Review of The Make it in Design Summer School

Throughout August I enrolled in the Make it in Design Summer School on all 3 tracks of Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced levels. To be honest this was quite intensive especially with 2 children to entertain over the school holidays but I set my alarm early everyday, including weekends and loved the early morning activity of sketching, creating mood boards (well, I did for the 1st creative briefs, later realising I'd be better getting straight into creating my patterns, there was no time to spare!) and painting.

The 1st brief included themes of French Riviera, Meadowland and Modern Pop Art. Strangely the one I felt most comfortable with, Meadowland, is the one I am hoping to redo soon. The others pushed me out of my comfort zone and as a result made me work a little harder! For the French Riviera I created characters using a lot of clipping masks in illustrator which is something I haven't done much before. I was so pleased with the results but again I think I will go back and improve my colours to make them a little stronger. We were given on-trend colours forecast for SS17 by Patternbank. I loved these even though they were colours that I wouldn't typically use.

The 2nd group of creative briefs included Honest hand marks, Escape Souk and Treasured Summer Botanicals. One of the things I always love about the ABSPD courses is that Rachael Taylor loves us to get our hands dirty! . . literally and so do I ! On a hot Summer's day there is nothing better than laying down an old roller blind sheet (that of course I saved for such an occasion), gathering all manner of unusual implements found around the home, garden and neighbouring park and using them to create lovely, interesting marks and textures. My daughter loved joining in with this activity too and some of her painting made it into my final design! The Hand Mark design was such fun to create!

The Souk design is something that will stay with me as a great source of inspiration. I loved designing a collection that could be used separately or within one pattern with a Boho feel to it. Rather than choosing to do a simple patchwork effect I decided to create a formation of fields to symbolise a global landscape. I took inspiration for my patterns from Tribal, Scandinavian and Eastern influences combining them in a non-uniform way!

Last Summer, 2015 was when my journey to become a Freelance Designer began. I have worked as a surface pattern designer In-house with an agency before for several years though only as an unnamed designer who barely ever saw my patterns on physical products. I enrolled on the Summer School hoping to begin learning the technical skills required to create repeating patterns as previously the agency did this for me. I didn't imagine that I would be on my way to creating my own brand within a year! Over this time I have gained so much knowledge and confidence that I would of never had without the ABSPD courses and helpful support from the amazing online community of artists that I am so proud to be a part of. The private FB groups are an invaluable part of my development both professionally and personally.

Here are some examples of the patterns I created which were featured on the Make it in Design Blog.

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