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The Immersion Course Story

surface pattern design

In 2009, I stood exactly where you might be standing today - on the brink of a dream that felt both audacious and utterly out of reach. My heart was set on becoming a fabric designer, a goal that felt completely out of reach, especially for someone with no formal background in art or design.

For six long months, I was paralyzed by overwhelm, my dream collecting dust. But then, one pivotal morning, I made a promise to myself: to start doing just one thing every day towards making this dream a reality.

Fast forward through two years of these small, daily commitments, and there I was, signing my first licensing contract with my dream company. My impossible dream had become my living, breathing reality.

It all started with my momma, Maxie.

Because of her, my childhood was saturated with creativity. I grew up spending time in her quilt shop, watching her sew and creating things alongside her. We spent time learning crafts together, decorating the house, and cooking meals. From pottery and painting to photography and baking... she has mastered it all! It was through her wisdom, willingness to teach, and gentle guidance that inspired my belief that my world had to revolve around being creative too.

I decided to be a fabric designer (without having ANY skills!).

After going to business school and marrying my sweetheart David, I found myself back in Mom's fabric shop, managing inventory and meeting with art reps. Working here brought it all together: fabric design took all my passions in life and wrapped them up as a beautiful career option. I had decided: I was going to be a fabric designer!

Just one problem: I didn't know how to design. It dawned on me—I can do this on my own. It may be the hardest thing I ever do, but I can do it.

I opened an Etsy Shop, started a blog, and got involved with the handmade community. I started to find my voice as a creative. After about six months, I was making a small but substantial income and was able to quit my day job (sorry, Momma!).

My philosophy: do one thing a day.

I was able to really focus on my dream of becoming a surface pattern designer. I began doing one thing every single day that helped move me toward my dream. For a while, it was just researching where I needed to begin: I asked questions, read books, and took online classes to learn Adobe Illustrator. After 11 months of "Daily Things," I made my first repeating pattern!

The next 9 months were spent making as many patterns as possible. I spent time sourcing inspiration, sketching, and designing. Some days I only had 15 minutes to accomplish my "one thing," while others were spent entirely on design. Months went by until I finally had 3 pattern collections that I felt proud of and ready to share with the world: my very first portfolio.

It only takes ten seconds of courage.

Putting myself out there was scary—putting my name to my work, calling companies to ask them for their opinion of the work I'd poured my heart and soul into. Rejection is inevitable, and it hurts! But I knew that if I didn't put my work out there, no one would see it. I've always told myself: it only takes 10 seconds of courage. It only takes 10 seconds of courage to dial a number, introduce myself to an art director, or ask someone's opinion. After my 10 seconds of courage were up, the conversation would be started and things would flow. I still use this trick to this very day!

Now, I'm living my creative dream!

Along the way, we struggled: David made a humble salary and my income was inconsistent. We downgraded to one car, lived in a small one-bedroom house, and hardly ever ate out or bought new clothes. David believed in me and my family supported my dreams—helping drive my passion.

I attended International Quilt Market in 2012, where I took my handmade portfolio and a small quilt my mom had made to show my designs. It's still one of my most favorite possessions—I keep it folded in my studio where I can look at it often and think about what it represents.

I met with several companies to show them my work and samples, but I was most excited about my meeting with Art Gallery Fabrics. I walked away from that meeting as a different person: the art director offered me a contract and I left Quilt Market to begin my career as a fabric designer!

And I'm teaching you HOW.

For the past 15 years I have been consistently switching hats between artist, entrepreneur, educator and leader which leads to me where I am today - ready to share it all with you. Today I’m a momma living in a tiny town running a multi-seven-figure business doing the most creative and impactful work of my life.

I’m here to teach you how to spend your life doing something that lights you up, that’s creatively fulfilling, that gives you all the freedom you want and that’s wildly profitable.

The Birth of Immersion

To be honest, teaching had never crossed my mind. I had clawed my way to achieving my dream, but it was an uphill battle - one that I realized I didn’t want others to face alone. My journey through the wilderness of self-learning left me aching to lay down a path for others to follow.

Then, in 2013, an opportunity to teach landed on my doorstep. Invited to teach Adobe Illustrator and Surface Pattern Design live in front of thousands, I faced my fears and stepped onto the stage. That experience, as terrifying as it was, unveiled a new calling: to empower other creatives to bring their own dreams to life.

After just a few weeks, I began hearing from students worldwide. People from all over the globe who had gotten permission to reconnect with their creativity, start creating income from their work, leave they 9-5 behind, begin working from home and live a life that they LOVE, all while supportuing their families.

Slowly, I realized that a call had been placed on my life - to support other creatives in bringing their dreams to life. 

