New Design Challenge: Land, Air and Sea


One of my favorite events in the Textile Design Lab is our monthly Chelsea’s Challenge, which we share with the goal of helping our members grow their pattern portfolios. We provide a theme to focus on and throughout the month the Textile Design Lab team provides feedback on our private forum as designers work through the process of developing a main print and 2-4 coordinates. Our members also benefit from feedback from their peers, bouncing ideas off one another on the forum and in our weekly live art critiques, cheering each other along through the process!

The theme for this month’s challenge, “Land, Air and Sea,” came about after Michelle and I exhibited at Surtex last month; we spoke with a number of brands from markets as varied as accessories, bedding, women’s apparel, quilting fabric, and classroom decor, all of whom were interested in seeing conversational patterns. Animal patterns were a particular standout in terms of what people were looking for, so I decided to bring that back for this month’s Chelsea’s Challenge and encourage Lab members to develop a pattern collection based around animals, birds, or sea creatures.

If you’re like me, your portfolio may be filled with abstract, geometric, and textural designs, but noticeably lacking in conversationals. This real-world subject matter and more illustrative style comes naturally to some designers and pushes others far out of their comfort zone, but no matter where you fall on this spectrum, it will enrich your portfolio to include some conversational critters in the mix.

Ready to give this challenge a shot? Join us in the Textile Design Lab to participate within a supportive environment and receive expert feedback throughout your design process. Once you are a member you will have access to tons of inspiring content, from in depth e-courses to guest expert trainings, an extensive resource guide and more. You’ll also have the opportunity to join our Print Studio Work Group, which will meet once a week for four weeks and will walk you step-by-step through the process of reaching out to print studios for representation. The work group kicks off next Monday, June 11th and is free to Textile Design Lab members. We look forward to working with you!

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

Featured Course

More Stories
Surtex Preview: Four Corners Art Collective