How I Got Started in Pattern Design

Did you ever make a decision that at a later time, when reflecting back on that moment, you realize that that decision changed the path that you're now on? That was me last fall, when I decided on a whim to sign up for a surface pattern design class at Rhode Island School of Design (aka RISD). The picture above is a goofy pic I took for Instagram while working on homework for class during the semester.
What is surface pattern design, you ask? Well, it's the creation of art, usually in a repeating pattern, that goes on any kind of surface, like wall paper, fabric, shower curtains, many things, really!
This is how all of my patterns start - I paint each "motif" by hand before creating my patterns digitally
As I worked my way through the semester and learned about the surface design industry and manufacturing, putting my artwork onto products became a path forward that I never even knew could be a reality for my art. And that was truly exciting! We learned how to design different types of repeating patterns, how to create collections of patterns that coordinate, and I presented back for critique my portfolio created during the 12 weeks of class. The skills I learned in that class were invaluable. 
My plan last fall was to get set up to sell just prints and cards of my original paintings, but that quickly augmented to also include mugs, pillows, notebooks, and tea towels with patterns I learned to create from my artwork.
That pattern on my laptop screen at the very top of this email? It now looks like this in my shop:
I'm so glad I opened that email that arrived in my inbox in early September, advertising continuing ed classes at RISD.  If it wasn't for that email, my business and my art would not look like how it does today!

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