Goal Setting for Surface Pattern Design

surface pattern design goals

Goal Setting for 2019/2020

If becoming a surface pattern designer was like going for a walk, I feel like my route can be compared to hiking through the Amazon Rainforest. That being said, I am so thankful for Bonnie Christine’s course for people like me, who want to be a surface pattern designer, but need help understanding the industry and creating goals. This course asks the students to sit down and explore the goals they want to achieve by breaking them up into daily, short term and big dreams. Therefore, here is my outline toward goal setting for surface pattern design.

Big Dreams. (6-12 months)

  • Make 20,000 from licensing my patterns
  • Go to BluePrint
  • Have a portfolio and website that relates my style and that I’m proud of 

Short Term Goals (30 days)

  • Complete a new collection within 30 days, and publish it to my website portfolio, Spoonflower.
  • Publish my designs on my website Dribbble and Pinterest. (And care less about Instagram)
  • Publish 4 videos a month about my pattern progress, software tricks, product reviews, and card designs. 
  • Rework my “Work with Me” page on my website.

Daily Tasks (1 Day at a time)

  • Give myself and hour a day ,at minimum, to work on Bonnie Christine’s course and/or patterns.
  • Start calling myself a pattern designer
  • Check the Facebook Group page and be an active member.
  • Start saying no to projects I don’t want or have time for so that I can focus more on surface pattern design.

Make Changes – Learning from the Past

The problems that I had faced in the past was that I didn’t have clear goals nor did I know where to start. Moving forward now, I know that I have to create a calendar and be actively working toward my goals every day. I believe I have to be more disciplined with my time, it’s easy to just be drawing patterns on my iPad, but it takes WAY more time and effort to make sure the patterns repeat perfectly, upload them to Spoonflower, package the files to sell, create social media posts, publish a blog/ portfolio page on my site, order samples, to truly finish a collection before moving on to what I want to work on next. 

So the summer of 2018, I had to move to Southwest Michigan from Kansas City. At this time, I was able to live off my husband’s salary to peruse my creative endeavors. Before we left Kansas City, I had a crazy discipline routine to design one pattern collection a week and sell the files at the end of the week. I did this for like a month-ish. If I never had to move, I probably would have hundred’s more patterns and be further ahead then I am now. I would have tried to get to BluePrint and network within the surface pattern industry more. 

However, our finances changed because of the move so I had to get a part-time job that wasn’t creative at all. I made it work but felt like I was wasting my time and talents for several months. 

I created an account on UpWork, and glory be to God, that I got an amazing client that I could do graphic design services for and leave my part-time, not-creative job. 

With my client work substances enough, I’m able to focus more on pattern designing once again. Yay!

Money Honey – Financial Goals for Surface Pattern Design

I would be very pleased if I could make $50K per year just from surface pattern designs alone. At this point, I have no idea how that is possible. Bonnie Christine makes it sound that it is possible to earn up to $100K per year. I don’t understand how licensing works and how I can actually earn money doing this. I do know it’s possible though!

Money Making Actions – How to Make Money as a Surface Pattern Designer

Ok, so I lied. I know there are a few ways to make money with surface pattern designs.

  1. License designs with companies
  2. Earn royalties (Which many the same thing as number 1)
  3. Sell the pattern files on market places like Creative Market, Hungry Jpg, and Design cuts. Oh and Etsy.
  4. Sell the design elements as clip art on stock photo websites.
  5. Sell patterns as fabric, wrapping paper and wallpaper on Spoonflower.
  6. Sell patterns on drop-shipping sites like Society 6, RedBubble, and Threadless.

Goal Setting for Surface Pattern Design Goals Wrap Up

So, there are my goals wrapped up.

  • I will be more committed to my surface pattern goals.
  • I will complete a portfolio with 10-12 collections,
  • I will Attend BluePrint,
  • I will start making money with my patterns,
  • I will live a creative lifestyle. 

I will take time to reflect on what works and doesn’t work so that I will continue to improve my designs and business.

Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Dribbble

Creative Market | Spoonflower | Etsy – Crystal Whitlow Studio | Etsy – CrystalWhitlowDesign | Society 6 | Spreadshirt

Comments · 2

  1. so nice to see this today…Im a hair stylist for many years (50 yrs eek!) l so so want to get into more creative SITTING. lol. …Ive been watching for some time, haven’t even started DOING and so this was very inspiring thank you lov your a DOLL Ill be watching you ;)). Becca..

  2. Hello from Flourish! Great blog post. 🙂 . I can relate to how easy it is to draw the motifs, but the harder part is getting the flow for the editing, uploading, etc. etc. It’s so funny….I’ve tried to upload to Spoonflower three times and each time I’m like, “huh??” haha! So we keep pushing on and moving forward despite the non-creative jobs and challenges we face! Have a great week!

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