2020 Planner - Join the Notification List Here!
Since Immersion’s completion, I have accomplished the scary things I had been afraid of in the past; I have revamped my website, created a fabric collection and two mini collections, created a professional lookbook of my available patterns for licensing, started an email newsletter list, created a free creative guide as an incentive for signing up for my newsletter, and started pitching to clients! Not only that, I have started entering challenges on Minted for my stationery and wrapping paper, and have won many prizes.
I come from a graphic design/fine arts background in college and have worked in the graphic design field in the past. Because I moved to France from the US several years ago, I have been obligated to teach English at the university to make a stable income, but have never stopped freelancing as a designer on the side. I always knew art was my first love and that I wanted it to be my career, but designing logos and posters for individual clients just wasn’t what I had in mind.
During the covid 19 lockdown in France, I started participating in stationery and surface design challenges and found my calling. I drew every day and found the beginnings of my signature style. I finally felt like I had found the kind of art I wanted to do! I was in love!
One of my best friends from art school, Genna Blackburn, strongly recommended the Immersion program. I was so impressed by the immense progress she made that I started with the Flourish program, and then made the decision to do Immersion the following year. I was initially hesitant due to the price, being on a limited income with a young child at home, but I knew I needed to consider it an investment in my future. I was also suffering from imposter syndrome and felt intimidated by the sheer number of other students. I shouldn’t have worried.
Even if there are a large number of students, Bonnie and her team were so accessible, and my peer group made the experience so much more personal. I loved posting my designs in the community and getting feedback from Bonnie and her team of experts.
I thought I would coast through the Illustrator modules and was dreading being a bit bored by rehashing the basics of software I already knew, but in fact, I acquired A LOT of knowledge that I didn’t have prior to Immersion. In fact, I often return to rewatch certain sections of the Illustrator modules when I forget something.
Bonnie is so thorough that even the most seasoned Illustrator users will learn something new! At the end of Immersion, there was a graduation ceremony, and I could not believe that my design won the “best hero print” award. I think I cried tears of joy at that moment because I had worked so hard, often waiting until everyone was asleep to take the time to work. I know my peer group also shared a strong sense of accomplishment at the end.
Thanks to Minted, I had a Mother’s Day card and a boxed set of Christmas cards sold at Target stores this year.
I also had a card sold at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts gift shop and won a trip to New York for my design. I also was approached by a greeting card company that I had not yet had a chance to pitch to, and thanks to them, I have licensed two greeting cards to be sold at Trader Joe’s stores.
While I have not yet quit my teaching job, I have significantly increased my income, and feel a lot more comfortable financially. On the horizon, I hope to see my fabric collections get licensed, further diversify my income, perhaps get into teaching, and continue to grow as an artist.
My ultimate dream is to make a comfortable living from my art. I know that if I continue on this path laid out so beautifully by Bonnie (a slow burn rather than rapid growth), it is the surest path to the success I’m dreaming of.
As Bonnie says, don’t be daunted by the number of people in this industry. There is room for you.
The supportive community, human interaction, motivation, and lives. Because of the investment, peer group and checking in with the lives, I exercised more discipline than I ever would have by myself. The stages of a surface designer made everything seem more manageable in bite-sized “chunks” that I could check off.