Surface pattern design combines textiles, graphic and product design using a wide mix of media. Some of the places where you would see surface patterns: wallpaper, home furnishings, rugs, gifts, ceramics, cards, wrapping paper, and fabric. You can go to a university to study or you can teach yourself. I chose to teach myself and refined my skills with courses that other surface pattern designers provide.
Here are two of my favorite courses so far:
Rachel Taylor and Beth Kemp have teamed up to provide a series of courses focused on all aspects of the business. There are 4 modules at 5 weeks each that concentrate on all areas of surface pattern design. It includes technical workshops, live briefs, business and trade show advice, and has a huge amount of information to increase your skills and get your career going. The weekly posts are easy to follow. There is a Facebook group for each module that serves as a sounding board for your work, and also is a place of encouragement along the way.
Their website is jammed packed with information for any stage of your career. Their blog features work from each of the modules so you have an opportunity to showcase your work. Check mine out here.
They are the publishers of MOYO Magazine which is digital and comes out a few times a year. Want to be featured? They have several opportunities for you to showcase your work, your design studio, or your hometown. I am in the August 2015 issue article series called “A Postcard From…”. Check it out here.
Bonnie is a self-taught designer and shares her personal story which is quite interesting. She is also the founder of Going Home to Roost, a blog, and Chief of the Roost Tribe, a monthly subscription that costs just a cup of coffee. Her Creative Live course focuses more on the technical side of Illustrator and has a ton of tips on how to create patterns easily and beautifully. She started a collection while teaching this course which has just been released.
Bonnie has another course live on June 3rd (which means it’s free!) called Design Print and Build Your Portfolio on Creative Live. I will be tuning in. I am a huge fan of Bonnie’s and would take as many courses that I could from her!
Being a self-taught surface pattern designer is hard work, especially when you are getting started. There is a lot of rejection, and a lot of reaching out that gets no response. Keep your head up, keep designing, and you will get there.