I’ve been quiet on my blog, and with my business for some time. Last year had its challenges personally for me with two close family bereavements, one following a long illness, and my own wedding to organise.
However, the one thing that kept me going was the wonderful online surface pattern design courses I took with Make it in Design: The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. I completed the first module (‘Designing Your Way’) the year before and three more last year.
Module 2 was ‘Creating your professional identity’; Module 3 was ‘Monetising your designs’ and finally I took the ‘Ultimate Portfolio Builder’ course. Each of these courses was jam-packed with information, inspirational work of other designers and exciting projects. There were also bonus technical workshops which helped me a lot with the practical side of making patterns work. I could take it at my own pace and there was a supportive Facebook group to link up with other students. Rachel Taylor was the course leader, with years of experience in many different facets of the business and creator of many stunning designs.
During the year, my own style developed greatly, but I also gained lots of helpful insights into how the business works. The Ultimate Portfolio gave me video feedback on my designs and also offered live briefs from real companies. Due to the timing, I wasn’t able to make the most of it, but would like to retake the course in the Autumn, when I have a larger portfolio of work and, hopefully, more time to dedicate to it.
One thing that has grown and grown is my love of surface pattern design, which has allowed me to express myself creatively. When I started my lampshade-making business, my favourite part was seeking out the beautiful fabrics designed by other people. However, it is much more exciting being able to create my own patterns for fabrics and other media.
You may, therefore, see my business develop in a slightly different direction over the coming months. I am working on this at the moment as well as my own lampshade designs, and designs for other products, so watch this space………