It’s been 15 months since I won the Make it in Design scholarship and I can honestly say it helped me to boost my career in Surface Pattern Design enormously, not to mention the amazing friends I’ve gained along the way. I’m actually sad to say good-bye and will miss the community of designers who have shared this journey with me over the past year (and a bit).

I’ve just finished the final module and thought I’d share with you all my experiences with the course and how it’s helped me build my career.

Module 1 - Designing Your Way

This module was a lot of fun.  There was lots of sketching, doodling, mark making and just having fun.  It was a great way to loosen up and have fun discovering your style.   We were also provided with lots of tips on how to organise your sketches, how to create mood-boards and an insight into colours!

One of my designs I created in Module 1 (swim school) has since been licensed to The Gifted Stationery Company on notecards, shopping lists, Note Blocks with Pen, Sticky Note Folders, Notecard Wallets & Address Books.

Module 2 - Creating your Professional Identity

In Module 2 we started learning about starting your own label, brand identity, understanding trends, creating pattern collections, marketing and protecting yourself.

Trends is a topic I’ve never really understood and in Module 2 we were given a small insight into what it’s all about.  I mean how can you predict what will be ‘on trend’ in 1 or 2 years?  But I’ve since learned to love it and embrace it.  I’ve found it’s a great way push yourself out of your comfort zone and discover other art mediums to create a desired look.

This module also prompted me to re-brand my logo and website to what it is now.


Module 3 - Monetising your Designs

Module 3 built on module 2 and got into more detail about licensing, freelancing, selling outright and manufacturing.  And best of all we got access to the forecasting website WGSN, which I could spend hours browsing.

Licensing, freelancing and selling outright can be a daunting prospect when you have no idea what you’re doing, but this module helped me to understand the do’s and don’ts and has certainly helped me when approached by a company to licence my work.

Access to WGSN was probably the highlight of this module as well as the live briefs.  2 years ago I was scared of trends, but now I love them even though I don’t always stick to them.  Colour trends, especially, have been incredibly useful for me.

Module 4 - Ultimate Portfolio Builder

The Ultimate Portfolio Builder has been my favourite module of them all.  It’s amazing how much detail and information is available in this module and how great it is at building your portfolio.  It’s full of fun creative prompts, live briefs and masterclasses.  You also get a live review of your portfolio by Rachael Taylor or other industry experts. And of course another 3 months access to WGSN.  How good is that?

My favourite aspect of this module was the creative exercises and how they helped me to create unique and interesting patterns from out of nowhere.  I often find I get stuck for ideas or inspiration, but Rachael shows you a great way to become unstuck and create amazing new patterns.

I highly recommend this module for anyone serious about working in the surface design industry.  This tropical design I created during this module, helped me to secure a licensing deal with Walnut Melbourne where I have designed a series of kids shoes (soon to be released).

To sum up, the past 14 months of Make it in Design have been a wonderful experience and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without it.  It’s certainly a must if you want to boost your career.  If I could do it all again I would.  In fact I will probably do module 4 again some day just to build my portfolio and stay on top of trends and the industry.

If you want to know more about these courses, head over to the Make it in Design website and discover all the eye-candy and information available to you to help you on your journey.   I also recommend the Winter and Summer schools, especially if you want to design to trends and briefs.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or you’re looking for advice as I’m always happy to share my knowledge.

Thank you!

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