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10 Tips for Becoming a Surface Pattern Designer

by Bonnie Christine
craft & maker

10 tips for becoming a surface pattern designer by bonnie christine

I’m passionate about being surface pattern designer and sharing my story. I’m completely self taught and want to you to know that if being a surface pattern designer is a dream of yours, you can do it, too. Today, I’m sharing with you my top 10 tips for how to become a surface pattern designer. They are things that helped me a long the way and I believe in them wholeheartedly. If this gets you excited, be sure to check out for my in-depth training course here.

1) Learn Adobe Illustrator. I know, that’s a big one! But you can do it. It’s big and scary but it’s just a computer program, right?! There are so many classes and resources around the web, and I’ll be teaching you everything you need to know about it during my course, surface pattern designs from scratch. Don’t let the learning curve stop you from following your dreams!

2) Make as many patterns as you can. Once you start designing, use this precious early time to make as many patterns as you can. Like, hundreds! these patterns are what will put your career in motion and many of them will end up being your all time favorites. Cherish this ‘pre-pro’ time and use it wisely.

3) Never throw anything away. Don’t delete files, don’t toss sketches in the trash. Someday they might just be exactly what you need!

4) Build a community around your design. Blog, tweet, facebook, instagram, pinterest. Reach out to other SPD-ers.

5) Be authentic. It’s easy to be incredibly inspired by looking around the web, but remember to never be ‘too’ inspired by someone else’s work. Find your own personal style and stick with it. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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6) Do one thing every single day. This is my all time favorite motivational tip! Whatever your dream may be- start doing one thing, however great or small every single day to move in the direction of your big dream.

7) Have an amazing portfolio. Pour your heart, your love and all your passion into this book.

8) Tell a story. When designing patterns, think in terms of themes and story lines. run the theme throughout each pattern, the title of the collection, the names of each pattern and even the color names you choose.

9) Have 10 seconds of courage. That’s all it takes to pick up the phone and call a company, introduce yourself to an art director or put yourself ‘out there’.

10) Know that you can. You can do this. You really really can! all you have to do is decide to do it, no matter what it takes. It will take sacrifice, dedication and hard work but you CAN do it.

If you’re ready to do this thang you should go ahead and check out my course here!

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Bonnie Christine

Bonnie Christine is a surface pattern design and author of Going Home to Roost – the blog dedicated to everything handmade and anything homegrown.