We all have opportunities in our lives, some are good and some might not be, but they all are learning opportunities. As many of you know I took some time off of designing fabric for several reasons. I left Red Rooster also and took time to really think about what I wanted to do with my time. I found that I missed designing a collection. I missed a bit of the stress and mostly I missed the excitement of designing and showing my own fabric. But I will share with you that its not easy and there is a lot of self doubt that tries to creep in and tell me that I can't do it, your no good etc. I am sure you have all faced that too. Well let me tell you it never goes away, it just becomes something that I push through and manage. I think that is the only difference. Thats the difference in the ones that do it and the ones that continue to allow the negative voice win. What are your dreams? Write them down in your journal and look at them often when that voice tells you you can't do it. Write down what the voice is telling you and then write down a positive response to it. Keep it where you can see it and remind yourself that you are talented and have a creative soul.
Have you ever dreamed of designing fabric and don't know how you would ever start? Whether you ever publish it or not doesn't matter, but if you design something you love you can always print your own fabric at Spoonflower. I will walk you through my process and you can follow along and develop your own line.
1. Come up with an idea, something that you can think about and develop from. For instance, Fall, Flowers, Christmas, Books, it could be anything that might interest you and that you would buy at a fabric store. Think about it from the consumers view also, think about what you like to buy. You don't have to be a great artists, many different styles work, I see some of the most basic stick figures on fabric or in print and they are wonderful!
2. Select your color way, you don't have to stick with it but its a good idea to have an idea of your color palette before you start.
3. Make a list of ideas that are related to your theme. So if you were doing beach you would write, sand, shells, ocean, flip flops, hats, sunscreen etc. Keep going and keep adding even days later to your list as things pop into your mind. I do this all the time, for everything I do, it is a great source to get me thinking. You will find once you have settled in on your idea you mind will begin to play. This is when your creative voice is winning over your negative voice! Go with it, sketch some thumbnail sketches of ideas, sketch some single items, continue to look at and refine, redraw, paint its a process, allow it to happen. If it doesn't turn out the way you thought it should do it again, don't give up! Keep all your idea sketches together. I will find that when I am focused on an idea my mind is forever thinking of that idea. When I am out shopping, having lunch, in the shower my mind never stops. I will be out shopping and see something that inspires me for my theme and take a photo of it. Not to copy but to spring off of and create something from that idea. I also often will be telling Randy about an idea I just had and I will scribble it on a napkin or what ever is handy, I will make sure that they go into my sketchbook where I am formulating the idea.
4. Scan them into a computer if you know anything about photo editing or have a graphics program you can develop it further digitally also! Its not required but it helps with time as you can paint it once, scan it in and then copy and paste to make lots more. You can take multiple images, resize them and put them together to make a tossed fabric. It allows you the ability to clean up the images in case you painted outside the lines, or erase mistakes so you don't have to repaint or use whiteout. There are so many things you can do digitally that you can't do manually that it makes it worth the effort to learn some of the basics. If that is something you think you want to do, write it down as a goal and give yourself a time to do it! Take baby steps, don't expect to sit down and be able to learn it all, its impossible. Start off with some basic tasks that you would like to be able to do and learn how to do those. How do I learn you might ask? I don't want to take a college course etc. Well there are many small classes being taught at quilt shows, trade shows etc about all kinds of computer issues these days since it is becoming more and more a part of our lives, like it or not. I like to tackle things as they arise also. For instance, I want to make something happen like make a digital stamp from one of my drawings in photoshop. You might be thinking, OMG, I don't know how to crop. It doesn't matter what it is, you start where you are and move forward. So I would google making a stamp in Photoshop and there are so many free tutorials, videos etc. I did this exact thing and found out how amazingly simple it was! Its a process, do it as you need it but do it! The more you learn how things work the more confidence you will build within yourself as you master some skills.
5. Put together your main, focus fabric. This might be a panel or just a main design that will be repeated across the fabric. I am working on "The 12 Days of Christmas". I did the original drawing last year for a client to license for ornaments in 2013. The design was basically done as individual days on a white background and will be put onto a snowflake ornament shape as the center design. So I developed it as a circle for that client. Well for fabric and quilts the circles don't work as well, it is much better as a square. So I first addressed that issue. If you are designing fabric make sure your designs work within a standard quilting layout of squares, strips, triangles etc. I took my designs and transformed them, here is my Partridge for the ornament then made into a square for fabric.
More on this process in future posts.
Questions? Please use the comment board so others can see what you might want to ask, I will respond there.
I am proud to announce that I am designing fabric for Quilting Treasures and this fabric line, "The 12 Days of Christmas" will be available in your local quilt shop next year, thats only 6 months away! I also think that the ornaments will be available for sale next Christmas also. I will let everyone know later.
Take one of your dreams and take one step in that direction to make it happen today!