Notes from Immersion Course 2020
Creative Life,  Pattern Love

Immersing myself in Surface Pattern Design

This blog post is a post I wanted to write for quite some time. It is actually because of the Immersion Course by Bonnie Christine that I finally started this blog. And nevertheless, I never managed to write about this experience and what it meant to me. Nor did I manage to fully benefit from it as I should have.

It is really time for writing about it! In only a few days the Immersion Course 2021 starts and I hope to make the most out of it this year!

Exploring Surface Pattern Design

Spring Flower Sketch

Before I started this blog, I had started the Instagram and Facebook accounts for Me + My Craftroom. I did this in the context of doing the #100dayproject in spring 2020. As I write in my blog post on the project, I had planned to sketch for making surface patterns. I was working through the material of Bonnie Christine’s Immersion course and wanted to develop a daily sketching routine to have motifs to draw from for making patterns.

But it did not work out and I ended up doing more Islamic geometry than ever before instead of sketching and drawing motifs. This is why I had planned for the 2021 edition of the #100dayproject to focus on sketching only. So far also this seems not to work out as planned… 🙁

Lacking Inspiration

While working through the course material was no issue for me, sketching was!

Don’t get me wrong! The Immersion Course is amazing and worth every dollar! Everything is explained in small units, easy to digest. I had already known how to work in Illustrator but still learned a lot of useful tips and tricks that I was not aware of before. And especially all business-related tips and how to establish yourself as a surface pattern designer are so helpful. 

But I simply lacked the inspiration to actually create my own unique sketches. I started brainstorming various topics I could design pattern collections on like previous holidays, desert flowers, or my little cat boys. But I always got stuck in the exploration phase. 

I am not 100% sure what the reason for this was, but I think one aspect was the lockdown and Covid-19. It is difficult to get inspired by images you find online only. Sitting at my desk in Doha without a garden outside or actual flowers to draw inspiration from, did not work for me at all. And also other topics did not come easy to me! I was not inspired to draw my cats or household items as I had planned.

Making my first Spring-themed Patterns

Tulip sketches

Then I decided to give myself a very specific theme and work on this. I wanted to create my first pattern collection with the working title ‘Springtime’. For about two weeks that worked out fine for me. I started sketching again, exploring different spring flowers.

And after buying a few tulips I felt empowered and created my first tulip patterns. Tulips from a bird’s eye view, a field of tulips, and a few more.

I love tulips and with every sketch, I loved them more. But the tulips I had bought only survived a few days and when with them faded also my inspiration.

So, I went on sketching Forsythia branches and snowdrops and some other spring flowers. But each of them turned out to be a dead-end and I really felt drained. I was simply not able to draw and be creative freely without being inspired by my surrounding. And the fact that we were locked up inside from March till August did not really help me in this regard. It made things worse and was frustrating.

The only thing that worked for me was sewing and Islamic geometry. Sketching required a different set-up and going outside to see nature with my own eyes.

Making More out of the Immersion Course 2021

So, when the Immersion Course enrollment for 2021 opened, I really thought about it and whether I should sign up again or not. After all, I was still sitting at home in Doha and the next wave of Covid-19 seems to hit us any time. But it was also a great experience and the community is very encouraging. And I still wanted to be a Surface Pattern Designer.

But would I manage to sketch this time and develop my sketching routine to actually make my own patterns?

The truth is, I don’t know!

I signed up nevertheless to give it a go! As I know the material, it will be much faster to just skim through the videos and refresh a few aspects. Thus, I should have more time to sketch.

But hopefully, I will also find inspiration this year. And exactly this is still the big question mark. I don’t know where I will be in two weeks from now. Will I travel to Germany and have plenty of spring flowers around me or nature to draw inspiration from? Will I stay in Doha and potentially move into our own apartment? In this case, I might have a balcony with flowers or can set up my working desk in a way that helps me to sketch…

The next weeks will show if I make Immersion 2021 work for me or not. It is all on me in the end what I make out of it. If you have any tips for me on how to be creative in difficult and uncertain times, I would be grateful to hear them. 🙂

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