This is a story of second acts. I dedicate it to all the “students” out there over 50 discovering what their next act could look like.
I have worked as a graphic designer part-time from home for the past 25 years. It has helped pay the bills but more importantly, I was able to be there for my kids growing up. My kids were my priority and a career wasn’t. For a while, I have been looking for what I could do next. Different job? Different field?
And as I got closer to 50 and retirement, I thought, maybe I am done and I just retire. But that idea nagged at me too. What have I done that would make my kids proud of me? I want them to look at me and see someone who isn’t sitting still but is still changing, learning and moving forward. Then comes an email with a little promo about Bonnie’s mini-course.
“What is this? I thought pattern design was the stuff of textile designers or real artists. Certainly not me.” I started watching and a tiny light bulb starting shining. “Hey—I could totally do this.” A little more research and then I started to obsess.
The next day I thought, “This is ridiculous—I can’t do this. I am not an artist.”
More obsessing over what this surface pattern design stuff is... “Well, maybe. But how do I tell people I want to be an artist? A surface pattern designer?” Lots of back and forth. “Immersion is a lot of money... But I don’t spend money on myself so live a little. It’s an investment!” (then repeat these phrases 1,000 times—start to lose sleep)
The third day: swallow hard and tell my family I want to do this. Excitedly, they all pitch in and start brainstorming on a business name. Then fourth lake studio was born! 3 days after that, I signed up for Immersion and posted my first post on my new IG account!
Taking Immersion opened my eyes to a world I didn’t know existed and didn’t know I wanted to be a part of. I love learning about this world and how much you can do within it. In addition to being excited about the world of surface pattern design, I was fascinated by Bonnie’s business model and her path and growth.
Another thing I loved about the course was the community and support from it. It was fun to watch and celebrate other people’s growth along the path. We are all going through the same steps but on our own timeline. It is also fun to witness the creative ways people blend SPD with their passions.
Since taking the course last year, I have completed a collection in 2 colorways, started on 3 other collections and completed several art prints.
My confidence has grown steadily over the year and I am excited about how far I have come and for what I have planned to accomplish this year.
I will retire from my day job in 3 years and cannot wait to dedicate more time to my art and making money from it. For now, I will continue on my slow and steady pace by doing one thing a day!