How to Create Movies and Slideshows to Improve Your Marketing

One simple and fun way to create more engagement and increase brand awareness for your surface design business is to go beyond the basic static image and bring your designs to life through a movie, slideshow, or animated GIF. New apps allow you to create beautiful slideshows with filters, transitions, sound, and sequencing using your smart phone or iPad. If you try out these techniques, be sure to post your own movie on Instagram for the #POMarketing Photo Challenge prompt #PatternPremieres on Sunday.
This movie was created using the PicFlow app. The designers featured include @ashleycecil, @skinnylaminx, @esther_emma, @patternandrepeat, @danielaglassop, @breezedesignstudio, @thatgirlstudio, @lisarivas, @chris_coco_olson, @wild_coral.


Seven tips for creating your pattern premiere movie

1) Name your project and give it some focus before you start searching through hundreds of images in your photo library. If the app allows you to place the images in a folder in your image library that makes creating the movie even easier.

2) When determining how many images to include in a slideshow, consider the length of the total movie and the specific  time limits on different social media platforms. (Instagram has a 15-second limit and Twitter has a 30-second limit. If you want to post a longer video, consider using the Hyperlapse app (described below) to condense the video.)

3) Consider making a soundtrack by importing Royalty-free music from SoundCloudVimeo Music Store, or ccMixter. They have special sections just for tracks that were uploaded under a Creative Commons license. This means you’re free to use them as long as you follow the guidelines established by the artist.

4) Several apps allow you to record a narration to help tell the story of your video.

5) Give your show a more cinematic flow by selecting one of the special image transitions built in the app.

6) Always preview your movie a few times before you publish it. Test out different image transitions and filters at the preview stage.

7) To make the movie more cohesive and professional, keep the colors, branding, and overall design consistent throughout.


Eight apps to quickly create professional videos, slideshows, and GIFs

PicFlow is a photo slideshow video maker designed for Instagram—you can also post your creations on other social media channels. To make the video slideshow you simply select multiple photos from your camera roll and albums. You can rearrange the photos to make the best sequence flow. To crop the photos just swipe and pinch them. If you want, you can add music. The app also lets you select a specific style of transition between each photo. One nice feature is it doesn’t automatically include the apps watermark on your creation.

Flipagram lets you create short videos from photos, video clips and music. Just select the photos you want. Add titles, music and filters. And share your creation. You can also auto-time for Instagram or Vine. You can share your video in the Flipagram community and across social media including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vine, Tumblr, Email, Text, Pinterest, FB Messenger, and more. If you want to remove the automatic app watermark you have to upgrade the app.

This movie was created using two apps. First I created a slideshow video using the PicFlow app. Next I inserted the video in a collage created with the InstaVid for Instagram app. The designers featured include @estemacleod, @julietmeeksdesign, @tortagialla, @bibliosophy, @karen_burton_art, @catarinaguerreirodesign, @rachelreynoldstextiles, @cladesign_.

Have you ever seen a collage with little movies inside the grid? InstaVid for Instagram is one app that lets you include both videos and photos in wide variety of a collage formats.

If you already have a video that you created with your phone and you want to crop it to a square format for Instagram try the app Squaready for Video. It converts a rectangle movie clip into a square shape. One nice feature is it doesn’t automatically include the apps watermark on your creation.

Giffer Pro lets you create any kind of animated GIF–stop motion, cinemagraphs, time lapse, seamless looping, reverse GIF, text overlay, and more. This format has one major drawback—you can only share your GIF on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. To share a GIF on Instagram you have to convert it to a movie format using an app such as GifVid. I have used this combination of apps and although it a bit of a hassle, it works.

If you are an iMovie geek and you like the editing features, consider trying out the mobile app on your phone to quickly create a video. This app has a learning curve and is not as user-friendly as the apps listed above. It is worth trying because of the wide variety of audio and video editing tools. And if you make a mistake, the undo button makes it very easy to remove mistakes.

Hyperlapse lets you create polished time lapse videos without bulky tripods and expensive equipment. If you like to share the behind-the-scenes story, this app makes it pretty simple to show how you create a doodle or a finished surface pattern design from start to finish in just seconds.


Learn how marketing and running a successful business can be a thing of beauty. Join us for our free Marketing Can Be Beautiful webinar on May 19th @ 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern.
This post and Instagram challenge has been organized by designer Chris Olson. Chris is a Colorado-based illustrator and surface designer known for her modern playful illustrations and designs that you can view at She writes and sketches about all things design at Pattern Bliss blog. You can follow Chris on Instagram at @chris_coco_olson.

