab these two areas here and fill them with maybe this pattern and then do the two sides with something contrasting like this. The purse can be maybe our new nectar pattern. An iPhone case with this dark floral pattern on it, coordinating pillows and, of course, I think the vases should be printed in vintage vases and color this band the same way. I didn't mean to, so I'm going to grab it and make it a solid color. Of course, you can change the color of these accents here if I wanted to make it a little more cohesive. This looks good. One thing I might do, say to this pillow, if I zoom in here is because the pillow is at an angle, I should probably make my pattern at a angle too, so I can come down to Transform and Rotate. I don't want to rotate the object, just the pattern, and that already looks really good. You can plug in a number here or just scroll with your mouse. I think that looks good, so I'll hit "OK." This is just a really quick way to add patterns to products. If you include this in a page on your portfolio, then this is just one more step that you can take in order for a company or an art director to see that you're really thinking ahead about what your patterns can be applied to and really help them envision where you're going and what you see your patterns doing well on. The next thing I want to show you is just a couple of pages of the portfolio that I made a couple of years back. I designed it in Adobe Illustrator and with the skills that you know, especially if you took my first course, you will be able to design your own pages and Illustrator as well. These are just squares filled with patterns, some texts that I added, but I thought it might be helpful for you to see the back-end of actual Illustrator document. If I zoom in here, this was my cover page, table of contents page, and a little bit about my blog and also my social media followers at the time. If I scroll down here, I've included some key books and magazines and online blogs and websites that I had been featured on just to give them an understanding of what following I was bringing to the table and then more design elements. Of course, this portfolio got to be really big, I had three collections in it and a mockups page, but that at least shows you the beginning steps of it. If I hop over to the web here, I can show you the digital version of my portfolio. Now we're going to talk more about this in the next segment. This is not necessarily what I would recommend you sending to a company, but just a backup for somebody to be able to review your work after they've seen a hard copy of your portfolio. This is published on a website called Issuu, and I highly recommend them, they're actually like a digital magazine publication service, but you can also do things like your portfolio. You can flip through the pages here and see how my Illustrator file got brought to life here on Issuu. One other cool thing that Issuu allows you to do is print your publication. For as little as 4.44, you can actually get a bound little booklet of your publication. If I hop back over to Illustrator, I just want to show you really quickly how to save this document in order to make a PDF from it, It's really easy. All you have to do is say File and Save As and I can name this as my portfolio and under Format, instead of Adobe Illustrator, choose PDF. Now when you hit Save, you'll have a couple of options come up. Illustrator default is a pretty heavy or large size PDF, it's going to be really high-quality and you can choose which option you like here, the smallest file size is going to downsample the images, but give you the smallest file size. Then you just hit "Save" and you have a PDF. That is a little bit about how to add your patterns to products and start developing a portfolio. In the next segment, we're going to discuss how to build your portfolio in more depth and start sharing your work with the world. I'll meet you there. 6. Save a Tiling Square: In this segment, I want to share with you how to take a pattern and save its repeating square. This is going to come in handy for anytime that you want to install a seamlessly repeating background, say somewhere on the web. Also if you want to upload this swatch to Spoonflower or a website like that in order to get the repeat working well. I'm just going to grab this first one called Thrive. I'm going to copy it, open a new document by hitting command in and enter. Now I'll paste it over here. One really handy trick to get access to the actual repeat of this pattern is that you can see it's over here as the fill in my swatches panel. You can just grab this fill and drag and drop it over to your Artboard. That is going to give you direct access back to your initial repeat that you've designed. This is also a great way to edit your pattern. If you haven't saved this version of it somewhere else, you can always just pull it from the Fill box and edit your repeat this way, and then just drag and drop it back over to the swatches panel to try a new version of it. So I'm going to delete this swatch now. This is all grouped together that if I just want to grab this background, I can either ungroup it, but instead, I'm going to hit A for the direct selection tool, which will allow me to just come in here and grab nothing but this background. I'm going to make a copy of it by hitting command C and paste it behind by hitting command B on my keyboard. Now there