Continual learning is essential in the creative industry, and Skillshare offers a wealth of courses to nurture your passion for pattern design, regardless of your skill level. Here, I'll share my top five favorite Skillshare classes for surface pattern designers.
True to its name, Skillshare is a place for everyone to share their skills and help others grow. What I really appreciate about Skillshare is the ability to find classes on virtually any topic I can think of. I dedicate a good amount of my free time to learning on Skillshare, covering a wide range of skills, from drawing, photography, video production, time management, productivity, graphic design, surface pattern design, and so much more.
Each person has their own unique experiences, so in this article, I will only share my personal perspective on the pattern design classes that I've enjoyed. All the links in the article are affiliate marketing links.
Photo from Skillshare class of Liz Kohler Brown
I embarked on this career journey armed with my iPad and a particular class. My initial attraction to this class stemmed from its promise to teach pattern creation in both Procreate and Affinity Designer. Learning a new software like Affinity Designer was quite enjoyable, and delving into the world of vectors was a fascinating experience.
Initially, I grappled with vector work within the software, but Liz's instructions were so crystal clear that even as a beginner, I managed to complete an entire collection in Affinity Designer. Most of my work was done on the iPad. What truly captivated me about this class was Liz's ability to explain the intricacies of pattern collection in such a simple manner, making it seem like an attainable skill for anyone.
Screenshot from Di Ujdi's Skillshare class
I create patterns extensively on Procreate due to its convenience. I love the fact that I can create patterns anywhere, just on my iPad. Speaking of Procreate, I can't help but mention Di Ujdi's classes on Skillshare. Her classes are unique because she not only teaches pattern-making but also adds artistic details that elevate her classes to works of art. In this particular class, she teaches how to create a diamond pattern and mentions shortcuts to make pattern-making in Procreate more straightforward. However, even though I appreciate the shortcuts, I still prefer to work in the traditional way, as the shortcuts make me feel somewhat overwhelmed.
If you have the opportunity to learn from her, I highly recommend checking out her classes on her profile."Key Principles for Making Outstanding Patterns" is a class that covers the entire pattern design process. It starts with essential principles, such as creating cohesive patterns and professional designs. She also teaches how to apply these principles using Procreate (and optionally Photoshop). You'll also learn how to present your work to potential clients and prepare files after licensing.
In this class, Sandra Mejia offers a comprehensive guide to becoming a proficient Surface Pattern Designer. She covers essential topics such as setting up files, working with raster images and Photoshop, utilizing Smart Objects, using the Pattern Making Tool, and creating various types of patterns for textile design.
Photo from Sandra Mejia's class
She emphasizes the importance of professional file delivery and showcases her thought process and real-life experience in pattern design. Aimed at beginners and intermediate students, she provides step-by-step instructions even for those with basic Photoshop knowledge.
I learned how to create patterns in Photoshop through this class, and I was particularly impressed with her guidance on working with Smart Objects, organizing files for clients, and the Pattern Preview tools. These aspects truly amazed me, and that's why I highly recommend this class, even for beginners.
In this class, Sanna Jonsson demonstrates the process of creating a hand-drawn, seamless pattern repeat on paper and then guides students on how to digitize it using Adobe Illustrator. For those unfamiliar with Illustrator, she provides a section with essential basics to ensure everyone can follow along.
Screenshot from Sanna Jonsson's Skillshare class
Upon completing the class, students will possess the ability to craft manual pattern repeats and digitize them, along with manipulating patterns within Adobe Illustrator. This includes converting manual patterns into digital format, making color adjustments, adding intricate details, and preparing the final pattern for sharing on social media and online portfolios.
For those eager to learn pattern-making in Illustrator, this class is an excellent choice. It's concise, yet it covers all the essential tools you need to create patterns effectively.
Spoonflower stands as a renowned Print on Demand platform that caters to artists, particularly surface pattern designers worldwide. It's an ideal starting point for budding surface pattern designers looking to establish their careers and market their patterns. When aspiring to become a surface pattern designer, Spoonflower serves as a valuable platform to kickstart your journey.
In this class, Carrie Cantwell shares her insights on succeeding in the competitive world of surface pattern design, leveraging the Print on Demand platform, Spoonflower.
Photo from Carrie Cantwell's Skillshare class
Carrie discusses how to identify trending patterns, maximize your designs, and establish your online presence. She offers valuable guidance on various aspects, from tags to art proofing, and showcases your patterns using Spoonflower's free mockups.
Whether you're new to Spoonflower or already an artist on the platform, you'll find helpful tips to enhance your art and shop. What's great is you don't require any specialized software for this class – you can create patterns using a variety of tools like Procreate, Photoshop, Illustrator, or Affinity.
As an added bonus, Carrie provides a free bundle featuring trending tags, popular themes, access to mockups, color palettes, and more. She also reveals special techniques for optimizing your patterns in Adobe Illustrator.
For those concerned about Spoonflower's saturation, Carrie emphasizes that your unique artistic voice is the key to standing out, and trends come and go. She serves as living proof that artists can gain recognition and success through Spoonflower.
In my journey as a surface pattern designer, I've had the privilege of experiencing a variety of classes that cater to different software tools. As you might have noticed, each class I recommended focuses on a different software, reflecting the diverse options available on Skillshare.
Having spent two years in this field, I still primarily use Procreate. However, I've recently discovered the convenience of combining Adobe Fresco and Illustrator in my workflow. I believe this may become an integral part of my creative process in the future.
Before we conclude this blog post, I'd like to share an exciting Skillshare offer with you. Right now, you can take advantage of a fantastic deal. By visiting Skillshare with this link and using the code "aff30d40dtp," you can enjoy a one-month free trial and receive a 40% discount on your Skillshare membership. This special offer is available until October 31, so make sure to seize this opportunity.
If you have any favorite pattern design classes or teachers that have inspired you, please share them in the comments. Learning from different instructors is a wonderful way to expand your skillset and stay inspired on your creative journey.
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