Surface Pattern Design Immersion 2021

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On this page you'll find stories from over 120 students from all over the world and from every life stage who have crafted a career they love.

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crafted a career they love.

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"Bonnie opened doors for me that I never knew were possible. She opened my mind to what I can achieve with my life."  – Mable Tan

Elena's story is incredibly inspiring. She has a family of five and they are now all supported by one income: hers! Before this dream came true, she had been working as a graphic designer but felt that she had hit a creative plateau. After feeling like this for years, she signed up for the Immersion Course, and after taking it she became inspired to dive into refreshing her entire brand. She had her first surface pattern design printed larger than life on a trade show booth, in NYC, at a trade show for professional photographers.

This past year has been my first to break through the six figure mark. Thanks to Bonnie, it feels like it’s just the beginning! She keeps alive and re-ignites my love for creating, and her words have inspired and helped me push through imaginary or very real boundaries, failures and fears, time and time again. Bonnie's words about working from a place of abundance rather than fear has come to mind many times.

Bonnie’s course has equipped me and given me the belief that I can, and that there is room for an Elena Wilken collection of fabrics out there on store shelves, and on sewists' tables. I am thankful beyond words, thankful for all the research time it saves, and for a teacher that shares her knowledge and the tools for us to succeed so freely. It has been such a game changer for me.”

Oregon

Elena Wilken

Meet

There are a few experiences in my career as an illustrator and surface pattern designer that I can consider life changing. One of those experiences is coming across Bonnie Christine.

As an artist I have come across many workshops and courses but not all have been as valuable as Bonnie's. The knowledge and skills that she shares is far from being generic. Not only does she share her experiences, she teaches the necessary tools you need to to grow and blossom in your career.

This past year I have seen my business sprout and grown into a brand that reflects my style and what I'm passionate about. New opportunities have opened up for my business, and I feel confident enough to pursue them all because of Bonnie and the beautiful community she has built. She has been an important mentor in my career, and a beautiful kindred spirit!

California

Nancy Noreth

Meet

When I think of the Immersion Course, I think of the word transformation. After taking the course, I went from dreaming to doing! With Bonnie’s help, my business G. March Design has become a reality.

My journey began quite a few years before this, at Syracuse University, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Surface Pattern Design. On paper I had all of the training necessary to pursue a career in the field, however by the time I was ready and able to enter the world of design, I had put my career on hold to raise my five children. The skills I had obtained in college weren’t the same ones required to successfully begin my surface pattern design career.

Finding Bonnie’s class was truly the catalyst that moved me from dreamer to designer. My proficiency increased at an amazing rate! With all the information out there, committing to one course can be daunting. However, the encouragement, motivation, direction, and most of all community that Immersion provides is truly priceless. We never stop learning, and here is a forum that will continue long after the course ends to provide inspiring insight, advice, and direction to those in the surface pattern design industry.

This past May, I exhibited over 100 designs at Blueprint in New York City, an opportunity I wouldn’t have even dreamed of achieving prior to the class. This year I hope to teach a Skillshare course and find the right company to license my work. Bonnie took me from dreaming to doing, and I cherish the foundation that this course has given my business.

Florida

Gennifer March Schimenti

Meet

After being a stay at home mom for 16 years I was searching for a creative business of my own. I wanted one that would enable me to be home with my family, create a solid income and also express my creativity.

When I discovered Bonnie’s courses, I honestly felt like my mind was going to explode. My heart yearned for a career in Surface Pattern Design and Bonnie created a clear path for me to get there. Bonnie’s encouraging and comprehensive style of teaching made the intimidating technical side of SPD seem easy.

Because of her, my dreams have come true and my first fabric line will be launching this spring! I will forever be grateful for Bonnie and her willingness to share her gifts with the world.

Minnesota

Tessie Snow

Meet

I have gained a huge amount of confidence in my artistic abilities and was recently heard to describe myself as an artist!