is another one there. I'm going to turn this into an Artboard. So under Object, you can come down to Artboards and choose Convert to Artboards. Now, I have a perfect Artboard of my repeating box here. Next, you have a couple of options on how you want to save this. If you want to upload it to use as a blog or Twitter background, you're going to want to save it for the web. If I come up to file, I can come down and select Save for Web. Now I use this feature so much that I just use the keyboard shortcut even though it's pretty long, it's Command Shift Option S. That brings up the Save for Web panel. You can decide whether you want to save it as a JPEG or a PNG. I usually save that as a PNG and always Art Optimized. Now, you could have increased or decreased the size of this repeat in Illustrator just by scaling it, but you can also do it here if you want it bigger or larger. I can take the percent up to 200. Since it's a vector, it keeps the integrity really nicely, and I'm ready to save this. So I'm going to save this as "repeat box" onto my desktop and hit save. Now that just takes us back to our Illustrator file. But if I hop over to my desktop, you can see it right here. Now say, if I wanted to apply that to my Twitter background, I can just come into my settings here and change the background. There's my repeat box. I will open that and select Save Changes. That is what this looks like now with the new pattern as my Twitter background. You can see that it repeats seamlessly because of the way that we saved the PNG. Now the other way that you can choose to save this is, say for Spoonflower, is directly upload the Illustrator file or a PDF. In order to do that, all I need to do is just delete this extra Artboard that we started with, which is Artboard number 1. All I have to do is drag and drop it down to the trash. I'm left with only the Artboard that defines the repeat perfectly. I can just save this Illustrator file and upload it directly to Spoonflower or as a PDF and upload that to Spoonflower. That is how you save the actual repeating box to a pattern. In the next segment, I want to show you how to create some fun stuff, save some clip art images, and make desktop backgrounds. I'll see you in just a minute. Bye. 7. Create Desktop & Smartphone Backgrounds: For this segment, I just want to show you how to create a couple of fun things with your new patterns. One of my favorite things to do for the Rootstrap tribe and also for my blog every month, is design a set of matching wall papers for your desktop and your iPhone or a smartphone. That's what I'm going to show you how to do today. I'm going to use this nectar pattern that we created and I'll copy it, open up a new document and paste it here. Now I'm going to zoom out. Now, I'm going to zoom out and I'm going to make a couple of new art boards. How I'm going to do that is grab the rectangle tool and instead of drawing a square or rectangle, I just want to drop a point and put in my own custom pixels for my width and my height. Now, I just googled this and you can do the same. But for a desktop, generally, the correct dimensions are 2400 pixels by 1500 pixels, and that's going to give me the right size for that. I'm going to do this one more time. The new iPhone Plus background size is 1080 by 1920. So that should give us one that's plenty big and usable across any device. Now, if I select both of these, I can come up to object, art boards, and convert them to our boards, and I can now delete the one that I first started with. What I want to do is fill these with my new pattern. Delete the swatch I brought over, and I want to select both of them and increase their scale significantly. I'm going to come down to transform and scale, make sure that transform objects is checked off and I'm going to take this up. I'll start with 1000 percent. You can choose to do whatever you like here, but I tend to blow up my patterns so that you can really see the detail and then insert either a calendar or a quote somewhere on them. I think I'm going to leave this at 800 and I'll hit okay. But I'm not really happy with the placement here, so I'm going to change the placement on them one at a time. I'll grab this one first, come down to transform and move. That's really already better. It has jumped to a random position here, but you can either plug in your own position or use your mouse to just scroll up and down. I think something like that is good for the desktop background and I'm going to do the same thing for the iPhone background. I'm going to start this at zero, so I can just scroll and see what I want to have in the center here. Maybe I want to replicate it a little bit to the one on the left. Something like that, and I'll hit okay. Now, if I want to add maybe a quote here, I can grab the text tool by hitting T, and type, let's say, "Do what you love." Scale this up and bring it down here and I have my color palette already over here. I can quickly change the font here, maybe to baskerville and increase the spacing a little bit. Then I can just duplicate that over here if I want them both to say the same thing. Now one, thing that I highly suggest, especially if you're sharing these on the web, is to put your information on it somewhere. So I'm going to come over here and grab my logo, copy and paste it over to my document and decrease its size and just hide it down here in the corner, and also change its