New Course: Illustrator: A Fresh Look

We are so excited to welcome a new Illustrator course to our Textile Design Lab community!

On April 5, 2021, Laura Coyle will be teaching a new 6-week course called “Illustrator: A Fresh Look!” This course is for new or occasional Illustrator users, Photoshop users, and anyone who wants a refreshed perspective on how to:

  • Better understand how Illustrator works from the ground up
  • How it functions alongside the other apps in the Adobe Creative Cloud ecosystem

Personally, I am in this second group. I’ve been using Illustrator since I took an introductory course in college in 2001. Since this time, I’ve learned so much from coworkers, YouTube, and Laura Coyle! However, since Adobe switched to its subscription system, I’ve had a difficult time keeping up with all the changes. As I’ve been learning all the new tools and techniques from Laura and other generous teachers, I’ve realized there are so many basics I have not learned…or have forgotten how to use.

These are all reasons why I am super excited for this opportunity to have an Illustrator reset. An opportunity to take a fresh look at all the tools that Illustrator has to offer, while hanging out with this fun, welcoming community of textile and surface pattern designers.

Join us for Laura Coyle's new Illustrator course on April 5, 2021.

The Schedule

We’ll combine self-paced learning with a weekly live workshop.

  • Every Monday for 6 weeks a PDF for the week’s learning will be posted to the Textile Design Lab, along with a couple of demonstration videos.
  • On Wednesdays at 1pm Eastern, we’ll have a live 2-hour workshop session on Zoom, where Laura will demonstrate the exercises and concepts, and you’ll have the chance to work alongside her on your own computer, ask questions, and share with the group.

In the live sessions Laura will:

  • Review the previous session
  • Introduce the current topic
  • Teach a demonstration of the core exercise(s)Guide participants in creating the art/exercise on their own computers
  • Be responsive in real-time to their questions and issues as they come up

After the workshop, the recording will be posted on the course page, so you can watch if you missed the live session or review it whenever you like.

Each week there will be an assignment that students may work through to put their new skills to the test!

Throughout the week members are welcome to post questions to our private Tech Talk forum.

A worksheet example from Laura Coyle's new Illustrator course.
Each week a downloadable PDF guide will be released. Here’s an example from Week One.

Topics covered

Topics the Beginning Illustrator workshop will cover:

  • Shape drawing, selection, layers, and groups
  • Vector basics : stacking order, anchor points, paths, live content vs. expanded
  • Color: swatches, eyedropper tool, RGB vs CMYK
  • Drawing tools overview: pen, pencil, brushes
  • Files: exporting, saving, cloud vs. computer
  • Overview of integration with Illustrator on the iPad, Fresco, Creative Cloud, Photoshop

Course Goals

From Laura Coyle, “We are all learners at different points in our art practice. I’m hopeful that my Illustrator: A Fresh Look workshop will create meaningful connection and learning for everyone, no matter your prior experience with Illustrator. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and even share your work via screen sharing during the live workshop sessions. I look forward to working with you to increase your skills and understanding of Adobe Illustrator!”

Join Us

Illustrator: A Fresh Look will be held within our online, Textile Design Lab community starting on April 5, 2021. This workshop is free for all Textile Design Lab members. If you would like to participate in the workshop, please join us here! The Textile Design Lab community is $49/month and gives you access to countless courses, tutorials, design challenges and live events. We would love to welcome you to the community as we take a fresh look at this powerful program.

Already a member of the Textile Design Lab? You can register for Laura’s course here.

  1. Hi Michelle,

    Happy Spring! I’m excited to join this course Illustrator: A Fresh Look and when I click on the link that says Already a member? You can register for Laura’s course here-
    I get sent to a blank page.
    Can you help?
    Thank you!

  2. What version of Illustrator will be used for the workshop with Laura Coyle? My OS can no longer be updated. I have access to Illustrator CC 2018.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Susan! Laura will be using the latest version of Illustrator 2021 so some of the tools might be different on your screen or not available. If you have more questions about this please let me know and we can reach out to Laura.

  3. Hi, Michelle,

    I’m very interested in the new Illustrator course. I will not be able to make the live session the first week. Will it be recorded and available to review later?

    1. Hi Pat! Yes, all the live sessions will be recorded and posted to the TDL. We would love to have you join the group!

  4. Hi, I just signed up! I work during the day, though, so I hope that’s alright. The sessions are recorded, right?

  5. Hello,
    I wonder if I can follow along adequately if I am using…brace yourself….CS4…(yep, actual software installed on my Mac)?
    ~ Thanks

  6. Hi Laura!

    A lot of the basics of Illustrator (anchor points, curve handles, bounding boxes) stay the same throughout the versions. However, CS4 has many differences with the current versions and it is missing tools and panels that I will be teaching about every week. If you already have a lot of experience with Illustrator, you could translate but if not, I think it would be difficult. I have an older beginning course you might be interested in, that was taught in CS3-CS5. Send me an email through my site: and I can give you more info. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sinem! We will not be covering repeats in this course, but we have two repeat courses, and multiple repeat tutorials in the Lab that you can access as well.

  7. Hi. I’m in South Australia so can’t attend the live course. When do we get access to our PDF for each session, and when will the recordings be available? I have paid my year’s subscription and want to get going on this activity. Looking forward to your prompt reply,
    Nicola, from the Land Down Under

    1. Hi Judy! I’m not sure when we will be running the live course again, but all of the videos and recordings will remain in the Lab until October 2021. The cost to join the Lab is $49/month and includes all courses, tutorials, live events, design challenges, etc.

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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 our private design community, The Textile Design Lab.

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