It has flattened out the learning curve for me. This course was, by far, the most complete, informative one that I've had!

It has given me the tools and information to embark on a more creative life. It has been a huge help and the online community are a great support.

The ability to step forward into a new approach to my design career and not feel scared but know the truth of the business side. To know I can try this path.

Vicki Golden

Juliet van der Heijden

Louise Moore

Leanne Longwill

It’s opened my eyes to endless possibilities.

It gave me hope and the desire to make a living creating from my heart.

I feel that having taken the Immersion Course is one of the best decisions I have ever made throughout my entire life!

I learn something everyday. Design feels like what I was meant to do, and I truly love my job as an illustrator and designer.

Denise Palmer

Kasey Lewis

Kathrin Woo

Lynn Priestly

you?

What did the Immersion Course mean to 

and it also connected me with a beautiful community of like-minded creatives. Being part of this community has been integral in building my confidence so that I can tell the world “I am an Artist!”

The Immersion Course gave me all the knowledge and skills I needed to pursue my dream...

Sophia Van Hees

 I'm hardly the same person. I'm amazed at all that I've done in just one year since learning about surface pattern design. Everyday I sit down in my home office and I have serious work to do. This time, it's on my terms and I love every minute of it.

 I have so many goals and opportunities open to me that didn't exist a year ago...

Kathleen Lambert

from my

Students

Hear from over 120 students all over the world and from every stage of life who have crafted a career they love.

"There are a few experiences in my career as an illustrator and surface pattern designer that I can consider life changing. One of those experiences is coming across Bonnie Christine.

As an artist I have come across many workshops and courses but not all have been as valuable as Bonnie's. The knowledge and skills that she shares is far from being generic. Not only does she share her experiences, she teaches the necessary tools you need to to grow and blossom in your career."

Nancy noreth

Bonnie has been with me every step of the way - from my first days watching her Skillshare courses, to signing up for the Flourish membership, to diving into the Immersion Course. She is so supportive, and without her guidance, I'm not certain I would be where I am today in my business. I am so excited to be making money doing what I love, and I can't wait to see where this journey takes me!

Josie Adams

"I have learned more in this course than I did in a whole year in college studying graphic design. Immersion literally changed everything for me."

Patty Basemi

After a very winding creative path that included degrees in fine art and graphic design, random jobs across many fields from museums to games to boats to apparel, a lot of crafting and way too much self doubt, I finally took the leap into starting a studio business. Having always loved fabric and repeatedly returning in my mind to the idea of being a textile designer, I dove into learning everything I could about surface pattern design. There weren't a lot of clear resources, particularly on licensing, until I discovered Bonnie through Skillshare.

After taking the Immersion Course, I created a collection that I felt finally touched on my core signature style. I used this collection to redesign my website and create a suite of marketable goods that I've sold since then.

Pacific Northwest

Skye McNeill

Meet 

I started getting custom design commissions and bookings to teach printmaking workshops, which led to being featured in the Print/Maker book from Uppercase.

I participated in my first trade show and recently spoke on a panel discussion on Textiles in the Marketplace for Portland's Design Week. I often feel pulled in so many directions with my work. I’ve struggled a lot with creative overwhelm in recent years and time and time again I come back to Bonnie's teachings and grounding advice to keep me moving forward. Beyond just technical skill building, she has helped me totally restructure how I think about my business and my time. The level of support and focus I feel after each class or interaction with her has truly been what keeps me out of those self-doubt trenches and working in concrete ways towards my dreams.

“There’s room for you!” This is the truth that Bonnie Christine teaches in her Surface Pattern Design course.

However, it is the tip of the iceberg of what she authentically shares. Beyond sharing her vast knowledge and experience, Bonnie teaches that it is possible to have your own voice and create a unique brand. To start and truly flourish in a creative career. 

