Earlier in the week I interviewed Skillshare teacher, Sandra Bowers on her watercolor classes. Today I have Marina Grzanka sharing her experience of the classes she’s taken with Sandra Bowers.
Here’s Marina in her own words…
Can you introduce yourself to our readers? Where are you from, where are you based now? Do you work from home or have a studio?
I am Marina Grzanka. I have been working as a graphic designer for eight years in Paris, France. Three years ago, I left Paris to the city of the French Alps, Grenoble, to join my boyfriend. I still work as a graphic designer but I now also offer surface pattern design services. My studio has been established in the office of my financial boyfriend. I have a cosy place for myself in this flat. Of course, that is not the best because the 4 other offices of the flat are occupied by financial people but I think it’s a much better solution than working from home.
Have you always been creative? Are you from a creative family?
In my family, I am called “the artist” (lol). My relatives are not. I have the feeling that I’ve always been creative. When I was young I always wanted to try new things.
When did you first start creating? What formal education do you have related to art & design?
I used to play piano. That is a very creative thing to do. This is, for me, very related to who I am now and what I do. You have to persevere , to work a lot to achieve your goals. That is the same with art. My education is not related to art at all. I have a diploma in translation. But at the end, I realized it was not a work for me. I decided to make one more year to study web design. I got an employment and I trained a lot. I can say that I am a totally self-taught person. I started to create very lately. Six years ago, my sisters got a baby. I started to knit a lot, then to sew a lot.
When did you recognize that you would pursue design?
Then I realize that when I was looking for nice fabric to sew nice projects for my nieces, I was not very happy with the fabric that I found. I decided to create some by myself. I bought my fabric from Spoonflower.
Which class with Sandra Bowers on Skillshare did you take and how has it helped you in your current business?
I took all classes of Sandra Bowers (affiliate).They helped me a lot to better use Photoshop. Actually I do create patterns digitally with Illustrator. But I started to watercolor paint some months ago and I wanted to used my paintings to create patterns. But I did not really know how to do it with Photoshop. And we can’t do it with Illustrator. So I gave up. And then I found Sandra Bowers’ Class. And it was the perfect answer of my questions.
How did you enjoy this way of learning online as opposed to the traditional way?
The online classes are great for people who already work. I can follow the class whenever I want, that is very flexible and this is the best for me.
What did you enjoy most about the class?
Can you share a project from your class with us and walk us through your workflow from start to finish? Perhaps you have produced a product at the end you can also share with us?
I created a very simple piece of painting, with touches of very colorful watercolor rectangles. Then I scanned them. Then I followed all the steps of Sandra Bowers class on Photoshop. And played with the light and hue. And I added some dots and other patterns in black and white to create some texture in my new colorful pattern. I haven’t produced any product but I created some mock-ups too see how they would look on my pattern on my favorite products (bedding, chair, etc)
Do you have a project that you’re particularly proud of?
I am really proud of my KOALALALA collection. I created it last September. I wanted to create something with Australian animals. Something cute with pink and pale blue. I ordered some of my patterns into fabrics on Spoonflowerr so that I sewed many tea towels with my favorite patterns.
I especially like the one with cockatoos. Every icon has been hand-drawn on my WACOM tablet.
I also really like my brand new collection called BLOSSOMING. See below. I wanted a colorful palette. I feel like I’d really like spring to come.
With your new skills, where do you see yourself in the future. Are you looking to build a business around it or will it be a part of something bigger?
In the future, I hope I won’t be a graphic designer any more, or only occasionally. I hope I will be an illustrator and surface pattern designer for a living.
Which tools can you not live without?
- My Illustrator and Photoshop softwares.
- My Wacom tablet and pen.
- Instagram and Facebook.
- My sewing machine
Where can we find you?
Thanks to Marina for sharing her views on Skillshare classes and her beautiful work.
Follow Marina on her social media above and don’t forget to check out her Lookbooks which are beautiful!
I’m a Skillshare partner so If you’re interested in taking classes with Skillshare, you can use my affiliate link to get your first month free.
I have more interviews coming this week, so keep up-to-date with new posts and also get access to the FREE library by joining our newsletter for bloggers + creatives!
See you soon…