Rebekah Strunz-Sherpa is a current Textile Design Lab member and designs under the name April Hitchcock Pattern Design. She recently completed our Sellable Sketch group study, having created this beautiful pattern collection. By the end of this course our students understand what elements lead to a successful print collection like Rebekah’s, the importance of staying true to your artistic style, how to pick appropriate trends and inspiration sources for your target market and how to develop a print from sketch to digital file in both Illustrator and Photoshop.
I decided to target the home decor market with this collection, and specifically I had an Australian direct marketing company in mind at the time. My research got me interested in the earth forms trend, the beautiful colours and layers that show through in rock formations and in crystals. I feel a strong affinity for crystals and the mountains, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to spend most of this year in Nepal trekking and living in a remote Sherpa village. During this year I’ve seen some amazing scenery. The Himalaya Mountains are powerful and ancient and I love the way the history of the formation of the mountains is evident in the layers that show through the sides of the cliffs, particularly in the Mustang region with its barren, treeless landscape and beautifully carved mountains. I wanted to try to recreate that to an extent with my collection, using the limited art and technology resources I have available to me. I played with watercolours and textures a lot to begin with, but I also love working on the computer and most of my work ends up heavily manipulated in Illustrator – to good effect I hope!!
My Sellable Sketch Story
I actually just stumbled across Textile Design Lab and the Sellable Sketch course one day after I decided I was going to wrestle again with the art of surface design, and actually creativity in general. I’d initially studied face-to-face at a private college in Australia but once I left there some personal circumstances left me demotivated and uninspired, and I felt poorly equipped to tackle the surface design industry on my own. I was really floundering and just kind of gave up. But they say a change is as good as a holiday, and I guess my move to Nepal has been like one long holiday. I felt re-energised and ready to flirt with creativity again and an online cookie trail just led me to TDL. I hesitated to begin with about joining and when I did join I then hesitated with the Sellable Sketch course to begin with because I think I was actually just afraid of failing. Of getting in too far over my head and looking like a fool. Of being surrounded by such wonderful and talented people that I couldn’t even begin to compare to them. And I was. Everyone who was part of the Sellable Sketch group study was incredibly wonderful and talented. But they were also incredibly supportive and encouraging. And I learned that I am just like them – I am wonderful and talented too, I do compare and as long as I tried then the idea of failure became a case of semantics. When I left my face-to-face studies I was not producing anything like the work I produced in the Sellable Sketch, and so I’m incredibly amazed and proud of the work that I produced. I don’t view this collection as my work alone, because without the feedback from all of the other participants and the teachers within the Sellable Sketch group study I don’t think I would have pulled together a collection that looks like this. This collection really is a result of the many voices I had the honour of engaging with as part of the Sellable Sketch group study, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. And now I’m excited! I just want to keep going. I’m working on my next collection and I’m taking it slowly, enjoying the daily sketching process – something I always fought against! I am still afraid of failing, and that’s okay. It means that I now approach my work with more care and thought than I might have once done and that’s not a bad thing!
You can see more from Rebekah on Instagram or get in touch with her at aprilhitchcockdesigns@gmail.
Ready to uncover your unique artistic style and pair it with relevant trends to create a focused pattern collection? Join us in the Lab today to start the Sellable Sketch course. We can’t wait to work with you!