It is exactly what it’s done for me. From getting those first precious fabric strike offs of my first collection, Merryn, to collaborating with a baby clothing brand through to teaching my own workshops at my local fabric store and speaking to local sewing groups. Drawing on the knowledge and all that Bonnie shares, continues to inspire me on to even bigger goals and dreams I have for my creative business. Dreams I never even thought of before I started this journey!

United Kingdom

Diane Rooney

Meet

The Immersion Course took something that seemed so daunting and out of reach and gave me not just the basic skills needed to create patterns, but the information I needed to build a brand and a career in surface pattern design.

Bonnie gives you a first hand look at her entire process from brainstorming a collection to actually seeing the pattern collection come to fruition. I am designing fabric for Riley Blake Designs.

My very first collection, Strawberry Jam, will be in stores April 2020. I designed Strawberry Jam during the Immersion course and soon I will be able to hold the fabric in my hands. The things you learn in the course and the community you find with other like minded creatives is invaluable.

Texas

Lauren Brewer

Meet

"It is refreshing to find Bonnie who is genuinely excited to share her knowledge with others. She feels that our success is a wonderful thing and it doesn't threaten her. I want to be a Bonnie in this world. I want to feel abundance, not scarcity. There is enough for everyone to succeed, and I want to help others find success.  Being in a community with that kind of thinking is priceless."

I feel encouraged to set bigger goals for myself, dream bigger, and truly believe that I can achieve them.”

Elizabeth Chappell

"The Immersion Course is incredibly comprehensive, providing you with all of the tools necessary to have a successful career in Surface Pattern Design. I had already taken all of Bonnie’s other classes when I signed up for her Immersion Course and wasn’t sure if there was that much more she could teach me. Boy, was I wrong."

I learned more skills, techniques and workflows. I also learned that there was a community of folks out there that we could all learn from, support and encourage each other."

Heather Schwarm

Prior to creating and registering her business, Isa lacked direction. She knew that drawing made her happy, and she had big dreams of being able to turn something that made her happy into a business.

As time went on her biggest challenge was believing that she was capable, believing that there was room for her work as a floral artist, and that she could find the confidence to get from A to Z.

She knew that she wanted to do more and that her drawings were good, but she could not see how to make herself visible in a sea of floral artists and surface designers. In a leap of faith she looked into a few pattern design classes, but to her, the content was uninspiring. Then, she found the Immersion Course and everything clicked.

“Besides the immense amount of content that Bonnie offers, it was watching the other designers really blossoming with their skills in the Facebook group and seeing the community that Bonnie supported what drew me in; Bonnie’s willingness to lay it all on the table, because she does believe that there is room for everyone.” Shortly after taking the course, Isa had her first licensing client, she now has commissioned works in constant rotation, and has begun teaching art and creativity classes online. Taking the time to learn her surface design skills has opened her world in ways she had never imagined. She is working on a book (or two), and she does this all as a single mom and graduate student!

“It became about understanding that my style is my biggest asset because no one else has it, and that means that there is, indeed, room for all of us somewhere if we are to be willing to put in the work time after time. t takes being brave to invest in yourself, to push yourself a little bit closer to your goals. This course offers so much, and while its focus is surface design, the support, camaraderie, and content is just truly a gift to any creative wanting to make their mark in this world.”

Colorado

Isa Down

Meet 

As a 100% self taught designer I always had major imposter syndrome until I found Bonnie and this course! It didn’t matter that boutiques all over the country were selling my products I was incredibly insecure. The Immersion Course LITERALLY changed my life in regards to my business.

My confidence, skill set, designs, and business goals were all up leveled immensely! My business and belief in myself has grown leaps and bounds from the knowledge I learned in Immersion—I even licensed my first fabric collection and taught my first Skillshare class directly following this course!!

In hindsight the vision I had for my business before Immersion was so limited, now my entire roadmap has shifted and I feel like the possibilities are endless! I don’t care if it sounds cheesy or sells pitchy - don’t think about it for another second: take the course, it’s worth every penny and more!

