Getting Started in Pattern Design: Tip #4 Be Patient
Learning a new skill takes patience. If you are like me and started down this surface pattern design path in your 50’s, the technological aspects of the craft can be intimidating. However, like most things, it’s less about the raw talent and more about the hard work you decide to put into it. Here are my top 3 recommendations for how to stay the course.
There is always a learning curve when you learn something new. Think about a child who is learning to walk. They don’t just stand up and start walking! They get up and immediately fall down. And they do that over and over and over again until they get their weight properly distributed over their legs so they can toddle a few steps at a time. They practice again and again and again usually with a big smile on their face.
Remember this when you’re frustrated with a pattern design or with a particular stage in the process. I don’t understand color theory and have no formal art training so I’m often stymied when I get to the color selection process in my patterns. However, I love the craft so much that I don’t mind these challenges and try to embrace the on-going learning process that keeps me humble knowing I still have a lot to learn.
Try Something New
Step away from your surface pattern design work for a while and try something completely different. Last week during the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, I jumped back into Skillshare and found a fabulous new class called Animation for Illustration. It’s by Libby VanderPloeg, a wonderful illustrator. The course uses both Procreate and Photoshop, two programs I barely know how to use. However, the lessons were bite-sized, beautifully filmed and Peggy’s sense of humor throughout was very engaging. I made this little animation in just one day and I think it’s adorable, if I do say so myself.
Celebrate Your Wins
It’s very important to step back periodically and celebrate just how far you’ve come in your learning journey. We are nearing the end of 2018 so now is a great time to reflect on what you have accomplished and the new skills you have acquired this year. It’s amazing to look back at how much something, that once seemed completely foreign, now seems within reach.
I like to use learning a foreign language as another favorite analogy. When you first start, you don’t have a clue! But after several months, all of a sudden your ear hears how words are broken down into different syllables. Or you recognize a word or two that you didn’t understand just a few short months earlier.
Surface pattern design is my passion and it’s my mission to share it with you and help you make progress faster along your creative journey. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to learn but it is so worth it! The time you spend building patterns and then moving onto building collections is so rich and fulfilling. Don’t give up! Remember to be patient and take one step forward every day towards your goal and before you know it, you’ll achieve it!
I look forward to sharing Tip #5 with you next week. And until then, remember:
It’s Never Too Late to Create
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My creative inspiration comes from a lifetime of observation living in, and traveling to, beautiful environments in the United States and abroad.