Learning about the Surface pattern design business

This was a very helpful class! Thank you!

What drives me towards this profession:

I cannot not draw and paint and am looking for ways to make my passion pay my bills.

I've always loved pretty things you could buy in Japan, Korea, and the like - stationary, boxes, even gameboy cases. Since my LO's been born, I've also noticed pretty designs for pretty much all items for kids. I feel it would be fun for me to adorn items with illustrations and patterns. 

I also dream of creating patterns that tell a story. I have seen this in classical patterns, and there is also a domestika class on this (which I haven't yet taken, but it sounds great)...

My concern is, that I am mostly a watercolorist at the moment and am wondering if it is possible to create surface designs that are not vectors... My LO has a plate set with Elsa Beskow illustrations and patterns based on them (I guess cut from her illustrations). I wonder, if I could create something like that.

My idea at the moment is to create small illustrations and designs that I can then combine into surface patterns. And then sell both separately. :D I've started painting little things...

Learning about the Surface pattern design business - image 1 - student project

Learning about the Surface pattern design business - image 2 - student project

I hope, illustrations such as these could be used. I would be happy for any tips on how to go forward with this!

What is important to me:

1) To be there for my family 100% - and still paint/be creative. That pretty much means I will have to freelance and also that a day job is not an option until the kids are much much older (at which point it's probably useless, anyway).

2) To earn enough money to give my kids (I hope to have some more) a comfortable lifestyle. I wouldn't even mind being a starving artist by myself, but that wouldn't be fair on my family.

3) I need to express myself. I have pictures to paint, stories to tell, and I'm not healthy enough to wait till retirement.

4) Location independence would be good. 

So my goal is to start earning money with my art.

My actionable steps are to:

1. Create a portfolio of small illustrations that fit together in themes

2. Regularly post on instagram, showing my work

3. Make a website with my portfolio.

The next step (or maybe even between 2 and 3) would be to monetize my illustrations somehow. For this I will have to learn:

- How to schedule instagram (through a paid site, or preferably with some free workflow...)

- How to set up a website.

- How to create patterns. (Like, at all)

- Where and how to sell my stuff.

Also helpful would be:

- Learn how to paint in Procreate

- Learn how to use Adobe PS and Illustrator

So... that's quite a lot already. I guess, I better be off and work on my stuff now. ^__^;