learn surface pattern design

how to learn surface pattern design

This is the second post in a series I am writing all about surface pattern design and running your own business.

If you haven’t already, go back and read the first post about why I chose surface pattern design!

flatlay of artworks and pattern design showing some of how you learn surface pattern design

Now if you got the bug like I did to make patterns, the first thing you are probably wondering is how on earth do you start learning how to do this?

Learning surface pattern design has become a very popular topic, I have noticed more and more surface pattern designers are now teaching courses on various aspects of pattern design.

If you are completely new to this and have started googling ‘learn surface pattern design’ you may be feeling overwhelmed by the courses available!

I personally did the Make it in Design modules for two reasons – when I was searching for online surface pattern design courses in 2017 there were not many options, and secondly I really liked how the courses were structured and I could fit them around looking after a young baby.

If I was starting out now then I would be spoilt for choice when it comes to online courses!

These are the things you should consider when looking for a course to learn surface pattern design:

  • what are the main things you want to learn? Is it understanding how to make patterns in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator? Is it finding your design style? Is it knowing how to set up the business side of things? Before you start searching for courses, think about what you want to learn the most in the next few months and then see if the course offers those things. Also I would recommend if you don’t have much free time then choose to learn either Photoshop or Illustrator to begin with, not both (unless you are a whizz on design programs). Which one you choose will depend on your art style and what you want your finished patterns to look like – there are lots of blog posts dedicated to which program would suit you best if you are unsure.
  • how much time can you dedicate to learning? Most online courses give quite good information about the time required to do the course – if you have 3 hours free per week and the course says you need 5 hours each week then maybe that is not the right course for you – you want to enjoy the learning and not feel stressed.
  • Do you like the instructor/s? This is a big one – you need to enjoy the teaching style of the instructor if you are going to get the most out of a course. Most instructors will have free classes or downloads – try this before you commit to anything. And if you are still not sure then follow your instructor on Instagram and see if they are someone you feel a connection with and enjoy watching talk.
  • What is your budget? I have seen some verrrry expensive courses out there, and what you spend really depends on how you see this as an investment – it is worth spending money if you know this will lead to a future career for you – but review the points above before committing!
  • Don’t get caught up in the hype about any course – at the end of the day you need to consider what exactly you want to get out of it, what you can afford in terms of money and time, and if you like the teaching style.

One final thought – online courses are fantastic especially if you are completely new to surface pattern design and need to learn the basic skills in making patterns, setting up a business etc.

As you progress through your learning though there will come a stage where you have to stop doing courses and just start doing your surface pattern design business – it is very easy to get caught up in a cycle of more and more courses without actually making the leap to start your business and learn ‘on the job’.

I hope this has been helpful for you! If you have done a surface pattern design course and loved it please let me know in the comments below 🙂

One Reply to “how to learn surface pattern design”

  1. […] that you have decided you want to be a surface pattern designer, and you have learnt the basics of pattern creation, what is […]

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