wing+tree

The Road to Design-Land

Sheree BurlingtonComment

Since embarking on my Surface Pattern Design journey, I find myself immersed in a world filled with incredible talent. Pattern design was barely on my radar before taking my first online course with Jessica Swift.  I was busily consumed by my day job at Museware Pottery, happy surveying the world's creative output on Pinterest and wondering when I'd jump back into my own. 

Until very recently, I was one of the few designers I knew, so my design journey has been a more of a walk down a quiet dirt road. Through my new found community, I'm part of a happy group of creatives, rolling down a pattern embellished highway, my head hanging out the window and the wind in my hair. It's way more fun than the dirt road, and since I don't even have to leave the house to participate, suits my homebody life style perfectly. I join in when I want company and log off when I don't.  

What particularly impresses me is the generosity of the design community. In our "don't touch my stuff" world, it's refreshing to find so many creatives sharing their journey and process with those of us just beginning. Jessica encourages us to pursue our wild and colorful dreams. Bonnie Christine  assures us that in a world full of talkers and makers, there is room for us. For me. I love their attitude of plenty in a world focused on scarcity. 

Designers for Hire dot Net
Designers for Hire dot Net

Because I am hungry for information, inspiration and direction, I spend a lot of time looking at the work of other designers. This is a double edged sword as I'm both inspired and overwhelmed by what I see. It's easy to wonder how I can stand out in a world so filled with talent - a world that's so accessible. Part of me thinks I should shut it down and concentrate on creating my own direction. The other knows that without inspiration, I am a small boat adrift in the middle of a calm sea. 

The other day I found the site Designers for Hire, through a link on the Print & Pattern Blog. OMG! What a wonderful look into the colorful world of pattern design and illustration. There are well over 100 designers listed on this curated, invitation only directory - each chosen for design excellence. It's become my go-to place to hob nob with other creatives. Talk about design blog heaven! 

And so, I begin my journey down a yellow brick road that winds through fields of flowers, giraffes, owls, teacups and birdies. I'll follow it past the geometrics and abstracts, the paper cut and hand painted. Where it will lead, I cannot say. I just know that it's a road worth traveling. And I won't be alone.