In January I found out about a course that was being offered called “Immersion”. The purpose is to provide the education and resources needed to start someone on a path to being a Surface Pattern Designer. At the time I had no idea what SPD was. . . but I quickly figured it out.
Surface Pattern Design is designing art using many different methods that is meant to be put on products like fabric, stationery, ribbons, hand lotion containers, and just about everything! If you start looking around your home you will find the work of SPDers in places that you never noticed before. Of course, my main focus was. . . FABRIC.
Back a million years ago when I learned digital scrapbooking and was very active in the ScrapGirls community, I learned to do all sorts of things in Photoshop, like create artistic elements and repeating patterns. I got frustrated because my designs were all pixelated. Enter Adobe Illustrator.
Adobe Illustrator is an amazing computer program that can allow an artist a great deal of latitude in creating art. That makes it a powerful tool and one with a fairly steep learning curve. I had started to teach myself Illustrator in the fall but was somewhat frustrated with the speed of my progress.
Immersion is an 8 week course and the first three weeks (plus an “Implementation Week”) are totally focused on the ins and outs of Illustrator. Modules 1, 2, and 3 are VERY intense and I would say that most of the people who had no previous experience with Ai went back and started again. . . at least once! I did fine because of my background and was able to complete the course in the 8 week time frame.
In addition to the training in Adobe’s Illustrator, we learned about creating collections, licensing art, and building a business in the art world. We had some bonus content from active artists in the industry and an art agent.
Bonnie’s course is set up in 6 modules with many lessons in each. They are pre-recorded lessons (the longest was just over 30 minutes) that you can watch at your own pace and rewind as many times as needed. In the earlier modules it is mostly her voice as she shows you the exact steps she uses in Ai to produce her designs. In the later modules, it is Bonnie speaking from her studio.
Although there were a few skills in Illustrator that I wish had been covered, they are not part of Bonnie’s workflow and I can accept that. Overall it was a great course with a vast amount of training delivered in an easy-to-use format.
Three times a week during the course, Bonnie would hold FacebookLive sessions to answer submitted questions. These were very helpful and she seemed relaxed and confident answering all the questions- even the ones that were being asked on the feed as she was speaking.
I had a hard time deciding if I was going to spend $1000 to take the class and I waited until the last day to join. In retrospect I can say that it was money well spent. My skills in Illustrator have grown by leaps and bounds. I am not ready to submit any work to major (or minor) fabric companies, but that is because of my growing artistic skills. I really started the course only being able to draw stick figures. We did NOT spend time on artistic ability, but that is something I am pursuing on my own to go along with my newly advanced computer skills.
Immersion is only offered once a year and sign ups will happen in February of 2021. If you are interested in SPD, I strongly encourage you to consider this course.
BTW. . . I am NOT being compensated in ANY WAY for this review and I was not asked to write one. I just like to share about my experiences.