The smell of autumn whispers to me when I open my front door, and for a moment I allow myself to savor the anticipation of Fall. It’s coming. Pretty soon the leaves will be turning, the air will be crisper, and the smell of chimney smoke will be permeating the air. And for this brief duration the world around me will be bursting with color and I will be basking in the aura of it all. This is a good time to be rejuvenated and inspired.
It’s hard to believe that Summer is reaching it’s last days here, and I can’t help but think about everything that has happened in the last few months. Earlier this year I journeyed into the world of Surface Pattern Design through Rachael Taylor’s course The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design (http://makeitindesign.com/design-school/). I completed Module 1 in the spring, and it ended with me being highly inspired and slightly overwhelmed. So much juicy information was packed into that first module. But there was this lapse afterwards. I’m not for sure if it was just life in general, or if I just needed time to process all the info, but I started painting more instead of sketching. At that time my world of painting vs my world of sketching had certain boundaries. I have no idea why I set those limitations, but in my mind they were separate. Seems silly to say this now. As a mixed media artist I am usually very open to experimenting. I suppose I was stuck in somewhat of a rut. It happens.
On some level I think was trying to figure it all out…my passion for painting and my passion for pattern. Would these 2 eventually merge together? Do they need to be? Are they better separate? Painting for me is very self expressive and free, while pattern seemed more structured. I love both, but I was having a hard time grasping how they could work together.
Then something magical happened. I’m not quite sure what it was in my mind that made things clearer, but it all started when I began the Make It In Design Summer School. And WOW what an awesome experience this was. The MIID team posted segments of creative briefs along with a series of inspirational material with each assignment. Each brief was geared toward trends and were infused with interesting challenges. It was an incredible opportunity to focus on particular subjects that were not the norm for me. The limitations of the briefs forced me outside my comfort zone, and I found myself approaching pattern in a completely different way. It was seriously a light bulb moment. I began using more painting techniques within my patterns and I fell in love with the hands-on process. I was re-energized. I got my second wind.
Around this time I picked up a copy of Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. This book couldn’t have come into my life at a more perfect time. I read the entire book in 3 days. It was jammed packed with such awesome straight forward information and presented in such a real way. So many good things in this book, but one thing that really stood out to me was, “Amassing a body of work or building a career is a lot about the slow accumulation of little bits of effort over time.”
I think sometimes we see huge portfolios of awesome work and think we need to hurry up and create and get our work out there as fast as we can. But in reality it takes time to produce good work…it takes a lot of time. And I couldn’t help but make the connection between those words from Austin Kleon with the Make It In Design Summer School. Those segments of challenges that were periodically released allowed me to better understand the process that small steps over time equates to larger productive results. Summer School really pushed my creativity, and I ended up creating more patterns within those 2 months then I had all year. It was all about just taking advantage of the opportunities presented and doing something small each day…even if it was just one mark making or one sketch. In the end, it all built upon each other and it was fun to see the progression of my work. I discovered having patience with the process is everything.
Some of my creations from Summer School:
To see the galleries for Make It In Design Summer School: http://makeitindesign.com/summer-school/
I am so thankful for what I have learned through this whole experience, and as Fall approaches I am looking forward to diving even further into creating with The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design Module 2, and Flora Bowley’s class Bloom True…both starting next month. Exciting day ahead.
Thanks for reading,