color. That way as this gets used and shared on the web, people know that it's your artwork. You can do it with your logo or your web address or something like that, but I do suggest reminding people who created it. In order to save these, I'll select this first art board, hit Command Shift, Option S, to bring up the Safer Web dialog box. All my settings are great, PNG-24 and art optimized and I'll hit Save. You can do the same thing for the iPhone background then hit, Save. I save those to my desktop so you can see them here now. If I just wanted to change my desktop, all I have to do is right-click and there they are. You can double-click on that and you can see that it's now my new desktop. This is just a really fun way to share your artwork with the world and people love free download. So if you have a blog or Member Service or something like that, this is a great way to share your work. 8. Create & Save a Clip Art Set: In this tutorial, I just want to show you one more fun thing to do with your patterns that is easy enough for me to show you quickly, and that is how to create a clip art set. I'm going to grab my pattern vintage vases, copy it, open a new document, and paste it over here. Just like we did before, I'm going to grab the initial repeat by dragging the fill over to my artboard. I'm going to go ahead and right-click and ungroup it. You can see that the way I group this illustration as I worked has been preserved as well. I can delete this swatch now and I really don't need my background anymore either. I just want to create a clip art set of a couple of these vases. I'll grab a couple of them that are different. Let's say we make a set of five clip arts. Now I can delete these and all I need to do is draw boxes around these, so I'm going to grab the Rectangle tool and start drawing a box. I'm going to change this to a weird color that I haven't used anywhere on the artboard yet, and I'll show you why in just a second. But right now I just want to cover all of them up with a rectangle. I only have five, so it wouldn't be a big deal to come back and individually select all of these. But as you work in bigger documents, this is a really nifty trick, is that, you can just select one, come up to select "Same," and choose "Fill Color" and that will select everything on my artboard that I have the same fill color, which is why I wanted to use a color that I haven't used on it already. I'm going to turn these into artboards by coming up to Object, Artboards and Convert to Artboards. You can see this artboard is just a little darker than all the rest, which means that I haven't selected., so I can hit Command Shift Option S to bring up the safer web dialog box. If you're using this technique for something of your own, then you can just size this however you prefer. But if you are doing this to share on the web or sell on the web, then you need to make sure that your clip art is big enough to where anybody could use it for their purpose. You could have size this up on the artboard, but another way to do that is just increase it's size here in the percent box. I might even take this up to 700 percent and that looks great. Now yours might look something like this and what you want to make sure to do is change this name preset to PNG 24 and make sure that transparency is checked. That means that this is going to put this illustration on a transparent background. I'll show you more about that in just a second. It's art optimized here, if this was typography, I would change that to type, but art is perfect and I'll save this. I'll just save this in numbers, so I'll name that number one. Now quickly go through and do it to all these, change that to 700 percent. It's remembered all my settings, so I'm good to save it, I'll save that as number two. Save this one is number three. Sometimes you have to move around new tab over here to get this to update. But that's why you see me clicking. This last one, we'll save as number five. Then the way that you use these are, say I have this image on my desktop and I can just drag and drop it over to my artboard. This is not going to be the most perfect example here. But say you want to delay, one of these or a couple of these on top, I'll just grab all five of them. I can drag and drop those over to my art board and scale them down. You can see that they have a transparent background. They look funny in the document. They have this gray outline, but once you save this image, that goes away, it's just the way that it's being rendered in Illustrator. That's how you can use clip art and save it with a transparent background. Like I said, this is not maybe the best example, but it shows you the idea, if you're a blogger and wanted to overlay your handwriting or text or something like that on an image, or if you wanted to save your logo with the transparent background and overlay that on images or something like that. Then to save this image for a Web or blog post, all you do is the same exact thing we've been doing. Create an artboard for it and save it for the web. One other final thing is that if you were packaging this to sell, you could just select all of these and compress them into a zip file. I would rename this vases clip art. That way you can either send the zip file or upload it to an Etsy shop or your blog and make it a really nice clean download for people. That is how to save the clip art illustration. I