Philadelphia

Ryann Scrafford

Meet

Prior to my journey in Surface Pattern Design, I was creating watercolor designs on pillows, prints and mugs for my online shops. My goal for the last three years has been to see my artwork on fabric and paper products. I had no idea where to start or what it would entail. Today, I am beyond excited about my journey and it wouldn't have been possible without Bonnie.

After taking Immersion, I could see the end goal becoming a reality. I could see all of the steps necessary to seeing my dream coming true. It felt attainable and realistic. I now know how to use Adobe Illustrator and create beautiful patterns that reflect my whimsical yet vintage floral style. I love the process of sketching from foraged finds and photos from our acreage on the Canadian Prairies. 

If you have had a dream of seeing your artwork on products, I would encourage you to take Immersion. You would truly be getting more than what you ever imagined. 

Canada

Darlene Brink

Meet

"Putting yourself out there is a scary thing, but within a month of taking Bonnie's class I had learned Adobe Illustrator and created my first fabric collection. But most important of all, I had confidence in myself and my abilities."

Meghann rader

"This course is well-paced and embraces you the entire way. You always feel supported and validated by Bonnie, her team, and your fellow members. It is a fantastic experience. Within minutes of the first lesson, I knew I had made the right investment."

Erin mcgovern

"Bonnie keeps alive and reignites my love for creating, and her words have inspired and helped me push through imaginary or very real boundaries, failures, and fears—time and time again."

elena wilken

Before moving to Australia, Mable worked as a writer for a magazine. After she became a mum, things shifted a bit. She was lucky to take a few months off to take care of her baby, but her Etsy shop suffered greatly and it never recovered.

Feeling very frustrated, Mable had to start from zero. For two years she found it hard to make a living, but she was determined to share the financial responsibilities at home.

One day she received an email from the company that had once licensed a design from her, asking if she had any collections and putting emphasis on their sale-ability. Mable had no idea how to come up with one, but what she did know was that in order to thrive as an artist, she had to educate herself.

Once she joined the Immersion course, her eyes opened to all the possibilities of a surface pattern designer.

“I learned so much from Bonnie, not just the technical aspect, but the mental aspect as well. I became more resilient, disciplined and focused. I appreciated Bonnie’s beautiful work and it inspired me to work hard. Suddenly I knew this is what I was meant to do. Coming up with a strong collection takes time, practice and experience, but Bonnie made it easy for me with her meticulous and concise lessons. I have taken other courses before (not on surface pattern design), but they never inspired me the way Bonnie did.”

Since taking the Immersion Course, Mable has developed a collection of shoes on Bucketfeet, she signed up with an agent to represent her at Surtex, and keeps working hard to grow a sustainable income through licensing her designs. 2020 Update: I’m immensely grateful for 2019 and ALL the opportunities that came my way. I released three fabric collections with Hawthorne Supply Co., and then in September, I collaborated with PBS fabric and produced a fabric collection of 13 designs! I also worked with Monster Threads in Australia to produce a line of gift and apparel for their summer collection. It’s been a very blessed and busy year for me.

There is a note above Mable’s desk that reads:

“There are two types of people in the world; those who simply talk and dream of success and the ones who go out there, chase their dreams and get things done.”

She adds: “you’ve got to do the hard work; you’ll thank yourself a year from now. I know I am.”

Australia

Mabel Tan

Meet 

I found Bonnie's classes during a major time of change in my life and have not looked back. Surface pattern design brings me such a sense of fulfillment and creative joy. Last year I decided I wanted to take my dream more seriously and started putting in the time and effort necessary to grow my business. 

I decided to invest in the Immersion Course with Bonnie, and before the course was even over, I signed my first fabric licensing deal!

