And finally, all of a sudden today, writing this became the one thing I needed to do.
Partly deliberately (trying to concentrate on developing style & other things, also a patch of less than brilliant health) I've kept off the FB page of the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design course. I have however found it a real boon to keep in touch with Charlotte Brown of LottiBDesigns once a week-ish by email. I contacted her originally via her website after I saw her Spoonflower page as I couldn't believe that she even needed to be on the course. I've since been privileged to see some of her new work - she's very good and intends to do all four modules of the course. I think she'll be a real success. In the meantime she's also developed a RedBubble shop.
For those not in the know, Spoonflower is an American company who will digitally print your designs on fabric, wallpaper, gift wrap and decals. They run a weekly design competition too which is very popular.
I have a Spoonflower shop too. Impressed with my first attempts at designing I was desperate to have something printed up. For me, fabric is always the inspiration so to discover a service like Spoonflower was amazing.
I discovered the hard way that this side of the Atlantic we get charged customs duties on what we buy from there. My sister commissioned me to make Christmas presents for her to give people. I costed it all out and it was all fine with her. Received the fabric, made the items, sent them off (didn't have the facilities to photograph them). And then received the customs bill. Coming as it did at a time when our personal circumstances changed, it was a real blow.
But when you open that first package - oh - it's like having that new baby in front of you! You can't stop looking at them, open mouthed with amazement: 'I did that!!!!!'.
I'm hoping to have another moment like that soon. I'm developing my style by designing what I hope will be a collection of silk scarves. I've been researching UK based digital printers for a while now, searching the web, sharing what I find on the FB page and picking up tips from my colleagues on there, getting samples, doing costings, upgrading my blog. A little nervous but also very very excited! I haven't shared my designs on the FB page yet but am running them past one particular colleague from there, Whitney-anne Baker. Whitney-anne works in a variety of media: photographic, digital and paint. The link is to her blog - I particularly recommend the post of 12 January 2013 for all my creative friends. She also has an Etsy shop. This is one of my favourite pieces of her work - it reminds me of those days when strong unexpected sunlight pierces heavy leaden skies and gives spirits a sudden lift.
Anyway - nice talking to you - back to work now!