hope you'll have fun with that. 9. The Importance of a Portfolio: For this next segment, we're going to discuss more about building your portfolio and how to show your work with the world. The first thing I want to talk about is a book by Austin Kleon called Show Your Work. If you haven't had a chance to read this or sum of other Austin Kleon's books, I highly recommend them. He also has a book called Stolen like an Artist, which is another wonderful book, and they're quick and easy reads but they are really informative and inspiring. A couple of things that I took away from his book called Show You Work, is be findable. If you are not online, you don't exist. You don't have to do everything online, you don't have to blog and be on every social media outlet that exists, but you do need to be online and you do need to be gaining an online following. This is vital to your success as a surface pattern designer. One reason is that when a company or an art director looks at you and your work, the greater online following that you have, the greater potential to them is, because if they were to sign you on as an artist, then they're potentially opening themselves up to a brand new audience of yours. So the bigger that audience is the more valuable you are as a surface pattern designer. Showing your work is one thing that's scary, I talked a little bit about it before. If your work is really personal to you, it's scary to put it out in the world for a lot of reasons, but you never know what feedback you're going to get. Austin encourages us to share one thing every single day, and he also talks about thinking about your process and not necessarily your end product. Before social media existed, especially things like Twitter and Instagram, people were only able to see the end result of your artwork, say at an art show or something like that. Now, we're able to show the steps of our process and your followers and readers are going to love that. They love getting to know the person behind the artwork. People love learning about process and what goes into a finished piece or collection. I know that when I am following an artist or blogger online, my favorite shots are always the behind scenes shots or the messy shots, or the ones that aren't quite styled or perfected, but they're the process shots. I encourage you to share your process along the way. Share what you know, that's what I'm doing here and Austin was a big part of that too. He recommends learning and sharing, you should constantly be learning and then constantly be sharing what you know. I had been pretty open about not having any secrets, I don't have any trade secrets, I have shared everything that I know through course or would the Roost Tribe or something. I want to make this information available to you and I want to make you fall on your dream, help you make it as easy as possible. The last bit of advice I took from Austin's book is the importance of finding a void online and trying to fill it. Trying to figure out something that's not really been done before, quite like your approach is going to be to it. Try to found a void and fill it with your unique voice and perspective and artists style. Sharing your work. The primary way that I suggest sharing your work is by building a portfolio, both an online portfolio and a hard copy portfolio. Now, I'm a little old school, but I think that it takes me a long way. Companies, generally, especially larger companies, will get 50-100 portfolios in any given week with surface patterns designers and artists wanting to be signed by them. If you can think in terms of making your presentation and portfolio as special as it possibly can be, we'll get you a long way. I think art directors are probably bombarded by E-mails and online versions of portfolios to look at. While I think there's a place for an online portfolio in order to send it to somebody who's maybe already seen your hard copy portfolio as a way for them to reference what they've already seen, I think that's a good idea. But I highly suggest making a hard copy portfolio and mailing it the old fashioned way to an art director of your choice. We're going to talk about how to make it special and how to show it to someone. First, this is a picture of my first portfolio that I ever made. Of course I didn't have fabric at the time, so I use Boone flour to print my own fabric. I wanted to bought my own book, so I took a little day-long course at a local book bindery, and I learned how two bind my own book. If you look at the center photo, this book-binding method is called the drum leaf method, and it allows your pages to lay flat. So you of course, don't have to learn how to book-bind and bind your own book. You definitely don't have to use the drum leaf method, but I would suggest doing something other than using a standard three-ring binder or something like that, really try to make it special. On the right you can see how I packaged it to send it to a company. These are my tips for building a portfolio. Pour your heart and soul into your portfolio and your package, make it lovely in every way. Make it feel like the most special book or portfolio that someone has ever held. Also make it personal, include a personalized note to whoever you're sending it to, and also be sure to let them known whether you plan on letting them keep it or if you would like it returned to you. I'm guessing you probably want it