As a surface pattern designer, achieving proficiency in Illustrator is essential to materialize your creative visions. Skillshare provides a diverse range of courses designed to enhance your Illustrator skills, catering to both beginners and those looking to refine their expertise. Below, I've selected the top five Skillshare classes that can empower you to thrive in the realm of surface pattern design, save your time and money from expensive Ilustrator courses online.
Given that everyone has distinct experiences, this article will exclusively present my personal perspective on the pattern design classes that I found enjoyable. All the links included in the article are affiliate marketing links.
Illustrator serves as an indispensable tool for surface pattern designers, offering a suite of functions that can elevate your creative process. One notable feature is its powerful recoloring capabilities, allowing you to effortlessly experiment with different colors schemes and variations for your designs. Additionally, Illustrator's Image Trace's tools enable the transformation of intricate hand-drawn sketches into scalable and editable vector graphics, providing a seamless integration of organic elements into your patterns.
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.
Embark on a creative journey with Esther's Skillshare class and discover the essential skills needed to transform your hand-drawn doodles into captivating repeating patterns using Adobe Illustrator CC. This comprehensive class guides you through the step-by-step process of digitizing your drawings from paper, mastering the art of vectorization, and acquiring proficiency in essential tools for editing basic shapes.
Esther delves into advanced techniques, including selection and smoothing, unraveling the intricacies of creating repeating patterns. With a keen focus on the anatomy of patterns, the class teaches you how to craft simple geometrical designs and explore diverse arrangements of tossed prints. Unleash your creativity as you learn to expertly recolor your patterns and, finally, export a client-ready file. Esther's class not only equips aspiring surface pattern designers with valuable skills but also ignites a passion for transforming artistic visions into tangible, marketable designs.
Screenshot from Bonnie Christine's Skillshare class
Dive into the realm of intricate pattern design with Bonnie Christine's Skillshare class, where she seamlessly guides you through advanced techniques to create complex and visually stunning repeating patterns in Adobe Illustrator.
Geared towards those already familiar with Illustrator basics, this course takes you beyond the fundamentals and explores the art of building geometric, diagonal, layered, textured, and lined repeats.
Bonnie's class is a perfect fit if you've caught the 'pattern bug' and find yourself obsessing over intricate designs. Whether you've tried to deconstruct patterns you've spotted in the wild or encountered the frustrating "patterns cannot contain anything painted with a pattern" error, this course offers a solution. From mastering the basics of sketching, scanning, vectorizing, and coloring motifs to learning time-saving keyboard shortcuts, Bonnie covers it all.
By the end of the course, you'll not only possess the technical know-how but also the creative inspiration needed to embark on your journey of designing beautifully colored and complex patterns today. Let Bonnie's expertise propel you toward realizing your creative dreams!
Image from Bärbel Dressler's class on Skillshare
Explore the timeless allure of the Paisley pattern with Bärbel Dressler in her Skillshare class that goes beyond the basics. In "Mastering Paisley Patterns in Illustrator," Bärbel unveils the rich history of this classic design, spanning centuries and remaining a powerhouse in both interior and fashion realms. Despite its perceived complexity, Bärbel breaks down the Paisley into various types, guiding you through its evolution, influences, and contemporary applications.
Delving into detailed pattern close-ups, the class examines different layouts, compositions, and characteristic motifs, offering a comprehensive study of this iconic style. Through engaging exercises, you'll sharpen your drawing skills and immerse yourself in the world of Paisley. Bärbel then shares her Illustrator expertise, providing a step-by-step process for creating your own Paisley patterns.
This intermediate to advanced course is perfect for those seeking an academic perspective on pattern design, offering a challenge for individuals at various stages of their design journeys. Whether a hobbyist, aspiring professional, or seasoned designer, you'll leave the course equipped with at least one unique Paisley pattern ready for use in collections, portfolios, or for publication and sale on print-on-demand services and pattern banks. Bärbel's class is a blend of historical exploration, creative exercises, and practical Illustrator skills, making it a must for pattern enthusiasts looking to master Illustrator skills and the art of Paisley.
Image from Elizabeth Olwen's class on Skillshare
Step into the world of surface pattern design with Elizabeth Olwen's engaging 35-minute Skillshare class focused on creating a complete pattern collection. Tailored for those already acquainted with designing repeat patterns, this class serves as a creative and conceptual sequel to Elizabeth's initial technical introduction course. In 10 thoughtfully curated lessons, Elizabeth guides you through the elements essential for constructing a cohesive collection, including moodboards, three key pattern types (hero, blender, secondary), a distinctive "logo-like" spot graphic, a carefully chosen name, and a captivating story.
With insights drawn from her own work, each video lesson is enriched with practical tips and illustrative examples. To further aid your creative journey, an exclusive class handout offers easy reference. Perfect for designers, illustrators, aspiring surface designers, and pattern enthusiasts, this class not only provides valuable skills but also fosters a supportive community for design feedback. While a basic familiarity with designing repeat patterns in Adobe Illustrator is recommended, Elizabeth's class propels you into the realm of creative exploration, ensuring you emerge with the tools to bring your pattern collection visions to life.
In conclusion, the highlighted Skillshare Illustrator classes offer a dynamic spectrum of learning experiences for surface pattern designers. From Sanna Jonsson's practical approach to seamless repeats to Esther's comprehensive guidance, Bonnie Christine's advanced techniques, Bärbel Dressler's exploration of Paisley, and Elizabeth Olwen's conceptual collection design, each class provides a unique perspective and valuable insights.
Whether you're a novice or a seasoned designer, these classes cater to a diverse range of skill levels, offering a holistic approach to surface pattern design. By immersing yourself in these courses, you'll not only enhance your technical skills but also tap into creative inspiration and join a supportive community.
As you embark on your surface pattern design journey, consider these Skillshare classes as indispensable tools to unlock your full potential, refining your craft and connecting with like-minded individuals passionate about the art of patterns.