Coffee Cuteness

Coffee Cuteness - student project

I was already enjoying this pattern and project -- learning how to arrange the cups and the extra bits -- but when you added the three different colors and sizes of dots with the paintbrush, Helen, I squealed with delight!  It's just all so awesome the variety that can be created.  Although slow going and tedious for a newbie, I find this to be so much fun!! :D

I do have a few questions:

1)  If you don't mind me asking this, but I'm just wondering how long it took you to learn all of this?  You know tons and tons of stuff and you know it all so automatically, without having to think about it for even a second.  It amazes me!

2)  I hope to eventually do some of my own designs to use on scrapbook papers and other projects -- both because I'd love more than anything to do that, and also because, then, I wouldn't have to worry about copyrights, licenses and crediting, etc., when using other people's designs in my work.  I know that you can make designs from photos, and also make brushes out of drawings -- not too great at the drawing thing yet -- and paints/textures (scanning things in...although I've not yet attempted any of that yet).  I'm just wondering how I would go about "learning" how to create my own designs, and would it be best to do the design part in Illustrator and then bring it into Photoshop to make the patterns and papers?

I'm sorry so long, and I hope all of that made sense. :) is my first attempt at a complex pattern...

Coffee Cuteness - image 1 - student project