returned to you. If you do want it returned to you, make sure to include a prepaid self-addressed shipping envelope with a shipping label already on it in your package. This is just a really nice gesture and it's going to make it really easy for them to send it back to you, and it also makes it clear and a nice way that you do want them to send it back to you. Also after you send the portfolio, you want to make sure to follow up. These art directors are generally really busy and they're slammed with portfolios and work. Make sure to follow up within two weeks, give them time to receive your package and look over it and follow up with them in two weeks. If they don't have an answer for you then, then I would follow up in two week increments for as long as it takes. Have you even know who to send this to? I suggest researching the companies that you're interested in working with and finding their phone number. All you have to do is pick up the phone. Again, this is a little old school. It's much more comfortable to shoot them an e-mail. But like I said before, they're getting 100s of e-mails a week. They're not getting a 100 phone calls a week, and so this was something that I feel set me apart from a lot of the other surface pattern designers. Because I found a phone number for the company that I wanted online, and picked up the phone, and simply asked may I speak to the Art Director when I called. Now, the next thing I literally had to write down so that I would remember what to say next. But surprisingly enough, when I asked for an Art Director, they almost always said, "Yes, hold on just a second." These people are real and they're accessible. They need artwork. They need your artwork. Because without artwork to put on there products then they don't have great products. The next thing I said was, "Hello, my name is Bonnie and I'm a designer. I would love to submit my work to you to review and was wondering if you have any submission guidelines?" Most companies will have what you call submission guidelines. This is a particular way that they would like to see artwork, a particular address where you should send your portfolio, and maybe even a form online that they'd like you to fill out. But it's important to connect with these people in a personal way and ask them ahead of time if they have guidelines. Now, that's easier said than done. I'm not sure about you, but I get nervous ordering a pizza on the phone. I'm really nervous picking up the phone and asking for to speak to an Art Director. But this got me through every time. It only takes 10 seconds of courage. As nervous as you are, all you have to do is pick up the phone and dial a number and then say one sentence. Then after that, things get rolling and you're not so nervous anymore. But it would be much easier to just not do this, if you get nervous about that thing like I do. It'll be much easier to not call. But I have found that throughout my entire career, I have had to do lots of things that take 10 seconds of courage meeting people, approaching people, asking for things, making speeches. Sometimes it's just the first 10 seconds that are the hardest, but if you can get through them then everything else will come afterwards and it's always worth it. Trade shows are a really interesting part of the surface patterns on world that you don't necessarily have to partaken, but it does give a pretty unique opportunity. There are a couple of different approaches to Trade Shows. There are several trade shows that are specifically for surface pattern designers like Surtex and Printsource. These are trade shows where you can purchase booth space and go as a surface pattern designer, fill your walls with your patterns and companies who are looking to license new artwork come to this shows and walk the aisles looking specifically for designers to license. Another approach to trade shows is going as an observer instead of as an exhibitor. Every industry has their own trade show. My big trade show every year is called Quilt Market, and it happens twice a year in the spring and the fall. This is where companies exhibit, and they're usually not open to the public, but you have to have an inn and able to attend. This is actually how I got my first contract. I had sent my portfolio to a couple of places and spent a lot of time back and fourth with no contract being signed. I decided to book a flight to Houston in fall of 2012, and I contacted several Art directors before I went. Maybe a dozen Art directors, and asked for an appointment when I got there. A trade show in your specified industry gives you a really unique opportunity. Every Art director for every company that you're interested in is under one roof at the same time. However, any company before a Trade Show is super busy, so you need to call maybe two or three months in advance to discuss appointments. I got eight or nine appointments with my top companies. I showed up at Quilt Market with my portfolio and a bunch of samples in hand, and met with these Art Directors one-by-one. It was an invaluable experience. Everything that everyone said to me, I was able to take and internalize and improve my work with. I was feeling like I was going to go home with a lot of legwork, a lot of homework, which is what I expected. A lot of people were interested, but they wanted to seen something a little differently. However, I had a meeting on the end of the second day