Surtex Preview: Amy Reber

View More: may recognize Amy Reber as the winner of our recent textile design competition with P&B Textiles. Well next week she will be taking on a new challenge and heading to Surtex for the first time with Cultivate Art Agency (Booth #222.)

“I have always been artistic. Growing up in Washington State I did well in art class and took all of the art that I could all through High School. But I never imagined that my art would take me anywhere, so as I got older, I let the pen and paper dreams slip through my fingers in search of something a bit more solid. Off to college I went and I received a Bachelor of Science and then a K-8 Teaching certification. I began teaching Kindergarten, and the artistic side of me was not even on the radar. I met my husband in 1999, a USMC officer and we were married in 2002. We have lived in many places since then, weathered many combat deployments and had three beautiful children along the way. My husband is still active duty, and is currently assigned to the Pentagon in VA.

Needless to say, with the military lifestyle and being a stay at home Mom to three young kids, my artistic side continued to remain on the back burner. About five years ago, I decided that I needed to do something for myself, something that would bring me joy….I tried beading, I tried knitting, I tried painting, and eventually ended up doing collage work for several years. It grew into a small business as I was doing custom orders for neighbors and friends but this soon turned into a small following on Facebook. One afternoon about three years ago I was led to put pen to paper while waiting for the kids to get off the bus (I had twenty minutes to kill, not enough time for cutting and glueing!), and the most incredible thing happened. I found solace and passion in drawing, a combination of inspiration and peace. It gave me a rush of energy that soon consumed all of my free time. Before long I was learning new techniques, working with computer programs to edit my work and looking for avenues to market my art. I didn’t look any further, surface design was IT for me. The joy it brings me is truly very hard to put into words.

It was a cool day last September, when a Bolder Bands advertisement caught my eye on Facebook. I loved their fun patterns and felt confident that my work would be a perfect fit for the Bands, so I sent them a message. The owner of Bolder Bands, Amy Crouse, contacted me and within two days we were talking about design ideas and drawing up plans for the next big step.

Our partnership ended up being a match made in heaven, and at the perfect time for both of us. Amy had been looking to expand her designs, and my youngest child had just started school which freed up time during the day. So, Bolder Band was my first big “deal” and lit a fire under me like no other.

After beginning to create exclusive designs for Bolder Band, I signed on with Rachelle Panagarry of Cultivate Art Agency. With the agency, I had my work shown this past winter at Printsource in New York. Shortly thereafter, I won the 2015 Pattern Observer/P&B Textiles Design Competition. I am looking forward to my first collection being released in January 2016!

Now on to Surtex! My portfolio will be shown with Cultivate Art Agency at Booth 222. This Surtex preparation, belonging to an agency, as someone new to the industry, has been the perfect way to get my feet wet without having to take on an entire booth by myself….maybe some day! Some of the tasks which are VERY few compared to a designer in their own booth have been: a 100 page portfolio preparation with certain deadlines obviously, creation and printing of pre-promotional cards that I sent out to attendees and will also be handed out at the booth, reworking and printing of business cards, digital promotional pieces created for social media accounts, and “give-aways” to be handed out to prospective clients in the booth. I am giving away luggage tags with my designs on them. All of these tasks are completed, so I’m going to sit back, relax, head up to NYC this weekend and surround myself with design at SURTEX 2015!”

You can see more from Amy at, or follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook.

Textile Design Marketing: Collection Snapshots

Pattern Observer Collection Snapshot

Sample Collection Snapshot

Countless hours and a lot of love and passion go into creating textile design collections. So when it comes time to market your work I encourage you to think beyond the traditional watermark! A great way to market your collection is through what I like to call a “collection snapshot.” A collection snapshot is a small collage of your collection and should include your name or logo and any other information that you think would be helpful.

A collection snapshot can be used in email marketing, social media marketing, at events and on your website.

When creating your collection snapshot keep these tips in mind:

1. Be consistent. The colors, font style and other design details should be consistent with the collection’s artistic style, as well as your overall business branding.

2. Be selective. You don’t need to show every pattern in your collection. If you think one pattern with an amazing logo and collection title make for a stronger presentation then run with that. There are no rules here.

3. Have fun. Collection snapshots are a chance to express yourself, entertain potential customers and market your work. Your marketing pieces can be just as beautiful and inspiring as the artwork you create.

Here is an example of a collection snapshot that I developed for our Pattern Observer studio using Canva. After developing your snapshot please share it on Instagram as part of our Marketing Can Be Beautiful Photo Challenge using #POMarketing #CuratedCollections.


