Starting from this week, in fact today, I’ll be publishing posts about ‘Online Creative Learning’. Learning online is big business! Global Industry Analysts expected the online education industry to reach $107 billion in 2015 so where will it be now in 2016? I’m taking time out from my designing to research just how it’s influenced designers and their businesses. I’ll be interviewing people about classes they’ve taken; where they’ve taken them, how they use their skills in their business and also they’ll be sharing some of their beautiful work with us and products they’ve produced from them. I’ll also be sharing some stories from the teachers behind the courses and how they came about teaching.
So where better to start than with me! Since I’ve started working as a Surface Pattern Designer, I’ve taken a few courses here and there but the one thing they’ve had in common is that they were all online. I studied fashion when I was younger at University so I have that experience of the traditional way of learning which was perfect for me then. Now I’m a mother and live in a place where I can’t access courses that I’m interested in and don’t have the freedom to attend physical workshops. My only option is to take online classes.
When I was looking for a course to learn the more detailed aspects of Surface Pattern Design, I chose The Art And Business Of Surface Pattern Design. The design school offers four modules to choose from. I took the first three modules; designing your way, creating your professional identity and monetizing your designs. The last module is The Ultimate Portfolio Builder which I never had the opportunity to take as I wanted to get cracking and go for it on my own. However, I have heard lots of good reviews on the course.
The courses I took with The ABSPD really set me on the right path. I had already studied design and did some surface pattern design when I was at Uni so the first course was just really a case of getting back in the seat, so to speak. One aspect of the course I found invaluable was learning how to use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator in my design process and more importantly how to put the theory to practice and produce designs digitally and ready for print. I only knew how to do pattern repeats the old fashioned way, on paper! When I did my first pattern repeat in Adobe Illustrator I couldn’t believe how cool it was. Now I’m designing everyday and putting those new skills into practice.
Below was my first experience doing a technical pattern repeat. At the time I hated it but looking at it now I may develop it further.
From these three courses I’ve managed to secure two exclusive licensing contracts with two fantastic home decor companies Dianoche Designs and Kess inHouse. I secured these two licenses with some of the portfolio pieces I put together on these courses with The ABSPD. See below some examples of my work with theses companies.
This is a piece I have exclusively with Dianoche Designs and is available on a bunch of different home decor products ranging from tapestries to dog beds. This started out as a gouache and charcoal painting and was later manipulated in Adobe Illustrator.
Here’s the original image I used for this design. Among other things, the courses taught me how to then take these images into Photoshop or Illustrator and make them print ready for any product market. They also teach you how to present your art professionally and you learn a lot of business tips along the way too.
Below are licensed products that I sell exclusively through Kess inHouse and all three designs were completed on the same online courses. These designs are also available on different home decor products.
I also sell my patterns through print on demand (POD) companies such as; Casetify.com, Snupped.com, The Kase.com and sell a collection of designer watches with a cool company called Modify Watches see below:
So you can see, I really got a lot out of my creative online learning and it shows that anything is possible. I’m still learning new things all the time and take courses now at every opportunity. What I love about most online courses is that it gives you the opportunity to learn at your own pace and fit it into your lifestyle. I’m currently learning brush lettering, which if you follow my social media you’ll see I’ve become slightly addicted to. We’ll talk about brush lettering and courses for that soon.
Later in the week I’ll be interviewing Gaynor Marshall, an artist from the UK, about her online learning with Surface Pattern Design courses and share her work in progress with you. So come back soon and don’t forget I love to read your comments!