with my top choice company, which was Art Gallery Fabrics. The owner was able to offer me a contract on the table after she looked at my work. This was a massive dream come true. I cried and it was just the most monumental development in my career to date. Trade shows can definitely be worth it, both as if you attend as an observer or as an exhibitor. But I encourage you to look into the trade show of your choice and consider going to attend it or exhibit at it. It always seems impossible until it's done. I know that this may seem overwhelming and a lot of steps that you have to take, but go back to my advice of doing one small thing a day. This segment has been covering things that you're going to be doing weigh later on in your career after you have learned illustrator, and developed your patterns, and made a couple of collections. You're going to feel ready for these next steps when the time comes. When the next step is to pick up the phone and call an Art Director, you're going to feel ready, and you're going to be able to go to a trade show and not be nervous. You're going to be totally prepared when the time comes. Don't get overwhelmed, just know that this is coming down the road for you. In the next segment, I want to talk about how to get noticed in the industry, and I'll meet you there. Bye. 10. Start your Career as a Surface Pattern Designer!: In this next and final segment, I want to discuss getting noticed in the industry as a surface pattern designer, your student projects, and an upcoming design challenge. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. I want you to remember this and erase all the doubt in your mind right now. There's no place for it. If this is your creative dream then you are on a mission and you're going to make this happen. Forget doubt. You have enough creative juices flowing that there's no room for them anyways and if you pour yourself into this, no matter how long it takes, I know that you will become successful. Staying on task is one of the key ways to make your creative dreams come true. Any dream that you have that's big and scary is not going to be easy. You're going to have to work really hard for probably a really long time to make them come true. But I have a couple of things that I like to use to help me stay on task, and that's what I want to show you right now. My favorite task manager is called TeuxDeux and it's an online task manager. It also syncs across your devices. It's just a simple day-by-day list manager, but you're able to set things for future days, and reoccurring events and mark them off as you go. It's just one way that I really try to stay on task and organized. The next one is called OmmWriter. It's another download offline, you can just Google OmmWriter and they are a writing software that you download. This is particularly helpful for me when I'm blogging and I'm getting distracted by my desktop, and social media, and buzzes, and all these things, pop-ups, and notifications. OmmWriter completely clears your desktop and brings up this beautiful writing software and it really allows you to put your binders on and hone in on what you're doing and focus on your writing. My iPhone, of course, is essential to my business. I use the camera part to document things that I design from all the time, but I also use the Scheduler and Siri or whatever program you use in order to set reminders for myself and it's a huge help. Also, I work from home and I'm also a stay-at-home mom. If this is your case, then it's one of the things that really helped me become successful at working from home was to set work hours. Of course, with children, your work hours need to be a little more flexible. But especially if you work from home without children setting hours is so important. I found that sometimes it's easy for friends and family to feel like you work from home, so you're available to chat, or go to lunch, or this kind of thing and saying yes to a lot of that will quickly devour your time for work. I set hours as much as I can and I really drill down on the work during my work hours. I also like to limit my social media time. Social media is a huge part of what I do and it's incredibly important, but it's also a time suck. I like to set a timer for my work and work really hard during that time and not checked any social media and then I give myself breaks in order to check-in or promote whatever I'm doing that day or just give myself a social media break from time to time. But these are like five-minute breaks, not 15 or 20-minute breaks. Also, if this is available to you, ask for help. One of the key things that changed my entire career was when my mom came and started helping me out one day a week and this was huge with my baby. It aloud me to just really dive in and get a huge amount of work done at least one day a week. I got my blog post scheduled and then the rest of the week was more flexible. If you have someone in your life that you can ask for help, whether it be a spouse, or sibling, or family member, or maybe you are in a position to hire help, don't be afraid to ask for help because your time is precious and it's valuable and you can do a lot with it. We discussed gaining an online following a little bit before, but I just want to bring back the point of how important it is to gain an online following. Be on at least one or two social media outlets. I never suggest if someone hates a