Our Journey Together Begins

The Immersion Course was born out of this calling. Since its debut in 2018, we've had the honor of impacting over 8,000 lives and careers. Now, in its 6th year and 4th edition, the course is more refined, more powerful, and more transformative than ever.

As we gear up for Surface Design Immersion, I find myself reflecting on the journey that led to its creation and the heartfelt intentions behind its design. This course is a distillation of years of learning, experimenting, and growing both as a designer and an educator. Today, I want to share a bit more about how this course came to life and why it's structured the way it is.

When it came time to share my knowledge and experiences through Surface Design Immersion, I knew I wanted to create something complete and incredibly comprehensive, something that could be both a guide and a companion on the journey of aspiring designers. 

The course itself is structured to give students everything they need to build a creative career that's sustainable and thriving. It's been meticulously designed into modules that cover the breadth and depth of surface pattern design and entrepreneurship. Each module builds on the previous one, ensuring a solid foundation that allows for more complex concepts to be easily understood as the course progresses.

Module 1: Foundations

Begin your surface design journey with a warm welcome and foundational lessons that set you up for success. Learn everything from managing expectations to mastering design tools, with each lesson acting as a stepping stone towards your creative potential. Paired with the Beginner's Headstart bonus module, this section ensures you're fully prepared to embark on your transformative journey.

Module 2: Gathering Inspiration + Orientation Week

Unlock the art of sourcing and organizing inspiration with practical exercises and a field trip to awaken your senses. Dive into storytelling through your designs and confidently share your work with the world. This module is your guide to seeing beauty everywhere and transforming it into profound, personal work.

Module 3: Illustrator Essentials

Master Adobe Illustrator from the basics to advanced tools, empowering you to bring your designs to life with efficiency and flair. Streamline your workflow and explore essential drawing, selection, and color application techniques. This module is your essential toolkit, making you proficient in creating intricate vector designs.

Module 4: Illustrator Advanced

Advance your Illustrator skills with lessons on color theory, composition, and the use of sophisticated tools like the Recolor Artwork Tool. Explore traditional art techniques in a digital format and refine your unique style. Prepare for real-world applications with a deeper understanding of file formats and color management.

Module 5: Repeating Patterns Mastery

Elevate your pattern design skills from sketch to final pattern, mastering various techniques for creating captivating, repeatable designs. Learn how to infuse your patterns with layered textures, striking colors, and personal narratives. This module turns you into a master of patterns, ready to leave your mark on the design world.

Module 6: Design in Collections + Portfolio Building

Discover the strategic importance of designing in collections to create cohesive, marketable sets of work that appeal to art directors and consumers. Master the art of crafting compelling stories through hero, coordinate, and blender prints. This module bridges your creative work with the industry, preparing you for professional success.

Module 7: Income from Your Artwork

Learn how to monetize your creativity effectively, from securing licensing deals to navigating contracts and expanding income streams. Gain insights into pitching, the financial aspects of art licensing, and strategies for promoting your work. This module is your roadmap to turning creativity into a lucrative career.

Module 8: Creative Entrepreneurship

Transform your passion into a profitable and sustainable business, mastering branding, marketing, and financial literacy. Develop a compelling brand identity, connect with your audience, and add multiple revenue streams to your business. This module equips you with the knowledge and tools needed to thrive as a creative entrepreneur.

One of the most transformative aspects of Surface Design Immersion is the community it builds. Students connect from all over the world, creating a vibrant, supportive network of creative souls. This community is a source of inspiration, feedback, and encouragement, proving that even in a digital space, we can forge deep connections and support each other's growth.

Throughout the course, I also emphasize the business side of being a designer. It's not enough to create beautiful work; you need to know how to share it with the world, protect your intellectual property, and build a sustainable career. These lessons come from my own experiences—both the triumphs and the hurdles—and are designed to prepare you for the realities of making a living as a designer.

Finally, the course is structured to be a self-paced journey. Life is busy, and I understand that not everyone can dedicate the same amount of time each day to learning. That's why I've made sure you can access the course materials whenever it suits you, allowing you to learn and grow at your own pace.

Reflecting on this journey, I'm filled with gratitude. Surface Design Immersion has allowed me to share my passion and knowledge with a global community of aspiring designers. It's been a privilege to witness the incredible growth and success of my students, and I'm excited for what the future holds.

If you're ready to dive into the world of surface pattern design, to learn, explore, and grow, I invite you to join me in Surface Design Immersion. Let's embark on this creative journey together, and I can't wait to see where it takes you.

Your Invitation

Today, you stand at the threshold of your dream. The Immersion Course is not just a learning experience; it's a call for all who dare to dream big. Join us, and let's transform your passion into a thriving career together.

It's time. Your dream awaits, and so do we! LEARN MORE + JOIN IMMERSION RIGHT HERE

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