Learn how marketing and running a successful business can be a thing of beauty. Join us for our free Marketing Can Be Beautiful webinar on May 19th @ 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern.

Interview with Loes van Oosten, Guest Expert for May in the Textile Design Lab

StudioProfielLoes van Oosten is an illustrator and designer from the Netherlands who is joining us this month as our guest expert in the Textile Design Lab. In addition to making her own art, Loes also teaches workshops on stamp making and will be sharing some of her stamping techniques with us in a tutorial later this month. We will be sharing an excerpt from this training on Pattern Observer so stay tuned for that!

Today we invite you to get to know Loes a little better, learn about what inspires her and lessons learned along the way in the launch of her business. Enjoy!


Please tell us a bit about your design background/career path. 

Even as a child I have always been very creative and observant. I used to turn on the radio in my room and created all sorts of things from drawings to building furniture and making dresses for my dolls.

After secondary school it was a logical step for me to go to a tailoring school where I learnt the fine details of making clothes. I loved being behind my sewing machine and to realize my ideas. When I graduated from secondary school I decided to develop myself as a product designer and went to the Design Academy. My graduation project at that time was a clothing line based on the psychological effects of colour on humans, this also included the store concept. This was a project where product design and my tailoring skills came together.

After graduation I started my working life as a Visual Merchandiser in the fashion industry. I then spent 10 years working as a Visual Merchandiser at IKEA Delft the pilot store, in the learning and development centre of IKEA. It was there that I felt the inner need to explore and express my self. At home I started to make drawings and I developed my illustration skills and style.


WorkHelloDearCould you talk about your journey in 2014 (what you described as “the year of exploring my true talents, beliefs and what drives me”) and what led you to launch your own business? 

7 years ago, whilst pregnant with my eldest son I suffered from symphysis pubic dysfunction, where I could hardly walk. From that moment on I went into survival mode, focusing on the care of my 2 children, working, lack of sleep and a tough rehabilitation schedule made me run out of energy and it ended up in a burn out 3 years ago. I was not able to think clearly anymore and felt empty inside. At that point I began a journey from my head to my heart, where I began to search for what drives me and my talents. I found out that I am esthetic driven and that I am interested in connecting with people. In order to open up my heart I started drawing, creating hand made stamps and paper cuts. From January 2014 I started to share my creative processes and work with the people around me and on social media. I received so many nice positive responses and even requests for selling my art that I decided to start my own business as an illustrator in 2015. A step that I took based on trust and self-confidence.


Could you tell us a bit about your make your own stamp workshops? Where did that idea originate?

Giving workshops was for me a logical step. At IKEA I was used to sharing my skills and presenting in front of groups. I knew I felt comfortable meeting new people, to inspire them and to bring their creativity to life.

During my workshop ‘make your own stamp’ I take people with me into my world. I guide on what materials one can use and teach carving and stamping tips and tricks.

My aim with every workshop is to pamper the participants with a complete afternoon out. Good company, a good cup of coffee, home baked cake and learning some thing new that you can also do at home. It gives me enormous pleasure when I see that my participants exceed their own expectations that they have ‘created’ something which they never thought even possible.



What have been some of the challenges and exciting moments in launching your business? Do you have any advice for designers who are currently going through this process or about to embark on a new business venture?

My biggest challenge was to learn to trust on my creativity and talents.

It took me a year to transform myself from a maker into a creative entrepreneur.

I postponed the start of my company for a long time because I was afraid. Afraid to show and promote my designs (questioning am I good enough?), afraid to fail (will I manage to get enough assignments?). The use of Social media helped me a lot to open up and to share my work. This medium gave me the opportunity to explore the creative world I wanted to be part of. The responses from my followers gave me a good insight of the opportunities available as an illustrator. It was there after I finally wrote a business plan. Writing this plan was a tough cookie but it was worth it. I was able to explore my market, customers, developed both a marketing and a financial plan.

My advice for future creative entrepreneurs is to explore your talents, strengths and weaknesses. Write a business plan, make choices and try to be realistic, however most of all focus on the opportunities and believe in yourself! Do what makes you happy!



Tell us a bit about your design process. What media/design tools do you like to use?

My design process always starts with a piece of paper and a pencil. I love making beautiful things with my hands and the feel of the texture of the paper. I am patient, precise and can work focused like a monk for hours. This way I am close to my creative soul and it brings me in a state of creative meditation.