social media outlet like you hate Facebook, then don't do Facebook. I don't believe in forcing yourself to do anything that you don't really resonate with. I do the bear minimum for Twitter because Twitter doesn't really inspire me or make me really want to connect, but I feel like I come alive on Instagram and that's where I cultivate community and really connect with people. Pick a few that you really love and be consistent with them. Consistency online is key, whether it's blogging or social media. Putting out a consistent reminder of people that you're here and this is what you're doing and offering things to people. These are all ways to gain your online following and really start to create a community. Also, this is going to take a while, even if you're not really sure where you're headed right now, at least start gaining an online following. It's taken years for me to gain to where I feel like there's momentum behind what I'm doing with my online following. It's just a slow process and that's really just the way it is but I encourage you to not give up and know that at some point the ball will begin to roll and it is going to be absolutely worth it in the long run. To share or not to share. This is a hot topic in surface pattern designing artists across the board. Do you share your work online? Do you not share your work online? You might have heard of horror stories, where a surface pattern designer shared some patterns on her blog and then a company refused license him because they wanted to have the rights to debut them for the first time themselves. This has never happened to me, but I have heard of it happening a couple of other times with other people. Sometimes we want to sit on maybe our best work and not show it to people. I always err on the sighed of sharing, because if you're not sharing your work, then how is anybody going to be able to find it? How do they know that it exists? I always recommend sharing your work, but sharing it smartly so putting your name on it somewhere. In the first course, I definitely covered this but I'll say it again here. I don't recommend splashing a watermark all over it because that is really distracting and it also leaves people like me as a blogger unable to really share your image. But if you can put your logo in the corner or something to let people know where they can find more and that it's yours, then this is a really smart tactic and way to share your work. Really follow your inner guidance especially if you're new, I would suggest sharing your heart out of your work because people have to know that you exist before you begin selling your work. Sell with no ceiling. What I mean by this is that if you're selling handmade good or selling a physical good, there's absolutely a place for this and this is a good thing to do. However, you will only be able to sell as many products as your hands can literally build unless you start hiring help or get a manufacturer. If you're a one-person show and you're, say like I'm making tea towels like I was, then I could literally figure out the most money I could possibly make by figuring out how many tea towels I could possibly make in a day and doing the math. The unique opportunity with surface pattern design is that if you license your work, you generally get a percentage. Your work has no limit of success. It will be as successful as it is in the market. I'm going to go to the next slide and talk a little bit about licensing versus selling outright. Licensing means that you have licensed your artwork via a contract with a company and you get a percentage of wholesale. Generally, I think the industry standard is 4-6 percent of wholesale that you get back from this. You keep all the copyright to your work and your name is also attached to your work. Generally, always what I suggest is to license your work over selling it outright. You have a much greater potential at making more money as you license and it also helps you keep the integrity of your work alive and your name attached to it. Other times, you may want to sell a pattern outright. If you sell a pattern or pattern collection outright, you will no longer have the copyright to those patterns. You won't be able to sell them or license them in any other industry, and your name will not be attached to them. Generally, I've heard patterns going anywhere from $300-$1200 depending on there complexity and of course, how established you are as a designer. Of course they can sell for away more than that as well but I think standard is $300-$1200 for a pattern. You may need to do this from time to time. But again, I would highly suggest not doing it for anything that you really feel like is a signature work of yours. One way that you might want to sell your work is say if you have a collection of pieces that you feel like is your signature style, you're going to want to license those so that your name stays attached to them. One example is, Bonnie Christine has a signature style, but I have the skill set to design other things like children's tractors and trucks and things like that. I have the skill set in illustrator to design those. Though I don't right now, potentially that's something I could do and sell outright, whereas I wouldn't care if I lost the rights to those and I wouldn't care if my name wasn't attached to it. In fact, I might prefer that my name wasn't attached to it if it was something that didn't