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!
It’s become a bit of a tradition within the Lab to do a holiday-themed Chelsea’s Challenge each December, as it’s often where most of our heads are at anyway 😉 We have covered so many trends for Christmas while working through briefs for Pattern Observer Studio that we decided to step away from trends for this challenge, and focus on unique stories that our TDL members have to tell. Well, guess what… we want to hear your stories, too! So for the first time, we are opening up this challenge to our wider Pattern Observer community, and we can’t wait to see what you all create!
Close your eyes and try to remember the special moments that stand out from Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, or other winter holidays in the past. Can you bring to mind a particular food or drink, article of clothing, decoration, or family tradition that made the holiday especially memorable? For instance, as a child Michelle always went to the coast for Christmas, so she would create a collection inspired by this time, with seashells, palmetto trees, ribbons and bells. For me, this challenge conjures memories from my grandparents’ house, like decorating gingerbread men, watching cardinals in the trees in the backyard, and playing with my grandpa’s intricate model train sets.
If you prefer, another option for this challenge would be to imagine what your celebrations in the future might look like. Perhaps if you always travel to see family, you could imagine what a holiday celebration might look like if you were the one to host. Or maybe you can’t have pets where you currently live, but you could imagine a holiday where you just adopted a new furry friend. Or looking ahead to a December in the future as a new parent or grandparent, and how you would want to make the holidays special for the young ones in your life. Or a holiday where you’ve made a move to another state or country…or who knows, Mars?! It can be a real blast to dream up these future scenarios and put them in the context of the holidays, so feel free to get wild with it and have fun.
We hope this challenge will be a fun way to close out the end of the year, and encourage you to use the #patternobserver tags on Instagram throughout the process so that we can share your work!
Thanks for being here and Happy Holidays! -Chelsea and the Pattern Observer Team