I make hand made stamps, block prints, silkscreen prints, paper cuts and dip pen drawings. When I have finished my work by hand, I then make a digital scan of it. In Illustrator and Photoshop I make small adjustments, scale objects and place it in a composition or pattern.  I strive to stay as close to the original as possible and to keep the hand made feel of the design.

The materials I use vary on the technique. My favorite ink to draw and paint is Acrylic Artists Ink from Daler Rowney. For my paper cuts I use a craft knife with blade number 11.

For my hand made stamps I carve with an Abig or Speedball gush. The rubber I use is from the brand Speedy Carve and my favorite ink is the multi purpose versa Craft ink.


Where do you gather inspiration for your work? 

Nature is for me a big inspiration and makes me wonder. The rhythm of a fern, the fine construction of a feather or the perfect spiral of a cochlea is like magic to me.

Before I begin a new project, I first like to study my object like a scientist. Besides nature I love Scandinavian design and illustrations and color use from the 50’s. Daily life and nature inspires me by choosing my subjects. Books that inspire me are mostly vintage. My favorite subjects are nature historic drawings, cookbooks and old children’s books.


WorkFeatherWho are your favorite designers (past or present) and why? What about them has inspired you or influenced your work?

My favorite illustrators are Abner Graboff, Dutch illustrator Sieb Posthuma and Geninne D. Zatklis.

The 50’s illustrations of Abner Graboff I like purely because of the simple and funny style that he used together with the use of color blocks combined with line drawings.

The Dutch illustrator Sieb Posthuma makes beautiful line drawings with ink and uses a variation of different illustration techniques.

I admire illustrator and designer Geninne D. Zatklis from New Mexico. Her work is detailed, her style is very steady and she uses a lot of different craft techniques. Every thing she makes is beautiful! I have been following Geninne’s art blog for a couple of years now, and I have learned that you do not have to stick to one technique as long as your style is consistent.



What advice have you received in your career that has stayed with you or influenced you? Do you have any words of advice for aspiring designers trying to build successful careers of their own?

The best advice I received was, stop planning and start doing it! It doesn’t have to be perfect!

My advice to you is, give yourself time to develop your skills and self-confidence.

Believe in your talents, focus on your strengths and follow your bliss.




Learn more about Loes at or visit her on Facebook or Instagram.

Become a Textile Design Lab member to gain access to Loes’s full stamping training when it’s released later this month and to take part in our five-week Sellable Sketch Group Study, starting today, May 11th!

Marketing Can Be Beautiful Photo Challenge

POMARKETINGIn anticipation of our upcoming marketing workshop, over the next two weeks we will be exploring how marketing can be both beautiful and fun! We are kicking things off with an Instagram Photo Challenge and the rest of the free events are listed below.

Our newest Instagram challenge focuses on marketing—and making it beautiful. This 7-day challenge is all about adding your personal artistic touch to your professional brand identity—logos, business cards, newsletters, and more. So join the fun. Share images of your own branding. Or repost images from the brands that you admire using apps like Repost for Instagram.

Be sure to hashtag your posts with #POMarketing and the daily prompt. Pattern Observer will do a blog post after the challenge sharing our favorites. There is no pressure to participate everyday. There are no rules here, just have fun and share your observations during the week. Check out the #POMarketing feed on Instagram to see what your friends are posting.

Monday, May 11th – Sunday, May 17th

Monday: #LovelyLogos

Tuesday: #PrettyPortfolios

Wednesday: #BizCardBliss

Thursday: #NeatNewsletters

Friday: #TrendingTradeshowBooths

Saturday: #CuratedCollections

Sunday: #PatternPremieres


Pattern Observer’s Free Resources and Tutorials on Marketing

1. On the Pattern Observer blog this week, we will include posts with marketing tips for designers including how to create collection snapshots and Instagram videos.
2. Free Marketing Can Be Beautiful webinar on May 19th @ 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern. Register for the webinar here. In the webinar we’re going to show you:
a. How marketing and running a successful business can be a thing of beauty.
b. How to grow your business naturally…without hype or high pressure tactics.
c. The four crucial elements of your design business and what you should be paying attention to as your business grows.
d. A sample marketing cycle developed just for the design industry and built to bring peace and simplicity to your marketing process.


This Instagram challenge has been organized by designer Chris Olson. Chris is a Colorado-based illustrator and surface designer known for her modern playful illustrations and designs that you can view at She writes and sketches about all things design at Pattern Bliss blog. You can follow Chris on Instagram at @chris_coco_olson.


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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and private design community, The Textile Design Lab.