align with my signature style. The other unique thing about licensing is that you can generally license the same pattern in several different industries at the same time. If you license a pattern in the fabric industry, you're done. Contracts are generally for two years but you can license the same pattern in say, the stationery industry, the wallpaper industry, and on and on. One pattern really does have a life of its own and a lot of potential. Let's get real. This is a lot of information and a lot of hard work. Honestly, it can take a while for you to see your first pay off. It just depends on how big of a dream this is for you and how bad do you want it? You are definitely going to have to have a shift in priorities and some sacrifice in order to make this dream come true. My husband and I lived on a very below average one-person income for two or three years while I was really following this dream of mine. But I had support and we made a lot of sacrifices and decided that this was more important to us than where we lived at the time or what we were able to purchase. We scraped by and it has absolutely paid off and I'm so happy that I'm now able to do what I really want to do. If you have a day job and you need to quit it. One of the smarter ways to go about that, or more of the reassuring way to go about that is to get savings. Generally, having savings of 3-6 months of your expenses will build in some cushion time for you to get rolling in your career and begin getting more income. If this is something that you want to do, I suggest making a savings account and depositing money in it via automatic withdrawal. You can say you're going to shift money around and save it for months and months. But it's really easy to not let it happen but if you set up an automatic withdrawal, you probably won't even notice when the money gets transferred over and you will be able to accumulate your six months or three months savings really quickly. Automatic withdrawal is definitely your friend. If you want to get started right away, you definitely have a couple of options. I'm going to hop over to the Web to show you these. Society6 gives you a really cool opportunity. You can automatically upload all of your repeating pattern designs to products right here in your own Society6 shop. Then you can immediately have mugs and iPhone cases, laptop skins, pillows, and a whole bunch of other things available immediately for purchase with your patterns on them and you get a small percentage of kickback. This is my Society6 shop and if I hop over to the iPhone and iPod cases, you can see all the patterns that are available to purchase there. This is just a really cool way to get your artwork on products really quickly and it also serves as a miniature online portfolio. Gets your name out there as a surface pattern designer. Spoonflower is another really cool opportunity. Spoonflower allows you to upload your repeating designs and get wallpaper, gift wrap, and fabric printed in really small increments, as small as one yard increments. You can start immediately making things with your own patterns and giving them as gifts and personalizing your things this way. Creative Market, I've mentioned a couple of times, primarily because it's a great place to find things like mockups and patterns to use in your work. But this is also an opportunity for you to create an account and then start making your own things available for sale. You can make pattern collections available for sail here to other people who might be needing to use them. Finally, Etsy is a great place to utilize your new Illustrator and patterns skills too. This is my Etsy shop and I have digital art prints and clip art and repeating pattern collections available for purchase here. Most of them are all digital so this is a great way to get your work out in the world really quickly. Before we wrap up the segment, I wanted to discuss your student projects. Please upload your patterns applied to products and your final six piece pattern collection. You can include the name of your collection and the description here for it too. Of course, you don't have to have a portfolio ready, but if you do finish your portfolio, we would love to see a picture of it. There is going to be a design challenge. We'll plan to announce this in the next week or so. But be thinking in terms of a six piece pattern collection for a really fun design challenge with some really fun and great rewards. Finally, the Roost tribe, I've mentioned before is the premium membership to my blog going home to roost. This is where I share articles every Friday with its members. I send out Adobe Illustrator tutorials, repeating patterns, clip art sets, recipes, business advice tips. Basically, I created the Roost tribe as a way to share all of my secrets, everything that I learned, and I developed it as something that I would have died to have been a part of when I had just started out. It is $6 a month, and you can come and go as you please. But I am happy to offer everyone who took this course one month for free. You can go sign up on and use the coupon code "Freemonth" during checkout to grab a month for free. Check it out and see if you want to join us. Amazing things will happen. I cannot wait to see your pattern collections, I'll be around the Web if you have any questions and I really look forward to getting to known each of you more. Until next time, bye.