Josie Adams

Bonnie is not only a fantastic artist, but also simply amazing at teaching her students all she knows about design and the business behind it (which is, btw, a ton!). No matter where you’re at with your design and business skills, she miraculously is able to pick you up. The weekly sets of tutorials build up on one another, are clear, comprehensible and most importantly inspiring.

One thing is sure: it’s the best business decision I could have made.

Kira Gendner

Bonnie has been an invaluable part of my journey as an artist. Not only has she given me the technical tools needed for success, but she's also helped me along a journey in rediscovering grace and self love. As a result, I'm finally, slowly, transitioning my handmade business to art and licensing this year. I'm building daily habits to defeat overwhelm and establish a consistent art practice. This year is about practicing and getting to know who I am as an artist so that I can build a foundation to establish a lifelong career - something that can't be rushed, but is instead built at a steady, strong, consistent pace. 

Leah Farquharson

My surface design story started with a rekindling of my love for illustration when I began using the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro. Before long I created a large library of vector illustrations. About the same time I discovered Bonnie and literally could not wait to start designing repeat patterns using my illustrations. Today I'm preparing to exhibit my portfolio of over 100 patterns at Blue Print in New York City this May. I never dreamed I could accomplish so much in a short time. If not for Bonnie’s advice and encouragement I would never be this far along in my journey!

Deborah Payne

When I found Bonnie, I had no prior experience, no design education or existing clients... and more or less NO CLUE. All I had was my drawing skills and a dream to see my patterns on real products. Finding her courses was an important turning point for me. She gave me the knowledge and the tools I needed to turn that dream and my skills into something real, step by step. Not to forget the shortcuts she shares: information I would otherwise have spent years to find on my own. I’ve now sold & licensed a number of designs for home textiles, apparel and shoes.

Bärbel Dressler

Before taking the Immersion course I was working at a corporate job doing graphic design and art direction but feeling unfulfilled creatively. Taking Bonnie's Immersion course has shown me that I can continue to grow and to focus on all the small steps that will get me help me accomplish my dream. This course has really opened my eyes to all the possibilities for my future. I am learning a new skill as well as learning how to manage my time, hone my artistic talents and bring it all together with the business knowledge needed to achieve my dream. This is the best investment I have ever made in myself!

Lisa Pease

The Immersion Course is a wonderful resource that does more than just teach a skill or two. It provides a road map for taking the beginnings of an idea all the way through brand development and bringing the end product of that creative spark to the market. I think the biggest thing I took away from the course was an expanded vision of what was possible. The community of like-minded creatives that this class brings together has inspired me with many ideas and provided an encouraging environment for exploration. I would absolutely recommend the Immersion Course.

Bari Rhys

Pencil to paper felt foreign to me, but Bonnie’s classes gave me the confidence and ability to turn my drawings into repeating patterns. I used these lessons from Bonnie to create my first fabric collection. I’m happy to say that Riley Blake Designs loved that first collection and I am now one of their newest fabric designers! My debut collection “Fairy Edith” will be hitting stores in May. If you have a WILD dream to become a fabric/surface designer, I highly recommend Bonnie’s classes. If it weren’t for her knowledge and encouragement, I wouldn’t be living my dream today.

Amanda Castor

Bonnie is gifted with the rare combination of creative inspiration and business aspiration. Not only that, she is very generous in sharing her experience as a creative entrepreneur, and has been a source of encouragement for me and many others. My first fabric collection with Cloud9 Fabrics came out last year!

Esther Nariyoshi

I've been taking in the info and working tirelessly to meet my goal. It finally happened! My portfolio has been accepted, and my debut fabric collection will be showing at Spring Market! I'm so thankful to have finally made this next step in my textile career and super excited to share my designs and patterns in a few short months!

Sarah Thomas

Bonnie Christine's surface pattern design Immersion Course is not only genuine and encouraging, but it also covered essential business practices for the industry.

