Dreams Don't Have An Expiration Date
Maybe you were creative as a child...but haven't been in touch with that playful part of yourself in a long time.
Perhaps an interesting life chapter is beginning and you'd love to explore a new hobby.
Or maybe you've nurtured a lifelong dream of seeing your sketches on products, earning an income while creating to your heart's content.
Your dreams are calling out to you, but seeds of doubt start to spring up :
I have no formal art training
Technology scares me!
My time is so limited
I'm too old/young/inexperienced to do this
I've never been an entrepreneur
Artists don't make any money....right?
I know, I had the same fears. But I taught myself how to draw...took adult ed classes for the tech needed to get my sketches onto products...and started a side hustle selling my wares, which is now my full-time career. I have a simple 3-step plan that you can follow.
1. Connect with your innate creativity
Artistic mojo is not a genetic trait that you inherit. It's a skill that can easily be developed by practicing just a few minutes every day.
We'll start by sourcing inspiration and developing your own unique look.
The great thing about surface design is that even the simplest sketches---like squiggles and dots--- can be turned into awesome patterns.
2. Learn the tech that surface pattern designers use
Then we'll turn our attention to Adobe Illustrator, the program of choice for surface pattern designers.
When broken down into bite-sized pieces, you can ace it quickly. You'll learn how to import sketches, photographs and watercolors into the program, and how to draw in it too.
Then you'll create your own custom color palette and the techniques for producing a repeating design.
3. Earn an income as a surface pattern designer
Once you know how to create beautiful designs, it's time to turn them into collections.
Then you can either present your portfolio to companies that may offer you a licensing agreement, or have products produced on your own at print-on-demand sites.
Becoming a successful surface pattern designer can provide you with location and financial freedom...not to mention the sheer joy of seeing your ideas on products that people want in their homes and daily lives!
My name is Jenna McLean
I totally get it. I was raised by parents who wanted me to have a "serious career". So I majored in biology and ended up in the environmental industry, getting rid of hazardous waste!
But as a child, I spent all my free time being creative, working with my hands. By the time I was in my 20s I missed it SO much. However, I was locked into a corporate job...with the benefits and the steady paycheck...and a self-image of someone who wasn't an artist, just a weekend crafter.
I decided to get serious about turning art into a career. I took classes at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, learning how to silkscreen under the guidance of a man who had been a printer for Andy Warhol. I woke up at 4 am and practiced drawing before I headed off to work. I also learned how to do letterpress, woodcuts, and design patterns on Adobe Illustrator.
My nights and weekends were spent sketching and printing. Eventually I started a business selling my designs on table linens to stores all over the country. Better yet, I quit the day job!
I now teach people how to get in touch with their creative side and how to take their sketches and put them on products.
If I can do it, so can you!