Helen Ye Plehn

I enrolled in Immersion with no art training, no experience using Illustrator and a preconceived notion that I couldn’t draw. I’ve learned more in a year than a lifetime. The way I do business and view myself as an artist has changed completely.

Bonnie & my classmates have given me confidence, support and initiative to add surface pattern design to my income streams.  

Nancy Scott

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Student

After a beautiful career as a papercutting artist, Suzy discovered the world of working digitally. “The challenge was, at aged 45, to learn something completely new and totally out of my comfort zone. But I was determined to do it.

Bonnie made Illustrator so accessible, breaking it down into all its components. I realised that the 10 years I had spent finding my signature papercutting style, translated easily into working digitally. The most enjoyable part was to be able to work in colour. I had been working in black and white for ten years so I felt a bit like Dorothy landing in Oz!

Since learning Illustrator I have been able to license my designs for fabric, greetings cards, wrapping paper, colouring books and tapestry and cross-stitch kits. My greatest achievement and honour to date was being asked by Harper Collins NY to illustrate the covers for an anniversary box-set of the Little House on the Prairie books. None of these things would have been possible for me if I hadn’t taken the plunge to learn a new skill.

I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned is that you’re never too old to learn something new if you put your mind to it. It’s given me a huge amount of confidence. If you’re on the fence about taking the Immersion Course, just put the fear to one side and dive in. You will learn a huge amount. Take notes. The community is so supportive and helpful. No one judges you except you.”

United Kingdom

Suzy Taylor

Meet

Seriously...SO MUCH CHANGED after this course. One accomplishment has been that I can use Illustrator now with EASE and let me tell you...if I can start at 54 years old going from "I don't know what I'm doing with Illustrator" then ANYONE can do this. If someone is on the fence with taking Immersion, I'd tell them that:

1. You probably won't find a teacher/mentor more sweet, trustworthy, & authentic than Bonnie Christine.

2. If money is an issue, she graciously offers a payment plan. 

3. It's okay to explore a new avenue for a career no matter what age you are. 

4. The people in the community will be supportive like you've probably never experienced. 

5. It's okay to invest in yourself & take a course that might be more immersive & more expensive than you'd typically purchase. You'd probably spend it on your children for something they'd like, so consider investing in yourself with something YOU'D enjoy.

6. If you're really serious about surface pattern design & want quality...this is the course. 

My horizon is bright!

 

Bonnie Fitts

Meet

"Bonnie really helped me get my start in this industry. She has felt like a friend and a kindred spirit along my design journey."

Caitlin Wallace-Rowland

"Bonnie's warmth, calmness, positive attitude, and self-belief gave me the push and the confidence to continue designing and aim high."

Kate lancaster

"The course has been an amazing help in staying focused and pushing myself forward in one direction. It is a serious game-changer for me."

Josie Texidor

"Bonnie really helped me get my start in this industry. She has felt like a friend and a kindred spirit along my design journey."

Caitlin Wallace-Rowland

"Bonnie's warmth, calmness, positive attitude, and self-belief gave me the push and the confidence to continue designing and aim high."

Kate lancaster

"The course has been an amazing help in staying focused and pushing myself forward in one direction. It is a serious game-changer for me."

Josie Texidor

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Callout quote from an Immersion student whose life has been transformed!

Student

Rest of the testimonial goes here. Kind words from an Immersion student whose life has been transformed. Rest of the testimonial goes here. Kind words from an Immersion student whose life has been transformed. 

Callout quote from an Immersion student whose life has been transformed!

Student

Rest of the testimonial goes here. Kind words from an Immersion student whose life has been transformed. Rest of the testimonial goes here. Kind words from an Immersion student whose life has been transformed. 

Callout quote from an Immersion student whose life has been transformed!

Student

Rest of the testimonial goes here. Kind words from an Immersion student whose life has been transformed. Rest of the testimonial goes here. Kind words from an Immersion student whose life has been transformed. 

Callout quote from an Immersion student whose life has been transformed!

Student

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